- The Warriors have extended the NBA Finals with a wild win in Game 5
- Kawhi Leonard is trying to wrap up his MVP campaign in style
- Is there any other player worth betting for Finals MVP?
We’re getting awfully close to the end of the NBA season.
Minus a throwback performance from the Splash Brothers in Game 5, we might already be there.
Backs against the wall.
Splash Brothers deliver 💦 pic.twitter.com/IpYp1OMQK0
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 11, 2019
The Toronto Raptors now move to Oracle Arena, taking swing two out of their three possible chances to clinch the title over the Warriors.
It’s time to check the latest odds for Finals MVP.
2019 NBA Finals MVP Odds
|Player||2019 NBA Finals MVP Odds|
|Kawhi Leonard (Raptors)||-275|
|Steph Curry (Warriors)||+350|
|Draymond Green (Warriors)||+550|
|Klay Thompson (Warriors)||+1400|
|Kyle Lowry (Raptors)||+3300|
|Pascal Siakam (Raptors)||+3300|
|Serge Ibaka (Raptors)||+3300|
|DeMarcus Cousins (Warriors)||+5000|
|Marc Gasol (Raptors)||+10000|
|Fred VanVleet (Raptors)||+10000|
*Odds taken 06/12/19
The most noticeable omission since the last set of odds were released is Warriors forward Kevin Durant sliding off the board and potentially off the court for the foreseeable future with a devastating Achilles injury.
With the wounded Warriors still standing, can they come back and steal the series, or is Kawhi’s coronation as the player in the NBA coming?
Leonard Almost Delivered Title in Toronto
Held mostly in check for much of Game 5, Kawhi came to life in the fourth quarter and delivered a spectacular two minute stretch of play that put the Raptors oh-so-close to capturing that elusive fourth win and franchise’s first NBA ‘chip.
3:05 remaining on ABC & Sportsnet pic.twitter.com/JKjrif5YcS
— NBA (@NBA) June 11, 2019
Leonard’s personal 10-0 run, with a pair of deep contested triples and beastly drives to short pull-ups saw the Raptors go from a four point deficit to a six-point lead with 2:30 to play.
Leonard’s personal 10-0 run saw the Raptors go from a four point deficit to a six-point lead with 2:30 to play.
Alas, with a chance to expand the lead, Leonard tried a fadeaway that came up with air. On the very next trip down, Klay Thompson drilled a three to cut the lead to one possession, and the madness unfolded.
Steph Curry and Thompson splashed two more threes to give Golden State a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
— NBA (@NBA) June 12, 2019
A smart double team on the Raptors’ final possession moved the ball out of Leonard’s hands, and a desperation Kyle Lowry shot was blocked by Draymond Green.
Reporter – "Why didn't you take the last shot?"#Raptors' Kawhi Leonard, laughing – "Well… I mean, 2 guys came up on me. I don't know if I could've gotten a shot off. It's hard. If you've got 2 guys on top of you, you have to try to find the right play."#Warriors #NBAFinals pic.twitter.com/G3NXx0athL
— Tomer Azarly (@TomerAzarly) June 11, 2019
Despite not playing his best game, Leonard still finished with 26 points, 12 rebounds, six assists, two steals, and two blocks.
He’s putting together one of the best postseason runs in league history, averaging 30.9 points, 9.2 rebounds, and 4.0 assists, shooting 49.2% from the field and 38.6% from beyond the arc.
Kawhi Leonard is the best basketball player in the world.
— Sid Seixeiro (@Sid_Seixeiro) June 11, 2019
If Toronto wins the title, he’s the hands down MVP, and will receive strong consideration even if they lose.
What’s the Best Bet to Make?
If you didn’t get in on the ground floor with Leonard, you don’t really want him now at -275. But that’s still a better bet than taking the Raptors to win the series, a less enticing -315. If you think Toronto is taking it all, though, either bet will do.
Game 6: Thursday (6/13), 9pm/et, ABC & TSN pic.twitter.com/SkndtHKV8V
— NBA (@NBA) June 11, 2019
It’s a little more confusing across the hall. The Warriors are literally running on fumes, with Steph and Klay doing much of the heavy lifting. The pair combined for 57 points and drilled 12 threes in Game 5, and Golden State barely had enough to bring it home.
Here is a good example of the level of non-threats on the Warriors offense.
After the entry to Andre, GSW run split cuts. TOR gets confused and two defenders stick with Klay. Andre finds the wide open Draymond who … doesn't even look at the rim pic.twitter.com/M9BvTs3U4h
— Mike Zavagno (@MZavagno11) May 31, 2019
The math is daunting for the Dubs: if the Splash Brothers go for 60, then the combination of Green, Andre Iguodala, Quinn Cook, Boogie Cousins, and Shaun Livingston (and whoever else they trot out there) is going to have to combine for something around 45-50 points to deliver a W. That’s a bad equation.
Fortunately, The Warriors bring title mettle, and Thompson has the ability and experience of needing to deliver in a Game 6. It’s also where the best value bet lies.
Klay Thompson’s Game 6 performance against the Thunder in 2016 was legendary.
11-18 3PT pic.twitter.com/2ZJMsOIgXq
— ProCity Hoops (@ProCityHoops) June 4, 2019
It’s a long shot, but if Thompson goes bonkers and lifts the Warriors to a winner-take-all Game 7, and the Dubs somehow win that, you can have the Warriors at +265 for the ‘chip, and Klay at a ridiculous +1400 to nab his first MVP.
You can also have Steph at +350. I mean, he is averaging 32.4 points this series, with a 47-point explosion in Game 3 on his Finals resume. If you are thinking Warriors, hedging might be a good option.
Let's have fun and keep it civil.