NBA Finals MVP Odds

NBA Finals MVP Odds

The 2015 NBA Finals don’t tip until Thursday night, which gives all the talking heads, pundits, scribes, and oddsmakers extra time (i.e. way too much time) to delve into the minutiae of the intriguing matchup between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors. The team with the best player in the world will scrap with the team with the best record in 2014-15 and the reigning MVP. But LeBron Jame and Steph Curry aren’t the only ones who will assume vital roles in the series. A handful of players have a decent shot to win the Finals MVP besides James, who will be seeking his third trophy, and Curry, who is the early favorite to bring home the award. Here are the odds for the Finals MVP.

Steph Curry 4/9 – Vegas is tossing its full support behind Curry and why not? He is averaging 29.2 points, 6.4 assists, and 1.9 steals per game in the postseason. He is also hitting an impressive 43% from three-point range. He’s also been the most consistently dominant offensive player since November, which is why he deserved to be named MVP. To put it simply: if the Warriors seize the title, Curry will be the reason.

LeBron James 2/1 – No Kevin Love? No problem. A gimpy Kyrie Irving? Whatever. In his quest for a third championship, James is netting a near triple-double in the playoffs. He pretty much single-handedly carried the Cavs in their sweep of the Hawks. That said, his shooting needs to improve (17% from beyond the arc!) to dispose of the potent Warriors, especially is Irving is still bothered by his balky knee.

Klay Thompson 11/1 – Golden State head coach Steve Kerr believes Thompson will be ready for Game 1, but the All-Star guard still has to pass the league’s concussion protocol before being cleared. Symptoms often linger for days if not weeks, so just expecting him to suit up is naive. Even before receiving a knee to the head, Thompson was struggling a bit to find his shot. He can obviously get hot at anytime, but health issues alone don’t make him a smart choice.

Kyrie Irving 12/1 – Irving is in a similar spot as Thompson. A full week to rest his ailing knee should definitely help, but he’s not a guarantee to be at 100% when the series starts. There’s also a chance he aggravates the knee at some point during the Finals. Like Thompson, Irving is a streaky scorer capable of carrying his team to victory, although his injury status makes him a risky bet.

Draymond Green 16/1 – Call this the Kawhi Leonard pick. Leonard won the prize in 2014 by being stout at both ends of the floor and clutch with the game on the line. Green is an ascending talent who plays much bigger than his size who will likely be tasked to shadow James during key stretches. If he does an adequate job, he makes for a solid sleeper.

J.R. Smith 75/1 – With Irving a question mark, Smith’s importance increases. He came up huge versus Atlanta, and his three-point prowess will be needed to keep up with the Warriors’ breakneck scoring pace. It will be extremely tough to supplant James if Cleveland wins the ring, but Smitty is still an interesting choice.