The 2022 NBA Finals are tied up a 1-1 after both teams split the first two games at Chase Center in San Francisco. It’s no surprise that the best player from each team sits at the top of the NBA Finals MVP betting board, with Steph Curry the slight favorite at +100 odds ahead of Jayson Tatum at +115 odds.
After the first two games, Curry is playing some of his best ball of the postseason. Meanwhile, Tatum struggled in Game 1, but bounced back with a much stronger performance in Game 2.
|Steph Curry (Warriors)||+100||+120|
|Jayson Tatum (Celtics)||+115||+180|
|Jaylen Brown (Celtics)||+900||+900|
|Marcus Smart (Celtics)||+7000||+5000|
|Al Horford (Celtics)||+7000||+7500|
|Draymond Green (Warriors)||+8000||+1700|
|Andrew Wiggins (Warriors)||+10000||+2200|
|Klay Thompson (Warriors)||+20000||+1700|
|Jordan Poole (Warriors)||+20000||+2500|
|Derrick White (Celtics)||+50000||+10000|
Can anyone else aside from Curry or Tatum win the NBA Finals MVP? Jaylen Brown from the Celtics makes the most sense, which is great because Brown offers up the best value on the NBA Finals MVP board a DraftKings at +900 odds.
Celtics: Tatum, Brown, or Horford
Tatum has the best odds for the Celtics at +115 to win the MVP, despite a rough start to the NBA Finals. Tatum went ice cold in Game 1, but the Celtics still prevailed and won even though their All-Star had an off night. He bounced back with a much better performance in Game 2, but the Celtics lost.
Brown has been the most consistent scorer for the Celtics in the NBA Finals at 20.5 ppg, which is just a smidge better than Tatum at 20 ppg. Keep an eye on what type of defensive scheme the Warriors install in Game 3. Will they let Tatum and Brown do their thing while trying to shut down the rest of the team? Or, will they key in on either Brown or Tatum and swarm them every time they touch the ball? If Tatum draws the double teams, it will give Brown a chance to explode for another 40-point game.
Marcus Smart isn’t having the best NBA Finals, but he’s been a warrior in the postseason while playing through a multitude of injuries. He’s only averaging 10 ppg, but he’s knocking down 40% of his 3-pointers. He’s a long shot to win the MVP at +7000 odds.
Al Horford is another interesting role player who typically dazzles the fans with one insane performance every series. After 15 seasons in the NBA, he finally made it to the NBA Finals. He looked a decade younger when he lit up the Warriors for 26 points in Game 1, including a career-best six treys. He got held to just two points in Game 2. That’s why Horford’s MVP odds are also in the long-shot range at +7000.
Warriors: Curry or bust
Since the inception of the NBA Finals MVP, a player from the losing team has won the award only once. It happened with the inaugural honor when Jerry West averaged 38 ppg and won the 1969 NBA Finals MVP even though the Los Angeles Lakers lost to the Boston Celtics in a sensational seven-game series.
It could happen for only the second time if the Celtics win the 2022 NBA Championship because the always-evolving Curry (31.5 ppg) leads everyone in scoring.
Curry is the outright favorite at +100 odds or even money to snag the MVP, even though the Warriors coughed up home-court advantage in the NBA Finals. It’s interesting to note that Curry has never won the distinction, even though he won three championships. Kevin Durant won the NBA Finals MVP when the Warriors secured back-to-back titles in 2017 and 2018. Andre Iguodala won the MVP when Curry and the Warriors won the title in 2015.
Draymond Green plays a lot of head games with opponents, coaches, and even officials. You won’t see his invaluable role get tallied in the box score, but Green definitely was the x-factor in the Warriors’ victory in Game 2 to even the series. You can back Green at +8000 odds.
Klay Thompson — the other half of the Splash Brothers — is a long shot right now at +20000 odds because he’s stuck in an ugly funk. He’s simply pressing and trying too hard to make things happen. He almost looks like a rookie out there when he’s forcing shots instead of letting opportunities come his way.
Check out more coverage of the 2022 NBA playoffs.