The Westgate SuperBook released odds to win NBA Finals Most Valuable Player honors on Sunday afternoon, making Golden State star guard Steph Curry the -150 “chalk.”
Curry is looking to garner the award for the first time in his storied career. Kevin Durant has won MVP honors twice for the Warriors in their back-to-back championships. In the 2015 NBA Finals, Andre Iguodala was the MVP.
Toronto forward Kawhi Leonard is listed with +275 odds. If you’re a gambler that likes Toronto to win the series and feel convinced Leonard will win MVP honors in that scenario, you’re better off making this wager since it brings back 35-cents more compared to the Raptors’ +240 price to win the best-of-seven set.
Leonard has been sensational during his team’s 18-game postseason run. He hit the first buzzer beater in NBA postseason history to win a Game 7 when his corner bucket eliminated the Philadelphia 76ers in the Eastern Conference semifinals. The San Diego State product is averaging 31.2 points, 8.8 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 1.6 steals and 0.6 blocked shots per game.
Leonard has buried 50.7 percent of his field-goal attempts, 38.8 percent of his launches from 3-point land and 87.5 percent of his free-throw attempts.
Durant has already been ruled out of Thursday’s series opener in Toronto. Multiple reports have indicated that both he and DeMarcus Cousins will play at some point in the series, but when they’ll return to the court remains uncertain. Steve Kerr said Monday that Cousins’ status is “still up in the air” for Game 1, but his status has been upgraded to “questionable.”
Durant has 10/1 odds along with teammate Draymond Green, who is averaging 13.6 points, 9.9 rebounds, 8.2 assists, 1.7 blocked shots and 1.4 steals per game through 16 postseason contests.
I believe the most attractive play is on Golden State’s Klay Thompson at 20/1 odds. Thompson felt snubbed when he was left off the All-NBA teams, which cost him roughly $31 million in potential contract earnings. Of course, every player should be sky high to play in the NBA Finals, but Thompson will likely bring even more motivation and intensity vs. Toronto.
Thompson is averaging 19.1 points, 3.9 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.5 steals and 0.9 blocked shots per game in the playoffs to date.
Toronto’s Pascal Siakam has 40/1 odds, followed by teammates Kyle Lowry and Marc Gasol at 100/1 odds apiece. Iguodala is 200/1 while Toronto’s Fred VanVleet and Serge Ibaka share 300/1 odds. The “field” (all others) is 100/1.
VanVleet is a big reason why the Raptors won four games in a row to send Milwaukee packing. The Wichita State product has hit 14 of his last 17 attempts from downtown. VanVleet had been held to single digits in 14 consecutive contests until producing double-figure scoring efforts in Games 4, 5 and 6 of the East finals.
As of late Monday afternoon, most books had Toronto (70-30 straight up, 48-52 against the spread) as a one-point home favorite for Game 1. The total for “over/under” wagers was 214.5 or 215 points.
Golden State (69-29 SU, 42-54-2 ATS), a -290 favorite to win its third consecutive NBA title, is 6-5 ATS in 11 games as an underdog. Steve Kerr’s team is 33-16 SU and 23-25-1 ATS in its road assignments this year.
Sportsbook is offering adjusted lines for Game 1. Bettors can back the Warriors at -7.5 in the series opener for a +200 return. Toronto is available at -7.5 for a +210 payout.