Warriors Curry favored to win 1st Finals MVP

  • Joined ESPN in 2014
  • Journalist covering gambling industry since 2008

Golden State’s Stephen Curry has never won an NBA Finals MVP award, but oddsmakers believe this is his year.

Curry is the consensus favorite to be named MVP of the Finals between the Warriors and Boston Celtics at sportsbooks around the nation. He’s the even-money favorite at Caesars Sportsbook.

Boston’s Jayson Tatum is the second favorite at +180, followed by Celtics teammate Jaylen Brown (+1000). Golden State’s Klay Thompson (+1500) and Draymond Green (+1800) are next. The bulk of the action, though, is on Curry, who has not won MVP in his five previous Finals appearances.

Curry has attracted the most bets and nearly half (44%) of the total money that’s been wagered at Caesars Sportsbook, including a pair of $2,500 wagers that were placed by a bettor in Colorado when the Warriors point guard was 10-1 to win MVP. Curry also has garnered the most bets and most money wagered to win MVP at BetMGM sportsbooks, where he is the bookmaker’s largest liability.

The largest payout on a single MVP bet at Caesars Sportsbook, however, is on Golden State’s Jordan Poole. On April 16, as the playoffs were beginning, a bettor in Colorado bettor placed a $500 bet on Poole to win Finals MVP at 200-1 odds. Poole’s odds have shortened to 30-1 entering the Finals, which tip off Thursday in San Francisco.

Around the same time, a bettor in Colorado with sportsbook PointsBet placed a $3,333 bet on Thompson to win MVP at 100-1 odds. That bet would pay a net $333,300 if Thompson wins in his return to the Finals.

Curry was named MVP of the Western Conference finals, and with a Finals MVP would join an illustrious list of seven players who have been named MVP of the Finals and regular season and won a scoring title: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal and Wilt Chamberlain.

But Curry now faces one of his toughest defenders in Boston’s Marcus Smart. According to ESPN Stats & Information, the Warriors have their second-worst offensive efficiency when Smart guards Curry. Smart is +3500 to win Finals MVP at Caesars Sportsbook.

Golden State began the week as a 3.5-point favorite over the Celtics in Game 1 on Thursday (9 p.m. ET, ABC).

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