Bill Speros for Bookies.com

By Bill Speros | | 6 mins

NBA Finals MVP Odds: Paul Top Pick As Giannis Status Unknown

NBA Finals MVP Odds: Paul Top Pick As Giannis Status Unknown
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The NBA Finals are without one of LeBron James, Stephen Curry or Kobe Bryant for the first time since 2006. The Milwaukee Bucks and Phoenix Suns begin the Finals with the long-term status of Milwaukee forward and two-time NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo uncertain because of a hyperextended knee that he suffered in the Eastern Conference Finals. Because of the Greek Freak’s situation, NBA betting markets for the Finals MVP award will be fluid.

Depending on what develops in terms of news concerning Antetokounmpo, there may be exceptional value to be found when looking at the current NBA odds. He has been listed as "doubtful" for Game 1 Tuesday.

Here are the latest Finals MVP odds at DraftKings sportsbook, with each player listed by price and team:

Player OddsTeam
Chris Paul+160Phoenix Suns
Devin Booker+250Phoenix Suns
Giannis Antetokounmpo +500Milwaukee Bucks
Khris Middleton+500Milwaukee Bucks
Jrue Holiday +800Milwaukee Bucks
Deandre Ayton +2500Phoenix Suns
Mikal Bridges+10000Phoenix Suns
Brook Lopez +10000Milwaukee Bucks
Cameron Johnson+15000Phoenix Suns
Cameron Payne+15000Phoenix Suns
Pat Connaughton +25000Milwaukee Bucks
Bobby Portis +25000Milwaukee Bucks
PJ Tucker +25000Phoenix Suns

Odds via DraftKings and current as of publication

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Status Of Antetokounmpo Pivotal

There has been some major movement here in the past 24 hours. Antetokounmpo was +350 across most MVP markets on Monday. He is now down to +650 at FanDuel . He would be a considerable favorite here if he was entering the Finals at full strength. But he isn’t. He remains the first choice on the Bucks roster, but carries considerable risk for bettors.

The schedule for the Finals is drawn out, with a potential Game 7 not scheduled until July 22. So there is time on the calendar for Antetokounmpo to recover and contribute if his injury is not too serious and his teammates can over-deliver without him. If you believe his injury is something that won’t slow his game, bury his number at FanDuel sportsbook.

NBA Finals MVP Odds: Paul Top Pick As Giannis Status Unknown 1

The favorite to win the 2021 Bill Russell MVP Award at most top sportsbooks and sports betting sites is Phoenix guard Chris Paul. CP3 is in the NBA Finals for the first time in his 16-year career and delivered his best performance of the playoffs in the Suns' most-recent game – the Game 6 clincher against the Clippers. It’s not surprising that Paul, the leader of this surging Suns team, has moved to the front of this market. Paul impressed throughout the Conference semifinals sweep of the Nuggets. He averaged 25.5 points per game and dished 41 assists overall compared to just five turnovers.

Our best bet here is Paul's teammate Devin Booker. Booker’s play has been consistent throughout the postseason. He demolished the Lakers with 47 points in the Round 1 close-out game and hasn’t been stopped since. If Paul is willing to accede the bulk of the shooting to Booker, watch out.


Check out the best NBA playoff predictions from the top handicappers, only at bookiesEDGE

Value Picks For NBA Finals MVP

Phoenix's NBA Finals history includes a pair of tough losses, the first in 1976 to Boston and then again in 1993, this time to the Bulls and Michael Jordan. Local fans of the Suns haven't been able to legally back the team this season, as Arizona sports betting won't be live until the fall of 2021.

By then, many top betting apps should be available, but Arizona bettors won't find the kind of odds on their team that were available last fall. Bucks backers in the Badger State can head to either Illinois, Iowa or Michigan to place their legal wagers.


WANT TO KNOW MORE? Check Out Our Suns vs Bucks NBA Finals Betting Guide


Both Antetokounmpo (+1400) and Booker (+600) were great value plays here a month ago. However, the two best NBA Finals MVP value plays on the board now are Jrue Holiday ( +800 at DraftKings ) for the Bucks and Deandre Ayton ( +2500 at DraftKings ) for the Suns.

Once in a while in the Finals, you will see an unheralded player emerge. Both Holiday and Ayton have enough game to find the spotlight, especially with the potential for Paul and Antetokounmpo to miss games through injury.

About the Author

Bill Speros for Bookies.com
Bill Speros
Bill Speros is an award-winning journalist and editor whose career includes stops at USA Today Sports Network / Golfweek, Cox Media, ESPN, Orlando Sentinel and Denver Post.