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Jayson Tatum Listed as Clear Favorite Over LeBron James, Nikola Jokic

by Kyle Wood/ May 15, 2023 at 12:39 p.m.

Jayson Tatum, star of the title-favorite Celtics, has the best odds to win Finals MVP heading into the conference finals.

Boston is well ahead of its contemporaries in the betting markets and the same goes for Tatum, who has better odds than Nikola JokićLeBron James and Jimmy Butler, the leaders of the other three teams that are still standing. Of the players available to wager on, only James has ever won the award before.

Tatum entered the NBA Finals last season with the second-best odds to win Finals MVP behind Stephen Curry, who ultimately won the award.

NBA Finals MVP Odds

Jayson Tatum +140

Nikola Jokić +250

LeBron James +550

Jaylen Brown +600

Anthony Davis +750

Jimmy Butler +1400

Jamal Murray +2500

Bam Adebayo +8000

Derrick White +10000

Malcolm Brogdon +10000

Michael Porter Jr. +12500

Austin Reaves +15000

© Rick Osentoski/USA TODAY Sports

If Boston were to deliver on its status as the title favorite, Tatum (+140) would be the most likely recipient of the Finals MVP award. He leads the team in points (28.2), rebounds (10.6) and assists (5.2). But remember that Tatums running mate, Jaylen Brown, outplayed him in the 2022 Finals and very well could have beat him out for the honor had the Celtics defeated the Warriors. Brown (+600) is available at odds more than four times as long as what Tatum can currently be bet at.

Jokićs odds (+250) match the title odds of his team as its incredibly difficult to envision the Nuggets hoisting the trophy and him not being the reason why they won. Similarly to the Tatum-Brown dynamic, LeBron James has shorter odds (+550) than Davis (+750) to win his fifth Finals MVP award but it could go to either player should Los Angeles win another title. James last won in 2020 when the Lakers beat Miami in the bubble.

The Heats long championship odds are reflected in this market as well considering five players have better odds than Butler (+1400), whos been one of the best players throughout the postseason, specifically in the Bucks series. After Butler, theres a steep dropoff to Jamal Murray (+2500) and then an even larger leap to Bam Adebayo (+8000).

The Western Conference Finals between Denver and Los Angeles begins Tuesday evening at 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN and the Eastern Conference Finals between Boston and Miami gets underway Wednesday night at 8:30 p.m. ET on TNT. Game 1 of the NBA Finals is scheduled for June 1.

If you or someone you know has a gambling problem and wants help, call the National Council for Problem Gambling 1-800-522-4700.

Print Headline: Jayson Tatum Listed as Clear Favorite Over LeBron James, Nikola Jokic


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