The NBA Finals are finally tipping off after a quick break from the conference finals. FanDuel Sportsbook has plenty of series props up, including things like top point scorer in the series, MVP, most total rebounds, and correct series score after three games. You of course can bet the overall winner. Toronto has home court advantage, which this is the first time in the last four seasons where the Warriors haven’t had home court in the finals. Let’s dive into some prop bets listed for the 2019 Finals.
NBA Finals MVP
There are no surprises here, as Stephen Curry is a -154 favorite to win Finals MVP. Kawhi Leonard is next in line at +245, and then it is the rest of the Warriors after. Draymond Green and Klay Thompson are both enticing long shot options, but more so if Kevin Durant remains out for the entire season. Durant coming back would throw a wrench into things for those names, but not so much Curry.
Curry is a clear favorite to win the Finals MVP, and Leonard is going to be right there with him. Smart money is on these two, and here is why. Curry leads everyone else in offensive rating at 117, assisting on 29% of the Warriors baskets, and also grabbing 10.5% of the Warriors rebounds. His TS% is 66.3% in these playoffs, and his usage rate is over 30%. Curry’s usage is going to carry him to ridiculous numbers, even if the Raptors clamp down on him defensively, it is hard to see his numbers taking a huge drop.
Overall, this seems like a two-horse race for MVP. We get better odds than I was expecting on Curry’s MVP chances. With Durant likely out a portion of the season, if not all, Curry is going likely lead in production. By the chance of Toronto upsetting Golden State, Leonard coming in at +245 is a value to consider. Green sitting at +700, and Thompson at +1600 are worth shots as well. Only downside is the Durant factor which drops their production down, but that would be if he returns. Curry and Leonard are both the optimal choices to bet on, and the secondary Warriors options also have potential to jump ahead of Curry if the Raptors slow him down.
2019 Playoff Averages
Leonard: 31.2 PPG, 8.8 RPG, 3.8 APG, 1.6 SPG, 0.6 BPG
Curry: 27.3 PPG, 6.3 RBP, 5.6 APG, 0.9 SPG, 0.2 BPG
However, with Durant out, Curry has averaged 35-7-6 in the playoffs.
Total Games Prop
Golden State in six games is a popular consensus among the public, and it reflects in the current odds. A lot of this has to do with Durant missing at least the first game, and likely more. Durant is going to shakeup a lot of odds with his return, and the overall questionable tag on him this series makes it a bit difficult to bet. I actually really like getting slightly better odds with the Warriors ending it in five games at +260. You get a slightly better return, and the outcome isn’t that crazy.
Sure, the Warriors are on the road for the first time in the last five seasons, which would mean Warriors winning in five would be on the road. In Finals history, the road team has won at least one game on the road 96% of the time. 16% of the time, the home team has won all seven games. Since 2013, Golden State has won at least one road game in every series. They have closed out 11 series on the road in that span. The Warriors are just a different animal, and have been one of the best playoff road teams. Being able to steal one on the road is going to be a near dagger for Toronto. They are 45-8 at home in the postseason, making it tough for Toronto to get things back on their side. Warriors in five gives you a better payout.
You have the best value on this series going five or six games. A sweep is unlikely at +460, and the chances of this one going seven seems slim as well. With the Warriors success at stealing games on the road, I love the +260 odds for this series wrapping up in five games. The public’s love for this going six games has drive the odds up quite a bit. You can get decent values on all of these, but +260 for the series in five is a sweet spot.
Most Total Rebounds
Of the remaining players in the playoffs, Draymond Green and Kawhi Leonard lead in rebounds per game. Green is averaging 9.9 per game, while Leonard is averaging 8.8. Green has averaged 11.4 rebounds with Durant off the court in these playoffs, and 9.2 with. Durant coming back would lower his late just a tad. Leonard went up against some tough defensive teams, Philadelphia ranked 2nd in rebounding, Milwaukee was 4th, and Orlando was 13th. Green had easier tasks going up against Portland without Jusuf Nurkic, the Clippers ranked 15th, and Houston ranked 27th. Pace also dictates things a bit here.
Leonard is an interesting value here at +280, where Green is the heavy favorite at -220. When you look at the total rebounds, Leonard leads with 159, where Green is at 158. Of course, Green has played about 90 less minutes than Leonard has. This is an average rebounding matchup, and I prefer the odds on Leonard, rather than the favorite Green. Outside of these two, you are just looking at long shots. Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka don’t get enough run to hold up in this department, and Siakam is just not in the same tier as them in rebounding. While they are all +1000 and higher, these are easy fades.
In addition to the total rebounds, where Draymond Green is -220, he is also a -215 favorite to lead in total assists. Not a lot of great value here, especially given long shot Kyle Lowry is +400. Nobody is in the same range of outcomes for Green when it comes to assists, especially with Durant out. The ball also isn’t in Lowry’s hands enough for him to generate enough assists to pass up Green. He is the safest bet here, but to win $100, you need to bet $216. I talked a bit about the rebound shot for Leonard to overtake Green, a $36 bet on Leonard can net you $100. If you are high on Green, the more optimal route is betting on him to win MVP. That is the only area I wouldn’t mind fading him.