2023 NBA Finals MVP Odds & Best Bet: Jokic Has the Shortest Odds at -360, Followed by Butler at +330
Starting June 1st, the Denver Nuggets take on the Miami Heat in a battle to see which team will raise Larry O’Brien trophy and which player will win Finals MVP. Find relevant odds for the Finals MVP below along with best bets and analysis for the 54th edition of this prestigious award.
As far as each team goes, it’s been a contrast of styles for both teams’ paths to the Finals. Denver came in as the Western Conference top overall seed and has looked the part since day one. As for the Heat, their journey has been an absolute war as they had to earn their right to get in as the eighth seed through the play-in tournament and took down the likes of title favorites Milwaukee and Boston.
With both offenses playing at a hyper-efficient rate, we can count on the Nuggets and Heat to give us a thrilling series. The question is who will step up when the lights shine the brightest? The NBA Finals MVP award is given to the player who has stepped up when their team needed them most, and both the Nuggets and Heat have plenty of stars who can make a serious claim for it.
NBA Finals MVP Odds
|Player||Finals MVP Odds (via DraftKings)|
With Denver coming into the finals as a -400 favorite to lift up the trophy, it should come as no surprise that Jokic is the favorite to win the MVP as he has been the most impactful player for the Nuggets. Anytime you break a record held by Wilt Chamberlain in the NBA Playoffs (most triple doubles in a single postseason) then you are in a good position to bring home the MVP award by continuing that high level of play.
As for the Miami Heat, Jimmy Butler comes in as the sizable favorite as he is currently listed around +330. Butler has been a man possessed throughout the playoffs, having the offense run through his playmaking ability as he slashes through the middle against the opposing defense. This forces the defense to clamp down, creating gaps around the perimeter and opening lanes for his teammates to slash through.
If you think the Heat shock the world and upset the Nuggets, then their MVP market is very intriguing as Butler is far more susceptible to having the award stolen from him than Jokic is with the Nuggets. Their secondary scorers have stepped up in a major way while Butler was limited in the back half of their series against the Celtics.
NBA Finals MVP Prediction: Nikola Jokic
The issue is that the Heat may finally be punching too far above their level as the Nuggets will look to make quick work of Miami. That is in large part who I think will take home the award with Nikola Jokic being in a position to dominate the Heat defense.
While the regular season MVP went to Joel Embiid, you could make a serious case that it belonged to Nikola Jokic who has continued to shred opposing defenses as one of the most efficient big men of all time. That level of play has not skipped a beat since the start of playoffs, generating triple-doubles with ease as the primary threat.
The Heat field a respectable defense but run a scheme that may put them in a bad position to slow down the Nuggets. Mirroring what we saw against the Celtics, the Heat drop down on switches and that frees up the Nuggets elite perimeter shooters off of pick and roll sets.
Especially with Jokic in a triple threat position, having his guard run off his body and giving Jokic the ability to either take a side-stepped Bam Adebayo off the dribble, or hit his shooter in stride as an elite facilitator. If his elite play forces the Heat into a zone scheme, then it may be already as good as done.
Zone defense is NOT the answer against Nikola Jokic. pic.twitter.com/rjzIAmYHyu
— Ryan Alba (@_alba__) May 31, 2023
Simply put, the Nuggets chances of raising the trophy will only go as far as Jokic can take them as their halfcourt sets will run through his dual threat abilities. The markets already reflect this, nearly making his MVP chances and their championship chances identical. While the heavy juice may scare some people off, this is the time to take it as the Nuggets are in a position to start out hot against a tired Heat squad fresh off a seven-game series.
NBA Finals MVP Best Value Bet: Jamal Murray
While I believe Nikola Jokic is destined to raise this award, it’s not unfathomable that someone else can win this award.
Nikola Jokic has gone on and said the Nuggets best player is Jamal Murray, especially for the adversity he has had to battle through with his ACL injury. Now would be the perfect time as any for him to prove it, connecting at a high rate as one of the Nuggets primary scoring options.
While the offense normally runs through Jokic, Murray is one of the few Nuggets players who get the green light to start a set with the ball in their hands. This gives him the ability to run pick and rolls with Jokic as the ball handler, as well as isolation opportunities which would limit Nikola’s production.
Other than Murray, no one else on the Nuggets interests me as a legitimate threat to raise the trophy as they run as secondary scorers off of Murray and Nikola’s playmaking. Should you want to avoid drinking the juice on Jokic’s odds or want to play it safer by adding Murray into your portfolio, then be sure to shop around with multiple sports books to get both players at the best odds available to you.