NBA Playoffs

  • NBA betting sites are offering specials on the NBA Champion and the Finals MVP, with bets on the special offering better odds than that of straight NBA futures bet at many online sportsbooks.
  • Betting on Jayson Tatum, Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, or Joel Embiid to win Finals MVP and their respective teams to win it all comes with significantly longer odds than a straight bet on their teams to simply win outright.
  • With the playoff specials offering the same odds for the Milwaukee Bucks or Denver Nuggets to win the NBA Finals regardless of the inclusion of either Giannis Antetokounmpo or Nikola Jokic, it is better to fade those bets.

PHILADELPHIA – The First Round of the NBA Playoffs tip-off on Saturday, with NBA sports betting sites offering special bets for each team ahead opening tip.

One particular special at NBA betting sites┬áthat stands out as a way for players to boost their bankrolls is by taking a favorite to win the NBA Finals and that team’s best player to win Finals MVP.

By making this pivot off direct NBA Finals futures, players can take on only slightly more risk and greatly increase their payouts on bets to take home the Larry O’Brien Trophy.

Focusing on the six teams with the shortest odds to win the NBA Finals, the odds for each team to win the championship versus the championship odds plus their best player to win Finals MVP are shown below.

NBA Finals Odds vs NBA Finals + Finals MVP Odds

Team: Championship Odds: Player: Finals + MVP Odds:
Milwaukee Bucks +300 Giannis Antetokounmpo +300
Boston Celtics +375 Jayson Tatum +500
Phoenix Suns +425 Kevin Durant +800
Golden State Warriors +900 Stephen Curry +1200
Denver Nuggets +1000 Nikola Jokic +1000
Philadelphia 76ers +1000 Joel Embiid +1200

Legal betting sites set the exact same odds for the Milwaukee Bucks and Denver Nuggets with and without either of their two-time regular season MVPs also winning Finals MVP, so those playoff specials should be faded as there is no point in adding an extra step for the same odds.

On the other hand, betting on the Celtics, Suns, Warriors, and 76ers via NBA specials are all better bets than straight-up on NBA Finals futures.

Breaking that logic down by team, the reasons to take the specials are:

  • Boston Celtics: With bettors getting an extra $125 for every $100 bet when adding Jayson Tatum winning Finals MVP to their bet slip, this is likely only to fail if his co-star Jaylen Brown has a phenomenal NBA Finals series. Tatum averaged more points, rebounds, assists, and blocks than Brown this season, so the risk may not be as high as it may seem.
  • Phoenix Suns: Kevin Durant has only played eight games with the Phoenix Suns this season, but getting +800 odds on KD winning Finals MVP versus the Suns winning the title with +475 is a huge increase in payouts. Durant has won two Finals MVP awards in his career, and despite Devin Booker’s presence, the University of Texas product likely has to be the best player on the Suns for them to win the NBA Championship.
  • Golden State Warriors: The long discussion point about Stephen Curry not winning the Finals MVP was put to rest last season. Curry is the clear best player on the Warriors, averaging 8.5 more points per game than fellow Splash Brother Klay Thompson. With a significant scoring edge and the overtalked-about Finals MVP hurdle off his proverbial back, taking Curry to win Finals MVP in a Warriors repeat scenario with +1200 odds is a much better bet than on Golden State to simply win the title with +900 odds.
  • Philadelphia 76ers: Joel Embiid was the scoring champion in the NBA this season and will likely win his first MVP trophy when awards are announced. With that in mind, it seems nearly impossible that the 76ers win the NBA Finals this season without him taking home the Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award. Embiid is clearly the best player for Philadelphia, with the longer +1200 odds for him to win Finals MVP in a Sixers championship requiring almost no more risk than a bet on Philadelphia to win with +1000 odds.
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