The way Game 1 of the NBA Finals played out for the Boston Celtics certainly influenced oddsmakers with how they feel about the race for the series’ MVP award.
Coming into the Finals, DraftKings Sportsbook had each team’s respective superstar in Jayson Tatum and Steph Curry as the clear favorites to take home the MVP honor. That’s still the case after Boston’s 120-108 come-from-behind victory Thursday, but Tatum (+125) swapped places at the top of the list with Curry (+165).
But Tatum’s dreadful 3-for-17 shooting performance and Golden State’s second-half collapse allowed other Celtics who stepped up in the moment to significantly improve their MVP betting prices.
Jaylen Brown, who ignited Boston’s rally to the start the fourth quarter and scored 24 points in the victory, saw his odds slashed in half from +1100 to +550. Al Horford catapulted up the betting sheet, too.
Prior to the NBA Finals, Horford had massive +9000 odds to garner MVP recognition, but his stellar showing in his NBA Finals debut changed the way oddsmakers see him when it comes to winning the award. Horford netted a team-high 26 points on 9-of-12 shooting and now is at +1400 — the fourth best odds out of any player — to be named MVP.
Marcus Smart’s odds were cut as well with the Celtics guard going from +4500 to +1800 following a standout two-way performance in which he finished with 18 points.
Klay Thompson and Draymond Green each slid down the betting sheet after subpar showings in Game 1. They are now both out of the top five with Thompson and Green along with teammate Andrew Wiggins now sitting at +8000.
If you think Derrick White, who totaled 21 points off the bench, will continue his recent hot streak, there’s still great value for him to win Finals MVP with White at +10000.
The Celtics and the Warriors will take the floor again for Game 2 of the NBA Finals on Sunday. Tipoff from Chase Center is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET.