The NBA Finals saw the Miami Heat come from behind in Game 2 and even the series, leading to Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo’s odds of winning NBA Finals MVP rising.
1. Nikola Jokic -260 (Before Game 2: -470)
Nikola Jokic remains a sizable favorite to capture NBA Finals MVP, which correlates with the Denver Nuggets being a favorite to win their first NBA championship. Would it surprise anyone to note that Jokic had another standout performance in Game 1 against the Miami Heat? Probably not. The Joker had another triple-double, stuffing the stat sheet with 27 points, 14 assists, and 10 rebounds.
Game 2 was an encore performance for Jokic, which saw him pour in a game-high 41 points, along with 11 rebounds. With the Nuggets dropping their first game on home court in the playoffs against Miami, though, Joker has seen his odds drop from -470 to -260. He’s still a big favorite, but the Heat are in the series now, and that’s seen his price drop accordingly.
2. Jimmy Butler +430 (Before Game 2: +800)
Jimmy Butler has been impactful during the Miami Heat’s run to the NBA Finals in many ways. There’s a reason he holds the nickname “Playoff Jimmy,” and he’s held to that in the postseason. Even though Butler still boasts the second-shortest odds to win NBA Finals MVP, we’re looking for him to settle into the series. He scored 21 points in Game 2, a better showing from the series opener, but was more of a facilitator with nine assists. Still, with the Heat evening the series, Butler has seen his odds rise from +800 to +430 as Miami heads to South Beach knotted 1-1.
3. Bam Adebayo +650 (Prior to Game 2: +1800)
Bam Adebayo has been a significant two-way presence for Miami. He led the Heat in Game 1 and had another solid offensive showing Sunday night, where he registered 21 points and nine rebounds. Adebayo is giving the Heat precisely what they need as a secondary scorer in this series, and he’s been able to continuously find success on offense in the paint. With another successful game for Miami’s big man, Adebayo has seen his odds bet down again from +1800 to +650.
4. Jamal Murray +4200 (Before Game 2: +1000)
Jamal Murray has remained a dominant scorer for the Nuggets in the 2023 NBA playoffs. His strong ability to create shots and overall explosiveness when driving the hoop has taken his game to a star level. Murray was excellent in Denver’s Game 1 victory at home and followed that up with 18 points and 10 assists in Game 2.
Murray has been a factor in both games to this point, which has made it somewhat perplexing that he’s seen his odds more than quadruple from +1000 to +4200 after Game 2. The Canadian sharpshooter can play a significant role in winning this series for Denver. Jokic will also factor in, and there’s undoubtedly overshadow potential for him, but +4200 is an excellent price worth looking into.
5. Gabe Vincent +4500 (Before Game 2: Unranked in Top Six)
Miami very much has an offense-by-committee approach, and Gabe Vincent has, time and time again, continued to take his game to another level on that end of the court. Like many of his teammates, Vincent had a mediocre Game 1, but he came to play Sunday night and led the team with 21 points, including four key 3-pointers. As a result, Vincent has emerged as a longshot candidate, which has seen his odds rise to +4500.
6. Max Strus +17000 (Before Game 2: Unranked in Top Six)
After a dismal shooting performance in the Finals opener, Max Strus came to life for the Miami Heat in Game 2 and put together a strong effort. Strus shot 40% from beyond the arc in Game 2, had a vital 14 points, and played good defense. It’s hard to see Strus ultimately doing enough to win NBA Finals MVP, but he’s at least emerged as part of the conversation at +17000.
NBA Finals MVP Odds from FanDuel Sportsbook
|Nikola Jokic||Denver Nuggets||-260|
|Jimmy Butler||Miami Heat||430|
|Bam Adebayo||Miami Heat||650|
|Jamal Murray||Denver Nuggets||4200|
|Gabe Vincent||Miami Heat||4500|
|Max Strus||Miami Heat||17000|