The NBA Finals has seen the Denver Nuggets take a convincing 2-1 series lead after Game 3, with Nikola Jokic continuing to be a significant factor, boosting his MVP chances.
1. Nikola Jokic -1150 (Before Game 3: -260)
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.
Jokic has continued to put together a historic playoff run for the Nuggets, where he’s led the team to being two victories away from their first NBA title. In Game 3 in Miami, Jokic had one of his strongest postseason performances, recording 32 points, 21 rebounds, and ten assists. With another massive outburst from Jokic in Game 3, his odds have been majorly bet down from -260 to -1150.
2. (Tie) Jimmy Butler +1400 (Before Game 3: +430)
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.
Butler had his best offensive showing in Game 3, where he tallied a team-high 28 points. However, it wasn’t exactly an efficient performance, with Butler shooting under 46% from the field. The former Sixer needs to find another gear again with his scoring and playmaking if the Heat have hopes of taking Game 4 at home and staying in this series. With Butler looking tired in this series, he’s seen his odds fall from +430 to +1400, where he remains with the second-shortest odds.
2. (Tie) Bam Adebayo +1400 (Prior to Game 3: +650)
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 find success on offense in the paint continuously.
There’s a solid case to be made that Bam has been Miami’s best player through three games, at least statistically. He came out with another strong showing in Game 3, putting together 22 points and 17 rebounds. Still, many of Adebayo’s issues came on volume shooting, and his 33.3% from the floor won’t cut it for Miami. With the Nuggets winning big in Game 3, Adebayo has seen his odds drop from +650 to +1400.
4. Jamal Murray +5000 (Before Game 3: +4200)
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 put on a performance for the ages in Game 3, recording his first triple-double of the postseason. Murray dropped 34 points, 10 rebounds, and ten assists, while shooting an efficient 54.5% from the floor. Even with a tremendous performance from Denver’s guard, he’s still seen his odds of winning NBA Finals MVP decrease from +4200 to +5000. This ultimately has nothing to do with Murray, more so factoring in this overall dominance his teammate Jokic has shown.
5. Gabe Vincent +49000 (Before Game 3: +4500)
Miami has an offense-by-committee approach, and Gabe Vincent has repeatedly 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.
After breaking out in Game 2 for the Heat, Vincent was extremely quiet in Game 3, resulting in his odds taking a big hit. The Heat guard tallied just seven points on 2-of-10 shooting, which is just not a recipe for success. Vincent can be a scorer for this Heat team, but he’s been inconsistent at best in the NBA Finals, leading to his odds dropping from +4500 to +49000.
NBA Finals MVP Odds from FanDuel Sportsbook
|Nikola Jokic||Denver Nuggets||-1150|
|Jimmy Butler||Miami Heat||1400|
|Bam Adebayo||Miami Heat||1400|
|Jamal Murray||Denver Nuggets||5000|
|Gabe Vincent||Miami Heat||49000|