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NBA Finals MVP tracker: Jimmy Butler makes his case after Game 5 win [UPDATE]

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We break down the favorites and odds on DraftKings Sportsbook between the Lakers and Heat for the 2020 NBA Finals MVP.

Jimmy Butler of the Miami Heat defends LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers during the fourth quarter in Game Five of the 2020 NBA Finals at AdventHealth Arena at the ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on October 9, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.  Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The 2020 NBA Finals is set between the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat. The series will begin on Wednesday with Game 1 at 9:00 p.m. ET on ABC. Since we now know who will represent both the East and West in the finals, we can take a look at who the favorites are to take home MVP. Here’s a look at the odds on DraftKings Sportsbook before the series.

LeBron James, to nobodies surprise, has the best odds to take home NBA Finals MVP this season. Behind him is teammate Anthony Davis and we don’t see another Lakers player pop up until Kyle Kuzma at 200/1. There are a handful of candidates from the Heat among the best odds, including Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo and Goran Dragic.

In this piece, we’ll be tracking the odds movement throughout the series and providing updates after each game, so you can have a sense of who is performing and is in the running for Finals MVP.

Game 5 update Jimmy Butler might steal this award. The Heat would need to complete the 3-1 comeback in the series most likely. Is that possible after their win in Game 5 on Friday night? It would seem so. Butler had another massive triple-double and willed Miami to another win. The Lakers still got 40 points from LeBron James in the loss, plus Anthony Davis added 28 points of his own. James will still be favored to win Finals MVP by a wide margin. Will Butler’s odds shoot up? Definitely. If the Heat come back to win the championship, it’s Jimmy’s award.

Oct. 7 update — So we may be looking at a one-man show for Finals MVP if the odds are any indication. LeBron is up to -1000 to win Finals MVP. AD is at +600 and the only other player close to them is Butler at +2300. This is mostly because if the Lakers win in Game 5 on Friday, it’ll be either LeBron or Davis winning MVP. We may see odds shift if the Heat get a win and make it 3-2, but it shouldn’t be anything too drastic. I still think it’s closer between James and Davis than the odds suggest. Remember, in Game 4 on Tuesday, Davis was the one who essentially hit the 3-pointer that put Miami away for good late in the fourth quarter.

Game 4 update Davis struggled early in this game but finished with 22 points, 9 rebounds, and 4 assists on 8-of-16 shooting in the Lakers’ 102-96 win over the Heat in Game 4. James was also 8-of-16 shooting, but tallied game highs in points (28) and rebounds (12) while dishing out 12 assists. James has continued to stuff the stat sheet and appears to be running away with the race for this year’s MVP award. It’s hard to make a case for anyone else when he’s essentially averaging a triple-double against Miami.

Game 3 update — The Heat got back into the series with a win in Game 3 to make it 2-1. Jimmy Butler had. 40-point triple-double in the process. LeBron and AD are still the top two odds to take home finals MVP, but Butler is now +1000, which is higher than he had been after Games 1 and 2. If the Heat can tie the series on Tuesday and get back into it, we could see Butler’s odds shift dramatically, since he’d likely be the only real candidate for Miami to win the award. Now would be the time to jump in on the Jimmy Buckets MVP market.

Game 2 update — So Game 2 was another win for the Lakers, so they’re up 2-0 and looking like they’ll coast to a finals win. Davis scored 32 points with 14 rebounds in Game 2. LeBron came just short of a triple-double again with 33 points, 9 assists and 9 rebounds. So things are getting a bit more interesting than they were after Game 1. LeBron should still be favored after this game, but it may start to slowly go back in his favor in terms of odds. AD gained on him after Game 2, but it will definitely be closer. It’s definitely a two-man race at this point.

Oct. 2 update — LeBron is down to -200 and AD is at +140 after the off-day before Game 2 on Friday night. AD is slowly creeping up on James in terms of the favorite to win Finals MVP and after all the injuries to Miami, it’s looking like a two-man race. I still think AD was always the sharp play and if he puts together another big performance in Game 2, it’ll become a bit more even in terms of odds between him and LeBron.

Post-Game 1 update — So LeBron’s line moved from -255 to -225 overnight. AD is now +175 to win Finals MVP after being +250 before his Game 1. Odds on pretty much all the Heat players dropped as a result. JaVale McGee is ahead of Andre Iguodala for some context. It still feels like ADs award to lose, so getting him at plus-odds still seems enticing.

Game 1 update Anthony Davis couldn’t be stopped in Game 1 and scored a game-high 34 points in 38 minutes on 11-of-21 shooting to help Los Angeles claim a 116-98 victory. He also chipped in with 9 rebounds and 5 assists. LeBron James was no slouch and flirted with a triple-double by posting 25 points, 13 rebounds, and 9 assists. The two Lakers stars will only continue to distance themselves from the rest of the pack if they keep playing like this, but Davis might have done more for his MVP case than James did for his in the series opener.

Sept. 29 update — The only line movement we’ve seen in a day has been LeBron James. He’s up to -155 to win MVP, so clearly the majority of the bets are coming in on King James to win the award. Maybe we’ll see some more shifting before Game 1 on Wednesday but it shouldn’t be too dramatic pending any type of injury news.

Sept. 28 update — So we’ve already got a lot of movement throughout today. LeBron is now at -125 with more bets coming in on him seemingly. AD’s odds have dropped to +250, which I still think is great value before the series starts. Bam has gotten some action, going from +1100 to +900, even odds with Butler. Rondo has been bet up to 150/1 from 200/1. Duncan Robinson jumped up from 300/1 to 200/1 as well. Tyler Herro moved up from 40/1 to 35/1.

2020 NBA Finals MVP odds

Player Team Current Odds Pre-Game 4 Odds Sept. 28 Odds
Player Team Current Odds Pre-Game 4 Odds Sept. 28 Odds
LeBron James Lakers -1000 -225 -125
Anthony Davis Lakers +600 +190 +250
Jimmy Butler Heat +2300 +1000 +900
Bam Adebayo Heat +20000 +10000 +900
Tyler Herro Heat +35000 +25000 +3500
Goran Dragic Heat N/A N/A +3000
Kyle Kuzma Lakers +35000 +25000 +15000
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope Lakers +35000 +25000 +20000
Alex Caruso Lakers +35000 +25000 +25000
Danny Green Lakers +50000 +25000 +25000
Rajon Rondo Lakers +35000 +25000 +15000
Dwight Howard Lakers +35000 +25000 +25000
Markieff Morris Lakers +35000 +25000 N/A
Jae Crowder Heat +50000 +50000 +20000
JaVale McGee Lakers N/A +50000 +50000
Duncan Robinson Heat +50000 +50000 +20000
Andre Iguodala Heat +50000 +50000 +25000
Kendrick Nunn Heat N/A +50000 N/A
Kelly Olynyk Heat N/A +75000 +50000
Solomon Hill Heat N/A +75000 N/A

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