The NBA Finals picture is shaping up now that the second round of the playoffs is underway, and bettors are swarming to place early wagers on the top candidates. The two most popular options are Brooklyn Nets, but there are also plenty of underdogs worth considering. Let’s take a look at some sleepers to back at DraftKings Sportsbook.
Kyrie Irving (+900)
Irving’s odds should probably be worse given that he’s the Nets’ third-most important player, but his team is the odds-on favorite to win the championship series at +160. That makes him an interesting option. James Harden’s hamstring injury could end up being a major factor down the stretch, and that could help Irving compete with Kevin Durant as a scorer. Irving ranks seventh in handle percentage (2) and fifth in percentage of total bets (3) for NBA Finals MVP wagers.
Devin Booker (+1000)
Now the Phoenix Suns have upset the Los Angeles Lakers, their path to the NBA Finals has gotten significantly easier. He has the sixth-best NBA Finals MVP odds and could have to contribute more than usual on offense while Chris Paul is dealing with the shoulder injury he suffered in the first round.
Trae Young (+3000)
Young secured a first-round upset by taking down the New York Knicks and averaged 29.2 points with 9.8 assists. He then pulled off a Game 1 upset by dropping 35 points to go along with 10 assists against the Philadelphia 76ers’ elite defense in the second round. If Joel Embiid’s knee doesn’t hold up in the series, the Atlanta Hawks could find themselves coasting to the Eastern Conference Finals. Young’s creation would easily make him a top-2 MVP option if the Hawks make the championship series.
Nikola Jokic (+4000)
Jokic has been responsible for more points than any other player in the playoffs this season. While the Denver Nuggets are longshots to make the NBA Finals at +900, the absence of Jamal Murray makes it hard to not consider not getting value by wagering on him. His handle and total bet percentages are even with Irving’s.
Ben Simmons (+15000)
The 76ers’ championship odds have dropped to +1000, but Simmons is playing at a very high level on both sides of the ball. While his scoring leaves something to be desired, he’s nearly averaging a triple-double in the postseason with 15.2 points, 9.3 rebounds, and 9.2 assists. LeBron James is the only player in NBA history to average a triple-double in the finals. If Simmons accomplished that, he has a case for MVP. Even if he isn’t the top option on offense. Simmons has tremendous potential as a value bet. The public has placed 5% of the money and 6% of the tickets for NBA MVP Finals wagers on Simmons.
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