The 2022 NBA Finals begin Thursday, June 2 with the Boston Celtics taking on the Golden State Warriors. The best-of-7 series will begin in the Bay Area, where the Warriors have not lost a game this postseason. The Celtics have not lost back-to-back games in these playoffs, so at least one trend will be broken in the first two games.
There are plenty of stars on display for both teams, making it an intriguing race for Finals MVP. Here’s a look at the initial odds for the award.
2022 NBA Finals MVP odds via DraftKings Sportsbook
Despite never winning Finals MVP, Stephen Curry is the favorite among Warriors players at +110. He’s coming off a massive Western conference finals performance and could keep that production going in the Finals. Jayson Tatum is the favorite on the Celtics side at +170. He’s had the occasional dud, but is the most consistent Boston player in this postseason. Jaylen Brown seems a bit too far back at +1100, as he’s as good as a scorer as Tatum and can take games over. Klay Thompson being ahead of Draymond Green is also an interesting choice, given Green’s superior defensive chops and better overall production. The most intriguing longshot play is Jordan Poole, who is listed at +3000. The Celtics have gone small often enough where Poole can get major minutes, which helps his numbers.
Best bet: Draymond Green (+1800)
Before thinking this is an outlandish pick, consider the following. This is an award the media votes on, and “impact” is the primary criteria. That’s why Andre Iguodala won Finals MVP in 2015 despite averaging nearly 10.0 points per game less than Curry. In the series win over the Mavericks, Green averaged 10.6 points, 6.4 rebounds and 5.6 assists per game. If he can up his scoring a little bit and remain a force defensively, Green has a great chance. There’s no sure bet when it comes to this award, and Green’s all-around game helps him where others might fall back. At this line, he’s a strong value play.
If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, crisis counseling and referral services can be accessed by calling 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) (IL/IN/MI/NJ/PA/WV/WY), 1-800-NEXT STEP (AZ), 1-800-522-4700 (CO/NH), 888-789-7777/visit ccpg.org/chat (CT), 1-800-BETS OFF (IA), 1-877-770-STOP (7867) (LA), 877-8-HOPENY/text HOPENY (467369) (NY), visit OPGR.org (OR), call/text TN REDLINE 1-800-889-9789 (TN), ConnexOntario 1-866-531-2600 (ONT), or 1-888-532-3500 (VA). 21+ (18+ NH/WY; 19+ ONT). Physically present in AZ/CO/CT/IL/IN/IA/LA/MI/NH/NJ/NY/ONT/OR/PA/TN/VA/WV/WY only. Eligibility restrictions apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for full terms and conditions. DraftKings operates pursuant to an Operating Agreement with iGaming Ontario. Please play responsibly.