Jaylen Brown and Jordan Poole top MVP best values ahead of Celtics-Warriors NBA Finals clash | sports betting
When the Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors face off Thursday night at Chase Center for Game 1 of the NBA Finals, all eyes will be on each team’s brightest star.
The Warriors and the Leader of Another World Stephen Curry are no strangers to the biggest NBA Playoffs stage. They are three-time champions who will make their sixth NBA Finals appearance since 2015.
The Celtics, historically, are no strangers to this stage either, but with a young core led by a rising star Jayson Tatumthere are many doubts about how they will handle the bright lights and championship aura that will fill the building.
What is obvious, however, are the favorites to win the 2022 NBA Finals MVP. On Caesars Sportsbook, Official Odds Partner of Bet.NOLA.com, Steph Curry (+100) and Jayson Tatum (+180) are at the top of the best odds to win the trophy.
However, with their low prices, they offer almost little to no betting value. That’s why two players in particular caught my eye as top values on the board not named Tatum or Curry to win the prize.
All odds courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook, Official Odds Partner of Bet.NOLA.com.
Jaylen Brown, SF/SG, Celtics (+1000 to earn Finals MVP)
The Warriors are known for their 3rd quarter kills to put the game out of reach, but the Celtics’ second-place playoff leader has also been known to warm up after halftime as well.
In case of failure by Jaylen Brown scoring per quarter, there’s a noticeable increase in his production, especially in the fourth quarter, where he’s averaging 6.6 points in the frame over his 18 playoff games. In the second half alone, he averaged over 12 points per game, a 1.2 point increase from the first half (10.9).
Most notably, Brown’s highest point total in the fourth quarter came against the Miami Heat and Milwaukee Bucks, with 15, 15, 14 and 13 points in the final frame. Three of those outbursts came in the Eastern Conference Finals, but only one of those games resulted in a win.
Defensively, Brown will likely see plenty of time on Klay Thompson and Jordan Poole, with teammate Marcus Smart likely to start on Steph Curry. Brown could also see time against Curry, using his length to make life difficult for the sniper.
This adds value to his chances of winning the Finals MVP award, as not only will he have to step up his offense for the Celtics to have a chance in the series, but he will also have to slow down the Warriors’ three-point assassins in Poole. . and Thompson. Brown is tied for fourth in the NBA with 1.1 winning share defensively in the playoffs.
Think there’s a little motivation behind a big performance for Brown? This moment of his rookie season stands out, as the Warriors were on their way to their second NBA championship with the acquisition of Kevin Durant that summer.
Cedric Maxwell just reminded us of that moment from years ago between Steph Curry and rookie Jaylen Brown. He said he thought Brown might still be embittered about it. pic.twitter.com/4fSXHZDnal
— Phil Perry (@PhilAPerry) May 30, 2022
Jordan Poole, G, Warriors (+3000 to earn Finals MVP)
Instead of going for the obvious slam dunk by choosing Klay Thompson as the next most valuable MVP bet, I took a different route by choosing Jordan Poolewho played in the first round of the 2022 NBA Playoffs.
Poole, Michigan’s third-year player, started a career-high 51 games this season in the absence of Curry and Thompson at separate points in the season. His points per game have more than doubled since his rookie season, finishing the regular season averaging nearly 19 points per game.
That goal production carried over into the playoffs as well, averaging 18.4 per game in 16 games, starting just five. In five of his first eight playoff games, Poole had 25 or more points. including hitting three or more three-pointers in five of those games as well.
Lately, Poole has scored more than 20 points just once in his last seven games, as Curry, Thompson and even Andrew Wiggins have taken on more of the offensive load. However, there is a method to my madness.
While all the attention will be on Curry and Thompson defensively, that leaves Poole facing one of the following Celtics players: Derrick White or Grant Williams when the Warriors use their small-ball “death” formation.
That means plenty of one-on-one coverage for Poole against White and Williams. Both are really solid role players, but with how much Poole has emerged this season, he could be the x-factor in getting the Warriors to the top and creating hits for himself offensively.
I wouldn’t put a ton of money on those odds, but it’s worth it if Curry and Thompson end up struggling throughout the series.
Other longshots to watch
There’s not much else on the board to value other than Klay Thompson at +1500 odds to claim Finals MVP, but Marcus Smart (+3500) and Andrew Wiggins (+3500) would likely be next on the list if I had to choose.
Both are players who are excellent defensively, but offensively can be very hit or miss. Wiggins had his best streak yet against the Mavericks, while Smart lit him from the three-point line in the playoffs.
If Draymond Green (+1800 to win MVP) averages a triple-double, consideration for the prize might go his way, but with what little scoring contribution he makes, I couldn’t see it receive a lot of votes in total. His defensive presence and setting up his teammates offensively isn’t always reflected in his box score.
2022 NBA Finals odds preview: Are the Celtics or Warriors the favorites to win the title?