Who will win NBA Finals MVP? Odds, prediction, betting advice for championship series most valuable player

The 2024 NBA Finals between the Celtics and Mavericks tip off Thursday, June 6, with Boston favored to win its 18th title and hoist a new banner into the TD Garden rafters.

Not surprisingly, the most popular futures wager right now is “NBA Finals champion.” However, the NBA Finals MVP always serves as a fun alternative for bettors, a market that often yields better value than betting on the winning team. 

Let’s dive into BetMGM and analyze the NBA Finals MVP odds, then make our prediction and determine which Celtics and Mavs players yield the most value relative to their odds. 

NBA Finals MVP: Odds

All odds courtesy of BetMGM, an authorized gaming operator of the NBA. Displaying odds +50000 and shorter. 

Player Odds
Jayson Tatum -120
Luka Doncic +200
Jaylen Brown +625
Kyrie Irving +1800
Derrick White +3000
Kristaps Porzingis +5000
Jrue Holiday +6600
Al Horford +25000
P.J. Washington +30000
Daniel Gafford +30000
Derrick Jones Jr.  +30000
Dereck Lively II +50000

MORE BETTING: NBA Finals prediction, top series props

NBA Finals MVP best bet: Jayson Tatum (-120)

Many sharp bettors view a bet on Tatum to win Finals MVP as a far wiser pre-series choice than betting the Celtics -225 to win the championship.

JT has been long considered Boston’s team MVP, he earned All-NBA First Team honors this season, and he’s coming off an Eastern Conference Finals performance against Indiana that many believe should have landed him a second Larry Bird Trophy for ECF MVP.

Jaylen Brown ultimately won that award, and even JB looked a little shocked when his name was announced. Anyone who bet Tatum to win the award was probably shocked, too — just look at the two stars’ ECF stat averages side by side:

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Player — ECF Points Rebounds Assists Steals
Jayson Tatum 30.3 10.3 6.3 1.3
Jaylen Brown 29.8 5.0 3.0 2.0

A big part of Brown winning over Tatum was probably due to the huge Game 1 buzzer-beater three he hit to force overtime — Indy had control of that game, and Brown turned the tables and allowed Boston to win that game in OT and then mount the sweep. Brown also shot better all series, from the floor and 3-point range. But beyond that, JT had far better stats across the four-game series, 

As noted, Tatum has an Eastern Conference Finals MVP already — he won that in 2022 when the Celts beat the Heat and went on to play the Warriors in the Finals. But the superstar forward has never won a Finals or a Finals MVP, and he could be in line for a market correction or “make-up” award if Boston prevails as champs (much like a make-up call after a ref messes up on a foul). 

Tatum has emerged as a true leader for the Celtics and seems more focused than ever on winning it all. He also seems to care much less about individual awards than ever before, ironically improving the stars’ chances of winning. And he’s doing all the little things, like crashing the boards, playmaking for others, and playing defense.

Tatum’s friend and idol Kobe Bryant, one of the winningest superstars in NBA history, had five rings and two Finals MVP trophies. It’s hard not to think about that storyline as we head into the Finals, where it seems like it could very well finally be Tatum and the Celtics’ time for glory. 

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MORE: Finals results for All-NBA First, Second & Third Teams

NBA Finals MVP top value: Luka Doncic (+200)

Of course, Doncic at +200 odds to win Finals MVP after looking like the best player in the world all postseason seems like strong value. And if you like the Mavs to win the Finals, you’re far better off wagering on Doncic +200 to win MVP than Dallas +180 to win it all. 

Luka was one of three MVP finalists at the end of the regular season, and he’s easily the highest-scoring player in the playoffs. He was a unanimous selection to win the Magic Johnson trophy — aka the Western Conference Finals MVP — after he dominated the Timberwolves. And if the Mavs beat the Celtics despite Boston having home-court advantage, Doncic will almost certainly be the primary catalyst. 

Doncic is effortlessly dominant. He’s the best scorer and passer in this series, and he has been so damn good that one even wonders if he could receive consideration to win this award even if Dallas loses. That is a long shot, but he’s one of the only players in the NBA who could at least initiate such a conversation against a complete team like the Celtics.

Other strong value picks: Kyrie Irving (+1800), Jaylen Brown (+625)

NBA Finals MVP top sleeper: Derrick White (+3000)

When the ESPN broadcast of the series-clinching Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals concluded, Derrick White was left standing in the middle of the court as the only core rotation member of the Celtics who had not been interviewed. The dude hit the game winner of the closeout game and played arguably the best perimeter defense in the first three rounds of the postseason!

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It’s okay, though, because DWhite has been overlooked his entire career and he seems to find extra motivation every time it happens. Don’t be surprised if White serves as a massive x-factor in this Finals and comes up with key blocks, steals, or three-pointers, then comes away with Finals MVP after the Jays cancel each other out.

Remember, Andre Iguodala won Finals MVP over Steph Curry and Klay Thompson in 2015 after the Warriors won 67 regular-season games and went 16-5 in the playoffs. Crazier things have happened!

Other sleeper picks to consider: Jrue Holiday (+6600), Kristaps Porzingis (+5000)

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