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 a slew of other teams have players getting significant attention. Let’s take a look at who the public is backing at DraftKings Sportsbook.
Kevin Durant, Nets (+300)
Durant is the odds-on favorite and has been named NBA Finals MVP twice over the last four seasons with the Golden State Warriors. He’s been a ridiculously efficient scorer in his first year with the Nets after a one-year layoff that was caused by an Achilles injury. He leads all players in handle percentage (31) and percentage of total bets (20).
James Harden, Nets (+550)
Harden is even with Antetkounmpo despite the hamstring injury he suffered in Game 1 of the second round. The Nets’ top playmaker commands 29% of the handle and 17% of the total bets for NBA Finals MVP wagers. Only Durant can top those marks.
Donovan Mitchell, Jazz (+600)
The Utah Jazz are favored to come out of the Western Conference at +120 and their top scorer’s NBA Finals MVP odds are only second to Durant. He’s not quite 100% because of an ankle sprain he suffered late in the regular season. He’s not one of the public’s favorite options, but that could change if Utah can make the Western Conference Finals.
Kawhi Leonard, Clippers (+600)
The Clippers have the second-best odds (+200) to win the Western Conference and also have a star with two NBA Finals MVPs. Leonard is on a mission to win the award for a third time with his third team and averaged a ridiculous 32.1 points on 61% shooting in the first round. His two-way impact sets him apart from most of the other candidates.
Joel Embiid, Sixers (+1200)
The Process might not win MVP for the regular season, but that doesn’t mean he can’t be the most impactful player in the NBA Finals this year. Embiid is averaging 27 points per game in this year’s playoffs and scored 39 points in 38 minutes against the Hawks over the weekend despite having torn his meniscus against the Washington Wizards in the first round.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks (+1400)
The Milwaukee Bucks’ two-time regular-season MVP has the fourth-best odds and would likely be higher up if he’d ever been to the Eastern Conference Finals. Getting past the Nets and Philadelphia 76ers won’t be easy, but he’s almost certain to become the favorite if his team reaches the final stage because of the raw numbers he puts up on a nightly basis.
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