Stephen Curry became the NBA’s first ever unanimous MVP after the 2015-2016 regular season, and oddsmakers give him the best chance to win the award for the upcoming NBA Finals. The point guard is the odds-on favorite to be named MVP of the series between the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers.
Curry leads all players with -130 odds, putting him ahead of LeBron James, who is second with +200 odds. Even though Curry has won back-to-back MVP awards, there’s still plenty of debate regarding the subject of the league’s best player. While James might still hold that title, Curry has better odds because the Warriors are significant favorites to beat the Cavs.
If Curry is named the series MVP, he’ll become the 11th player in NBA history to win the award for the season and the finals. The last player to do it was James, who achieved the feat in both 2012 and 2013. There had been talk during last year’s finals of James potentially winning the award as a member of the losing team, as he nearly averaged a triple-double in a six-game defeat.
Curry had one of the best offensive seasons of all time, though his production in the first half of the Western Conference finals was a far cry from what fans had gotten used to seeing. He picked things up in the last three games, averaging 32.7 points, 7.7 assists and 7.3 rebounds per contest. Curry averaged 26 points, 6.3 assists and 5.2 rebounds on 44.3 percent shooting in the 2015 NBA Finals.
James finished third in the MVP voting this year, receiving fewer votes than Curry and Kawhi Leonard. His 25.3 points per game on 30.9 percent shooting from three-point range were his lowest averages since his rookie season. In the playoffs, he’s led Cleveland to a 12-2 record, shooting 62.2 percent from the field in the Eastern Conference finals against the Toronto Raptors.
Neither James nor Curry won the finals MVP last year. Andre Iguodala won the award, coming off the bench for half the series, averaging 16.3 points, 5.8 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game while excelling on defense. He has +3000 odds to repeat this season, and no other player besides Curry or James has better than +500 MVP odds.
Klay Thompson is considered to be the most likely player, other than Curry or James, to win the award. Thompson set a playoff record in the pivotal Game 6 of the Western Conference finals with 11 three-pointers. Kyrie Irving has the second-best odds of any Cavalier, and his scoring average is nearly identical to that of James this postseason.
NBA Finals MVP Odds [Sportsbook.ag]
Stephen Curry -130
LeBron James +200
Klay Thompson +500
Kyrie Irving +950
Draymond Green +1000
Andre Iguodala +3000
Kevin Love +3000
JR Smith +8000
Harrison Barnes +10000
Matthew Dellavedova +15000
Tristin Thompson +15000
Iman Shumpert +20000
Andrew Bogut +25000