The NBA Finals are only a game or two away. The league has been ravaged by injuries and while the product has suffered all season with terrible games, and a lack of interest from superstars, this is probably the worst possible time for the remaining big names to be hurt.
Once the Finals are set, though, the odds will change on all of the players that are currently listed. Let’s breakdown the top seven picks and see if we can find some value on them.
Devin Booker, +200
Booker is the best player in the playoffs that isn’t currently injured. He is fun to watch, can score in bunches, and for some reason people think he is the next coming of Kobe. He isn’t. Just stop with that nonsense. But, after Game 1, in which the Suns likely win, Booker will either be a minus money favorite, or he will increase his odds because the next guy is going to be the minus money favorite.
Chris Paul, +200
This is his one shot. Next year, I don’t think the Suns make the Finals. He’s finally the guy in the playoffs that didn’t get injured and miss the rest of a series (yes, I know he missed a couple of games). The storyline and NBA media probably would love to have him win the award, but frankly, unless he scores more or averages a triple-double, I think it is hard to take away from Booker.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, +350
If he plays, and if the Bucks win, this is his, no debate. So if you think the Bucks beat the Suns, play this now. I’d expect this to drop if the Bucks win, and probably drop again if it is announced that he will play in the Finals.
Khris Middleton, +700
Convinced Giannis is done and the Bucks are going to win the Finals? Play this now. The Bucks can win with a team approach. They showed it in Game 5 against the Hawks, but Middleton will have to be in the, ahem, middle of it all if the Bucks can beat the Suns.
Jrue Holiday, +1200
Holiday is a different player without Giannis in the lineup. I think he looks to score a bit more. Coupled with great defense, I could see it being conceivable, if very unlikely, that he grabs the Finals MVP.
Trae Young, +1600
Much like Giannis, if you think he is going to play, and you think the Hawks can beat the Suns, play this now. You probably won’t get this again if the Hawks make it to the Finals unless they are down games.
DeAndre Ayton, +2500
This one is the best value to me. Ayton should feast on Lopez if they play the Bucks. If they play the Hawks, Capela is a strong defender and he will have a harder time. It isn’t realistic, because Booker will probably average 27 and Ayton might average 20 if we’re lucky. But, of everyone on the list, this is the best value to me because of the potential of his impact from defense to rebounding to offensive contribution.
- David Troy
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