The third round of the NBA Playoffs has concluded, and the 2022 NBA Finals are finally upon us. The Golden State Warriors will represent the Western Conference, while the Boston Celtics — in a dramatic turnaround from the middle of the season — emerged from a crowded Eastern Conference.
As usual, this year’s series will be as star-studded as ever. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson are among the most recognizable faces in the sport, while Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are two of the brightest young stars the league has to offer.
Of course, the star player in this series will not only have a chance to win the NBA Finals, but they’ll also have the opportunity to earn the prestigious title of NBA Finals MVP.
Below, I’ll discuss which players are worth picking to win the award, as well as who you should avoid betting on.
NBA Finals odds are current as of Thursday, June 2 at 11 a.m. ET and provided by Caesars Sportsbook.
NBA Finals MVP Odds 2022
- Stephen Curry (-110)
- Jayson Tatum (+190)
- Jaylen Brown (+1100)
- Klay Thompson (+1500)
- Draymond Green (+1800)
- Jordan Poole (+3000)
- Marcus Smart (+3500)
- Andrew Wiggins (+4000)
- Al Horford (+8000)
- Robert Williams (+20000)
- Kevon Looney (+20000)
- Grant Williams (+30000)
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2022 NBA Finals MVP Favorites
Stephen Curry, Warriors (-110)
Curry is the clear-cut favorite to be named Finals MVP, and he appears to be the obvious choice. Already a three-time NBA champion and arguably the greatest shooter in NBA history, this is one honor that Curry has yet to earn.
He’s been Golden State’s best player throughout this postseason, and given that the Warriors are favored to win this series over the Celtics, it’s no surprise to see his name atop the list. This is a safe pick and the most likely outcome should Golden State prevail, making this our NBA bet of the day.
Jayson Tatum, Celtics (+190)
Accordingly, Tatum is Boston’s top contender to win Finals MVP and second only to Curry in the overall standings. As the Celtics’ best player, the 24-year-old has led the team over the Brooklyn Nets, Milwaukee Bucks, and Miami Heat en route to his first NBA Finals appearance.
Tatum has stuffed the stat sheet all the way through, averaging 27.0 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 5.9 assists per game while shooting 44.6% from the field and 37.5% from beyond the arc. If he can replicate that performance and lead the Celtics over the Warriors, he’ll be a shoo-in to win Finals MVP.
2022 NBA Finals MVP Contenders
Jaylen Brown, Celtics (+1100)
Brown has been incredibly steady as a scorer for the Celtics so far this postseason, averaging 22.9 points per game and tallying as many as 40 in a single contest. He’s put up at least 20 points in 14 of 18 playoff games and is converting 48.5% of his field goal attempts.
With that said, Brown is clearly the second option on this team, and unless Tatum struggles, it’ll take a handful of monster performances for him to win the award. He’s an incredible player, but it’s difficult to imagine him out-performing Tatum over the course of the series.
Klay Thompson, Warriors (+1500)
Thompson has the fourth-shortest odds to win Finals MVP, which is appropriate. He’s a terrific player, and he certainly has a chance to earn the award, but it’s hard to foresee him out-performing Curry if the Warriors win the series.
Thompson has been solid this postseason — especially in closeout games — but a lack of stand-out performances so far signals that he may have trouble doing enough to win the award. He’ll be a reliable second option, but he won’t be the reason the Warriors win.
Draymond Green, Warriors (+1800)
Green has long been one of the unsung heroes of this Warriors dynasty. A defensive mastermind and an excellent playmaker, Green does the little things that are necessary for teams to win championships.
However, Green has struggled to stay on the floor at times this postseason. He’s fouled out of multiple games and has been in foul trouble in a vast majority of them, casting doubt on his ability to outweigh the contributions of Curry and Thompson.
2022 NBA Finals MVP Sleepers
Jordan Poole, Warriors (+3000)
Poole wouldn’t be the first sixth man to win Finals MVP during Golden State’s stretch of dominance. Andre Iguodala won the award in 2015, and he came off the bench in half of the games in the series. It would be truly fitting if Poole did the same this year.
The Warriors’ breakout star had a phenomenal start to his first-ever playoffs, averaging 22.9 points over his first eight games. He’s fizzled out a bit as of late, which gives us an opportunity to buy low. Should he exceed expectations and light it up off the bench, Poole could have a shot at winning in the midst of his meteoric rise.
Marcus Smart, Celtics (+3500)
The reigning Defensive Player of the Year is a solid sleeper choice to win Finals MVP. He can do it all on offense — especially as a distributor — and there are few perimeter defenders who create as much pressure as Smart. If he can slow down Curry, he’ll significantly boost his stock here.
My major concern with Smart is his availability. He’s already missed three games this postseason, and it feels like he’s been banged up in just about every other. He’ll need to maximize his time on the court in this series if he has any hope of leading the Celtics to victory and securing the Finals MVP award.
Andrew Wiggins, Warriors (+4000)
Wiggins is my favorite Finals MVP sleeper. He’s had the full support of Golden State’s locker room — especially Curry’s — all season long, and the first-time All-Star is finally coming into his own. He was a fantastic two-way asset in the Western Conference Finals, and he could easily carry that momentum into this series.
The key to Wiggins’ campaign is his defense. He can be relied upon to get the Warriors around 15 points each night, but if he can also make a tangible impact on the other end of the floor against Boston’s star players, his contributions will be hard for voters to ignore.
2022 NBA Finals MVP Prediction
Stephen Curry, Warriors (-110)
Given the circumstances, it’s hard to go against Curry here. Golden State can and should win this series, and seeing as how Curry has been the team’s best player to this point, it only makes sense that he would finally earn his first-ever Finals MVP this year.
With that said, the expectations for Curry are sky-high. Everybody is counting on him to be at his best in the NBA Finals. What happens if he underperforms by his standards but is still Golden State’s best player? That’s arguably the reason why he lost out to Iguodala in 2015.
Curry is a safe pick, and he’s who I would most strongly recommend choosing to win the award. But there is some hesitance here, and I feel it would be wise to sprinkle a few dollars on some of the sleeper candidates should they make big plays when it matters most.