Let's Set Odds: Who Wins Eastern and Western Conference MVP in NBA Playoffs?

Boston Celtics v Miami Heat - Game One
Boston Celtics v Miami Heat - Game One / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

We’re only one game into the NBA conference finals, and I think it’s time we start talking about the new conference finals MVP awards. The Larry Bird Award (Eastern Conference) and the Magic Johnson Award (Western Conference) will go to the best player on the winning team, and I have a few thoughts on who will win these awards. 

While most books don’t have these odds up, let’s set the odds ourselves, with the top 3 candidates from each conference.

Eastern Conference Finals MVP Odds

Jimmy Butler: +150

Butler clearly is the best player on the Heat and he is once again rising to the occasion. Butler scored 40 points in Game 1 and has the opportunity to put the Heat up 2-0 tonight. His playoff numbers continue to be fantastic, as he is having one of the better postseason runs this year. With the Heat expected to win this series, he is first in line.

Jayson Tatum: +450

Tatum is the second person in line for this award and that is just because he is on the opposite team. While I am very high on Miami, there is still the possibility the Celtics can win this series. If that happens, Tatum will be the clear choice. He is the Celtics' leading scorer and a great defender on top of that. His two-way greatness can lead the Celtics to the Finals, in which case he would get the credit.

Western Conference Finals MVP Odds

Stephen Curry: +100

Curry is the engine for everything the Warriors do. His shooting has been off during this playoff run, but he is still scoring at a high volume. Curry's rebounding was put on display in Game 1 and if the rest of the team continues to shoot well, his assist numbers will be decent as well. With the Warriors and Mavericks expected to play a free-flowing brand of basketball, Curry will be able to dominate.

Draymond Green/Luka Doncic: +350

Doncic is clearly the better player here, but his team is also a major underdog. Doncic had a subpar Game 1 and is at risk of going down 0-2 again. If he can bounce back in a big way and lead the Mavericks to a series upset, he will be the clear choice for the award. Any individual award given to a Mavs player will likely go to Doncic.

As for Green, he is the defensive anchor for the Warriors and also facilitates the offense. If he can increase his scoring a little bit, there is an argument to be made -- especially if Curry continues to struggle from deep.

You can find Donnavan Smoot’s full betting record here.