Big Bets, Action Streak, MVP Responsibilities & More (July 6)
The NBA Finals are set to begin on Tuesday, but bets have been pouring in for months ahead of Game 1 between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Phoenix Suns.
Maybe not the game punters expected – Lakers? Lawn mowers? Nets? – but the series itself offers a lot of intrigue. Chris Paul runs after his first ring in his first NBA Finals. Devin Booker gets the main stage to fully anchor himself in superstar status. Giannis Antetokounmpo’s first shot at a title comes with a question mark as he recovers from a knee injury.
Editor’s Note: Giannis Antetokounmpo is active for Game 1.
OK, maybe there isn’t much mainstream intrigue compared to LeBron James chasing another ring or seeing if the Brooklyn Big Three can do it. Although betting and action are up from the 2020 final, overall interest is not at the same level.
More people are betting on the sport across the country as it becomes legal in more states, but interest in this year’s NBA Finals has not followed the same trajectory that we have seen. might be expected if some of the biggest markets and stars were involved.
Due to the clash, most of the sweaty sports betting is over. They are winners regardless of the outcome, as the biggest liabilities have suffered early exits. The focus will be on series prizes and who wins the MVP, as well as on a game-by-game basis.
Prices will be constantly changing in this series, especially as Antetokounmpo’s status is uncertain. He went from questionable to questionable in Game 1, pushing the line to some Phoenix pounds from -6.5 to -5.5 points.
We have gathered data from several sports bets to give as much information as possible about where bettors are going with their money, from futures bets to serial bets to MVP.
NBA Finals Market
The Bucks aren’t much of a surprise, although head coach Mike Budenholzer may have made you think otherwise throughout the playoffs. They were +500 at PointsBet at the start of the season, then +800 when they entered the playoffs, and hit as high as +1600 when they lost 0-2 to the Nets in the second round.
Phoenix on the other hand? Yeah, that’s a surprise.
A longshot of +5000 before the season, the Suns were still at +2500 for the playoffs with a first-round clash against the Lakers. That number swelled again to +5000 as it trailed this series by a 2-1 margin.
For PointsBet, the Suns were not among the top five market liabilities outright. The Bucks were fourth in total bets and handle, but due to the short price they weren’t in the top 15 for liabilities.
The biggest outright bet FanDuel is watching during the season is $ 52,100 on the Bucks with odds of +480.
On June 21, BetMGM took $ 300,000 from the Bucks to win the title at +110 odds.
NBA Finals Playoffs Market
The series’ price has fluctuated, with Phoenix opening as a -170 favorite and the Bucks returning as an underdog +145. However, with Giannis’ status in doubt, Phoenix stretched to -200 and Milwaukee to +170.
FanDuel took the series’ awards off the board when Antetokounmpo was outclassed in questionable.
Phoenix has taken 64% of the handle, while 58% of bets are on the Bucks to win the Series on PointsBet.
NBA Finals MVP Market
How will this chapter of Paul’s career end? Bettors are hoping he’s the one who wields the Bill Russell NBA Finals MVP Award.
Once +4000 to win the award, Paul is now the favorite across the board in the +150 range. We watched Paul’s foreshortening odds earlier this playoffs when the movement really started. Not only is he the favorite, but he is BetMGM and PointsBet’s biggest liability in the MVP market.
His teammate Devin Booker is +250 to take home the award, placing second in betting and management. It also opened +4000 odds.
If the Bucks win the title, Giannis is the clear favorite at +450, although his injury will add intrigue to Jrue Holliday and Khris Middleton.
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