Jrue Holiday's NBA Finals MVP Odds Soaring After Game 2 Masterpiece

Can Jrue Holiday win the NBA Finals MVP award?
Boston Celtics guard Jrue Holiday.
Boston Celtics guard Jrue Holiday. / Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

Who has the edge in the NBA Finals MVP market through the first two games between the Boston Celtics and Dallas Mavericks?

It's a close race right now, although oddsmakers are giving Jayson Tatum (+125) and Jaylen Brown (+175) the shortest odds to win the Finals with Boston up 2-0 in the series.

However, Celtics guard Jrue Holiday made an insane leap in the odds after Game 2, going from +12000 to +750 at DraftKings Sportsbook to win the NBA Finals MVP award. Holiday is now the No. 4 choice in the latest odds.

Odds to Win NBA Finals MVP

  • Jayson Tatum: +125
  • Jaylen Brown: +175
  • Luka Doncic: +600
  • Jrue Holiday: +750
  • Kristaps Porzingis: +4000
  • Derrick White: +5000
  • Jrue Holiday: +12000
  • Kyrie Irving: +10000
  • PJ Washington: +100000

Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook.

Kristaps Porzingis, who saw his odds skyrocket after a dazzling Game 1 showing, came back to earth in Game 2 and his odds did as well, falling from +550 to +4000. With KP coming off the bench, his margin for error in this market in much smaller than Brown, Tatum or Holiday.

As for Dallas, Luka Doncic really looks like the only player that can win Finals MVP, although his odds fell after Game 2 since Dallas fell down 2-0 in the series. Here's a look at a couple of key storylines to follow when considering betting on this market ahead of Game 3.

Jrue Holiday Making Case for NBA Finals MVP

Holiday was Boston's best player in Game 2, scoring 26 points on 11-of-14 shooting, grabbing 11 rebounds and dishing out three dimes in the win.

An NBA champion earlier in his career with the Milwaukee Bucks, Holiday has not been afraid of the moment for Boston in the Finals.

Offensively, he's been great, averaging 19.0 points and 4.0 assists per game while shooting 65.2 percent from the field, but it's his defense that could give him the edge in this market. Holiday has been tasked with guarding Kyrie Irving in this series, and the Mavericks guard has struggled mightily, shooting 13-for-37 from the field overall and 0-for-8 from beyond the arc.

With Tatum struggling shooting the ball, Holiday's defensive play could be the X-Factor when voters decide who is the Finals MVP.

Should Jayson Tatum Be Favored to Win NBA Finals MVP?

Tatum entered the NBA Finals as the odds on favorite in this market -- and he remains the favorite -- but is it justified?

Sure, the Celtics forward has rebounded the ball well and was great passing it in Game 2 (12 assists), but he has not scored the ball at a high rate, making him a risky pick to win Finals MVP, especially if Boston closes out this series in four games.

Through two games in this series Tatum is averaging 17.0 points per game (less than Holiday and Brown), 10.0 rebounds and 8.5 assists. He's doing everything but score, but the assists have come with a slight drawback -- Tatum is averaging 4.5 turnovers per game as well.

The All-NBA forward's shooting is a massive concern (31.6 percent from the field, 28.6 percent from 3) when it comes to his case for this award. With Brown (21.5 PPG on 55.6 percent from the field) and Holiday shooting so efficiently, it's tough to pass them up for Tatum to win this award.

There's still time for JT to make a case, but oddsmakers may have him a little mispriced through the first two games of this series.

Odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

If you or someone you know has a gambling problem and wants help, call 1-800-GAMBLER.

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Peter Dewey


Peter is a senior editor for Sports Illustrated Betting. He has worked as a writer and editor for BetSided, NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering the NBA, WNBA, NFL, MLB, and more. A New York City resident, he is a hoops fanatic with a soft spot for his New York Knicks.