Kristaps Porzingis NBA Finals MVP Odds Skyrocket After Game 1 Masterpiece

Boston Celtics big man Kristaps Porzingis has flown up the board in the odds to win NBA Finals MVP after Game 1.
Boston Celtics center Kristaps Porzingis (8) controls the ball.
Boston Celtics center Kristaps Porzingis (8) controls the ball. / David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA Finals MVP race got a lot more interesting after Game 1 between the Dallas Mavericks and Boston Celtics on Thursday night.

Boston won in a rout, 107-89, keeping Dallas at bay for most of the game (the Mavs did cut the lead to eight in the third quarter) behind a massive performance from Kristaps Porzingis, who came off the bench in his return from a calf injury.

KP played just 21 minutes in the win, but his impact was undeniable. Boston was plus-13 in his minutes, and the big man finished with 20 points, six rebounds and three blocks while shooting 8-for-13 from the field and 2-for-4 from beyond the arc.

Porzingis came into this series with +5000 odds to win the NBA Finals MVP award, but those odds have skyrocketed, going to +700 at BetMGM and +550 at DraftKings Sportsbook.

Porzingis is still the No. 4 choice in the latest odds, but there's a good chance his role expands as he gets more comfortable playing after injuring his calf in the first round against the Miami Heat.

Here's a look at the NBA Finals MVP market after Game 1.

Odds to Win NBA Finals MVP

  • Jayson Tatum: +120
  • Jaylen Brown: +310
  • Luka Doncic: +350
  • Kristaps Porzingis: +550
  • Kyrie Irving: +4500
  • Derrick White: +7000
  • Jrue Holiday: +12000
  • Al Horford: +35000
  • PJ Washington: +50000

Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook.

Jayson Tatum began the Finals as the odds-on favorite to win this award, but it now looks like a four-player race between Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Luka Doncic and Porzingis.

Doncic is the only Mavericks player that truly has a shot at the moment after Kyrie Irving's Finals MVP odds dropped from +2000 to +4500 following Game 1. Irving was just 6-for-19 from the field, 0-for-5 from 3 and scored only 12 points on Thursday night.

Kristaps Porzingis Makes Biggest Move in NBA Finals MVP Odds

The biggest mover is undoubtedly Porzingis, as he now has an implied probability of 15.38 percent to win this award at DraftKings. Prior to Game 1, Porzingis was given just a 1.96 percent chance with +5000 odds.

The Celtics big man set the tone from the jump in this game, putting together a masterful first quarter, including a sequence of two blocks that sparked a huge run to put Boston up double digits at the end of the opening frame.

There is a real argument to bet Porzingis to win Finals MVP, as it's possible his minutes increase as the series goes on.

Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla said prior to Game 1 that KP wasn't on a minutes restriction, and it's clear Boston was better with him on the floor (+13) versus Al Horford (+7). Brown and Tatum are always going to be threats in this market, especially since Brown scored an efficent 22 points in Game 1, but I'd give Porzingis the edge after Game 1.

There's a lot of basketball to play, but the +550 odds for the C's big man -- who could see his role expand in Game 2 -- are certainly intriguing.

Jayson Tatum's NBA Finals MVP Odds Falling

One reason why Porzingis is such an intriguing Finals MVP bet is because of Jayson Tatum's odds dropping from -120 to +120 after Game 1.

Tatum did not have his best game -- although he did a good job getting his teammates involved and creating action off of drives -- finishing with 16 points (6-for-16 shooting), 11 rebounds, five assists and six turnovers in a team-high 42 minutes.

The All-NBA forward led Boston is shot attempts, but he wasn't super efficient with Dallas looking to get the ball out of his hands.

Oddsmakers still view Tatum as the favorite in this market, but if the Celtics roll and beat Dallas in four or five games, there is less time for Tatum to bridge the gap between his Game 1 performance and the performances of Porzingis and Brown.

Odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

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Find Peter Dewey's betting record here You can also follow my daily plays on BetStamp here.

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.