The Phoenix Suns will host the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 1 of the 2021 NBA Finals on Tuesday night, and odds are already being released for the series and for Finals MVP. The Suns and Bucks have a good amount of star power, especially when Giannis Antetokounmpo is healthy, so there are a number of worthy candidates to consider for the award.
With Giannis hurting and his status unclear, it’s no surprise the two-time MVP isn’t the favorite to win NBA Finals MVP in his first appearance, assuming he actually does appear. This distinction goes to Suns star point guard Chris Paul, who’s +140 to win the award in his first-ever Finals appearance, per BetOnline.ag. Paul initially struggled against the Los Angeles Clippers in his return from COVID-19, but he put on a tour de force performance in Game 6 with 41 points.
Paul’s Suns teammate, Devin Booker, is No. 2 on this list at +220. Booker struggled a bit with his shooting after getting his nose broken, but he can go off at any time and could have a monster series.
Giannis is the first Buck on the list at +350, followed up by Khris Middleton (+550) and Jrue Holiday (+900). Middleton and Holiday stepped up in a big way in Antetokounmpo’s absence in Games 5 and 6.
Deandre Ayton (+2800) and Brook Lopez (+5000) round out the list. Ayton has enjoyed a breakout performance in these playoffs, while Lopez had a monster Game 5 against the Atlanta Hawks with a playoff career-high 33 points.