The 2022 NBA Playoffs have started with a bang on opening weekend with some high-quality affairs on show. As predicted in our Playoff Predictions piece, the Boston Celtics – Brooklyn Nets matchup looks to be the most promising. In Game 1, the Celtics came out victorious on a scoreline of 115-114 thanks to a buzzer-beater layup from Jayson Tatum.
We are looking a bit further ahead in this article to the 2022 NBA Finals. There is still a long way to go before we reach Game 1 of this year’s Western Conference vs Eastern Conference championship round but making your predictions now could be a good route for a profitable series. There are a number of markets already available for this year’s Finals.
Unsurprisingly, the league leading Phoenix Suns are the outright favourites to win in this year’s NBA Finals. Monty Williams’ team went 64-18 in the regular season and look likely to sweep the New Orleans Pelicans in their first-round series. At the time of writing they are ranked as +200 on play.VIPCasino.ca to lift the Larry O’Brien Trophy this season.
There are a number of other special markets available for the Phoenix Suns in this post-season as well. If you think they can sweep the Western Conference on their way to the Finals then you can back that at +5500. They are +16000 to go one step further and go a perfect 16-0 and sweep the Playoffs including a potential Finals clash with the Eastern Conference winner.
The Suns are odds-on favourites to come out of the West and it is hard to see anyone putting it up to them on their way to the Finals. The No. 2 seed Memphis Grizzlies had an inauspicious start to their playoffs run with a home loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves and look unlikely to challenge. However, the Golden State Warriors do seem to be putting things together with the returning Stephen Curry likely to be a key player in this year’s playoffs. They are the most likely challenger in the Western Conference.
A Finals Repeat?
According to the sportsbooks, the most likely Finals series is a repeat of the 2021 Finals with the Milwaukee Bucks taking on the Phoenix Suns. The Eastern Conference seems a lot more crowded than the West and it’s reasonable to say any one of six franchises could come out of the East. The Bucks are favourites at +210 at the time of writing but that is still subject to change. The Miami Heat were the most impressive throughout the regular season with a 53-29 record but they are unfancied to go all the way to the Finals.
Not too many people would be surprised if our eventual winner came out of the 2 vs 7 series in the Eastern Conference. The Celtics have homecourt advantage in their series with the Brooklyn Nets and currently hold a one game advantage. However, the Nets have proven game-winners in the form of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving so it’s still all to play for.
The Philadelphia 76ers are another Eastern Conference team that have to be taken seriously. They have started their 1st Round series strongly, taking a 2-0 lead against the Toronto Raptors. Joel Embiid put in an MVP-level body of work in this regular season while former MVP James Harden is eager to get his hands on a first NBA title.
All in all, the most likely NBA Finals matchup would seem to be the Suns vs the Bucks but there is still plenty of basketball to be played before we reach that point.
Given that the most likely Finals series is a Phoenix Suns and Milwaukee Bucks repeat, it’s no surprise that the three favourites in the Finals MVP betting is from these two teams. Last year’s Finals MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo is +500 to repeat the feat in 2022. Giannis is a finalist in the race for the regular season MVP and should the Bucks win a second championship in a row then The Greek Freak is almost a cert to win his second Finals MVP.
However, Devin Booker is the favourite at the time of writing. The Suns sharpshooter is +400 to be named this year’s Finals MVP while his teammate Chris Paul is third favourite with odds of +550. In reality this may work against the Suns backcourt combo as it’s seen as a joint effort rather than a one-man show we have among other squads. If they can put a championship run together then both men will be right in the mix for their first Bill Russell Award.
It’s hard to look past players from the Finals favourites for obvious reasons so Deandre Ayton (+3500), Mikal Bridges (+5000) and Khris Middleton (+5500) are all worth some consideration.
Outside of these two franchises the favourites for Finals MVP are:
- Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors) +700
- Jayson Tatum (Boston Celtics) +850
- Kevin Durant (Brooklyn Nets) +1200
- Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers) +1400
- Jimmy Butler (Miami Heat) +1800
*All odds correct at time of publishing.
With the players above, your bet is as much about which team you think will reach the NBA Finals as the player you think can win Finals MVP. Given the numbers Joel Embiid has put up this season, it would be no surprise to see him win Finals MVP if he can lead the Philadelphia 76ers to their first Championship win since 1983.
Similarly, if Jayson Tatum can capitalise on his late season form and propel the Celtics all the way to the Finals then you would imagine the Duke alumni is a shoo-in for Finals MVP.
We may only be in the early stages of the playoffs but there is plenty to look forward to in the Finals. Game 7 of the NBA Finals is due to take place on the 19th June and we’re looking forward to all the action.
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