Remember when the NBA gave out two brand-new awards a year ago — the Eastern Conference Finals MVP (named after Larry Bird) and Western Conference Finals (named after Magic Johnson)? Welp, they did and more than anything else, these awards give bettors another chance to make money off them. We’re confident the two players we're betting on to win the conference MVPs will pay you out so stick with us to get our picks.
- What: NBA Conference Finals MVPs
- When: 2023 Eastern & Western Conference Finals
We think betting on these awards right now — before the conference finals matchups are even set — is especially advantageous. That’s because the odds are still spread out since there are players from eight teams to pick from, not just four. So if you’re looking to maximize profit, now is the time to place these bets when the second round is still in full swing.
2023 Eastern Conference MVP Betting Pick
When it comes to our Eastern Conference MVP pick (or the Western one too), it has to be mentioned: the award is going to the best player on the team that advances to the Finals. That’s just how these awards work. Therefore, the first thing any bettor must do is decide which team is even winning the conference. That whittles down the betting options significantly. We mean, look at all the betting frontrunners below:
We’re of the belief that the Celtics and Heat will meet in the conference championship — a rematch of the 2022 series that Boston won in Game 7 (they also met in 2020 in which Miami took). Without question, the two best players on each side are Jayson Tatum and Jimmy Butler. Though, we would argue Butler is more valuable to his respective team.
Butler’s heroics against the top-seeded Bucks in round one were on a different level than we’ve seen in modern memory. Against Milwaukee, Butler averaged 37.6 points. He averaged just 22.9 points in the regular season so there’s indeed evidence that “Playoff Jimmy” exists and that player is MVP-worthy. But we’ll be dead honest with you, we don’t see the Heat beating the C’s in a seven- game series.
The Heat are just too old to win a seven-game series. Butler is 33, Kevin Love is 34, and Kyle Lowry is 37 — all of those three player starter-like minutes for Miami. The team had regressed all year long before flipping a switch in the first round (before that, they had barely won the last-ditch play-in game to get the eighth seed). Boston would have an edge over Miami in almost every facet.
Therefore, you have to bet Tatum here. When Boston goes to the Finals, he’ll be reason No. 1 — not Jaylen Brown. Tatum was the first-ever recipient of this award a year ago and now he’ll be the first-ever to go back-to-back. Take his +105 line before it drops in value.
2023 Western Conference MVP Betting Pick
Whereas Tatum is a comfortable betting favorite in the East, the Western Conference MVP is a lot closer betting race. There are five different players with odds under +1000. Per the top betting sites for basketball, the following players are favorites to win the conference MVP out West:
What makes the MVP race so much tighter here is, well, any one of the four remaining teams — Denver, Golden State, Los Angeles, and Phoenix — could will themselves into the NBA Finals. The Warriors and Suns are in series holes right now, but each is capable of completing a comeback.
But if we had to pick one team to become conference crown-holders, we’re going with the Lakers. This team has completely transformed since a series of trade-deadline moves. All of a sudden, they have a slew of shooters around a pair of top-10 players in LeBron James and Anthony Davis. This group has the reigning champions on the ropes, and we’re convinced they’ll run the table from here on out.
If LA wins out, then James is your conference MVP. And even then, that’s not a forgone conclusion given how great Davis is playing at the moment. But let’s not kid ourselves, James still has the most pull with MVP voters. In any close situation, he’ll get the benefit of the doubt and take the award.
How To Bet On 2023 NBA Playoffs?
NBA playoff betting is only just getting started. The conference and NBA Finals are where the stakes really pick up — for teams, players, and bettors alike. If you’re looking for a reliable home to bet the remaining postseason, visit one of the underneath bookmakers. The five you see here scored highest in our latest sportsbook reviews so you can’t go wrong with any.
But here’s the best part: you can even bet on the NBA playoffs using the sportsbook’s own dime. This is through lucrative sportsbook bonuses that can net bettors hundreds to thousands of dollars in free play from just depositing money into their accounts. The best bonuses available right now are listed below. Pick one and your conference MVP bets could be “on the house.”