His 12 points — on a dreadful 3-of-17 clip from the field — trailed three other starters and another off player off the bench to boot.
Yet, despite the lackluster shooting performance, Tatum’s arguably the hottest commodity in the Finals MVP betting market, jumping original favorite Steph Curry at most shops.
Heading into Sunday’s Game 2, Tatum’s the consensus favorite at +117; Curry, meanwhile sits at +150 and has better odds than his counterpart at only one book in our trackers (you can browse and shop all betting odds here).
Action Network’s Brandon Anderson tabbed Tatum his favorite MVP bet (+175) prior to the Finals.
It wasn’t a true dud in the opener from the star forward, who won Eastern Conference Finals MVP in Boston’s previous round against the Heat.
Tatum contributed with a game-high 13 assists, opening up the perimeter for an offense that collectively canned 21-of-41 3-point attempts.
Two Celtics, in particular, who enjoyed success from the field in Game 1 were Al Horford and Marcus Smart, who went 6-of-8 and 4-of-7 from deep, respectively.
Following the big games, Horford’s MVP odds changed from as long as +12000 to as short as +1200. Smart, meanwhile, dipped from +4500 to +2000.
Klay Thompson saw the biggest drop. After a modest 15-point outing — as well as Curry’s one-man show en route to 34 points — the shooting guard’s odds shifted from +1600 to +6000.
Golden State’s listed as a 4- or 4.5-point favorite in Game 2 depending on the book, with a total in the 215 range.