The Los Angeles Lakers continue their improbable run in the Western Conference playoffs after toppling the Minnesota Timberwolves, Memphis Grizzlies and Golden State Warriors to get to the West finals. Their next test? The No. 1 seed Denver Nuggets who, at times, looked unbeatable in the second round against the Phoenix Suns.
For the second straight season, we get to crown an MVP in this series. Last season, Stephen Curry won the inaugural Magic Johnson Trophy. Who will take home the hardware in 2023?
Let’s take a look at the 2023 Western Conference Finals MVP odds.
Western Conference Finals MVP Odds
Odds as of Sunday, May 14 and via BetMGM.
|Player||WCF MVP Odds||Finals MVP Odds|
|Michael Porter Jr.||+8000||+20000|
Did you expect anyone else to be at the top?
The Nuggets are -145 favorites to win the series, have home-court advantage (see, the regular season does matter) and are 6-0 at Ball Arena in the playoffs. Nikola Jokic has reminded anyone who forgot why he won back-to-back MVP awards and fell just short of winning another one this season.
His numbers have been awesome in the playoffs: 30 points, 12.8 rebounds and 9.7 assists per game on 54.9% shooting from the floor and 47.5% on 3s with five triple doubles in 11 games. It would be hard to believe that stat line even if it was in a video game.
He’s a rightful favorite, which is evidenced by the fact that there’s a minus next to his number. If you’re truly bullish on Jokic, you can still get him at a plus number to win NBA Finals MVP as well.
The Mid Tier
LeBron James has the second-shortest odds to win Western Conference finals MVP (again, no surprise) after nearly putting up a 30-point triple double in a closeout game against the Golden State Warriors. That was his highest-scoring game of the postseason after some underwhelming games, by his standards, earlier in the playoffs, but he’s averaging a double double in the playoffs: 23.4 points and 10 rebounds.
Anthony Davis is just slightly behind James on the oddsboard and much has been made of the wild swings in his offensive performances this postseason. Still, Davis is averaging 21.2 points, 14.1 rebounds and 3.3 blocks, and he’s been a defensive force through two series.
The Long Shots
There are other long shots, but Jamal Murray has the shortest odds off this group and is the most realistic candidate as the Nuggets’ lead ballhandler. Murray has already had some spectacular games in the playoffs, such as his 40-point game against the Wolves in Round 1 and his 34-point explosion against the Suns in Game 1 of Round 2 reminded everyone of his brilliance in the Bubble. Murray’s numbers in this playoff run are nearly identical to his stats from the 2020 playoffs — 25.9 points 6.5 assists and 39.5% shooting from deep — but he’ll need to outplay his own teammate to win this award.