The Miami Heat may have tied the NBA Finals on Sunday at one game apiece, but Vegas remains unmoved. Despite the Heat holding home-court advantage in the series now, the Nuggets remain a minus-280 favorite to win the championship. Despite upsetting three higher-seeded opponents thus far this postseason, the Heat continue to draw limited respect from the betting public.
Unsurprisingly, that means that Nikola Jokic is still the favorite to win Finals MVP, and his personal odds are almost identical to his team's. With two games down and somewhere between three and five left to play, Jokic still has a comfortable lead in the Finals MVP race. Here's where Caesars Sportsbook has the odds after two games.
Jokic may have lost Game 2, but he was spectacular individually. The Heat did a good job of limiting his playmaking, but he still scored 41 points on 16-of-28 shooting and tacked on 11 rebounds. As the best player on the best team, he is a near-lock to win the award if Denver finishes the series, and the underwhelming 18-point game out of Jamal Murray on Sunday gave Jokic some breathing room against his only real internal competition.
The race within the Heat has become far more compelling. While Butler, Miami's biggest star, has maintained the best odds, his other star teammate, Bam Adebayo, is swiftly catching up. Adebayo is not only defending Jokic, but he is currently leading the Heat in both points (23.5) and rebounds (11) per game. His nine total assists rank second on the team as well. While the Heat likely need a few big Butler games to win this thing, if they were to win three more games in the way that they won Game 2, Adebayo would probably be their best candidate.
The value play here would likely be Gabe Vincent. Butler's odds are 10 times shorter, but Vincent is actually outscoring Butler in the series thus far by eight total points. He has made nine of his 16 3-point attempts in the series, and while role players winning Finals MVP is a rarity, it isn't exactly unprecedented. Andre Iguodala famously did so in 2015.
Still, Jokic is the correct favorite so long as Denver doesn't trail in the series. Miami needed yet another outlier shooting performance to win Game 2. Assuming Denver regains control of this series, Jokic should reassert himself as the favorite during the two games in Miami. If you want to bet him, you may not get a better chance than right now.