For a fleeting moment, there appeared to be real competition for the Finals MVP award. When the Miami Heat won Game 2 of the NBA Finals against the Denver Nuggets and tied the series at 1-1, Vegas finally began to accept the possibility that the Heat could truly win it all. They'd just become the first team this postseason to beat the Nuggets in Denver, after all, and in the process they seized home-court advantage in the Finals. Nikola Jokic was the Finals MVP favorite at minus-250 after Game 2, but Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo were hot on his trail.
But after Game 3's historic 30-20-10 line from Jokic? Nope. The books are all the way back behind the two-time regular-season MVP for the individual Finals award. Jokic enters Game 4 as the heavy minus-750 favorite to take home the hardware, and with a couple more big games, he might even be able to make a case for himself if the Nuggets lose the series. Here is where the odds stand now, heading into Game 4, according to Caesar's Sportsbook.
Notably, the gap between Butler and Adebayo as the Heat player with the lowest odds has widened considerably. After Game 2, Butler was at plus-400 while Adebayo was right on his heels at plus-550. But after Butler's 28-point Game 3 performance, the money seems to have moved back behind him. Adebayo isn't close anymore. Murray, who had been in fourth-place, has jumped up to third and seen his odds fall from plus-1800 to plus-1000 after pairing with Jokic to become the first set of teammates in NBA history to post 30-point triple-doubles in the same game.
On the sleeper end of the equation, Herro could get some credit if he manages to return and the Heat mount a comeback. Miami needs him back as quickly as possible if Lowry, who left Game 3 in some pain, is compromised heading into Game 4. But otherwise? This is Jokic's trophy to lose. Even if the Heat win the series, there is no question who the best player in the Finals has been thus far.