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NBA · 2 weeks ago

Buy or Sell: Jayson Tatum to Win NBA Finals MVP

Zachary Cook

The Boston Celtics made it through the first two rounds of the NBA playoffs, and a big reason for that is because of Jayson Tatum. Tatum is again having a strong playoff run for the Celtics, which he’s carried over from last year, where he helped lead them to the NBA Finals. Boston is set to kick off the third round of the NBA playoffs against the Miami Heat, and Tatum will have to deal with his biggest challenge yet.

Tatum ECF Game 1 Same Game Parlay

Going up against one of the best-coached teams in the NBA, it’s evident that Erik Spoelstra is going to throw a bunch of different looks at Tatum defensively, and how the Duke product responds will go a long way in demonstrating whether he’s on the path to winning his first NBA championship. 

Tatum can succeed at both ends of the court and has been able to do that during the Celtics’ run to the Eastern Conference Finals. In saying that, there’s also a solid case to be made that Boston coasted to get where they are today, and that won’t fly against a team like the Heat. Tatum has shown the ability to take over games, and he’s been able to do that in prior matchups in the playoffs against Miami, a team he’s very familiar with. If he can elevate his game to the level he’s capable of, there’s a lot to like about his prospects of winning his first NBA Finals MVP.

Buy or Sell: Jayson Tatum to Win NBA Finals MVP at +130

Tatum is the odds-on favorite to win NBA Finals MVP at +130, which correlates with the Celtics being favorites to win the NBA title. He needs to have one of those outlier performances where he puts the team on his back. Tatum did that in an elimination game against the Philadelphia 76ers, dropping 51 points, which set a record for the most points ever in a Game 7. 

Tatum won’t be without challengers for the NBA Finals MVP, whether that’s Nikola Jokic in Denver (+190), Jimmy Butler in Miami (+1600), or the pair of superstars in Los Angeles with LeBron James (+1200) and Anthony Davis (+1300). You can make a case for any of these players, including Tatum’s teammate in Jaylen Brown (+1000). 

Even though Tatum is the odds-on favorite, and the Celtics are legitimately in the running for an NBA title, they haven’t entirely shown us the consistency we’re looking for in the playoffs. Tatum has been a beast, don’t get us wrong, but he won’t win NBA Finals MVP if the C’s don’t win the championship. As a result of that sentiment, there’s better value elsewhere on the board to consider rather than backing Tatum at his current price. 


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