The 2012 NBA Finals are scheduled to get underway this evening with a Game 1 clash at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City. The series is filled with a number of star players, including MVP LeBron James and reigning scoring champion Kevin Durant. Not surprisingly, 2012 NBA Finals Prop Bets at Sportsbook.ag, which feature NBA Finals MVP Odds, have Durant listed as a 5/6 favorite to win the award while James is a second pick at 3/2 odds. Dwyane Wade, who earned NBA Finals MVP honors in 2006, and Russell Westbrook are drawing 8/1 odds to garner the coveted distinction this year.
NBA Finals MVP Candidates -
Kevin Durant (5/6): Durant, who won his third straight scoring title this year, leads the Thunder in playoff scoring with a 27.8 per game average. It is all but a guarantee that he will continue to pace the Thunder in the Finals, but the former Longhorn is anything but a one dimensional player. Durant also averaged 7.9 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 1.3 blocks, and 1.5 steals per game in OKC’s run to the championship round. Simply put, if you believe the Thunder will beat the Heat, then Durant should be your top choice for the MVP award.
LeBron James (3/2): Despite his reputation as a late game choke artist, James is Miami’s best and most consistent player. James has been phenomenal during the playoffs, averaging 30.8 points, 1.9 steals, 5.1 assists, and 9.6 rebounds per game. As with Durant, James ought to be the first MVP choice for those who believe Miami will prevail in the Finals.
Dwyane Wade (8/1): Wade’s scoring is down (his current 22.9 ppg postseason average is the lowest output since his rookie season), but he is still a force at both ends of the floor. Wade’s skill set lends itself to taking over games and if he does that often enough in this series he could steal MVP honors.
Russell Westbrook (8/1): Westbrook will be the quickest player on the floor and he presents some match up problems for the Heat. Miami will have great difficulty defending him one-on-one, but it cannot focus on Westbrook too much or it will get burned by Durant and Harden. Westbrook could really shine in the Finals and at 8-1 odds, he has serious betting value.
Best of the Rest -
James Harden (15-1): The second year pro out of Arizona State is a sixth man extraordinaire, as illustrated by his playoff averages of 17.6 points, 3.3 assists, and 5.2 rebounds per game off the bench. Harden can take over and win a game, and he has proven as much in these playoffs on at least a couple of occasions.
Chris Bosh (30-1): Bosh’s abdominal strain limited him to a game and a half in the Heat’s Eastern Conference Finals series against the Celtics, but he had a huge impact in the team’s Game 7 victory over Boston. Bosh scored 19 points on 8-of-10 shooting in the series finale and he also added eight rebounds. While he takes a back seat to James and Wade, his contributions cannot be underestimated.
2012 NBA Finals Prop Bets: NBA Finals MVP
Kevin Durant 5/6
LeBron James 3/2
Dwyane Wade 8/1
Russell Westbrook 8/1
James Harden 15-1
Serge Ibaka 30-1
Mario Chalmers 30-1
Chris Bosh 30-1
Field (Any Other Player) 10-1
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NBA Free Picks: Miami Heat at Oklahoma City Thunder - Game 1
What NBA Title bettors need to know about Heat at Thunder Game 1 - Including a free best bet from Pregame.com's Scott Spreitzer & Bryan Leonard!