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NBA betting: Stephen Curry should win NBA Finals MVP even if the Warriors lose

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The Boston Celtics aren't finished in the NBA Finals. They're favored in Game 6, and anything can happen in Game 7.

That doesn't mean anyone should be considered for NBA Finals MVP other than Stephen Curry.

Curry is -350 to win NBA Finals MVP at BetMGM and that seems to presume the Golden State Warriors win the championship. Golden State is -400 to win the title.

Betting Curry to win MVP is probably a better play than taking the Warriors to win it all — because Curry might pull off the rare feat of winning Finals MVP regardless of who wins the title.

MVPs from losing teams are rare

There has been only one NBA Finals MVP on a losing team, and that was back in 1969. Jerry West won MVP but the Los Angeles Lakers lost the series (and we can assume he never threw the trophy through a window, no matter what "Winning Time" said).

It's rare for a player on a losing team in any sport to win championship series MVP or game MVP. Chuck Howley of the Dallas Cowboys is the only player on a losing team to win Super Bowl MVP, and that happened all the way back in Super Bowl V. The only World Series MVP on a losing team was Bobby Richardson of the New York Yankees in 1960. Five players have won the Conn Smythe Trophy on a losing team in the Stanley Cup Finals, but it hasn't happened since 2003 when Jean-Sebastien Giguere of the Anaheim Ducks won it.

Maybe NBA Finals MVP voters this year will get too caught up in that history to do the right thing, but barring an incredible final two games from a Celtics player, nobody deserves NBA Finals MVP over Curry.

The Warriors can make it easy by winning the championship. It'll be interesting if they don't.

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) is the clear favorite for NBA Finals MVP. (AP Photo/Jed Jacobsohn)
Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) is the clear favorite for NBA Finals MVP. (AP Photo/Jed Jacobsohn)

Stephen Curry has been dominant

Curry hasn't just been the best player in the series — there can be no reasonable argument against that statement.

He has scored 30.6 points per game and has been a force. His Game 4 performance, dragging the Warriors to a crucial road win with a 43-point, 10-rebound outburst, is one of the great NBA Finals performances ever.

And if the Celtics win, nobody on that side has a great argument. Not yet anyway. Jayson Tatum has averaged 23.2 points but is shooting 37.3 percent and is turning it over way too often. Jaylon Brown has been slightly better, but nowhere near Curry. Nobody else has a reasonable case.

A Boston championship win would be a good test for MVP voters. Would they really just ignore the best player in the series, and lazily pick the most palatable option for the Celtics? It's possible something happens like Tatum scoring 40 or more in back-to-back games to carry Boston to a title. Then a non-Curry vote would make some sense. But as it stands now, a vote for anyone but Curry would be the wrong one, regardless of which team wins.

There's still intrigue in the NBA Finals, even with the Warriors being heavy favorites to win. There shouldn't be any intrigue in the NBA Finals MVP race, even though there will be if Boston wins.

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