2019 NBA Finals MVP Odds: Kevin Durant's Line Jumps Amid Possible Injury Return

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistJune 9, 2019

Golden State Warriors' Kevin Durant during the second half in Game 5 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Los Angeles Clippers Wednesday, April 24, 2019, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Ben Margot/Associated Press

Logic dictates Kevin Durant could be an NBA Finals MVP candidate if he returns from his calf injury and leads the Golden State Warriors to three straight wins over the Toronto Raptors after the two-time defending champions fell into a 3-1 hole without him.

The odds in Las Vegas have responded accordingly.

Durant is now listed at +4,000 (bet $100 to win $4,000) odds to win the NBA Finals MVP by Caesars Palace after he was previously at +10,000. Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium reported Durant is questionable to play in Monday's Game 5.

B/R Betting @br_betting

KD jumped from +10000 to +4000 after being listed as questionable for Game 5 😮 (via @CaesarsPalace) https://t.co/7qtoEq8GO0

Durant hasn't played since suffering the injury in Game 5 of the second-round series against the Houston Rockets.

It appeared for some time Golden State wouldn't need the two-time reigning NBA Finals MVP when it defeated the Rockets in Game 6 behind a brilliant performance from Stephen Curry and then swept the Portland Trail Blazers in the Western Conference Finals.

However, facing Kawhi Leonard and the Raptors has been a different story, leaving the door open for an easy narrative if Durant returns and spearheads an incredible comeback. While the narrative would be easy—and lend itself toward NBA Finals MVP votes—actually coming back from such a deficit is another task entirely.

In addition to the remaining uncertainty about his status, the 3-1 hole is one reason the odds are still notably high at +4,000. It is a long shot the Warriors will win three in a row over Leonard's bunch even with Durant, especially with two of the games in Toronto.

Only the 2016 Cleveland Cavaliers overcame a 3-1 deficit in the NBA Finals—which came against the Warriors—and that required a superhuman effort from LeBron James and clutch shooting from Kyrie Irving.

A superhuman performance from Durant is necessary for any bettors to cash in on these odds.