Denver Nuggets vs Miami Heat betting tips and predictions for Thursday’s NBA Finals game on ABC. The Nuggets and Heat square off in Game 1 of the NBA finals as they lock horns at Ball Arena. Read on for all our free predictions and betting tips.
A total of 9 days have passed since we last saw the Denver Nuggets in action as they swept the LA Lakers in the West Finals. Nikola Jokic won the West Finals MVP award, but he and his Nuggets aren’t done just yet. At -300 odds they are heavy favorites to capture their first ever NBA championship in their inaugural appearance on the grand stage.
Home court advantage is something they’ll look to rely on, so far in the postseason they’ve won all 8 games at Ball Arena, while during the regular season they went 34-7 SU in 41 games. Denver also won both regular season meetings vs Miami by 5 and 4 points, so judging by that we can expect close finishes in most of these games. Ahead of Game 1 the Nuggets opened as 6 point favorites, that has quickly jumped to 8.5 points, so there has been plenty of action on Denver for the series opener.
The Heat managed to avoid becoming the first team ever to blow a 3-0 lead in the NBA Playoffs as they took care of business in Game 7 against the Celtics on Monday. Jimmy Butler and Caleb Martin led the way, with Butler winning the East Finals MVP award as the best player.
Although this team is on a 6-game losing streak against the Nuggets and has just 1 win in 7 visits to Ball Arena in the last 4 season, confidence won’t be an issue for them as people have written them off on so many occasions this season that it’s become the norm for them. Turnovers could be a key in this series as the Heat are 9-3 SU when they have fewer turnovers than their opponent. Bam Adebayo’s defense on Nikola Jokic will also be interesting to watch as he’s giving up almost 30 pounds of size down low.
The 9 days off aren’t ideal for Denver, as it might lead to a bit of rust in the series opener. Miami on the other hand just finished a grueling 7-game series against Boston, so there could be a bit of fatigue on their end. I don’t think we’ll see a blowout in Game 1 though, as Miami has covered in 12 of 16 games heading into Game 1. I’ll take the Heat and the extra points here.
Denver Nuggets vs Miami Heat Predictions & Odds
The two teams have cleared the projected total of 219 points in both regular season meetings, with the game at Ball Arena producing 243 points back in December. The Heat tend to go over the total quite a lot when playing on the road, this has happened in 10 of their last 13 games away from home and in their last 6 vs Northwest Division opponents.
Although they rank 11th in pace this postseason in away games, the Heat have the 3rd best offensive rating at 116.7 points per 100 possessions. At 119.7 the Nuggets lead all teams in that category, they scored at least 113 points in 3 of the 4 games against the defensively solid Lakers in their previous round. With the last 5 meetings finishing over the total I think Game 1 will see a lot of action on the offensive end, so let’s go with the over.