- Go to BetOnline or Bovada for the latest odds on the Nuggets vs Heat Game 1 matchup
- Nikola Jokic is averaging a triple-double in the postseason as he seeks his first career NBA title
- ABC airs Game 1 from Ball Arena in Denver, Colorado on Thursday, June 1 at 8:30 p.m. ET
Miami avoided becoming the first team in NBA history to blow a 3-0 series lead with a blowout 103-84 Game 7 win over the Boston Celtics on Monday.
As the first No. 8 seed to reach the NBA Finals in 24 years, the Heat are massive underdogs against Denver. After finishing first in the West, Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets are 12-3 in the playoffs following their sweep of the Los Angeles Lakers in the conference finals.
Nuggets vs Heat – Game 1
|Spread||Money Line||Total Points|
|Miami Heat||+8.5 (-106)||+300||Ov 219 (-110)|
|Denver Nuggets||-8.5 (-114)||-370||Un 219 (-110)|
Denver opens as huge home favorites
Denver is a 8.5-point home favorite in Game 1 of the 2023 NBA Finals on Thursday night. While the Nuggets are an undefeated 8-0 at Ball Arena in the postseason, Miami won three road games in Boston in the conference finals.
Triple-double machine Nikola Jokic is putting up 29.9 points, 13.3 rebounds and 10.3 assists per game in the playoffs. The two-time MVP is also getting tremendous support from Jamal Murray, who lit up the Lakers with averages of 32.5 points, six rebounds and five assists. With nearly 120 points per 100 possessions in 15 postseason game, Denver is running one of the most-efficient playoff offenses of all time.
There's a reason they call Nikola Jokic ‘The Joker’… and now he’s led the @nuggets to their first ever NBA Finals!
— NBA (@NBA) May 24, 2023
Does Miami stand a chance?
While the Nuggets are in the NBA Finals for the first time in franchise history, the Heat are seeking their fourth championship and their first since 2013. Miami lost both games to Denver in the regular season, but there are reasons for optimism. Erik Spoelstra offers a tactical advantage over Michael Malone. With a series victory, he would become just the seventh coach in NBA history to win three titles.
Jimmy Butler is averaging 28.5 points, 7.0 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 2.1 steals in the playoffs. Caleb Martin has also emerged as an unlikely second-banana. The undrafted guard put up 26 points and 10 rebounds in Game 7 in Boston. He scored in double figures in every game of the conference finals, shooting over 60% from the field and 48.9% from 3-point range.
Caleb Martin in the ECF:
🔥 19.3 PPG
🔥 6.4 RPG
🔥 60% FG
🔥 49% 3PT
Now he's heading to his first NBA Finals 👏 pic.twitter.com/OZj7X1VEHB
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) May 30, 2023
Nuggets vs Heat – Series Prices
|Heat Series Prices||+320|
|Nuggets Series Prices||-400|
Boston vs Miami
Denver is a -400 to win the 2023 NBA Finals while Miami is a +320 underdog to score the upset. The Heat rank sixth defensively in the postseason and Bam Adebayo has been top five in Defensive Player of the Year voting in each of the past four campaigns. However, the Joker might be unstoppable after averaging 28 points, 14.5 rebounds and 12 assists against Anthony Davis and the Lakers.
Bam offers Jimmy Butler the ECF trophy and he says “no” then says “I'll hold the next one” 🔥
— Mink Flow (@currypistonn) May 30, 2023
While Michael Malone’s team finished with the fourth-best record (53-29) in basketball, Erik Spoelstra’s club already found a way to eliminate both Giannis Antetokounmpo and the first-place Milwaukee Bucks (58-24), and Jayson Tatum and the second-place Celtics (57-24).
Still, Jimmy Butler’s 40.2% shooting averages in the conference finals indicate that he might be running on fumes. We think the well-rested Nuggets will cover the 8.5 points in Game 1 and go on to win their first championship in franchise history (-400).
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