NBA Finals odds and expert picks for Nuggets vs. Heat Game 2- Uncover Daily News

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Well, that went about as expected. At least for now. Game 1 of the 2023 NBA Finals saw the Nuggets handle business with a 104-93 win over the Heat. Save for a handful of desperation buckets by Miami down the stretch, it was a dominant effort from start to finish that even staved off a daring backdoor cover attempt (of Heat +9) by Nikola Jović in the final seconds.

Here’s the rundown ahead of Game 2 on Sunday.

For live NBA odds from BetMGM, click here. Looking for tickets for tonight’s game? Find ticket deals on StubHub.

Nuggets vs. Heat

8 p.m. ET Sunday on ABC

What are the odds for the Nuggets vs. Heat?

Series: Nuggets lead 1-0

Series odds: Nuggets -700, Heat +500

Game 1 was a rout of a higher degree than the final score indicated. Denver led by 21 points entering the fourth quarter, and while Miami played to its identity of never wilting, it never drew close enough to bring one to the edge of their seat.

Whether that was a product of a severe rest disparity — two days for the Heat versus 10 for the Nuggets — and altitude adjustment, or a sign of a matchup that could be decided quickly, remains to be seen. Game 2 will be our next data point.

For it, Denver is favored by a significant margin — unsurprising given the lopsidedness of Thursday’s game despite the Nuggets actually finishing significantly in the red from behind the 3-point line, 8-for-27 to Miami’s 13-for-39.

The difference was Nikola Jokić’s casual dominance in the form of a 27-point, 14-assist, 10-rebound triple-double, the timely shotmaking of Jamal Murray and Bruce Brown, and the stellar defense of the monstrous wing duo of Aaron Gordon and Michael Porter Jr., who also beat up Miami’s undersized forward rotation on the interior.

Bam Adebayo asserted himself at the offensive end, and Gabe Vincent and Haywood Highsmith exceeded expectations by fueling their team’s fight in the fourth. But Jimmy Butler’s passive offensive performance and the bricks laid by Max Strus (0-for-10), Caleb Martin (1-for-7) and Duncan Robinson (1-for-6) made the comparison all the more stark.

Some of the above could be ripe for positive regression, although the Nuggets certainly have another level they can reach at the offensive end as well. That is reflected in their now -700 odds to win the series (+500 for Miami) — +350 to finish it in a sweep, +165 to close it out in five games.

Miami has bounced back at every turn in their magical run to the Finals. But given Denver’s brilliance and seemingly impenetrable homecourt advantage — they are now 9-0 with a +11.9 point differential at Ball Arena this postseason — they are undoubtedly facing their toughest test yet.

Expert picks for Nuggets vs. Heat


More from the NBA Finals

The Nuggets are three wins away from being champions. Why? Because of their consistency

Nuggets and Heat show that not being reactionary to postseason heartbreak can pay off

Aaron Gordon’s bullying Game 1 a portrait of the winner he resurrected

Heat need an altitude adjustment, but beating Nuggets will take more than that

(Photo of Jamal Murray and Gabe Vincent: Matthew Stockman / Getty Images)



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