Game 2 – Heat vs. Nuggets Picks, Predictions, Odds

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The NBA Finals resume on Sunday night with Game 2 between the Miami Heat and Denver Nuggets. Coverage begins from Ball Arena in Denver at 8:00 p.m. ET on ABC.

The Nuggets are 7-0 ATS in their last seven games against Miami. (Getty)

MIAMI HEAT vs. DENVER NUGGETS BETTING PREDICTION

Figuring out this Miami’ team has been an incredibly daunting task all year, and clearly, they have no intentions of going easy on bettors down the stretch, as after shooting 39% from three-point range and 21 free throw attempts per game in their first three playoff series, the Heat completely fell off the wagon in their first matchup against Denver, knocking down just 13-of-39 long range attempts and making just two free throws in a 104-93 loss in Game 1 this past Thursday.

The fate of Game 1 never truly felt like it was in doubt, as Denver jumped out to a 29-20 lead in the first quarter and widened the gap to 84-63 by the end of the third quarter. However, spread bettors had to sweat all the way through the finish line, as the Heat (+9) managed to cut the lead to 87-96 with 2:34 left in the contest, but there simply wasn’t enough time left for Miami to make things interesting in the closing minutes.

Denver didn’t exactly light the world on fire in Game 1 either, though. The Nuggets shot a very efficient 51% from the field in Thursday’s series opener, which ultimately, was more than enough to get the win. But their long range numbers in Game 1 were horrific (29% 3P), primarily thanks to Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. knocking down just 4-of-18 combined three-point attempts in the contest, and those numbers are highly unlikely to persist.

So, what’s to be expected in this series moving forward? The Heat finally woke up in the fourth quarter of Game 1 and beat Denver by a score of 30-20 in the final stanza. Did Erik Spoelstra finally find a flaw that his team could consistently exploit? Or are we going to see Denver’s offense turn on the jets and start connecting on a fair percentage of their longballs, in turn, widening the gap in Game 2?

Let’s not forget that not too long ago, the Heat looked like they desperately needed to get back to the drawing board and start prepping for next season, as Miami finished 7th in the conference before dropping its first matchup of the Play-In Tournament against Atlanta, and then almost lost to Chicago in the win-or-go-home game that followed.

But since the fourth quarter of their second Play-In game, the Heat have looked like bonafide title contenders, highlighted by Miami ranking 1st in three-point percentage 3rd in offensive rating in the first three rounds of the playoffs, while continuing to maintain an elite level of defensive play – until now, apparently.

Truth be told, the lights might have been a little bit too bright for some of the Heat’s undrafted talent early in Game 1, as Caleb Martin and Max Strus combined for a grand total of zero points on 0-of-14 shooting in the first half of Thursday’s contest – but side note, it’s always great to see that the moment is never too big for Gabe Vincent, who scored 19 points and knocked down 5-of-10 three-point attempts in the loss.

Sure, it’s fair to point out that Murray and Porter probably won’t struggle from beyond the arc moving forward like they did in Game 1, but let’s not pretend Murray had a bad game in the grand scheme of things. He still scored 26 points on 50% from the field overall, even with his five misses from long-range.

Nikola Jokic dazzled us yet again with another monster triple-double in Thursday’s opener, but ultimately, the thing that moved the needle the most in Game 1 was the fact that Denver received 26 points on 11-of-17 shooting from Aaron Gordon and Bruce Brown, as well as the Nuggets getting to the foul line for 18 more free throw attempts than Miami – and I’m not so sure that those numbers are destined to carry over in Game 2.

It seems like every time we start digging a grave for this Heat’ team, they immediately spring out of the casket and string together a magical run of performances that very few people thought that they had in the tank. Prior to the first round of the playoffs, the Bucks were favored to win the title at +240, and the Celtics had the second-best odds on the board at +370 – while the Heat entered the Play-In Tournament at +21000.

The Heat knocked off two of the best teams in basketball fair and square, but now that the wide majority of the advanced analytics people want to belittle their success due to a skew in high variability factors, nobody wants to give Miami any credit.

In theory, if Denver was matched up against Boston or Milwaukee in this series, there’s no way that the Nuggets would be laying 8-9 points game-to-game. The Heat deserve far more respect for what they have accomplished this postseason. Take the points with Miami in Game 2.

Score Prediction: Nuggets 114, Heat 110
Best Bet: Heat +8.5 (-110)

MIA @ DEN Odds

MIAMI HEAT vs. DENVER NUGGETS BETTING RESOURCES

Date: Sunday, June 4, 2023
Venue: Ball Arena
Location: Denver, Colorado
TV-Time: ABC, 8:00 p.m. ET
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NBA Finals Betting Odds

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MIAMI HEAT vs. DENVER NUGGETS BETTING STATS

Miami Heat
SU: 57-46
ATS: 45-56
O/U: 52-49
PPG: 109.5
OPPG: 109.8

Denver Nuggets
SU: 66-32
ATS: 55-43
O/U: 46-52
PPG: 115.8
OPPG: 112.5

Straight Up (SU), Against the Spread (ATS), Over-Under (O/U)
Points Per Game (PPG), Opponents Points Per Game (OPPG)

The Heat are 12-5 ATS in their last 17 games. (Getty)

MIAMI HEAT vs. DENVER NUGGETS BETTING TRENDS

  • The Heat are 12-5 ATS in their last 17 games.
  • The total has gone UNDER in five straight Heat' games.
  • The Heat are 1-4 SU in their last five games.
  • The Nuggets are 5-2 ATS in their last seven games.
  • The total has gone UNDER in five of Denver's last seven games.
  • The Nuggets are 7-0 SU in their last seven games.
  • The total has gone OVER in five of Denver's last six games against Miami.
  • The Nuggets are 11-0 SU in their last 11 home games.
  • The Nuggets are 7-1 SU in their last eight home games against Miami.
  • The Heat are 0-7 ATS in their last seven games against Denver.
  • The Heat are 0-7 SU in their last seven games against Denver.
  • The total has gone OVER in 10 of Miami's last 14 road games.
  • The Heat are 1-7 SU in their last eight road games against Denver.