Heat’s Underdog Ride Continues With NBA Finals Odds Vs. Nuggets

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Written By Eli Hershkovich | Last Updated

NBA bettors who have backed Heat odds throughout the playoffs have cashed in on a considerable bonus. Let’s dig into Heat NBA Finals odds against the Denver Nuggets while contextualizing the historic betting journey from Jimmy Butler & Co. along the way.

Click on any of the Heat NBA Finals odds in this article to place a wager.

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Heat NBA Finals Game 1 Odds vs. Nuggets

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Notable Betting Accolades

The Heat tallied a mere 44 regular season wins. After falling to the Trae Young and the Hawks, they faced a one-point deficit to the Bulls in the fourth quarter of a must-win Play-In Tournament game. Now, 46 days later, they’ve engineered an improbable trip to the NBA Finals, becoming the second No. 8 seed to reach this stage.

The other? The 1999 Knicks, which subsequently fell to Tim Duncan, David Robinson and the Spurs in five games.

In fact, Miami represents the third team in NBA playoffs history to win three straight series — all as underdogs — in the last 35 years, joining the ’99 Knicks and ’95 Rockets. It began with the fifth-biggest series upset since 1994 (+750), defeating Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks in five games. Although the two-time league MVP missed two games along the way, he finished a -30 in plus-minus over his 23 fourth-quarter minutes.

Butler, who has led the Heat to this juncture for the second time in the last four seasons, accrued 37.4 points (67.1 TS%), 6.0 rebounds, and 4.8 assists per game versus Milwaukee.

An Unlikely “Herro” Emerges

Then came the Knicks, which the Heat were only +140 series dogs against. An under-the-radar storyline from that series was Caleb Martin. The undrafted Nevada product racked up 22 points (via 8-of-15 shooting) when Miami nearly knocked off New York in Game 2 — without Butler (ankle).

Little did we know, that performance signified Martin’s coming-out party, minus Tyler Herro (hand fracture), as he nearly stole the 2023 Eastern Conference Finals MVP from Butler. While Miami was +400 to beat the Celtics and advance to the NBA Finals, Martin was as high as +3500 to win the award before the do-or-die Game 7. He generated 135 total points in the series on 60.2% shooting.

Only six players in a conference finals have scored more with at least a 60.0 FG%:

  • Shaquille O’Neal
  • Dwayne Wade
  • LeBron James
  • Dwight Howard
  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
  • Shawn Kemp

Mind you, the Heat delivered the worst against-the-spread record in the NBA regular season, finishing 31-49-2 (38.8%). They’ve followed that up with a 13-5 ATS mark (72.2%) in the playoffs.

Their stellar results of late have plenty to do with Erik Spoelstra, arguably the league’s best defensive schemer.

In Game 7, Miami switched 40 of 58 pick-and-rolls by the Celtics, allowing just 0.69 PPP in those situations. That marked the first time all series in which the Heat switched on over half of Boston’s pick-and-roll attempts (per Second Spectrum).

Related: NBA Finals Betting Guide

Another Momentous Occurrence En Route

Entering the dance, Miami was +6000 to win the East — good for the most profitable conference title odds in the last 15 years. Ironically, Butler and the 2020 “Bubble” Heat (+1450) follow suit in NBA betting history. The 2021 Suns (+850) and 2011 Mavs (+800) are next on the list.

After cashing those tickets, some bettors have their attention geared towards a more substantial prize: +12500 odds to win the NBA championship. That price tag was on the board after their victory over Chicago in the Play-In Tournament.

Despite earning the No. 1 seed in the West, Denver was also a historically “big” dog to win the finals at the forefront of the playoffs. Therefore, regardless of which team emerges victorious, one of them will become one of the biggest title-winning underdogs over the last 30 years. As previously stated, these odds are prior to the postseason tipping off.

YearTeamOddsImplied Probability
2023Heat (?)+125000.8%
2011Mavericks+18005.3%
1995Rockets+18005.3%
2023 Nuggets (?)+10009.1%
2022Warriors+10009.1%
2019Raptors+9759.3%

The best pre-flop odds that you’ll find on the Heat to win the NBA title are . Butler is set at to emerge as the Finals MVP.

Conversely, the Nuggets () are the second-biggest finals favorite over the last 16 seasons. The 2018 Warriors, which were -1075 against the Cavaliers, are first up.

Heat vs. Nuggets Odds: Game 1 NBA Player Props

How to Watch Heat vs. Nuggets

Game 1 of the 2023 NBA Finals is set to tip off at 8:30 p.m. EST on Thursday. You can catch all of the action on ABC.

Heat NBA Finals Odds: Sports Betting Promos

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