Nuggets vs. Heat NBA Finals Odds, Betting Predictions & Promotions

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Written By Mo Nuwwarah | Last Updated
Nuggets Heat odds

The grueling NBA season has reached its conclusion. After eight long months, the Nuggets and Heat have emerged as the final two to contest a seven-game series for the Larry O’Brien trophy. Let’s break down Nuggets odds vs. Heat odds and how these teams match up.

The teams stand in stark contrast, with the juggernaut Nuggets rolling through the Western playoffs after earning the No. 1 seed. Meanwhile, the Heat put together one of the most shocking runs in NBA playoff history as a No. 8 seed. Colleague Eli Hershkovich detailed the amazing run of Miami underdog odds victories. So which team will hoist come season’s end?

Click NBA Finals odds below to make a wager at legal sports betting sites.

Nuggets vs. Heat Odds: NBA Finals Betting Predictions

Yet again, the Heat are a large underdog. Keep in mind, the Heat enter this series as one of the biggest longshots to ever advance to the NBA Finals. They’ve already defeated two of the consensus three strongest Eastern Conference teams in Boston and Milwaukee. Therefore, the market has clearly had a tough time getting a handle on this team.

Still, Denver represents their toughest test yet. Unlike almost every other team in the NBA, they’re uniquely situated to take advantage of Miami’s lack of size. To wit, Nikola Jokic dominated in their two regular season meetings.

  • Dec. 30: 19/12/12 on 8-for-15 shooting
  • Feb. 13: 27/12/8 on 12-for-14 shooting

That works out to 23/12/10 averages on 69.0% from the field. Denver won both matchups.

Statistically speaking, one can see the Heat’s struggles in this department. According to numbers from Cleaning The Glass, the Heat ranked 25th in effective field goal percentage (eFG%, which takes into account increased efficiency of 3s) allowed. Opponents also converted at the rim at a high rate, good for sixth-best in the league.

Denver gets to the rim more than almost anyone (sixth-most) while converting at the second-highest frequency to boot.

Although Bam Adebayo is an exceptional defender, he’s giving up about 3 inches and 30 pounds to Jokic. If Adebayo finds himself in foul trouble, look out. Things could really ugly. Consider that the only other big men in the Heat rotation this playoffs have been Kevin Love and Cody Zeller. Respectfully, either of them would be laughably overmatched if forced to defend the two-time NBA MVP.

Keys For Heat: Turnovers And 3s

Certainly, Miami figures to have little to no chance of slowing Jokic’s scoring. To have a chance to pull the upset, they must convincingly dominate in two spots: turnovers and 3s.

While the Nuggets have an elite offense, much like the Warriors, that offense is based on high-levels shot-making. Taking care of the ball can be an issue at times, as one can see with their 20th-ranked turnover rate. Even a passing savant like Jokic has been known to get a bit ambitious with his deliveries.

Miami’s strong defense was heavily based on forcing turnovers. They own the fourth-highest opponent’s turnover rate and they’ll have to hope Denver’s newfound playoff stinginess (second-lowest turnover rate) has been a small sample fluke.

Furthermore, 3-point shooting has helped carry the Heat’s offense. Shockingly, despite losing marksman Tyler Herro to injury (could return as early as Game 3), Miami has scorched the nets for 38.5% from deep. That would have ranked sixth in the NBA. In actuality, the Heat ranked No. 27 across the league, making the sudden barrage all the more stunning.

That must continue for Miami to have any hope to win the battle of Heat versus Nuggets.

Series Props For NBA Finals

Let’s take a brief look at market prices for some popular NBA Finals props. First up, the Finals MVP. The Bill Russell Award winner will almost certainly come from the winning squad.

It’s no surprise to find the former NBA MVP of the heavily favored Nuggets at the top of the board. As previously mentioned, Jokic () looks to be in a tremendous situation to put up numbers and has already proven he can dominate the Heat’s defense.

Also no surprise, Jimmy Butler () is by far the likeliest Heat to win MVP. The brash wing has showcased an incredibly high level of play in multiple playoff runs now. He’ll likely find himself frequently matched up with defensive ace Aaron Gordon.

The supernova shooting display of Caleb Martin this postseason (43.8% on 3s) may have created a value opportunity on Bam Adebayo ().

He’ll probably have to have a huge two-way series for Miami to win this, and his defense on Jokic would likely garner a huge amount of credit from voters. At juicy odds, that’s worth a look.

Exact series prices and series handicaps can also provide another avenue for bettors, especially those leery of laying a large price on the Nuggets.

Nuggets in five is the favored result here. That makes sense, especially with the NBA reverting to the 2-2-1-1-1 format for the NBA Finals after using 2-3-2 for years. Game 5 would be a home game for Denver, presumably offering a closeout opportunity if they steal one in Miami and hold serve at home.

But keep in mind, the Nuggets have proven they can close out on the road without issue. They dispatched both Phoenix and L.A. away from their friendly confines. Miami has shown itself resilient, and +430 for Denver in six games looks like the better value play.

Similarly, if Miami does shock the world once again, a home closeout at +900 in Game 6 looks alluring.

Any Value In Heat Nuggets Odds?

Personally, I find it hard to believe the Heat can continue this outlier shooting.

Additionally, I can’t see how they’ll have any answer for Jokic. The Heat have almost no depth in terms of big men. Plus, doubling Jokic is basically impossible — lest he cut you to ribbons with precision passes to Denver’s elite collection of shooters and cutters.

On top of that, while Miami has been vastly underrated — including by me when I bet the Bucks against them mid-series — the betting market has also failed to fully grasp how the strength of Denver.

I bet Jamal Murray & Co. in each of their first three series. Despite laying waste to Suns team that entered the Western playoffs as favorites, the Nuggets were still only around -150 against the Lakers even with home court.

That said, I don’t see any value either way in the series price here. The no-vig price works out to Denver having around a 76% chance to beat Miami. I think that’s about right, and I’ll only be looking for a series play if Denver finds itself in an early hole.

How to Watch Nuggets vs. Heat

This series is set to tip off at 8:30 p.m. EST on Thursday. You can catch all of the action on ABC.

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