Miami Heat (44-38) at Denver Nuggets (53-29)
Game Info: Monday, June 12, 2023 at 8:30 p.m. EST (Ball Arena)
Betting Odds: Nuggets (-9) / Over/Under (209.5)
Pick: Heat (+9)
In the first closeout opportunity of the NBA Finals, tonight let's head out to Ball Arena to take a look at Game 5 between the Miami Heat and Denver Nuggets, with the Nuggets looking to seal the deal on their home floor.
After stealing Game 2 in Denver a few nights back, the Heat put themselves in a great position to go home and have the next two games on their home floor with the opportuntity to take a 3-1 series lead if they were able to hold serve in Miami. Although they set themselves up superbly, they were not able to do so. Even worse, they dropped both games inside the Kaseya Center, and will now be tasked with going into Denver and securing a win if they want their season to continue past tonight. Even though the key to success will largely fall in Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo's hands on the offensive side of the ball, the Heat will need to urgently find a way to get the likes of Gabe Vincent and Max Strus going again. It is not likely at all that you have any chance to win a game in the NBA Finals if your two guards combine for 38 minutes with 2 points on 1-10 shooting like they did in Game 4. With nothing to lose and their backs truly against the wall now, can they bounce back in a critical Game 5?
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Denver has the best opportunity that they are ever going to have to lift their first title on Monday night. With a commanding 3-1 series lead, and playing on their home floor, there will never be a better time to make history. Nonetheless, even though they are sizable favorites to win, Michael Malone is too seasoned of a Head Coach to not have his guys prepared for a barrage from Miami tonight as they will try and punch first in order to silence the crowd from the start. Lucky for the Nuggets, they have a pretty decent player in Nikola Jokic that seems to be able to take over whenever he wants to. What is more impressive about this team is that he and Jamal Murray do not always have to dominate for them to win. This was apparent in Game 4 where Jokic and Murray only combined to shoot 13-36 from the field, but they were still able to win by a score of 108-95. Whoever needs to step up has stepped up for this team on a nightly basis and is the primary reason why they are one win away from an NBA Championship.
Betting trends to consider in this matchup:
- Miami is 14-8 ATS in the Playoffs
- The under has hit in 7 of the last 8 Heat games
- The under has hit in 4 of the last 5 Nuggets games
In a must-win spot, I can not see the Heat lying down and letting the Nuggets blow them out in what would be their last game of the season. I am not indicating that I am confident that Miami will win on the road, but I am supremely confident in the fact that they are going to battle for 48 minutes and keep this game wihin range all night long. Give me Miami to give themselve a chance at a Game 6 in their home arena!
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