Miami Heat (44-38) at Denver Nuggets (53-29)
Game Info: Thursday, June 4, 2023 at 8:00 p.m. EST (Ball Arena)
Betting Odds: Nuggets (-8.5) / Over/Under (216)
Pick: Nuggets (-8.5)
Sunday night brings us an enticing Game 2 in the NBA Finals between the Miami Heat and Denver Nuggets inside Ball Arena, with the Heat looking to even the series up before heading home.
Miami took a bit too long to settle in in Game 1 as they went into halftime down 17 points. Although they were able to put together an impressive 30-20 4th quarter in their favor, it was too big of a hurdle to overcome to make it interesting down the stretch. Heading into a vital Game 2, the Heat will look to make a few minor adjustments in order to give themselves a better chance at beating the Nuggets inside their home arena, something that seemingly no one can figure out a way to do in the Playoffs. First off, as I previously noted, a slow start does not bode well for them, so it is to the best of their interest to prevent the Denver crowd from getting into it from the jump. Secondly, whether it be by the double team or a different tactic, they will need to find a way to limit the damage that Nikola Jokic is causing every single time down the floor. Can the Heat make the right moves to keep this one closer than the last?
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Denever has been utterly unstoppable on their home floor in the Playoffs. It does not matter what team they have matched up against, no team has been able to head into Ball Arena and come out with a victory. Now, with another game at home before they get ready to head to Florida for the next two in Miami, the Nuggets would love to deliver once again to give themselves a good amount of leeway down south. Although it goes without saying for the thousandth time, Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray are becoming one of the best PG/C duos in the league by the minute. They have showed up in every single game in this run to the Finals, and it did not stop two nights ago. Together, they amounted 53 points, 24 assists, and 16 rebounds. If they are able to double down and do that once again, the Heat will be in murky waters on the plane back home.
Betting trends to consider in this matchup:
- Denver is 27-18-1 ATS as the home favorite
- The Nuggets are 11-5-1 ATS when playing on 2-3 days of rest
- Miami is 8-14 ATS when playing on 2-3 days of rest
I do not usually do this frequently in a 7-game series in back-to-back games, but I will be flipping sides in this one. Despite the fact that I was on the Heat in Game 1, after watching the dominance that the Nuggets were able to show in that matchup, I will put my money on Denver to do it one more night in their home territory. The Heat are a small team and have no answer for Jokic and Murray at the moment. Give me the Nuggets by double digits!
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