NBA Finals Betting Odds: Denver Nuggets significantly favored to beat Miami Heat

May 29, 2023 10:11 PM

NBA Finals Betting Odds: Denver Nuggets significantly favored to beat Miami Heat

The Miami Heat will head to Denver to take on the Denver Nuggets in Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday, June 1st. Miami nearly became the first team in NBA history to blow a 3-0 series lead in the Eastern Conference Finals, but the Heat stormed into Boston and beat the second-seeded Boston Celtics by 19 points in Game 7 — despite being 7.5-point underdogs in that game. Now, Erik Spoelstra’s team is a big underdog against Nikola Jokic and Co., as the Nuggets are listed at -350 to win the NBA Finals at DraftKings Sportsbook.

Before Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals, the Heat were listed at +1500 odds to win the NBA title. However, they’re now just +280 to finish the Cinderella story. This Miami team was minutes away from missing the postseason altogether, as the Heat lost the Play-In Tournament game for the seventh seed against the Atlanta Hawks. Then, Miami was trailing late against the Chicago Bulls in the battle for the eighth seed. But the group was able to pull it together and get the job done there. 

Since sneaking into the postseason, the Heat have knocked out the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks, a feisty New York Knicks squad, and a very talented Celtics team. And while Miami might not have as much raw talent as Denver, this Heat team is no longer sneaking up on anybody. Jimmy Butler is capable of being the best player on the floor on any given night, which he has proven all throughout his career — especially in the postseason. And the Heat also have a few different guys that have proven they live for these moments, with Caleb Martin being one of them. Martin averaged only 9.6 points per game during the regular season, but he averaged 19.3 points per game in the Eastern Conference Finals. He also did so on 60.2% shooting from the floor and 48.9% shooting from deep.

It does, however, need to be noted that the Nuggets have home-court advantage in this series. Denver went 34-7 at home during the regular season, and the Nuggets haven’t lost a single game at Ball Arena throughout these playoffs. So, that’s a huge obstacle for the Heat to overcome, even if Miami has been unflappable on the road throughout the course of the postseason. Another obstacle is just having to deal with Jokic. The big man is in the middle of a historic playoff run, as he’s averaging 29.9 points, 13.3 rebounds and 10.3 assists per game. If the Heat can’t figure out a way to contain Jokic — or shut down his supporting cast — the Nuggets should win their first NBA title in franchise history.

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