Miami Heat vs. Denver Nuggets Preview | Corey Parson
Written by: Corey Parson – @TheFantasyExec
The NBA Finals tip off this week. Make sure you use the Bovada Sportsbook for all the latest NBA Finals odds. Below, I share my thoughts and provide a pick for the 2023 NBA Finals.
The Miami Heat’s run through the Eastern Conference was completed with a dominant Game 7 victory over the Celtics at the T.D. Bank Garden. Over the course of the postseason, the Heat have posted a 13-5 ATS record, which is the best in the postseason. They are 7-3 ATS on the road in the postseason. The Heat entered the playoffs as the eighth seed after finishing the regular season with a 44-38 record. One reason why Miami was the eighth seed in the East was their poor road record; 17-24 away from Miami in the regular season. In this year’s playoffs, the Heat have won 60% of their road games, including a Game 1 road victory in all three series they have played.
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Another reason the Miami Heat have turned it around this postseason has been their 3-point shooting. During the regular season, the Heat shot 34% from long distance, which was good for 27th in the league. During the postseason, the Heat are shooting 39% from three-point territory, which is good for first place in the postseason.
The term “Heat culture” has been used a lot to describe this Miami team. No stat proves that more than the Heat’s ATS number this postseason. On average per game, the Heat have been 4-point underdogs. On average, they have won their games by 4 points. The Heat have been the underdog in every series and have won every series, only going to a 7th game once.
The Denver Nuggets, unlike the Miami Heat, have been in the top spot in their conference for the majority of the season. The Nuggets came into the season as one of the favorites to not only win the West but to win it all. They enter the Finals coming off a dominant sweep of the Los Angeles Lakers, winning their first-ever Western Conference title. Denver enters the Finals as a $3 favorite.
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Over the course of this playoff run, the Nuggets are 12-3 on the Money Line, which is an 80% winning percentage. Coming into the season, many said that if the Nuggets can stay healthy, they will be a title contender and favorite. That has played out until this point.
This season, against Eastern Conference opponents, the Nuggets went 19-11. Only the Memphis Grizzlies had a better record against the East. The Nuggets won both their regular-season matchups against Miami by 4 and 5 points, respectively.
Finally, I think this series will play out like the regular-season matchups between these two teams. Close, hard-fought games that will be won by Denver. On a game-by-game basis, I would take Miami with the points and look for a good time to grab the Nuggets’ Money Line live around (-135) to (-140).
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