The Miami Heat will be emotionally limping into Game 2 of the NBA Finals against the Denver Nuggets following a poor 104-93 loss in the opener. The final score doesn’t convey how bad the Heat, who trailed by 24 at one point, played on Thursday.
I hate to call a fight in the first round, but it appears the Heat’s Cinderella run hit a brick wall with the Nugs.
The NBA odds for Game 2 list Denver as overwhelming -370 favorites with a betting total of 215½.
Heat Dominated in Game 1
Other than a few flashes of hope in the fourth quarter, the Heat looked lost against the Nuggets in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. They shot 40% from the field and made it to the free-throw line twice, compared to 20 chances for Denver. The Heat scored four points on the fast break, were dominated in the paint, and recorded 15 personal fouls.
Despite losing by “just” 11, Miami trailed by 24 in the first half and played one of the worst NBA Finals openers I’ve ever seen.
What’s crazy is the Nuggets didn’t play all that great either, and yet still made the Heat look like the Play-In team they are.
The Heat woke up in the fourth quarter and outscored Denver 30-20 but still fell well short of actually winning Game 1. I don’t believe Erik Spoelstra figured out a way to beat the Nuggets; instead, Denver focused on holding a big lead, not scoring. They executed that plan well, and I’m not impressed with Miami’s final 12 minutes of play.
Denver on a 7-0 Winning Streak
Making it to the NBA Finals is hard enough, but the Nuggets have done it without a single loss in their previous seven games. They won the final two games against the Phoenix Suns, swept the Lakes, and took a 1-0 lead over Miami during that streak. The Nuggets are 5-2 against the NBA Finals spread during their winning streak.
The 2023 NBA MVP, Nikola Jokic, stayed hot and added to one of the greatest postseason performances we’ve ever seen. He dropped a 27/14/10 triple-double on Miami on Thursday, including a block and a steal. He is the second player in NBA history to post a triple-double in his NBA Finals debut, along with Jason Kidd.
“[Nikola] Jokic is the best player walking right now. This guy is a 2x MVP for a reason… He’s doing the same thing he did those two years in the playoffs, in the finals.”
LeSean McCoy says the Joker is the best player in the world 👀
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) June 2, 2023
The Nuggets don’t have much value on the moneyline, but if you want a near-lock NBA bet, Denver fits the bill.
Heat vs Nuggets Head-to-Head
Denver has downright dominated the Heat with a 12-2 record since 2017 and no losses since January 2021. The NBA betting records tell a similar tale, with the Nuggets riding a 7-0 hot streak against the spread.
Shaq continues to heap praise on Nikola Jokic. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen Shaq speak this positively about a contemporary Center before.
— Swipa (@SwipaCam) June 2, 2023
Heat vs Nuggets Game Injuries
Heat vs Nuggets Game Information
- Game: Heat (53-29) vs Nuggets (43-39)
- Location crypto.com Arena, Denver, CA
- Day/Time: Monday, May 22, 8:30 p.m. ET
- Heat vs Nuggets Live Stream: NBA Game Pass
Heat vs Nuggets Betting Lines
Heat vs Nuggets Picks & Prediction
After Game 1, I have zero faith in the Heat to bounce back on Sunday in Denver. I’m not sure they have it in them to win a single game against the Nuggets, especially not on the road.
There is zero value on the NBA moneyline, so we’re wagering the Nuggets to cover a shorter spread than Thursday.
Heat vs Nuggets Trends
Heat vs Nuggets Edge
Heat vs Nuggets Results
Heat vs Nuggets Game Summary
Nuggets vs Heat Previous Game (June 1, 2023)
NBA betting lines have the Denver Nuggets favored to beat the Miami Heat in Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday.
After patiently waiting for the Eastern Conference finals to end, the Nuggets finally get to strut their stuff in their first NBA Finals after sweeping the Los Angeles Lakers..
However, awaiting them are the Heat, who won’t go away, and are looking to cause another sportsbook upset after knocking off the Boston Celtics in seven games.