The Miami Heat have proven over and over they can win when faced with adversity. But can the Denver Nuggets? The Nuggets just swept the Los Angeles Lakers and had never lost a home game until Sunday. With the series tied and now moving to Miami, the Nuggets need to fight back. Keep an eye on these players via the NBA lines’ props to see if they can face the pressure.
Porter Proves He’s Still Got Star Potential
Once upon a time, Michael Porter Jr. was compared to the likes of Kevin Durant and a “6-foot-10” Klay Thompson.” These are lofty comparisons and something he has not been close to living up to with his recent play. He shot 7 of 24 overall and 3 of 17 on 3-pointers. He’s also turned the ball over and has been bad on defense.
But “MPJ” has the “grit” for which Miami is famous. He will not shrivel and be unheard of in this series. Porter is much too valuable for coach Mike Malone to put out of the rotation so this is his chance to reassert himself. Bet online on Porter to have a much better game while the public continues to fade him.
Michael Porter Jr. (DEN) Total Pts+Rebs+Assists – Over 23½ (+105)
Michael “passing is for point guards” Porter Jr. pic.twitter.com/CfZ8sVVpyB
— Barstool Colorado (@CUBarstool) June 5, 2023
Caldwell-Pope Gets Back
To a lesser extent, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope also needs to get going on offense. He’s shot just 4 of 12 and is averaging 6.5 points in 36.5 minutes. That’s not going to cut it, especially when Miami’s bench players are outscoring him. Denver needs all hands on deck and “KCP” will need to contribute to help push Denver past Miami.
Caldwell-Pope was averaging 11.7 points with a 481/411/864 shooting split prior to the NBA Finals. He’s never had more than two straight games of single-digit scoring. So it’s worth betting online that KCP will catch a little bit of heat and hit double digits in Game 3.
Pick: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (DEN) Total Points – Over 9½ (-115)
Jokic Scores and Dishes
In all three games that Nikola Jokic scored 40+ points, Denver lost. It’s not a consequence of his scoring but moreso the side effect of what’s happening. Jokic merely had four assists in the Game 2 loss to Miami. If the big man is not distributing the ball, Denver’s NBA odds of winning shrink a bit. And Miami may opt to make Jokic more of a scorer again.
But bettors are pushing on Jokic to hit double digits with his assists again. This could be a sharp lean on Jokic correcting his assist average by handing out 10+ to average out from his four on Sunday. Miami’s defense will keep clogging the passing lanes and removing those paths (e.g. backdoor cuts) that Jokic and the Nuggets use.
Pick: Nikola Jokic (DEN) Total Assists – Under 9½ (+105)
Live Betting Pick
Denver may play with finesse, but this is a tough-minded team thanks to its coach. Malone will not let his team get out-grit by Miami. If Miami continues to play physical, Denver will match it. However, the Heat have a sizable experience edge. The Nuggets may put in the effort, but the Heat are savvier and coach Erik Spoelstra is a step ahead.
Thus, even with better efforts from Denver, the Heat are the right NBA pick here. Take the points on Miami and continue to eye the team as the game goes. If the Heat fall into another deficit early, their line will lengthen. Based on past NBA news, Miami is the team that makes a comeback … or it gets blown out.
Pick: Total – Miami Heat +2½ (-110)
Nuggets vs Heat Game 3 Information
- Game: Nuggets vs Heat
- Date: Wednesday, June 7, 8:30 p.m. ET
- Venue: Kaseya Center, Miami, FL
- Watch on: NBA Game Pass