The NBA Finals are about to begin, and the Denver Nuggets need to defeat the Miami Heat to earn their first championship in franchise history. Let's take a deep dive on the Nuggets and why our NBA betting sites favor them to win it all.
As we approach the NBA Finals, the Denver Nuggets stand on the brink of a historic achievement. They have the opportunity to secure their first-ever championship as an NBA franchise by overcoming the challenge posed by the eighth-seeded Miami Heat.
Thus far, the Nuggets have demonstrated their mettle by handling their opponents with precision. They eliminated the Minnesota Timberwolves in five games during the opening round, followed by a hard-fought six-game victory against the Phoenix Suns, and ultimately sweeping the Los Angeles Lakers. Notably, the highest seed the Nuggets have faced during this playoff run is the fourth-seeded Suns.
Given their impressive performance and the weakened state of the Miami Heat, the Nuggets enter the NBA Finals as the favorites. However, for those interested in placing bets, the question arises: where does the best value lie in betting on the Nuggets to win the championship against the Heat?
Here's our Denver Nuggets team preview for the NBA Finals as they prepare to face the Miami Heat, along with one of my favorite bets via our best sports betting apps.
Check out our Miami Heat NBA Finals betting preview.
Living in Nikola Jokic's world
In an unsurprising turn of events, the best player in the NBA is also the betting favorite to win the Finals MVP Award. Denver big man Nikola Jokic is the favorite to be named Finals MVP with a price as short as -320 through the best sportsbooks. That gives him an implied probability of 76.19% of winning the award.
Jokic came just shy of a three-peat for the regular-season MVP award, finishing runner-up to Joel Embiid. He then dominated during the postseason, averaging 29.9 points, 13.3 rebounds, and 10.3 assists per game during a 15-game playoff run so far.
Despite facing the likes of Anthony Davis and LeBron James during the last round, Jokic averaged 27.8 points, 14.5 rebounds, and 11.8 assists per contest en route to winning the Western Conference Finals MVP award. He never produces a bad game, filling the stat sheet like nobody else in the sport.
Enter SBR's free-to-play NBA Finals Leaderboard Challenge for your shot at the $350 prize pool.
Jokic is the favorite to lead three different statistical categories during the NBA Finals, according to FanDuel. He's +110 to be the NBA Finals scoring leader, with Miami's Jimmy Butler second at +170. Jokic is -2000 to be the assists leader in the series and -2000 to pace the rebounding effort.
The Nuggets boast a talented supporting cast around Jokic, but he's the star making the engine go. This series is his chance to secure that first ring and start building a legacy that can be compared to the all-time greats.
We'll happily find ways to bet on the Nuggets big man in this series, such as my best bet for Game 1 in our Heat vs. Nuggets preview.
Check out our NBA Finals odds.
Favorite Nuggets bet for NBA Finals
Series spread: Nuggets -1.5 (-150 via DraftKings)
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This is the first bet I made when the NBA Finals matchup was set, and the odds haven't adjusted since then. DraftKings is still offering the best number for the Nuggets to cover a series spread of -1.5 games with a vig of -150.
You might not want to pay so much juice, but the number is quite attractive after comparing it to the best live betting sites. FanDuel prices the same series spread at -164, while Caesars sets it at -160. Those two numbers are much closer to a fair price.
The Heat have been a nice playoff story, but their run ends here. We just need the Nuggets to win by Game 6 or sooner to cash this ticket, something the team has done in each of its previous three playoff series matchups.
Denver is laying 8.5 points in Game 1 and will be roughly a -375 favorite to win outright. That means we should expect the Nuggets to be roughly a possession favorite on the road in Game 3 and Game 4. Denver is 53-20 outright this season as a favorite.
I don't expect the Nuggets to drop more than two games or allow this series to go the distance. They should remove any doubt immediately against a Heat club fresh off a seven-game battle with the Boston Celtics.
Check out our NBA Finals MVP odds.
NBA Finals odds 2023
(odds updated Thursday, June 1)
Nuggets' NBA Finals odds movement
As much as head coach Michael Malone wants to claim the Nuggets are underdogs, the reality is thie team has been a contender from the jump.
Denver opened at +1400 to win the NBA Finals and became as long as +2000 to win it all last summer, according to SportsOddsHistory.com. The Nuggets entered the season at +1800 before dropping down to +800 in February. This team has been around +700 or better to take the title since the All-Star break.
The Nuggets were series underdogs against the Suns and were short favorites over the Lakers during the Western Conference Finals. But the market is done underestimating this team now, as Denver is listed between -350 and -400 to defeat Miami in the NBA Finals.
Check out Nikola Jokic's top-10 greatest games.
NBA Finals best bets and previews
- NBA player props & best bets for Game 1
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- Miami Heat NBA Finals betting preview
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- NBA picks
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Here are our best NBA betting sites
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