The NBA Finals are here, with the Miami Heat set to square off against the Denver Nuggets, aiming to cap off one of the most remarkable NBA playoff runs in recent memory. Let's dive into the details as we closely examine the Heat and explore an enticing bet I came across on one of our premier NBA betting sites.
Last season, the Miami Heat boasted the best record in the NBA's Eastern Conference, securing the No. 1 seed, but unfortunately fell short of reaching the NBA Finals, losing to the Boston Celtics in a grueling seven-game series. Fast forward to this season, where they barely made the playoffs through the Play-In Tournament, and now find themselves in the NBA Finals after an intense seven-game battle against the Celtics once again.
Heat star Jimmy Butler stayed true to his promise and received fantastic support from teammates who may have been overlooked during the NBA draft process (stay tuned for more betting insights on the 2023 NBA Draft).
Erik Spoelstra, in his sixth NBA Finals as head coach of the Heat, will now team up with Butler in their pursuit of bringing another NBA Championship to South Beach.
Here's our Miami Heat team preview for the NBA Finals, along with one of my favorite bets via our best sports betting apps as they prepare to face the Denver Nuggets.
Jimmy Butler & undrafted players
Miami's journey in the NBA Playoffs has been characterized by the outstanding performances of Jimmy Butler and the team's undrafted players. Despite encountering early obstacles such as Tyler Herro's wrist injury (with hopes of his return in Game 3 of the NBA Finals) and Victor Oladipo's unfortunate season-ending setback, the Heat displayed resilience and managed to eliminate the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round.
Amidst key players being sidelined, Butler took on a leadership role and dismantled the Bucks with an astounding average of 37.6 points per game in the series. He has been the driving force for the Heat throughout the playoffs. However, it is not solely Butler who has risen to the occasion when it mattered most. The undrafted players on the Heat roster, including Gabe Vincent, Max Strus, Duncan Robinson, and notably Caleb Martin, have made substantial contributions.
Caleb Martin particularly deserves special recognition in this account. As an undrafted player who was once let go by the Charlotte Hornets, he has truly showcased his value during the NBA Playoffs. Martin's efficient scoring for the Heat made a compelling argument for him as the potential MVP of the Eastern Conference Finals. With an impressive average of 19.3 points per game, he fell just one vote short of claiming the award.
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Martin stands out as a darkhorse candidate by the NBA Finals MVP odds if the Heat manage to secure the victory. Currently trading at +5500, he has caught the attention of many. His remarkable journey and exceptional performances make him a player to watch in the NBA Finals.
Favorite Heat bet for NBA Finals
Caleb Martin to average 8+ rebounds in the NBA Finals (+700 via DraftKings)
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In my search for a Martin rebounding prop, I've come across what I believe to be the best option available in the market. Despite my usual hesitation toward bets without a corresponding "No" price, I believe there's an edge here that's worth wagering on. DraftKings is also offering Martin at +100 to record 10-plus rebounds in a single NBA Finals game, and I'm quite fond of that bet as well.
Martin's journey started as a heartwarming story while playing 25-30 minutes per game in the NBA Playoffs, but now he has become one of Spoelstra's most trusted contributors, evident from his playing time of over 40 minutes in both Game 6 and 7 against the Celtics. With increased playing time, Martin's rebounding numbers have soared, particularly since taking Kevin Love's spot in the starting lineup, where he grabbed 15 and 10 rebounds in his last two games, respectively.
While Martin's rebounding prop has already adjusted from 4.5 to 7.5 due to his recent performances, I believe it still has a higher ceiling as he settles into his new role. I wouldn't be surprised if it reaches 8.5 by Game 2 or Game 3, as we're still in the early stages of the prop adjusting to Martin's expanded responsibilities. Holding a +700 ticket for Martin to average 8-plus rebounds per game could prove to be quite valuable if his total eventually reaches that level.
NBA Finals odds 2023
(odds updated Thursday, June 1)
Heat's NBA Finals odds movement
The Heat's journey to the NBA Finals this season has been an absolute roller coaster ride, filled with twists and turns. Much of the excitement stemmed from the offseason rumors suggesting that they were on the lookout for another superstar player. At the start of last summer's free agency period, the Heat's odds to win the NBA Finals stood at +1100 at our best sportsbooks, as there was speculation about potential acquisitions like Donovan Mitchell or Kevin Durant. However, those trades never materialized, and the Heat began the regular season with odds of +1600 to win the championship.
Unfortunately, the regular season didn't unfold as planned for the Heat, and they found themselves in a play-in game, teetering on the edge of elimination against the Chicago Bulls. Against the odds, they survived the play-in tournament and advanced to face the Bucks in Round 1, with their odds skyrocketing to +12500 to win the NBA Finals. What a drastic difference from their preseason odds of +1100!
Despite initial doubts, the Miami Heat have consistently defied expectations, orchestrating remarkable upsets against formidable opponents including the Bucks, New York Knicks, and Celtics. This string of victories has significantly impacted their odds to win the NBA Finals, which have now shortened to +300 at our best sports betting apps.
NBA Finals best bets and previews
- NBA player props & best bets for Game 1
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- Denver Nuggets NBA Finals betting preview
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