The 2023 NBA Finals between the Miami Heat and Denver Nuggets begins with Thursday's Game 1. Who will set the tone? Read on for our Heat vs. Nuggets prediction based on the best NBA odds.
Fresh off a seven-game battle with the heavily favored Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals, the Miami Heat are headed to the mountains to face a Denver Nuggets squad that has had over a week off after sweeping the Los Angeles Lakers. Nikola Jokic has led his team to this point and is a heavy favorite by the NBA Finals MVP odds as his team looks for its first NBA title.
Denver is a clear favorite via our best sports betting apps to start the series off on the right foot. But Miami has surprised us every step of the way during this playoff run, which includes winning Game 1 in each of its previous three series.
Here is our best Heat vs. Nuggets prediction (odds via our best NBA betting sites; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5-star scale).
Heat vs. Nuggets prediction
Nikola Jokic to record a triple-double (+105 via BetMGM) ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Not intended for use in MA
Affiliate Disclosure: Sportsbook Review may receive advertising commissions for visits to a sportsbook
Whenever you see a plus-sign in front of Jokic's odds to record a triple-double, you have to at least consider it. Such is life when talking about the two-time MVP who has established himself as the best player in the NBA during this postseason run.
Jokic was named the Western Conference Finals MVP, averaging 27.8 points, 14.5 rebounds, and 11.8 assists per game. He finished with a triple-double in three of the four games against the Los Angeles Lakers. And the scary part is, the Lakers were actually better equipped to defend Jokic than the Heat are.
Enter SBR's free-to-play NBA Finals Leaderboard Challenge for your shot at the $350 prize pool.
This postseason, Jokic is averaging 29.9 points, 13.3 rebounds, and 10.3 assists per contest for the Nuggets. He notched a triple-double in eight of his 15 postseason games, including five of his last six outings. Our Jon Metler is eyeing Jokic to have the highest-scoring single-game performance of the series in his NBA Finals predictions.
Betting on a triple-double performance by Jokic mostly comes down to assists. He has recorded double-digit rebounds in 12 of the 15 postseason games, but cracked double-digit assists in nine different outings. For what it is worth, the best sportsbooks have set his assists prop at 9.5 (Over juiced around -145) or 10.5 (with the Under juiced around -145) ahead of Game 1.
We are comfortable betting on Jokic to get there by taking his triple-double prop instead with our NBA best bets for Game 1. According to NBA.com, Jokic ranks second this postseason with an average of 16.1 potential assists per game. That number climbed up to an average of 19.5 during the Western Conference Finals.
In our Nuggets NBA Finals betting preview, we said we wanted to find ways to bet on Jokic throughout the series as he is the favorite to win the MVP award. Taking advantage of this plus-money prop in Game 1 seems like a strong start.
Heat vs. Nuggets best odds
Our best sports betting sites are showing plenty of respect to Jokic by listing his odds to record a triple-double between -105 and -120. We originally placed this bet at BetMGM with a +105 price on Wednesday, but the best number you can now get is -105 on game day.
For those looking for a little extra profit, FanDuel has a market for Jokic to record a triple-double in a Denver victory for a price of +134. Caesars is offering the best value on the no option in this two-way market, listing the odds at -117 on Jokic to not record a triple-double in Game 1.
Heat vs. Nuggets odds
Heat vs. Nuggets odds analysis
The Nuggets opened as 6-point favorites, but the market has moved the spread to -9 at our best NBA betting sites. This one-way traffic is a result of the situation, in which Denver has a clear rest advantage against Miami. However, Miami is now drawing 56% of the betting action on the spread at this new number.
As for the total, the line hasn't moved as much. The Over/Under is now set at 219 after opening 218.5 at the best live betting sites. The Over has attracted 58% of the bets on the total.
Heat vs. Nuggets game info
- Date: Thursday, June 1, 8:30 p.m. ET
- TV: ABC
- Location: Ball Arena, Denver, CO
Heat-Nuggets pick made 05/31/2023 at 2:15 p.m. ET.
NBA Finals best bets and previews
- NBA Finals predictions
- NBA Finals preview
- Denver Nuggets NBA Finals betting preview
- Miami Heat NBA Finals betting preview
- NBA Finals odds
- NBA Finals MVP odds
- NBA picks
- NBA odds
Here are our best NBA betting sites:
- FanDuel: $2,500 No Sweat First Bet | Read our FanDuel Review
- Caesars: Earn Up to a $1,250 Bet Credit | Read our Caesars Review
- DraftKings: Bet $5, Get $200 in Bonus Bets | Read our DraftKings Review
- PointsBet: Earn Five Second-Chance Bets Up to $50 Each | Read our PointsBet Review
- BetMGM: Get a Bonus Bet of Up to $1,000 | Read our BetMGM Review
(21+. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER)
* Bonuses not applicable in Ontario.