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Jimmy Butler of the Miami Heat defends against Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets as we make our Heat vs. Nuggets NBA player props picks and predictions.
Jimmy Butler of the Miami Heat defends against Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets during the 2023 NBA Finals at Ball Arena in Denver, Colorado. Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images via AFP.

The Denver Nuggets and Miami Heat meet Thursday for the first time since the 2023 NBA Finals, as we offer our Heat vs. Nuggets NBA player props based on the best NBA odds.

A thrilling month of basketball concludes Thursday with eight NBA games across Leap Day, which includes a 2023 NBA Finals rematch between the Miami Heat and Denver Nuggets at 10 p.m. ET on TNT.

Thursday's late-night entree marks the first meeting between these finalists since Denver scored a 4-1 series victory over Miami to claim the 2023 championship. The Nuggets are once again among the favorites by this year's NBA Finals odds, and they've logged a four-game win streak since the All-Star break.

To the surprise of no one, two-time MVP winner Nikola Jokic - who remains the runaway favorite by the latest NBA MVP odds - has led the way all season long. Can he stay hot against the Heat? They've won five straight heading into Thursday's title rematch?

Along with our Warriors vs. Knicks NBA player props, here are our best Heat vs. Nuggets NBA player props and NBA picks (odds via our best NBA betting sites; Pick confidence based on a 1-to-5-star scale).

Heat vs. Nuggets NBA player props: Thursday

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Heat vs. Nuggets props

Nikola Jokic Under 9.5 assists (-115 via bet365) ⭐⭐⭐⭐  

Jokic has been on an absolute playmaking tear during the Nuggets' four-game winning streak, averaging 14 assists with at least 11 in all four contests. So why are we playing the Under at such a "low" number?

For one, this four-game sample comes after a five-game run when Jokic topped out at nine assists, and he's finished with double-digit dimes in just 23 of his 57 starts during 2023-24 (40.4%). He's also fallen below this mark in 15 of 21 career games against Miami, including three of five times in last year's Finals.

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The Heat are allowing the fewest assists per game to opposing centers in 2023-24 (3.09), which is why Jokic is projected for just 9.3 assists at NumberFire. That tracks with the strategic approach we've seen from head coach Erik Spoelstra, which is to limit the most dangerous aspect of Jokic's game.

Clearly, there's a reason the Under is juiced across all of our best sports betting sites, so I don't mind paying a little extra through bet365 for Jokic's recent assist pace to cool off in Thursday's contest.

Jimmy Butler Over 30.5 points + rebounds + assists (-105 via bet365) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

We've seen Butler throttle his effort and playing time in recent years to preserve his health for deep playoff runs. And he's looked sharp lately.

The 13-year veteran has combined for 38 and 35 PRAs, respectively, in his first two games back from the All-Star break. He's also averaging a cool 23.9 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 6.0 assists for 37.5 PRA per game over his last nine contests, all as Miami fights for one of the final playoff spots in the Eastern Conference.

The market consensus for this prop is 32.5, but we're catching a total two ticks lower at bet365, which turns a solid bet into screaming value at this price.

Jimmy Butler Over 1.5 steals (-110 via BetMGM) ⭐⭐⭐  

With so few player props on the board for Thursday's contest, we're double-dipping with a second bet on Butler, though with a little less confidence.

While Butler has stuffed the stat sheet offensively in recent weeks, he's also recorded multiple steals in five consecutive games. He finished with at least three steals in four straight, including a four-steal effort in Tuesday's win over the Portland Trail Blazers.

Butler has posted multiple steals in just 18 of 39 starts during 2023 (46.2%), though he's projected for 1.6 steals on Thursday and notched three during his last game against Denver. There's a little more risk when betting on such a volatile stat, but it's still a wager I'll be making.

Heat-Nuggets NBA player props made Thursday at 1:45 p.m. ET.

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