Heat vs. Nuggets Odds & Picks: Don't Count Miami Out Yet

In what is arguably the most unpredictable NBA Finals relative to pre-playoff expectations, the No. 8 seed Miami Heat will look to become the first-ever number-eight seed to hoist the Larry O’Brien trophy.

The Denver Nuggets, on the other hand, will look to do whatever they can to prevent that after breezing through their Western Conference opponents with relative ease.

With less rest and some hobbled players, the Heat come into Game 1 as significant underdogs. If we’ve learned one thing about this Miami team, though, it’s to never count them out.


Heat Nuggets
Spread +9 -9
Moneyline +295 -370
Total 219.0


Heat +9 (-110, FanDuel)

The Heat’s playoff run has been nothing short of historic. They’ve shot at the highest clip from distance among all 16 playoff teams (39.0%) despite ranking 27th in three-point percentage (34.4%) in the regular season while also posting the best fourth-quarter net rating (+16.3) of all playoff teams.

Jimmy Butler has been the driver for the Heat, but Caleb Martin has also been a catalyst, as he’s posted the highest effective field goal percentage (68.4%) among players with at least 150 shot attempts in playoff history. Yes, you read that right. It’s hard to fathom how insane Martin has been playing, but with most defensive pressure still focusing on Butler and Bam Adebayo, he has a good chance at continuing.

While I expect these two to continue their successes, they could still run into some trouble against a high-powered Nuggets offense. Despite this and the fact that I expect the Nuggets to win the series, I simply cannot bet against the Heat as such significant underdogs. They’ve posted the best record against the spread (ATS) in the playoffs, covering in 72.2% of their games (13-5-0) with an ATS plus/minus of +8.7.

There’s simply too much wiggle room on the spread in favor of the Heat given how their guys are stepping up for me to bet against. I’m taking +9 in Game 1.

Risk: 1.1 units on FanDuel to win 1 unit.

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