Nuggets vs. Heat Odds
|Time||8:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.|
Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic led Denver to a 109-94 victory in Game 3 and became the first teammates to record 30-point triple-doubles in the same game.
The Heat know what’s at stake in Game 4 and haven’t rolled over easily in the postseason. They’ll look to even the series at home before going back to Denver for Game 5.
Can the Heat stop the Nuggets’ two-headed monster? Let’s break down the odds and I’ll give out some picks for the Denver Nuggets vs. Miami Heat in Game 4 of the NBA Finals.
The dominance of Jokic and Murray was an important takeaway from Game 3. Their mastery of the two-man game, which has made the Nuggets so effective this season, was on full display.
While most of the credit can be given to the players themselves, head coach Michael Malone made some key adjustments that helped the Nuggets maximize Jokic and Murray.
Most notably, the Nuggets ran more empty-side pick-and-roll, which took away Miami’s help defense — a Heat strength throughout the postseason.
This took away from the Nuggets role players, who had lackluster statistical outputs thanks to Jokic and Murray having usage rates of 28.9% and 35.4%, respectively.
However, the player with the third-highest usage in Game 3 was Aaron Gordon — someone who could continue to benefit from a lack of defensive attention.
Michael Porter Jr. could also capitalize on the attention given to Murray and Jokic. He has struggled on both sides of the ball and has seen his playing time diminish, but he’s still getting rebounds.
Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo combined for 40 points in Game 3, but it took 45 field goal attempts to get there in a losing effort.
Butler was more aggressive and finished with 28, sailing over his points line (25.5) thanks to 10 in the first quarter and 18 in the first half. I think we could see him defer to more of a playmaking role on Friday and I’m eyeing under 26.5 points — a number he hasn’t reached in five of the past eight games. Miami lost two of the three games he went over, largely because his efficiency has drastically decreased since Round 1 (59.7% field goal percentage).
This decrease in efficiency is tied to his ability to get to the line. In Rounds 1 and 2, Butler averaged 10.1 free throw attempts per game. However, he’s averaging just 6.5 attempts per game since the Eastern Conference Finals, according to NBA.com.
Adebayo also cleared his points line in Game 3. He lives in the midrange — an area the Nuggets will happily leave open if it means running Miami’s shooters off the 3-point line. Adebayo has gone over his points line in every Finals game, but at 20.5 the value isn’t as strong as it was in Games 1-3.
The Heat have been impossible to stave off all postseason. They’ve consistently outperformed expectations thanks to brilliant coaching from Erik Spoelstra and what some like to call “Heat culture.”
While the exact definition of Heat culture might be elusive, it can certainly be felt in Miami’s elite execution and is perhaps best summed up by a mental toughness and a refusal to quit.
So, how does that help us from a betting standpoint?
That mindset is best seen in Miami’s Net Rating by quarter. The Heat have a negative Net Rating in every quarter in the playoffs, except the fourth. In the last 12 minutes of the game, Miami has a +18.2 Net Rating — the best of any team in any quarter these playoffs. Before Wednesday, the last time the Heat lost a fourth quarter was Game 4 against the Boston Celtics.
Butler and the Heat know what’s at stake in Game 4 and even if they’re down big through three quarters, they won’t easily give up on their season. My largest play of the game is the Miami Heat fourth quarter moneyline (+100). You can bet +.5 or even +1.5 and pay the juice, but I’ll bet on them to win the quarter outright. I lean toward the Heat for the game, but I can’t go against the Nuggets right now.
I also have smaller plays on some Nuggets player props. I mentioned value on Gordon whose points + rebounds line is set to 18.5 at most books. That’s a number he’s cleared in the past four games, but with such a low total I wouldn’t bet the over at 19.5. Instead, I’d pivot to just his rebounds line.
Speaking of which, Porter Jr.’s rebounds line has fallen to 6.5, likely because of his shrinking time on the court. However, Malone has said he still believes in Porter Jr. and I don’t see Malone taking away more minutes than he already has. If anything, Porter Jr.’s minutes should increase if his shot starts falling. He played just 21 minutes Wednesday, but still managed seven boards. Play his rebounds over to 7.5 at plus money. I also like taking a stab at his double-double price (+750) down to +700 to win .5-units.
Picks: Miami Heat 4Q Moneyline (+100) 1 unit | Aaron Gordon Over 18.5 Points + Rebounds (-117 Caesars) to win .5-units | Michael Porter Jr. Over 6.5 Rebounds (+120 DraftKings) to win .5-units | Michael Porter Jr. Double-Double (+750 at DraftKings)