Nuggets vs Heat: Lay The Points With Denver

Action Network contributor Joe Dellera breaks down his betting picks and prediction for the Heat hosting the Nuggets for an ESPN matchup in the 305 on Wednesday.

Nuggets vs. Heat Odds

Nuggets Odds -3.5
Heat Odds +3.5
Moneyline -165 / +140
Over/Under 215.5
Time Wednesday, 7:30 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

Here’s everything you need to know about Nuggets vs. Heat on Wednesday, Mar. 13 — our expert prediction and betting picks for today’s game.

We have an NBA Finals rematch between the Denver Nuggets and the Miami Heat tonight. The Nuggets now sit in a tie with the Thunder for the No. 1 seed in the West while the Heat are currently eighth in the East.

Can Miami get some revenge on its home floor? Find my Nuggets vs. Heat picks and prediction below.

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Nuggets vs. Heat Prediction

Pick: Nuggets -3

Nuggets Betting Outlook

The Nuggets enter this game healthy and have been dominant lately, as they have won nine of the 10 games since the All-Star Break. They have the league’s best record, the second-best Net Rating over this stretch at +13.5, with the second-best Offensive Rating (124.0) and eighth-best Defensive Rating (110.6), per Cleaning the Glass.

The Nuggets have shifted into high gear.

This run has presented the opportunity to capture the No. 1 seed and home-court advantage throughout the Western Conference Playoffs, something that did not seem nearly as certain at the All-Star Break.

While this is not the NBA Finals, this is an exploitable matchup for Denver. In their previous matchup on February 29th, the Nuggets won 103-97 despite a late push by the Heat. The key to that game though was that Jamal Murray went down in the second quarter with a sprained right ankle and did not return to the game while playing just 14 minutes.

This changed some of the game dynamics for the Nuggets, but they still emerged victorious behind a 30-point double-double from Michael Porter Jr. With Murray back healthy, they should take care of business once again.

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Heat Betting Outlook

The Heat are dealing with a few injuries tonight. While Jimmy Butler (illness) is listed as probable, they will be without Tyler Herro (foot) and Kevin Love (heel).

On the season, the Heat are 18th in Adjusted Net Rating (+0.3), and while the defense has carried them, they’ve struggled to find consistent offense.

However, this has shifted a bit since the All-Star Break. Miami has a 5-4 record over this span with a +3.1 Net Rating, per Cleaning the Glass. They have the 10th-best offense (115.4) and the 14th-best defense (112.3). The Heat always seem to flip a switch after the break, and Butler has played a key role in that improvement.

In the eight games he has played since the break, Jimmy Buckets has averaged 23.3 points, 6.3 assists, 5.8 rebounds and 1.75 steals per game. He has been the team’s leader and should put forward a well-rounded performance.

The one problem for Butler is this is still a tougher matchup with both Aaron Gordon and MPJ able to match up with him. While I’d lean toward him scoring over 21.5 points, I think the margin is a bit narrow; however, if Miami wants to win, Butler likely needs a big game.

Nuggets vs. Heat Picks, Odds

When looking at the full-season numbers, Denver is a far better team than Miami. However, if we dive into the recent form out of the All-Star Break, Miami is playing significantly better.

One of the issues for the Heat is that despite the offensive improvements since the All-Star Break, they have the second-worst Expected eFG% in the NBA, but they have the 11th-best Actual eFG%. They are shooting above expectation and not taking enough 3s. If they do not out-math Denver from beyond the arc, it will be difficult for them to keep up otherwise.

Miami is just 1-6 ATS this season as a home dog, the second-worst mark in the NBA. While you’re always paying a bit of a premium to back the Nuggets after they won the title, this is still a good spot for them. I’ll lay the three points and take Denver in this rematch of The Finals.

Pick: Nuggets -3