Nuggets vs. Heat Odds
|Time||7:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.|
This should be an interesting battle between two teams with contrasting styles. The Nuggets are the top team in the Western Conference behind two-time reigning MVP Nikola Jokic and the No. 2 ranked Offensive Rating in the league. The Heat have the league’s fifth-best Defensive Rating and really wear down their opponents with their physical style of play.
Here’s a look at the odds, as well as our pick and prediction for Nuggets vs. Heat.
The injury report currently lists Aaron Gordon and Jamal Murray as questionable. Both are key contributors to this offense. The On/Off numbers show that Denver’s Offensive Rating improves by 15.7 points per 100 possessions this season, per Basketball Reference. He is having a career year and is shooting 58.7% from the field. With these two potential offensive weapons out, the Heat can focus their defensive efforts on Jokic and Michael Porter Jr.
The Nuggets were able to snag Reggie Jackson after he was traded from the Los Angeles Clippers and agreed to a buyout with the Charlotte Hornets. Jackson and Thomas Bryant give the Nuggets bench some depth and versatility after Bones Hyland’s exit. Hyland was causing distractions in the locker room that was harming team chemistry, so it will be interesting to see how the bench performs with his departure.
Even though the Nuggets are one of the top teams in the league, their home/away splits indicate otherwise. They have a 13-14 road record, which is below .500 this season. The Nuggets have an edge in their 3-pont shooting — they are ranked second in overall 3-point percentage in the league and the Heat are 21st in 3-point percentage allowed.
The Heat, who boast a 32-25 record, are clinging onto a three-game lead in the Southeast Division against the Atlanta Hawks. However, they are only 23-33-3 (38.9%) against the spread. This indicates they have been overvalued in the market.
They are coming off two close wins to inferior opponents that involved late fourth quarter comebacks. They were able to beat the Rockets with a Jimmy Butler alley-oop with under a second left on the clock. After trailing by seven points with under two minutes left against the Magic, the Heat powered through with a victory on Saturday night.
Home teams off a road win in overtime are 32-60-2 (34.8%) ATS since the 2016-2017 season, per the Sports Data Query Language at Killer Sports. This is active on the Heat, who are primed for a let-down spot after hard-fought overtime win.
Eleven of the Heat’s 16 players are on the injury report for Monday. Kyle Lowry, Victor Oladipo and Duncan Robinson are all listed as out. Tyler Herro is listed as questionable and Bam Adebayo, Gabe Vincent and Max Strus are listed as probable.
I am backing the Nuggets in a solid spot to fade the Heat off an overtime win. In addition, both of their previous games ended up in wins by a slim margin, so I anticipate a let-down spot against a superior team.
With the facts I currently know, I make the Nuggets small favorites. However, there are several key players that are listed as questionable to keep your eye out for.
The Nuggets have dominated this head-to-head matchup and won and covered eight of their previous nine games. I don’t think the Heat should be favored here, and I am backing the Nuggets to win and cover the spread up to -2 (pending the Murray news).