Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets take the floor in Game 2 of the 2023 NBA Finals on Sunday. The Nuggets opened the series with a Game 1 win over the Miami Heat on Thursday evening. Jokic produced a triple-double in the series opener, continuing his dominant play in the postseason. Jimmy Butler and the Heat look to return the favor and avoid an 0-2 deficit before the series shifts to Miami.
Caesars Sportsbook lists Denver as the 8.5-point favorite for this 8 p.m. ET tipoff. The total number of points Vegas thinks will be scored, or the over/under, is 215.5 in the latest Heat vs. Nuggets odds. Before locking in any Nuggets vs. Heat picks, you need to see the NBA Finals predictions and betting advice from SportsLine’s advanced computer model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times and has returned well over $10,000 in profit for $100 players on its top-rated NBA picks over the past four-plus seasons. The model entered the 2023 NBA Finals a stunning 72-38 on all top-rated NBA picks this season, returning nearly $2,900. Anyone following it has seen huge returns.
Now, the model has set its sights on Heat vs. Nuggets and just locked in its picks and NBA Finals predictions. You can head to SportsLine now to see the model’s picks. Here are several NBA betting lines and trends for Nuggets vs. Heat:
Heat vs. Nuggets spread: Nuggets -8.5Heat vs. Nuggets over/under: 215.5 pointsHeat vs. Nuggets money line: Nuggets -385, Heat +300MIA: The Heat are 22-28-1 against the spread in road gamesDEN: The Nuggets are 31-18-1 against the spread in home gamesHeat vs. Nuggets picks: See picks at SportsLine
Featured Game | Denver Nuggets vs. Miami Heat
Why the Heat can cover
Miami faced a difficult situation in Game 1, traveling to altitude with a significant rest disadvantage. That will be neutralized after a multi-day break without travel before Game 2, and the Heat held the Nuggets to 8-of-27 shooting from 3-point range with an 82.9% defensive rebound rate in the series opener. Miami also held Denver to fewer than 1.12 points per possession in the game, and the Heat are excelling on defense in the playoffs, yielding only 111.5 points per 100 possessions to opponents.
On offense, the Heat committed only eight turnovers in Game 1, leading to an edge in the overall possession battle, and Miami found its footing behind Bam Adebayo on offense. He generated 26 points and 13 rebounds on Thursday, and Miami also has the established brilliance of Butler to lean on in Game 2. The Heat have shot 38.7% from 3-point range in the playoffs and, with the potential for positive regression from beyond the arc, Miami is in a strong position to keep this game competitive. See which team to pick here.
Why the Nuggets can coverDenver has the best offense in the 2023 NBA playoffs, scoring more than 1.19 points per possession and dominating the competition. While the Nuggets shot well from inside the arc and avoided turnovers in the opener, Denver was able to win despite poor 3-point shooting. A strong defensive effort was a prominent part of the equation, with the Nuggets giving up only 1.00 points per possession in Game 1.
The Nuggets held the Heat to 41% shooting from the field and 33% from 3-point range on Thursday, and Denver did a masterful job avoiding fouls, yielding only two free throw attempts. Denver also secured the defensive glass, and the Nuggets have an outstanding 76.5% defensive rebound rate in the postseason. The Nuggets gave up only four fast break points and 38 points in the paint to Miami in Game 1, and Denver is riding an impressive 111 defensive rating in the playoffs. With an undefeated record at home and the advantage at altitude, the Nuggets can be confident in the rematch. See which team to pick here.
How to make Nuggets vs. Heat picksSportsLine’s model is leaning Over on the total, projecting 219 combined points. The model also says one side of the spread hits more than 50% of the time. You can only see the model’s NBA playoff picks at SportsLine.
So who wins Heat vs. Nuggets, and which side of the spread hits more than 50% of the time? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Nuggets vs. Heat spread you need to jump on, all from the model that is 72-38 on top-rated NBA picks this season, and find out.