Heat vs. Nuggets Betting Odds, Picks and Predictions: How to Bet the Over/Under (Saturday, Aug. 1)

Credit:

Getty Images. Pictured (L-R): Miami Heat forward Bam Adebayo (13), Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15).

Aug 01, 2020, 11:25 AM EDT
  • Saturday's game between the Miami Heat and Denver Nuggets is pretty close to a pick 'em.
  • While Joe Dellera doesn't see much value on either side, he does think there could be some value on the Over/Under.

Heat vs. Nuggets Betting Odds

Heat odds +1.5 [BET NOW]
Nuggets odds -1.5 [BET NOW]
Moneyline -128/+105 [BET NOW]
Over/Under 211 [BET NOW]
Time Saturday, 1 p.m. ET
TV ESPN

Odds as of Friday evening and via BetMGM. Get up to a $500 risk-free bet at BetMGM today or see more offers and reviews for the best online sportsbooks.


The Miami Heat and Denver Nuggets face off in Orlando as two teams with versatile rosters entering the restart. Will they be motivated to improve their standings in their respective conferences after a four-month layoff? What does that all mean for Saturday’s matchup?

Miami Heat

The Heat are such an interesting team. They’ve made a surprising splash in the Eastern Conference with Jimmy Butler leading the way surrounded by quality younger players like Bam Adebayo, Duncan Robinson, Kendrick Nunn and Tyler Herro, along with veterans Andre Iguodala and Jae Crowder.

The question still remains, though: Is Butler good enough as the top dog or is their depth strong enough to make an Eastern Conference run?

While everyone on the Heat is expected to be available for this matchup, it’s important to note that Nunn was delayed in entering the bubble and struggled a bit in the Heat’s last scrimmage against the Grizzlies. The Heat need their young guard to perform well to maintain their rotations throughout the game.

One of the interesting things is how often they’ve hit the over — this season they are 39-25-1 on the over — considering how slow they play. Per NBA.com, the Heat played at the fourth-slowest pace in the league (98.46) yet they’ve been consistently profitable to the over.

This is likely because they have the seventh-best Offensive Rating in the league (112.2) and a top-three effective field goal percentage (eFG%). Will they be able to keep that up following the long layoff in a different environment, though?

Despite having a high eFG%, the Heat rank 15th in expected FG%, per Cleaning the Glass. They are performing far above the league average while relying on rookies and the otherworldly shooting of Robinson (44.8% on 3-pointers this season).

Miami feels like a fade; I don’t think the Heat can keep up their shooting post-layoff. And given the pace with which they prefer to play, I don’t think they will be able to make up for the drop in efficiency in transition, as they’re a bottom-six team in both fastbreak points and second chance points, per NBA.com.

Denver Nuggets

The Nuggets are led by the new slender version of superstar center Nikola Jokic, but he is a notoriously slow starter. Looking at his stats over the past four seasons for October and November, he takes a hit in both shooting percentage and points per game.

This season he averaged under 16 points per game on roughly 45% shooting in those months, which is a departure from his 20.2 PPG on 52.8% shooting overall. Considering Jokic entered the Orlando campus a bit late, I’d expect him to take a couple games to truly warm up.

The Nuggets added Bol Bol to their scrimmage lineups, and he was very impressive when he played. Don’t go crazy betting Bol props though; I still slot him behind Nikola Jokic, Mason Plumlee and Paul Millsap in the big man rotation.

Similar to the Heat, the Nuggets play at the second-slowest pace in the NBA (97.66). Per Cleaning the Glass, the Nuggets have the 11th-best eFG% but rank 25th in expected FG%. They do a decent job of cleaning up their misses to score some second chance points, but that’s where the easy looks stop; they rarely get out in transition.

Betting Analysis & Pick

Update: With Gary Harris and Will Barton ruled out, plus Jamal Murray questionable, that solidifies the under even more for me.

When these two teams played back on Nov. 5, the total was set at 211 after opening at 209. That game went under with a total of 198 points. Saturday’s total is set at 211 once again — there apparently has been no adjustment for the bubble.

I expect both teams to play slow and show some regression shooting the ball. I’m going to rely on the data and take the under.

The PICK: Under 210.5 — I like this down to 209.5. 

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