NBA Finals Odds, Best Bets Today | Expert Picks for Heat vs Nuggets Game 2

NBA Finals Odds, Best Bets Today | Expert Picks for Heat vs Nuggets Game 2 article feature image

Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Nikola Jokic #15 of the Denver Nuggets looks on during Game 1 of the 2023 NBA Finals.

  • The Denver Nuggets took the opening game of the NBA Finals and are seeking to leave the Mile High City with a 2-0 lead over the Miami Heat.
  • Action Network's NBA analysts have six best bets today and are approaching Game 2 in various ways, including props, totals and more.
  • Check out their expert picks for Heat vs. Nuggets below.

The Denver Nuggets and Miami Heat meet in Game 2 of the NBA Finals Sunday night. The Nuggets mostly coasted through the series opener, save for a late rally from the Heat that fell short in the final minutes. The Heat have a chance to tie the series at 1-1, but they'll need to do it at Ball Arena where the Nuggets are undefeated in the postseason.

Action Network’s NBA analysts have six best bets today, including three player props and bets on the spread for Game 2. You can check out their expert picks for Heat vs. Nuggets below.

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Bam Adebayo Player Prop
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Miami Heat vs. Denver Nuggets

Bam Adebayo o18.5 Points
8 p.m. ET

Andrew O'Connor-Watts: Denver dominated in Game 1 and the total sailed under. As a result, not many players went over their points prop line, with a notable exception being Bam Adebayo — the only Heat player to score at least 20 points.

I had this series circled for Adebayo as he’s been able to score against the Nuggets' defense in past matchups thanks to their willingness to give up midrange looks, especially in these playoffs.

The Nuggets guarded the 3-point line well against the Heat, but that left the middle of the floor open for Adebayo, who takes 62% of his shots from midrange, according to Cleaning the Glass.

The Nuggets will live with Adebayo’s midrange game all day as long as the Heat aren’t bombing 3s and Jimmy Butler isn’t living up to his “buckets” moniker.

Adebayo’s 26 points in Game 1 wasn’t an anomaly and I see him dropping another 20 in Game 2. I bet over 18.5 points and I like his over up to 19.5.

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Miami Heat vs. Denver Nuggets

Michael Porter Jr o2.5 3-Pointers | 4+ 3-Pointers

Joe Dellera: Michael Porter Jr. made just two 3-pointers in Game 1; however, he had plenty of volume. Porter took 11 3s, seven which could be classified as open or wide open by NBA tracking data, and he made just one of those high-quality looks. The scheme that Miami plays has allowed MPJ to get open looks and even if there is some coverage, he has generally had a significant size advantage.

MPJ has exceeded 2.5 3s in eight off his 16 playoff games; however, he has four or more in six of those eight games. The Heat generally allow a greater frequency of 3s, and in this game, the Nuggets took just 31% of their attempts from 3, yet MPJ took 40.7% of them. I fully expect MPJ to continue shooting with volume, and with a season long 3-point percentage of 41% there is value on both his base line of 2.5 and 4-plus made 3s (+175).

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Miami Heat vs. Denver Nuggets

Heat +8.5

Bryan Fonseca: Game 2 sets up for more unpredictability than Game 1.

The Nuggets have always had a drop off in Game 2 from Game 1 in every playoff series this season. After blowing out the Minnesota Timberwolves by 29, they won Game 2 by nine points, and entered the fourth quarter down 89-87, in large part due to a turd quarter — being outscored 40-23 coming out of halftime. The Nuggets just barely covered the 8.5.

In the Phoenix Suns series, following an 18-point victory, they won 97-87, and while they covered the -4, they also entered the fourth-quarter down three before finally putting away Phoenix late in an entertaining fourth.

Against the Lakers, after winning 132-126 in Game 1, they again trailed after three quarters in Game 2, down 79-76 — they were also behind 53-48 at halftime, before eventually winning 108-103. The Nuggets did not cover the -5.5, however.

As for the Heat, this is fairly new territory. They beat the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 1 by 13 before losing Game 2 by 16 points. (Yes, Giannis Antetokounmpo got hurt, but the Heat were already up big in Game 1 — in fact, Giannis had a -6.0 on/off in the series, sixth on the team and well behind Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday, who were +29.0 and +24.9 on/off, respectively.)

After beating the New York Knicks in Game 1, they didn't have Jimmy Butler in Game 2. And, of course, they upset the Celtics in Game 2 in Boston.

They finally lost a Game 1 and got next to nothing from Caleb Martin and Max Strus — frankly little from anyone not named Bam Adebayo, Haywood Highsmith, Gabe Vincent or Kyle Lowry relative to expectations.

Recent trends would tell you that the Heat will hit open 3s at some point — they got plenty of looks and didn't convert until late — and that they'll get more than two free throw attempts. I don't know if the Heat will win — wouldn't be shocked at all if they did — but if the trend of their tendency to respond along with the Nuggets' "meh" Game 2 starts align, they should at least cover.

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Miami Heat vs. Denver Nuggets

Nuggets 1Q -2.5 (-108)

Brandon Anderson: This is one of the three bets I'm targeting for Game 2. A first-quarter bet is a play on the best version of Denver, with hopefully 12 guaranteed minutes of the best player in the world, plus a late kicker to chase if we're trailing and Adebayo subs out.

I expect Miami to be ready with some adjustments in Game 2, but we probably see them at least try a fairly standard approach early, and I trust Denver to be the better team straight up.

The Nuggets have a +13.3 Net Rating in first quarters this postseason. Miami is -1.3 in the first quarter and even worse on the road at -7.5 Net.

I don't mind a full game Nuggets -8.5 cover, but I feel better about the first half — and I feel best about the first quarter within that, since Jokic usually sits out the first five-ish minutes of the second quarter. So, let's just stick with what we feel best about.

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Miami Heat vs. Denver Nuggets

Michael Porter Jr. double-double (+225)

Anderson: MPJ led all players in rebound chances in Game 1 with 21, one ahead of his MVP teammate. That led to 13 rebounds, and that conversion rate is actually low for Porter, who has the second-highest rebound conversion rate of any player in the playoffs.

I recommended MPJ rebounding overs before the series, and Game 1 was a slam dunk. The line has gone up to 8.5 now with +110 on the over, but I'll take it one rebound further and play for another double-double.

The 10 points should not be an issue, so we're looking for 10 rebounds.

MPJ had only three double-doubles all regular season — but he's now had six in his last nine games, averaging 15.0 points and 9.4 boards during that stretch. He's always been an elite positional rebounder but hasn't always been used that way in the NBA. However, he's clearly being unleashed to use his size now.

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Miami Heat vs. Denver Nuggets

Over 215.5

Austin Wang: There were lots of narratives at play entering Game 1. The Heat were coming off a tough, seven-game series against the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference finals while many wondered if the Nuggets would benefit from nine days of rest or suffer from rust.

The final margin doesn’t accurately represent the Nuggets’ dominance — they had a 21-point lead going into the fourth quarter before the Heat made a push.

The total for Game 1 was 219; for Game 2, it’s been as low as 213.5, but has ticked up to 215.5. I think the offenses should be a lot better in Game 2, with the Heat getting a breather and adjusting to the altitude in Denver. The Nuggets should be sharper from outside after shaking off the rust.

Nerves were high in Game 1, which resulted in a low-scoring game. The total dropping so dramatically is an over adjustment, in my opinion. I recommend a play on the over at 215.5, and I would play it up to 216.

Pick: Over 215.5 (-112) | Play to 216

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