NBA Finals Odds Today: Best Bets for Nuggets vs. Heat Game 3

NBA Finals Odds Today: Best Bets for Nuggets vs. Heat Game 3 article feature image

Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Jimmy Butler #22 of the Miami Heat.

  • The Miami Heat host the Denver Nuggets in Game 3 of the NBA Finals with the series tied 1-1.
  • Action Network's NBA analysts have four best bets today and are approaching Game 3 in various ways, including some series props.
  • Check out their expert picks for Nuggets vs. Heat below.

The NBA Finals shift to Miami for Game 3 between the Nuggets and Heat with the series tied 1-1. Wednesday's game is crucial for both teams as they look to grab the momentum in what is now a best-of-five series.

The Heat have proven they can hang with the Nuggets when the shots are falling and will have their home crowd behind them in Game 3. The Nuggets are out to prove that they are both the best team on paper and on the floor.

Our Action Network analysts have four best bets today, including picks for both sides of Wednesday's Finals matchup, a parlay and a series prop. They break down their Game 3 expert picks for Nuggets vs. Heat Game 3 below.

NBA Odds & Best Bets

Click on a best bets to skip ahead
Nuggets vs. Heat Spread
Nuggets vs. Heat 1Q/ML Parlay
Nuggets vs. Heat Moneyline
Max Strus Series Prop

Denver Nuggets vs. Miami Heat

Nuggets -2.5
8:30 p.m. ET

Chris Baker: Everyone is talking about the outlier 3-point performance by the Heat in Game 2, but the Heat were fortunate to have some calls go in their favor.

The Heat began the second half earning three extra possessions on out-of-bounds calls on loose balls. They then earned five total points in missed calls after Jimmy Butler stepped out of bounds before passing to a 3-point shooter, and Bam Adebayo’s block of Jamal Murray that could have been called goaltending late in the fourth.

The Nuggets also had a comparable Free-Throw Rate to the Nuggets (23.4 vs 26.0) despite having having half of the rim rate of Denver (13% vs 26%). The Heat needed a lot of things to fall in their favor just to beat Denver by three points in a game in which the Nuggets didn’t play all that well. If we see a median performance from the Nuggets, it’s very likely the result would have been much similar to Game 1.

The Nuggets are significantly better than the Heat. The Heat did not figure anything out defensively, as the Nuggets had an 125.6 Offensive Rating despite turning the ball over on 16.3% of their possessions (20th percentile), according to cleaning the glass.

Additionally, the Nuggets were completely dominant in transition in Game 2, so the Heat will need their contested 3s to fall again to get a win in Game 3. Game 2 was a 99th percentile Miami performance in terms of shooting variance and 50/50 calls; they still barely won the game.

Expect the Nuggets to begin the game much more focused and cruise to a win here. Take the Nuggets -2 and don’t be afraid to explore some alt-spreads as well.

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Denver Nuggets vs. Miami Heat

Nuggets 1Q / Nuggets ML (+165)

Joe Dellera: I'm not quite sure that Denver makes adjustments in Game 3 other than playing better. However, one adjustment that would bust up Miami's zone a bit would be to have Jokic bring the ball up the floor. Miami is relatively smaller than Denver, and by letting Jokic bring the ball up and run the offense from up high, this would throw the zone off and force Miami to scramble, which may open up more cutting lanes for Denver's slashers.

Ultimately, Denver is the better team. While there was some variance for both teams on the offensive front in Game 2, Denver was one 3 from sending to overtime a game that it felt it had already lost.

I don't think everything is fine in Denver, but I also think it feels like it has less to change stylistically and more to change in its execution. On the other hand, Miami needs to replicate its performance from Game 2, as it accomplished what it wanted and squeezed out a victory.

I do question whether Denver will try to run Miami off the 3-point line and force the Heat to finish at the rim — thus limiting some of the shooting variance. But it seems as if the conscious effort has been to limit Miami's paint scoring, which the Nuggets have done effectively.

I bet Denver's moneyline at the open (-115), and I expect the Nuggets to win this game. However, the line has moved to (-2.5 and -140), and there's less value there. Denver has won two of its three Game 3s and it's been excellent in the first (Jokic plays the entire quarter). I like Denver on the first quarter moneyline and obviously for the full game, but if it's available, the bet I prefer from a value perspective is Nuggets first quarter/full game moneyline. You can check out the other bets I'm targeting in the Nuggets vs Heat betting guide here.

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Denver Nuggets vs. Miami Heat

Heat ML (+120)

Bryan Fonseca: The Miami Heat are +67 in Game 3s (all at home) during this playoff run. They beat the Milwaukee Bucks 121-99, the New York Knicks 105-86, and the Boston Celtics 128-102.

The Denver Nuggets are awesome — but they're not the same level of awesome on the road.

They swept the Lakers, but it was a highly competitive four games. Denver has a reputation for not messing around when people forget that the depth-less Phoenix Suns forced a best of three, protecting home for Games 3 and 4 before whimpering out in Game 6 — similar to how they did last year.

The Nuggets should've swept the Minnesota Timberwolves, but let the Wolves beat them in overtime in Game 4 and forced a Game 5.

Coach Michael Malone wants effort and execution, but that's how the Heat got here to begin with.

As of this writing, 83% of the money and 73% of the spread bets are on Denver. Miami has been here before, all playoffs long. They're 13-7 in the playoffs, 10-6 straight up as underdogs, 6-2 in Miami, 3-1 as home underdogs and 3-0 in Game 3s — all blowouts as mentioned earlier.

(They were favored in all home games against the Knicks, and in one home game, narrowly, against Boston.)

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Denver Nuggets vs. Miami Heat

Max Strus Series 3s Leader (+1900)

Brandon Anderson: Max Strus leads the series in 3-point attempts at 19. His four makes rank fourth, behind Gabe Vincent’s nine but only one behind Kyle Lowry and Jamal Murray. Strus, Vincent, Murray and Michael Porter Jr. are the only players with double-digit attempts (all at 15 or more) with Strus averaging 9.5 per game. He’s a career 37.1% shooter and better at home, where the Heat will host at least the next two games.

As Miami continues to crank up its 3-point volume, Strus should be a primary beneficiary. We saw him average 8.6 3-point attempts against the New York Knicks after Miami supercharged its 3s with Butler hurt. Strus led that series in 3s with 17. Why couldn’t he do it again?

In four games against the Nuggets this regular season and playoffs, Strus has made 4-of-10, 0-of-9, 4-of-12, and 4-of-8 3s. The volume has been consistent at 9.8 attempts per game, and he’s hit four in 75% of them.

If Strus takes 10 treys four more times — assuming Miami in six, their best winning scenario — and shoots 40%, that’s 16 more makes. That gets Strus to 20 3s over the final five games and makes him a key factor in a shocking Heat championship.

Max Strus can lead the series in 3s with this volume. But I don’t think that’s far enough. Strus has an outside shot at Finals MVP, too, at +50000 and I made the case for betting him to do it along with a few other series props I like for Strus here.

Pick: Max Strus Series 3s Leader +1900

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Nick Sterling
Jul 21, 2024 UTC