NBA Finals 2023, Game 3 on Thursday, 08.06.2023
The Heatles have done it again! In fact, they’ve managed to defeat a much stronger opponent once again, preventing an early 2-0 deficit in the NBA Finals series!
Now the action shifts to the East Coast of the USA, where the altitude alone will favour the home side. In fact, in my Heat Nuggets tip, I’m even predicting that this and their scoring prowess from distance will lead Miami to their next win.
Actually, Game 2 pretty much sums up why you should always bet on the Heat and why I’ve shied away from betting against them in the two games so far in this series.
Because Miami often goes in at 4 odds on the markets, but usually manages to pull a rabbit out of the hat somehow. This was also the case on Monday night in Game 2 against the Nuggets, when the final score on the table was 111-108 in their favour.
Granted, various players for Denver have been average at best. Jamal Murray, for example, missed the decisive shot from downtown to force overtime and was largely absent in the second half. Nevertheless, Miami itself contributed a lot to this win.
The problem in the opening game of this series was that the Heatles didn’t penetrate the opponent’s half-zone often enough and therefore had planned to do better in Game 2 with more energetic forays towards the basket.
But that was not the case, instead something worked again for Miami that was the undoing of the Celtics in the Conference Finals: The threes were hitting!
In the first 24 minutes, the Heat took only three shots directly at the basket, but from beyond the arc they outwitted the Nuggets’ defence time and again! A full 17 of their 35 three-point attempts ended up on target (48.6%).
The Nuggets’ defence is strong, especially Nikola Jokic is usually the one to beat! But when the Floridians convert their threes from distance, any defensive work on the board, no matter how strong, becomes superfluous.
That the Heat can always be dangerous from distance this postseason is something betting enthusiasts should always keep in mind when placing their NBA bets, along with one or two sports betting bonuses.
A testament to the consistency of MIA shooters? Since the end of the Regular Season, Miami has already converted at least half of its threes 4 times on at least 25 attempts, 5 times would be a new NBA all-time record in the postseason.
There is, by the way, a good reason why bettors are once again favouring the Western Conference leaders in their Heat Nuggets odds – with a win ratio of about 1.70 to 2.10 on average.
Denver is actually the better team. In Game 2, they shot 52% from the field, scored more points from the zone (48:34), secured more offensive rebounds (15:11) and had clear advantages in transition (18:6).
If only it weren’t for those precise three-pointers by the Floridians.
In addition, of course, the Nuggets have a player in Nikola Jokic who is simply unstoppable and can deliver every night.
The Serb scored at least 40 points on Sunday alone for the third time in these playoffs. However, this also confirms my general opinion that it is better not to double the centre.
Because when Jokic is taken into a tight double-team coverage, he is clearly more dangerous for the opposing team with his playmaking abilities than when he throws himself.
Paradoxically, the Nuggets have won 13 of their last 14 games in which Jokic has scored less than 40 points.
Incidentally, the Bet365 app remains my favourite sports betting app for placing NBA tips on this finals series – even though this time I preferred Sportingbet for an MIA win bet due to very interesting odds of currently 2.20.
Conclusion: Denver is the better team on paper, but the Heat can still rely on the steady hand of their shooters on shots from beyond the arc when things get dicey.
In addition, Denver had some key players like Jamal Murray and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope have a rather weak night in Game 2, and unless they support Nikola Jokic better, Denver is not dangerous enough as a collective to outrun Miami on the scoreboard.
The height difference should also play into the home side’s cards. After all, don’t forget that MIA has already won six of its last eight play-off games at home.
My Heat Nuggets tip is a logical one: Miami wins.