It’s the best time of year to be an NBA basketball fan. The playoffs have reached their final stage, and two teams have emerged from each side of the bracket to meet in the NBA Finals.
Representing the Western Conference are the top-seeded Denver Nuggets, who’ve dominated throughout the regular season and playoffs. Nikola Jokić spearheads this hyper-efficient offense, which made light work of the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference Finals.
The No. 8 Miami Heat are a surprise in name only because they fully deserve to be here. After escaping the play-in round, Jimmy Butler led his squad to wins over the Milwaukee Bucks, New York Knicks, and Boston Celtics to reach their second finals in four years.
With the stage set, let’s take a deeper look at what we can expect from the 2023 NBA Finals between the Nuggets and Heat.
Nuggets vs Heat NBA Finals Winner Odds
NBA Finals odds are provided by bet365 Sportsbook and current as of Wednesday, May 31, at 9 a.m. ET.
- Nuggets Win NBA Finals (-425)
- Heat Win NBA Finals (+325)
Track live line movement for NBA Finals Winner with our odds widget.
Nuggets vs Heat NBA Finals Prediction
There are several key matchups that will be important to focus on in the NBA Finals, the first of which is Jokić vs Bam Adebayo.
Jokić is perhaps the most talented player in the NBA today, and he’s already made short work of some of the league’s top defenders this postseason, including Anthony Davis and Rudy Gobert. Adebayo belongs in that conversation as well, but he’s likely to struggle with Jokić’s physicality and playmaking.
Regardless of what Denver chooses to throw at Butler, he’s still going to get his. This is the 33-year-old’s 11th postseason, and he’s averaging a career-high 28.5 points per game, including notching a playoff-best 56 points in Game 4 of the first round.
Both teams also boast impressive depth as evidenced by Caleb Martin‘s breakout performances in the Eastern Conference Finals and Jamal Murray‘s absurd efficiency in the Western Conference Finals. Also, Miami’s Tyler Herro is expected to return during the NBA Finals.
Still, even considering the Heat’s recent streak of upsets, I have to lean toward Denver in this series. Not only do the Nuggets have superior top-end talent, but their home floor is one of the toughest places to play in the NBA, and they have a significant rest advantage coming into the series.
Nuggets vs Heat NBA Finals Winner Pick
Nuggets in 5 Games
Miami has yet to lose in Game 1 of a series this postseason, and it’s certainly never gone down 2-0. However, Denver is simply too talented for that to come true again. I fully expect the Nuggets to head to South Florida ahead of Game 3 with at least one win under their belts, but likely two.
The Heat won’t be swept out of the series on their home floor like the Lakers were, and Game 3 feels like the most likely spot for Miami to get back into it. Bank on an inspiring performance from Butler and the Heat’s role players as they cut Denver’s lead down to one.
- Follow along for game-by-game coverage in our Nuggets vs Heat Predictions.
The Nuggets have the ability to win out from there, though, and I believe they will. Wrapping up their first NBA Finals appearance with a series-clinching win on their home floor in Game 5 should be the goal, and it’s one that they’re fully capable of achieving.
Miami has not seen an offense like this yet. The Heat should absolutely be commended for what they’ve accomplished thus far, but this is the end of the line.
Nuggets vs Heat NBA Finals Best Series Bets
Nuggets Win 4-1 (+220) • bet365 Sportsbook
WAGER: 1 Unit
bet365 has the Nuggets winning in five games as the most likely outcome, and by a considerable margin. The next-shortest odds we can get on a result are (+320) for Denver to win in seven, then (+425) to win in six.
Denver will take care of business at home in Games 1 and 2, and as long as it can steal at least one game from Miami on the road, it’ll be in a prime position to wrap up the series at home in Game 5. Lock in the Nuggets to win 4-1 with your NBA bet of the day.
Under 5.5 Games (+110) • bet365 Sportsbook
WAGER: 1 Unit
This prop gives us more flexibility while still retaining plus-odds, which is never a bad thing. Should Denver (or Miami, barring unforeseen circumstances) close the series out in either four or five games, this bet will cash.