Miami Heat at Denver Nuggets Game 1 Betting Preview & Predictions

Miami Heat at Denver Nuggets Game 1 Betting Preview & Predictions

Darin Zank
Date: June 1, 8:30 pm
Location: Ball Arena

Betting Odds

Point Spread: Miami +9/Den -9
Total: 219

<p>This year's NBA Finals comes down to a No. 1 seed against a No. 8 seed, but it's not the mismatch one might think. The Denver Nuggets, fresh off their first-ever conference championship, were the best team in the West all season. But the Miami Heat are proving themselves underdogs with a big bite.</p>
<p>Here's how we homework the opener of this NBA Finals, with our free NBA playoffs betting pick.</p>
<h2>NBA Championship Series Betting Odds</h2>
<p>The NBA Finals betting lines opened Denver at -8.5 for Game 1, with an over/under of right around 219. Early betting action then edged the Nuggets to -9.</p>
<p>Denver is also chalked at -430 to win this NBA Championship Series, with Miami getting +320 as a live dog.</p>
<h2>NBA Finals Game 1 Betting Preview </h2>
<p>Miami muddled its way through a 44-38 regular season, then had to win a play-in game just to make the playoffs. But the Heat then took advantage of a basically Giannis-less Milwaukee team to beat the Bucks in five games in the first round, then disposed of the Knicks in six games in the conference semifinals. Miami then shockingly won the first three games of the Eastern Conference finals against Boston, lost the next three to create a bunch of drama, then won Game 7 in Boston Monday night 103-84.</p>
<p>So Miami is back in the NBA Finals for the sixth time in 15 seasons under Coach Spoelstra.</p>
<p>The Heat were actually one of the worst bets in the Association during the regular season, covering just 31 times in 82 games. But they're 13-7 SU, 14-6 ATS this postseason.</p>
<p>On top of that, some bettors got Miami at upwards of 60/1 to win the Championship just before these playoffs started.</p>
<p>Denver, meanwhile, played 53-29 this season to earn the top seed in the Western Conference. The Nuggets then disposed of Minnesota in five games in the first round of these playoffs, beat Phoenix in six games in the conference semis, then swept the Lakers in four games in the Western Conference finals, clinching that series with a 113-111 victory in LA two Mondays ago.</p>
<p>So Denver, who joined the NBA from the ABA back in 1976, is playing in the NBA Finals for the first time in franchise history.</p>
<h2>Heat-Nuggets Recent History </h2>
<p>The Nuggets not only swept two games from the Heat during the regular season by scores of 124-119 and 112-108, they've beaten Miami seven times in a row, going 7-0 ATS in the process.</p>
<p>Denver actually trailed that first meeting this season back in December by eight points midway through the fourth quarter but finished with a 32-19 run for the win and the cover at -4. Six weeks later, in Miami, the Nuggets took the lead for good in the third quarter and held on by their fingernails for a 112-108 decision and the money at -1.</p>
<p>Those games were played over totals of 224 and 218. In fact, the last five meetings between these teams played over on the totals.</p>
<h2>NBA Finals Betting Trends</h2>
<p>Denver played 34-7 SU, 26-15 ATS at home during the regular season, and it's 8-0 SU, 5-3 ATS at Ball Arena this postseason.</p>
<p>Miami played 17-24 SU, 15-25 ATS on the road during the regular season, but it's 6-4 SU, 7-3 ATS away from home this postseason.</p>
<h2>Totals Report </h2>
<p>The totals split 41-41 in Heat games during the regular season, while the overs are 11-9 in Miami games this postseason.</p>
<p>The Unders played 44-37 in Nuggets games this season, but the overs are 8-6 in Denver games this postseason, probably due to some slightly lower totals.</p>

Miami Heat at Denver NuggetsGame Betting Pick

Denver beat Miami twice head-to-head this season, but both games were close; the largest lead either team held in those two games was 11 points. Also, the Heat just played Monday night, while the Nuggets haven’t played in 10 days. And sometimes, in spots like this, it’s better to have kept playing rather than sitting around waiting. Also, Miami is 5-1 ATS this postseason when catching eight points or more on the spread. We’re not calling for the outright victory here, but we are betting the Heat plus the points for Game 1.

Free Pick: Take Miami +9
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