Few could’ve predicted the NBA Finals would come down to an eight-seeded Miami team and a Denver franchise that had never been this far to begin with, but here we are. Anyway, this is your complete betting guide to the unconventional Heat vs. Nuggets series matchup. Stick with us to get our best NBA Finals bets that we believe will have you profiting.
- What: NBA Finals
- Who: Miami Heat vs. Denver Nuggets
- When: Thursday, June 1
2023 NBA Finals Preview
As we preview the NBA Finals, you should know we’re staring at a historic matchup of sorts. Historic because of Miami’s underdog path. They’re only the second eight seed to reach this stage and also became the third team in 25 years to win three straight series as underdogs. That underdog mentality remains in full effect as Denver is staggering betting favorites. Here’s how the top NBA betting sites are pegging the series winner betting line:
On the surface, Denver’s betting price feels a tad too rich, but there’s no denying they should be expected to win. They made quick work of the Lakers' last series, sweeping them, all while Miami almost blew a 3-0 lead. The Nuggets have been the best team in the West all season, and possess the best player in this series — Nikola Jokic.
If the Heat are going to pull another upset, they have to find some way to at least neutralize “The Joker.” Bam Adebayo will be tasked with doing so, and likely another body or two (triple teams are plausible). But here’s the thing, Jokic has eaten Bam’s lunch in recent memory. Take the last few times they’ve faced off. When defended by Adebayo the last four games, Jokic is averaging 23.8 points, 13.5 rebounds, and 9.3 assists per game — almost a triple-double (more on that later).
It’s not just Jokic owning the one-on-one matchup, but Denver as a whole owning 'em. They’ve won six straight meetings, including two this season. So after further review, the Nuggets' betting line actually does sound reasonable.
Best Bets For 2023 NBA Finals
We’ll be skipping the series winner bet. We mean, what’s the value in Denver -400? Yeah, there is none. However, we’ve scoured the bookmakers to find much more valuable 2023 NBA Finals betting odds elsewhere and settled on these three:
Exact Series Outcome
|Denver wins 4-0||+380||+380||+380|
|Denver wins 4-1||+265||+265||+265|
|Denver wins 4-2||+400||+400||+400|
|Denver wins 4-3||+310||+310||+310|
|Miami wins 4-0||+3500||+3500||+3500|
|Miami wins 4-1||+2000||+2000||+2000|
|Miami wins 4-2||+750||+750||+750|
|Miami wins 4-3||+950||+950||+950|
We’re not going to mince words here: the Nuggets should win this series. They’re better rested. They have the better star player. They have the better roster. Perhaps the only advantage Miami has is Erik Spoelstra, one of the best head coaches in the game.
It’s on Spo to concoct some type of strategy to complete the most underdog journey in NBA history. The first order of business? Find another defensive scheme besides Miami’s usual zone style. That’s because playing zone versus Jokic is asking for trouble. The big man’s passing ways could carve that up.
No disrespect to Spo but no one strategy will be enough to close the talent gap in this one. We expect Denver to win its first NBA title rather comfortably. We say this goes five games and that’s it.
Player With Highest-Scoring Performance
Here’s a fun bet: which player, on either side, will have the highest point total in a single game? It’s all plus-money odds among the betting options:
|Michael Porter Jr.||+2500||+2500||+2500|
We’ve neglected to mention one very important player thus far: Jimmy Butler or Himmy Butler, as he’s now being called. “Playoff Jimmy” (another apt nickname) has been in full force this run. He had the standout performance of the entire postseason, scoring 56 points against top-seeded Milwaukee in Game 4 of the first round. The scoring tally is not only the highest this postseason, but tied for fourth-most all time.
We fully expect Butler to have at least one more of those scoring outbursts. Unlike the Joker, his team likely needs a 50-whopper or so to win a game. Our money says he gets close and puts up the highest point total of the series.
Player Milestones Prop
|Jokic to average triple double in Finals||-125||-125||-125|
|Aaron Gordon to score 20+ in Finals game||+100||+100||+100|
|Caleb Martin to grab 10+ rebounds in Finals game||+100||+100||+100|
|Jokic to score 40+ points in Finals game||+145||+145||+145|
|Butler to record 10+ assists in Finals game||+150||+150||+150|
|Gabe Vincent to average 15+ points in Finals||+175||+175||+175|
The prop market is where NBA Finals betting gets really fun, case in point this one. You can put money on a host of different player-specific milestones to hit. Options are plenty here again, but here’s a snippet of ‘em:
We have our eyes laser-focused on the Jokic triple-double stat line milestone. Can he average it over the entire series? Our money says yes. Look, the guy is averaging 29.9 points, 13.3 rebounds and 10.3 assists so far this playoffs. He’s posted eight triple-doubles too, with six coming in his past eight games. As we said earlier, the Heat really have no way of slowing him down so take this bet in a heartbeat.
How To Bet On NBA Finals?
For a one-stop shop for betting on the NBA Finals, start with one of the sportsbooks listed in the table. At any one of these, you’ll find any and every NBA Finals odds you can possibly imagine. If you’re not sure which bookie to start at, the table will help you out. It has links to up-to-date sportsbook reviews and sign-up bonus details — both of which are handy when selecting where to park your money.