- The Miami Heat are 8.5-point road ‘dogs in Game 2 of the NBA Finals vs the Denver Nuggets
- Denver cruised to a 103-94 Game 1 win in their franchise debut at the NBA Finals
- Don’t miss the latest Heat vs Nuggets Game 2 odds, analysis and our betting prediction
The Denver Nuggets look every bit the favorite they were pegged at when they took Game 1 of the NBA Finals against the Miami Heat.
And if you believe the books, they don’t think anything will change. The NBA betting odds have Heat as 8.5-point road underdogs again, and +275 on the moneyline, an implied win probability of just 26.67%.
After Denver’s 103-94 win in the opener, the total has dropped three points to 216.
Miami will be looking to bounce back from their first Game 1 loss these playoffs.
Game 2 goes Sunday (June 4) at 8pm ET at Ball Arena in Denver, CO. The Finals will air exclusively on ABC.
Heat vs Nuggets Game 2 Odds
|Miami Heat||+8.5 (-117)||+275||Ov 216 (-117)|
|Denver Nuggets||-8.5 (-117)||-429||Un 216 (-117)|
On the injury front, wing Tyler Herro is nearing a return, but it won’t be in Game 2. Herro has not played since a hand injury in Game 1 of Round 1 against the Bucks.
Denver is looking to improve to a perfect 10-0 at home these playoffs, and to jump out to a 2-0 series lead for the fourth straight series.
Odds as of June 3 at Caesars Sportsbook. Claim a Caesars promo code to bet on Heat vs Nuggets Game 2.
Heat Offense Cold in Game 1
Simply put, Miami is going to have to shoot better if they plan to get a road split, let alone compete in this series.
The Heat shot an abysmal 40.6% from the field, including a pedestrian 13-for-39 from three-point range. It’s a big reason they were down 17 at half, at 24 in the third, and could never get close than nine points down the stretch.
Jimmy Butler’s passive play filtered down the roster, as the East Finals MVP was just 6-for-14 from the field for 13 points, seven rebounds and seven assists. Max Strus had a nightmare opener, going 0-for-10 from the field, including nine misses from three-point range.
Jimmy Butler scored 13 points on 6-14 shooting in Game 1. It was his lowest-scoring game of the playoffs. pic.twitter.com/VxHZ3GsAkr
— Harrison Wind (@HarrisonWind) June 2, 2023
Caleb Martin was just 1-for-7 for three points. The lone bright spot was Bam Adebayo, who took the soft-look defense Denver gave him to score 26 points, along with 13 boards and five assists.
While it allowed Bam to show off his mid-range game and array of paint floaters, he was part of a Miami collective that didn’t attack the basket enough, as the Heat set a Finals record with just two free throws all game.
And yet, if they had been able to shoot at their playoff rate, this game was there for the taking. Miami had two less turnovers, held the Nuggets to just six offensive rebounds and 103 points. The top 3-point shooting team in the postseason, Denver was limited to 29.6% shooting from distance.
Jokic Stays Dominant in Win
Nikola Jokic may have taken just three shots in the first half of Game 1, but he was still the most dominant player on the floor.
The 2-time MVP racked up 10 assists in the opening half, leading to gimme dunks to Jamal Murray, and a bevy of inside setups to Aaron Gordon, who punished the defensive mismatches with some fury.
Nikola Jokic (14 AST) and Jamal Murray (10 AST) are the first pair of teammates to each record 10+ assists in their Finals debut!
📅 MIA/DEN Game 2: Sunday, 8pm/et on ABC pic.twitter.com/CjgtIjohAw
— NBA (@NBA) June 3, 2023
Jokic finished with 27 points, 14 assists and 10 rebounds, his ninth triple-double of these playoffs — and, like all playoffs, faced little resistance against whatever was thrown at him. Murray dropped 26 points with 11 assists.
Michael Porter Jr may have shot 2-for-11 from downtown, but he was the third Nugget to post a double-double, with 14 points and 13 rebounds.
While Denver didn’t find much success behind the arc, they pounded the two-point area, which is a Heat weakness. The Nuggets shot a blistering 62.7% from inside the arc. For the playoffs, Miami is letting opponents shoot a crisp 56.8% from 2-point range.
Heat vs Nuggets Game 2 Prediction
Denver is 3-0 in Game 2’s these playoffs, but the results have been far more competitive — which is likely because of the visiting team’s desperation to avoid going down 2-0.
After crushing both Minnesota and Phoenix in Game 1, the Nuggets beat Minnesota by nine and Phoenix by 10. After a 6-point win over the Lakers in Game 1, they held on for a 5-point win in Game 2.
While the Heat vow to be better, they are 0-4 against the spread vs the Nuggets in the last four in Denver. They’re 9-26 ATS in their last 35 visits to Ball Arena.
And Denver doesn’t let up: they’re 5-1 ATS in their last six following a win of more than 10 points.
Still, Miami found a way to hang around even though they couldn’t make a bucket or get to the line. Bet on the bounce back, and grab those points.
The pick: Heat +8.5 (-117)