It is win-or-go-home for the Miami Heat, who, after splitting their first two road games with Denver, have now lost back-to-back games to the Nuggets. Check out our betting picks and game predictions for Game 5, as well as the current odds and injury news, particularly on Tyler Herro, below.
Miami Heat Vs. Denver Nuggets Betting Odds
The Miami Heat are nine-point road underdogs against Denver on Monday night for Game 5. The point total is hovering around 208.5 as of Sunday night.
Miami will still be without Victor Oladipo and Tyler Herro. Denver only has Collin Gillespie listed as out for Game 5.
Miami Heat Vs. Denver Nuggets Prediction
After stealing Game 2 of the Finals and putting fear in the hearts of Denver’s fans, Miami has since lost back-to-back games at home. In those two games, the Nuggets have held Miami to 41% shooting from the field and 32% from behind the arc. Meanwhile, the Heat have given up over 50% from the floor and 41% from deep. Miami has also been heavily out-rebounded in that span.
Can Miami turn things around and steal a second road win so it can return to South Beach for Game 6? Don’t count on it.
Miami’s array of different defensive looks (zone and man) has not worked on Denver at all. Most of that can be attributed to the Nuggets having a two-headed monster featuring Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray, as well as boasting several role players who have stepped up at the perfect time. Aaron Gordon, Bruce Brown, and Christian Braun have had huge (and efficient) performances. As a matter of fact, Gordon and Brown combined for nearly 50 points in Game 4, which had to be demoralizing for Miami.
Further, it is becoming more and more apparent that the Miami Heat are running out of energy (and luck); their starting backcourt combined for just two points last game, and Jimmy Butler has not scored 30 or more points since Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals against Boston. Additionally, Adebayo has been less efficient as the series has continued, and Miami is not hitting three-pointers nearly at the rate it was in the first few rounds.
While the Heat are one of the most mentally tough teams in the NBA, they can’t escape destiny here. The Nuggets should pull out a home win in Game 5 and extend the lead to double-digits in the final minutes.
- Miami is 14-8 ATS in the 2023 playoffs.
- Denver is 5-1 ATS versus Miami in the past six games.
- Denver is 9-1 at home in the 2023 playoffs
- Miami has a 1-7 “over” record in its past eight games of the 2023 playoffs.
Our Game 5 key matchup will be yet another edition of Nikola Jokic versus Bam Adebayo. Can Adebayo have another impressive performance like in Games 1 and 2, or will Jokic shut the door on both Miami and Bam?
Nikola Jokic vs. Bam Adebayo
Game 4 could have been considered a “down” game for Nikola Jokic, who posted merely 23 points, 12 rebounds, and four assists; it is mindboggling the expectations we have for the two-time MVP! However, Jokic was at least able to record three steals and three blocks. So much for his inability to play defense.
Meanwhile, Adebayo was once again good for 20+ points against Denver, as he has scored at least that amount in all NBA Finals games. In three of the four Finals games, Bam also pulled down double-digit rebounds. Unfortunately, Denver has slowed Bam’s efficiency down; he has shot just 37.5% from the field in his last two games.
Between Jokic’s impressive defensive performance in Game 4 (three steals and three blocks) and his 29 points, 15 rebounds, and nine assists average (on a 51/43/80 shooting split) while at home in the 2023 Playoffs, he should shut the door here. Advantage: Jokic.
Miami Heat Starting Lineup
Denver Nuggets Starting Lineups
Miami Heat Injuries: Victor Oladipo (Out), Tyler Herro (Out)
Denver Nuggets Injuries: Collin Gillespie (Out)