Heading into tonight’s Game, the Nuggets enter as 9-point favorites on the spread and -380 favorites on the moneyline. Miami, meanwhile, comes in as a +310 underdog. Ahead of this potential Championship-clincher, check out best bets from the Lineups NBA crew along with relevant odds and betting analysis information.
Heat vs Nuggets Game 5 Best Bets
Game 5 of the NBA Finals tips off tonight (6/12/23) at 8:30 PM ET on ABC. If Denver wins, they will take home the franchise’s first ever Larry O’Brien trophy. If Miami wins, they will force a Game 6 for a chance to even the series at home. Let’s dive into best bets and predictions for what could end up being the last day of the 2023-24 NBA season.
Patrick’s Game 5 Best Bet: Under 209.5 (-110)
With both teams having an extra day of rest heading into Game 5, expect some fresher legs on defense in a game that also doubles as a win-or-go-home outing for the Heat. During the 2023 postseason, potential series clinching games have been amongst the lowest scoring for both of these teams. The Heat held the Celtics and Knicks to 84 and 92 points, respectively, in their last two close out games, while the Nuggets have held teams to an average of 106.6 points in each of their close-out games.
Looking at this series specifically, Games 3 and 4 both saw the total end at 203. While one can view this as a two-game anomaly, a deeper look suggests that these numbers may be higher than they otherwise were. The Nuggets had to shoot 50 percent from 3 in Game 4, for example, to get to 108 points. The Heat, meanwhile, have finally regressed to their regular season averages from 3, according to NBA.com, and have struggled to score more than 100 since doing so.
On a more schematic level, Denver has figured out how to guard this Miami team. Their ability to crowd Gabe Vincent and Max Strus with their length in the backcourt has curbed Miami’s ability to generate consistent offense from beyond the arc.
Though he has rebounded on offense a bit, especially in Game 4, Jimmy Butler still looks like he is recovering from the ankle injury he suffered in Game 1 of the Knicks series in Round 2.
All things considered, take the under at 209.5 as a best bet in tonight’s Game 5.
Author: Patrick Monnin
Kody’s Game 5 Best Bet: Denver Nuggets Halftime Winner / Full Time Winner Parlay (-185)
If you throw away game two’s fluky result that was backed behind an offensive explosion by the Miami Heat, this series has been utterly dominated by the Denver Nuggets. Cruising to a double digit victory in each of their three wins, the Nuggets have found a stable source of offensive success that has been proven to be impossible to stop by the Heat defense.
It all starts with their star duo of Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic, running a two man game off the top of the perimeter that sets up the rest of their offense. Murray rubs off of a Jokic screen and reacts to his defender’s reaction. This gives him the ability to step back for an open jumper, or crash down to make a play in the middle. The same is said for Jokic, getting the option for a potential assist, or crash down the interior should his defender get put on his hip.
Both possess an elite finishing ability and both have capitalized on their high quality looks at the rim. This has scrambled the Heat defense, a defense that already suffers from being severely undersized.
It also plays in the Nuggets favor that the Miami Heat have regressed hard back towards the mean in the shooting department. They are able to generate an open look when the Nuggets fail to hedge the screen correctly, yet the likes of Max Strus and Gabe Vincent have been practically non-existent in their efforts to capitalize on it.
With the Heat shooting back to average form, and running a zone defense that is capable of getting shredded by the Nuggets elite offense, this has blowout potential written all over it as the Nuggets look to finish this series at home.
Author: Kody Malstrom
Jake’s Game 5 Best Bet: Nikola Jokic Over 41.5 Points + Rebounds (-140)
The Miami Heat have offered little to no resistance against Nikola Jokic in this series. He’s been absolutely dominant in not just the NBA Finals, but also the postseason as a whole. In the postseason, Jokic is averaging 30 points and 13 rebounds per game, which is an insane statline because he’s also averaging around 10 assists per game too. He’s been the best player in these playoffs and the Finals have been the biggest stage to show that.
The biggest issue facing the Miami Heat is trying to find a consistent way of guarding him throughout this series. They’ve thrown Kevin Love, Cody Zeller, and Bam Adebayo at him and all three have struggled in some fashion. Love and Zeller have the height, but can’t stop his power, while Adebayo has the athleticism to bother him, but isn’t nearly as big weight or height-wise against Jokic. They’ve even tried using a zone defense, and that’s worked in spurts, but isn’t nearly as consistent as it should be. The Nuggets also use Jokic in such unique ways too that can confuse most teams, even the Heat. All these factors are why I think Jokic hits over this number in both points and rebounds. He should have around 30 points once again and get double digit rebounds because of those factors and be named Finals MVP once the Nuggets close the series out.
Author: Jake Faigus
Game 5 Best Bet: Michael Porter Jr. Over 11.5 points (+108 at FanDuel)
Michael Porter Jr. picked a really bad time to let his shot go ice cold. He is shooting a paltry 3-for-22 from three (13.6%) in the NBA Finals. There is no good explanation for it. It’s not like Miami is doing anything special defensively to slow him down. Many of his looks have been wide open or lightly contested.
Porter showed no signs of slumping before the series began. He was shooting well in the first three rounds of the playoffs, posting a 40.7% clip from three (42-for-103, 2.8 makes per game on 6.9 attempts), numbers right in line with his season average of 41.4% (3.0 makes per game on 7.3 attempts).
Because of his struggles in the Finals, Porter’s points prop is all the way down to 10.5 for Game 5. He has yet to hit the over on his points in the first four games after scoring 11 in Game 4 against a line of 11.5. But he showed some signs of life in that game, attacking the paint more aggressively and getting to the line twice where he went 3-of-4.
Porter’s talent is too immense for him stay cold forever, and his recent struggles have created some good value on his points prop for Game 5. If he busts the slump and hits a few threes, he could easily approach his regular season average of 17.4 points (or at least the 14.3 points he averaged in the first three rounds of the playoffs). I was tempted to go as high as o14.5 to get the +270 odds on FanDuel – which would have been unfathomable just 12 days ago. Instead I played it a bit safer by taking the +108 odds on over 11.5 points.
If the series is going to end tonight as expected, then this will be Porter’s final chance to make good on Nuggets coach Mike Malone’s vote of confidence in him.
Full answer from Michael Malone on Michael Porter Jr.’s spot in the starting lineup NOT being in jeopardy:
“I have zero doubt that Michael Porter is going to win a game for us.” pic.twitter.com/cTtaNYFw36
— Ryan Blackburn (@NBABlackburn) June 9, 2023
If he does, then this bet is a stone cold lock.
Author: Noah Rosenstein