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NBA Player Prop Picks (6/7/23)
Check out our favorite player props from Game 3 of the 2023 NBA Finals between the Miami Heat and Denver Nuggets.
The Nuggets cruised to a Game 1 victory, but the Heat snatched Game 2 and subsequently control home-court advantage now. Denver is still heavily favored to win the series; however, Miami is used to being underdogs.
Can Miami shock the doubters once again and win their first title since 2013?
Michael Porter Jr Over 2.5 3PM (-115) & Threes Made Leader (+360)
Miami ranks 25th defending catch-and-shoot threes based on opponent shot quality and allows them at the 3rd highest frequency (per ShotQuality). During the regular season, Porter Jr shot a 41.4 3PT% on 7.3 attempts per game – he’s a high volume, hyper-efficient shooter.
Jokic and Murray have drawn so much defensive attention this Finals that it has routinely allowed Porter Jr space to launch. Unfortunately, he’s been in a massive slump as Porter Jr is 3/17 from deep across the first two games. That volume is extremely encouraging though, and it’s unlikely Porter Jr struggles to find his rhythm for long (he’s too skilled).
For the over 2.5 3PM prop to hold a positive expected value, Porter Jr must hit here at least 53.5% of the time. For the threes made leader to hold a positive expected value, he must accomplish this at least 21.75% of the time. Are those percentages reasonable? Given his enormous volume and shooting prowess, it’s assuredly the case to me.
Nikola Jokic Top Points Scorer (-115)
What a bargain. Jokic narrowly achieved this in Game 1 by one point (he scored 27) before easily hitting this in Game 2 by 18 points (he scored 41). Jokic is the most efficient offensive player, the player who can most easily create an open shot for himself, a massive free throw threat, and a three-level scorer. Overall, there is no debate that Jokic has the most scoring potential here.
Miami played Jokic straight up more in Game 2, and his FGA rose from 12 to 28. I expect the Heat to continue to allow Jokic isolation opportunities and attempt to take away the pass. He may not have 28 FGA again, but he will still easily get enough volume to be the top points scorer – Jokic led Game 1 in points despite only taking 12 FGA!
For Jokic top points scorer to hold a positive expected value, he must achieve it at least 53.5% of the time.
Nikola Jokic First Basket (+460)
The tip-off could go either way, although Jokic is slightly favored. Jokic led the Nuggets during the regular season in Game and Team First FGA%. In other words, of all Nuggets players, he took the first shot of the game and Denver’s first shot at the highest frequency.
Miami’s strategy to concede more Jokic shots instead of passes is encouraging for Jokic first basket, and it’s likely he will convert his opportunity (regular season 63.2 FG%, playoffs 54.5 FG%, Finals 60 FG%).
As for matchup history, Jokic took Denver’s First FGA in both regular season games in addition to Game 2. That’s 3 of 4 matchups this season where Jokic had their First FGA.
For Jokic first basket to hold a positive expected value, he must achieve it at least 17.9% of the time.