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A dominant road performance from the Denver Nuggets helped them regain home-court advantage and take a 2-1 series lead before heading into Game 4 on Friday night. The Nuggets dispelled all concerns about their defensive effort in Game 2 by holding Miami to fewer than 100 points on a 37/31/79 team shooting split, which was much different than its last output.
Game 4 will be pivotal, with Denver either set to secure a 3-1 lead with two home games remaining, or Miami evening the series at 2-2, with a shot to take the NBA Finals to a Game 7. Take a look at odds for this Game 4 showdown along with two of our favorite player props for this bout!
Bam Adebayo o20.5 Points (+100)
There has been no indication whatsoever that Bam Adebayo’s role is going to lessen in the coming games. Through the first three games of the 2023 NBA Finals, Adebayo has hit the over on this line, averaging 23 points on roughly 47% shooting from the field. Adebayo even eclipsed this number in Game 3 when he shot only 7-21. There are a few reasons for bettors not to be scared of this line that has inched higher and higher.
For one, it is clear that the Denver Nuggets are open to Adebayo shooting as much as he wants in these games. In both Game 1 and Game 3, Adebayo attempted more than 20 field goals, which he had only done seven times this season up to that point (including regular season and postseason.)
As discussed in our last “NBA Player Props” article, Denver Nuggets head coach Michael Malone has verbally stated that the Nuggets don’t mind Adebayo taking a lot of shots; this is not because he is inefficient or not talented, but rather, it limits the Heat taking clean three-point looks, an area they have been elite in during the playoffs.
Adebayo may have had an inefficient Game 3, but he still hit this line, despite shooting just 7-21 from the field. If he continues to take 20 or more shots per game, he should have no issue extending his 21+ point streak to four games.
Nikola Jokic Triple-Double (-105)
At this point, it feels a little bit silly that we are getting near-plus money on Nikola Jokic to record a triple-double; he has secured a triple-double in seven of his past nine games and in two of these three games against the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals. Jokic failed to record a triple-double in Game 2, but that game felt more like the exception than the rule, as Denver lost its first home game (was 8-0 at home) in the 2023 Playoffs, allowing Miami to shoot close to 50% from the field and from deep.
In Game 3, Jokic and Jamal Murray combined for 66 points, roughly 61% of Denver’s total points, while each player recorded their own individual triple-double. The rest of Denver’s starters combined for just 19 points. Head coach Erik Spoelstra is going to make changes again, as he is one of the best game-to-game strategists, but what will those changes look like?
Ultimately, there is little chance that Spoelstra will allow Murray and Jokic to beat Miami by themselves again in Game 4. This should pave the way for other guys like Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Aaron Gordon, Michael Porter Jr, and Bruce Brown to step up and hit shots off of Jokic’s passes when he is inevitably double-teamed. His assists are usually the part of the bet we might have to sweat, but this should not be one of those instances.
Miami has had no answer for Jokic in the paint (scoring) or on the glass (rebounding), furthering our narrative that a triple-double is simply to be expected at this point; they simply don’t have the size or versatility to stop him.