It was a vintage playoff Miami Heat performance as they once again stole a victory backed behind a fourth quarter scoring explosion. What was more eye opening is how lackadaisical the Denver defense was, routinely letting the Heat get to their spots and beat them over the top. This now evens up the series at one apiece as they head back to Miami for the Heat to defend their homecourt. Ahead of this pivotal Game 3, find best bets on everything from the moneyline to team totals and more.
Nuggets vs Heat SGP Best Bets
With the NBA action dwindling down to a game a night with the start of the NBA Finals, let’s dive deep into the matchup and muster up a SGP of how I think the game script will go. The Nuggets played like a potential champion in game one, now falling back to earth after the Heat torched them late in game two. The Heat now have a chance to really ramp up the pressure in their mini homecourt series, making it vital they steal another victory before heading back to Denver.
SGP Leg 1: Denver Nuggets Moneyline
While the market has indicated this will be a lot tighter than what we saw in games one and two, I still believe this is the Nuggets series to lose. Leaning towards regressing back to what we saw in game one than the lazy performance we saw in game two, the Nuggets should take care of business on the road behind their versatile offense.
Should they want to repeat the same success they had in game one, then the Nuggets will need to amplify their defensive pressure. They shockingly looked lazy off of switches, giving the Heat ample perimeter opportunities that they capitalized on. This is a defense that ranked third overall in the regular season in Opposing Three Point Completion Percentage per TeamRankings.
Michael Porter Jr especially needs to lock in, playing one of his worst defensive performances throughout the full course of game two. The Heat focused on switches geared towards his presence at the perimeter, consistently beating him over the top when he dropped down or attacked with him on their hip due to his slow transition to the help side.
The Nuggets cannot afford to give the Heat room to work with from his sluggish defense, potentially opting into the idea of shading another defender his way to help clog their path on the opposite side. While the adjustments remain to be seen, I can expect head coach Mike Malone to light a fire under his starting unit and motivate them back into a championship defense.
SGP Leg 2: Miami Heat Team Total u106.5
Correlating the second leg of my SGP with my first leg, the increased defensive pressure from Denver should limit the Heat’s scoring pace. We saw a glimpse of this in game one as the Nuggets held the Heat to 93 total points as they cooled off back towards their average shooting metrics.
The Heat also thrive off of getting out in transition, opting into running and gunning off Nuggets clanks off the rim. With Jokic taking more control of the offense, this limits the low-quality opportunities with his tendency to attack the rim. This puts their guards in better position to back track against the attacking Heat fast break, giving them a better chance of limiting the transition points which can burn an under ticket.
SGP Leg 3: Jimmy Butler u1.5 Threes
Going back to the well with this leg as it crashed and burned in game two. Shooting 2-5 with a majority of them contested, I am fading Butler’s shooting as he is poised to regress back towards his average. Especially with the Nuggets defense emphasizing keeping a hand in their face off of switches on the perimeter, an area that alluded the Nuggets defense in game two.
SGP Leg 4: Kevin Love o4.5 Rebounds
It’s never settling backing the most popular prop bet heading into game three per Caesars, but I can’t help but side with the public as Kevin Love is in the perfect position to clear this.
Love saw an uptick in minutes as he got the nod to start in game two in an effort to throw another big body against a crashing Nikola Jokic. Because of this defensive scheme, Love was in perfect position near the rim to gobble up rebounds as Bam jostled with Jokic. Love has cleared this number in 50/61 games when averaging his game two minutes.
SGP Betting Card
- Denver Nuggets Moneyline
- Miami Heat Team Total u106.5
- Jimmy Butler u1.5 Threes
- Kevin Love o4.5 Rebounds
Full SGP Odds: +454 ($10 wins $45.40)