2023 NBA Finals Game 1 Heat vs. Nuggets Odds, Best Bets: Expect Jokic to Continue Domination

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The Miami Heat survived a historic collapse in the Eastern Conference Finals to secure a spot in the 2023 NBA Finals. They are up against the Denver Nuggets, who are fresh, coming off nine days of rest after sweeping their way into the Finals. Game 1 is scheduled to tip off Thursday at 8:30 p.m. ET, so bettors have until then to check out the Heat vs. Nuggets Game 1 odds and all the sportsbook bonus offers for tonight’s game.

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2023 NBA Finals Heat vs. Nuggets Game 1 Info & Odds

  • When: Thursday, June 1, 8:30 p.m. ET
  • Where: Ball Arena, Denver, CO
  • Watch It On: ABC or stream on ESPN+

NBA Finals Game 1 Odds: Denver Listed as Massive Home Favorite

Although the Nuggets last played over a week ago, oddsmakers expect them to come out strong in Game 1. According to our friends at DraftKings Sportsbook, Denver is laying 8.5 points in Game 1, while Heat +9 is available at Caesars Sportsbook. Before placing your Heat vs. Nuggets Game 1 wager, check out the top US sports betting apps to ensure you get the best number for your wager.

Here are the Heat vs. Nuggets NBA Finals Game 1 odds from some of our favorite mobile sportsbooks.

BKN Nets vs TOR Raptors Odds NBA Odds

NBA · Thu (2/22) @ 7:10pm ET

BKN Nets at TOR Raptors
Amalie Arena, Tampa, Florida

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Series Price: Denver Opens as Large Favorite

NBA Betting Preview & Best Bets For Game 1: Eyes on Butler, Jokic

The Heat survived an all-time comeback from the Boston Celtics. While Jimmy Butler took home the ECF MVP, it was Caleb Martin who showed that he was the most important player in the series. Against Boston, Martin put up 19.3 points per game, and he shot 49% from deep on 6.4 attempts per game.

After going up 3-0, Miami’s hot shooting started to fade, which was a big reason the Heat were a game away from the Finals. Luckily, Martin and a few other three-point shooters, such as Duncan Robinson and Max Struss, continued to make three-pointers at a high clip, which helped them thump the Celtics in game 7 and reach the Finals.

In this series, the Heat face one of the best and most athletic teams in the NBA, the Denver Nuggets. Of course, when discussing the Nuggets, you must talk about how good Nikola Jokic is. The Joker is averaging a 30-point triple-double in the playoffs, but his supporting cast, which includes Michael Porter Jr., Jamal Murray, and Aaron Gordon, has been equally crucial to Denver’s success.

While Denver has dominated in the postseason, if Miami can continue to shoot at a high percentage, they can keep Game 1 close. The Nuggets are the overwhelming better team and will likely win the series. However, betting against Miami because “at some point, the eighth seed will fail” has proven to be a poor strategy in the postseason.

Denver ranked second during the regular season in opponents’ three-point shooting percentage (34.4%), but that number has moved up to 38.6% from beyond the arc on one less shot per game. Expect Miami to keep Game 1 close and cover the spread.

Heat vs. Nuggets Game 1 Prediction: Miami +9 at Caesars Sportsbook)

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Today’s Best NBA Player Props for Game 1

Caleb Martin Over 2.5 Made Threes (+125, DraftKings)

If the sportsbooks keep offering us plus-money on Martin’s three-point prop, we will continue to take it. He struggled a bit during the regular season, but Martin is shooting 43.8% from three on five attempts per game in the playoffs. 

Martin took even more shots per game in the Eastern Conference Finals and made them at a higher clip. Martin went over this number all but twice against the Celtics, and in both games, he shot 2-for-5 from beyond the arc. As the playoffs have progressed, so have his attempts from deep, and Martin is in an excellent spot to cash this prop for the seventh time in the postseason. 

Nikola Jokic Over 27.5 Points (-111, FanDuel)

Although Miami should keep Game 1 close, it is tough to imagine the Heat will have a lot of success stopping Jokic. He has hit this number nine times in the Nuggets’ 15 postseason games, and in those games, he is scoring an average of 35.3 points per game. 

Nuggets' Nikola Jokic, Lakers' Anthony Davis
Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic faces Lakers’ Anthony Davis (Icon Sportswire)

The Heat do not have a lot of size, and Bam Adebayo has struggled defensively all postseason and has not had much success against Jokic in his career. In four matchups against one another, Jokic averages 23.8 points per game on 68.4% shooting from the field. That leaves us Under the number, but Denver is so good at spacing the floor that Jokic should get plenty of 1-on-1 opportunities with Adebayo. 

He has been unstoppable in the postseason, even shooting 47.4% from three on 3.8 attempts per game in the playoffs. He will easily go Over this number if the three-point shot keeps working. 

Jimmy Butler Over 7.5 Rebounds (+104, FanDuel)

With Adebayo matched up against Jokic, that will leave a lot of rebound opportunities for the rest of the team, and Butler has rebounded at a nice rate in the postseason. In 17 games played, Butler is hauling in seven rebounds per game, and in the ECF, that number jumped to 7.6 boards per night.

His rebounding numbers are actually slightly down in the postseason, but he has a rebound chance rate of 51.3% in the playoffs and is bringing in 2.1 contested rebounds per game. He has exceeded this number in four of the last six games for Miami, and he should clean the glass again in Game 1. 

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About the Author
DJ Corrigan

DJ Corrigan

DJ Corrigan is a sports betting writer for Gaming Today and has been covering the world of wagering since his days at Ohio State University. Corrigan's love of betting the Over and chasing the hungry dogs has led him to a career crunching numbers with an emphasis on NCAAF, NCAAB, NFL, and MLB betting.

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