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NBA Finals Game 1 Betting Preview

01 June 2023 By Ryan Knuppel

The 2023 NBA Finals are set to begin on Thursday night, and this is a matchup that not many people saw coming. It will be the Denver Nuggets hosting the Miami Heat to begin the series, and the Nuggets are big favorites to win the title. 

Miami is just the second eight-seed in NBA history to reach the NBA Finals, and it has been quite the run this season. The Heat were forced to win a play-in game to even get into the postseason, and they have just taken off from that point.

Denver was the top seed in the Western Conference, and they have played like that team throughout this playoff run. The Nuggets got past the Los Angeles Lakers in just four games to win the Western Conference Finals.

The Denver Nuggets are nine-point betting favorites in Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday night.

 

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Miami Heat +9.00 Points -110

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Heat Following Butler

The Miami Heat are allowing Jimmy Butler to make plays each game, and he usually has the team in a position to win. Butler is averaging 28.5 points and 5.7 assists per game in the playoffs, and his will to win is a huge deal for the Heat. 

Miami is also getting some great shooting from their role players during this playoff run, as Caleb Martin and Gabe Vincent have combined for more than 27 points per game. Making shots is going to be crucial for the Heat, especially on the road. 

The Heat don’t really have an answer in the paint for Nikola Jokic, but they have proven to be a solid defensive team all season long. 

Jokic Setting Tone For Nuggets

Nikola Jokic is currently averaging a triple-double for the Nuggets during this playoff run, and that should continue in this series. Jokic is scoring nearly 30 points per game, and he also knows how to set up his teammates. 

Jamal Murray is another player that has been terrific so far in the postseason, as he is scoring over 27 points per game. Denver will need to give their superstar some support, but that has been the case all year with this team. 

The Nuggets have proven that they can win games in a number of different ways, and they will be ready for whatever the Heat might throw at them. 

Nuggets Win But Heat Battle

Denver has been absolutely dominant throughout this playoff run, and they are a team that rarely loses on their home floor. Nikola Jokic has been terrific throughout the playoffs, and he should be dominant in this series as well. 

While Miami is going to struggle to win games in this series, they are never going to be out of it, thanks to Jimmy Butler. The Heat will make enough shots to keep this one close, and Butler is good enough to battle with anyone in the league. 

The best bet is to take the nine points and bet on the Miami Heat to keep things close, but the Denver Nuggets will pick up a win in the series opener.

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All Media on this page by Associated Press.

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