The Denver Nuggets will try to maintain home-court advantage when they face the Miami Heat in Game 2 of the 2023 NBA Finals on Sunday night. Denver cruised to a 104-93 victory in the series opener on Thursday, shooting better than 50% from the floor. Miami had won the opener in each of its previous three series this postseason, so the Heat will be in an unfamiliar territory in Game 2.
Tip-off is at 8 p.m. ET in Denver. Caesars Sportsbook lists the Nuggets as 8-point home favorites, while the over/under, or total number of points Vegas thinks will be scored, is 216.5 in the latest Heat vs. Nuggets odds. Before you make any Nuggets vs. Heat picks and NBA predictions, see what SportsLine's advanced computer model has to say.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times and has returned well over $10,000 in profit for $100 players on its top-rated NBA picks over the past four-plus seasons. The model entered the 2023 NBA Finals a stunning 72-38 on all top-rated NBA picks this season, returning nearly $2,900. Anyone following it has seen huge returns.
Now, the model has set its sights on Heat vs. Nuggets and just locked in its picks and NBA Finals predictions. You can head to SportsLine now to see the model's picks. Here are several NBA betting lines and trends for Nuggets vs. Heat:
- Heat vs. Nuggets spread: Nuggets -8
- Heat vs. Nuggets over/under: 216.5 points
- Heat vs. Nuggets money line: Nuggets -345, Heat +270
- MIA: The Heat are 22-28-1 against the spread in road games
- DEN: The Nuggets are 31-18-1 against the spread in home games
- Heat vs. Nuggets picks: See picks at SportsLine
Why the Heat can cover
While Miami had issues scoring at times in Game 1, the Heat showcased their tremendous defense. Miami held Denver to fewer than 1.12 points per possession in the game, with the Nuggets shooting only 8-of-27 from 3-point range. Miami also secured nearly 83% of available defensive rebounds, dominating the possession battle and winning on the margins. For the entire playoff run, the Heat have allowed only 111.5 points per 100 possessions, using a versatile approach that also creates 7.3 steals per game.
Miami's opponents are shooting only 32.3% from 3-point range in the postseason, and the Heat are giving up 11.5 fast break points and 44.8 points in the paint per contest in playoff action. Dating back to the regular season, Miami is a top-10 defensive team in the league, and the Heat produced at a top-five level in free throw prevention, turnover creation, points allowed in the paint, fast break points allowed, and defensive rebounding over the 82-game marathon of the regular season. See which team to pick here.
Why the Nuggets can cover
Denver has been dominant in this head-to-head matchup over the past few years, winning and covering the spread in seven straight meetings. The Nuggets are riding a seven-game winning streak following their 104-93 win on Thursday. They led by nine points after the first quarter, 17 points at halftime and 21 points at the end of the third quarter, making the final score look closer than it really was.
Two-time MVP Nikola Jokic posted another triple-double, finishing with 27 points, 14 assists and 10 rebounds. Miami struggled to get anything going, shooting just over 40% from the floor and 33.3% from beyond the arc. The Heat have only covered the spread once in their last six games played in June. See which team to pick here.
How to make Nuggets vs. Heat picks
SportsLine's model is leaning Over on the total, projecting 219 combined points. The model also says one side of the spread hits well over 50% of the time. You can only see the model's NBA playoff picks at SportsLine.
So who wins Heat vs. Nuggets, and which side of the spread hits well over 50% of the time? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Nuggets vs. Heat spread you need to jump on, all from the model that is 72-38 on top-rated NBA picks this season, and find out.