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Heat vs. Nuggets Game 1: Will Bettors Believe in the Underdog?

Last Updated: July 1, 2023

This article originally appeared at FanDuel.

Lock in for the opening game of the NBA Finals with a big Nuggets vs. Heat prediction, plus the latest odds and betting insights from our friends at FanDuel.

The 2023 NBA Finals begin on Thursday, June 1 as the Miami Heat head out west to take on the Denver Nuggets at Ball Arena in Game 1.

The two finalist teams clashed twice during the regular season, resulting in a pair of wins for the Nuggets. Having said that, it isn’t like the Heat were obliterated in either matchup as both of their losses came by five or fewer points. Only time will tell if the NBA Finals will be as close.

With the NBA crown up for grabs, get set for Thursday’s game with our big Heat vs. Nuggets prediction, plus the latest odds and betting insights from our friends at FanDuel.

Miami Heat vs. Denver Nuggets Game 1 Info

  • Date: Thursday, June 1, 2023
  • Time: 8:30 p.m. ET
  • Venue: Ball Arena, Denver, Colorado
  • US TV coverage: ABC
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Nuggets vs. Heat Odds & Spread: NBA Finals Game 1

All NBA betting lines, odds, and prop bets are from FanDuel Sportsbook.

  • Moneyline: MIA: (+310) | DEN: (-390)
  • Spread: MIA: +9 (-114) | DEN: -9 (-106)
  • Total: 219.5 — Over: (-110) | Under: (-110)

The Nuggets enter this contest as clear home favorites on the moneyline and spread per FanDuel Sportsbook’s odds. This 8:30 p.m. ET clash also features an over/under of 219.5 points with both sides available at -110 odds.

DEN vs. MIA Betting Trends

  • Miami is 1-6 straight up (SU) in its last seven road games against Denver.
  • Denver is 10-0 SU in its last 10 home games.
  • Miami is 12-4 against the spread (ATS) in its last 16 games.
  • Denver is 1-4 ATS in its last five games played in June.
  • The total has hit the Over in 10 of Miami’s last 13 road games.
  • The total has hit the Over in each of Denver’s last five games against Miami.

Heat vs. Nuggets Prediction & Pick: Game 1

Although the Heat have proven that they can upset even the NBA’s best teams, winning in Denver could be a whole different story. The Heat have lost six consecutive trips to Ball Arena, averaging just 98.5 PPG. Miami hasn’t won in Denver since November 2016 and although it does have a road win over the Nuggets since then, that victory came during the NBA Bubble.

Making matters worse for the Heat is the fact that the Nuggets have won 10 consecutive home games, winning by an average margin of 11.2 points. Denver is now an absurd 42-7 SU at Ball Arena this season, whereas the Heat are just 23-28 SU on the road.

In what should be a close game, I see the Nuggets prevailing. They’re just too good at home and get production from the top to the bottom of their lineup. Until the Heat prove that they can win in the Mile High City, it’s hard to doubt Michael Malone’s team at home.


Denver Nuggets vs. Miami Heat Best Bet

Although I’m confident in a Nuggets win, I’m actually going with the Heat as +9 underdogs as the best bet. After all, the Heat are an impressive 12-4 ATS in their last 16 games, whereas the Nuggets are 4-4 ATS in their previous eight. Denver also only beat Miami by an average of 4.5 points during the regular season, meaning a 9-point spread is somewhat disrespectful to the road team.

The Nuggets will still get the job done, but it won’t be in the form of a blowout.


— Devon Platana

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