Miami is a +9 point away underdog, and the oddsmakers have set a 208.5 total when the two sides collide for what could be the final time of this series.
Heat Have Run Out of Steam
The eighth seed out of the Eastern Conference, Miami has defeated No.1 seed Milwaukee Bucks, No. 5 seed New York Knicks and knocked off the Boston Celtics in seven hard-fought contests to even reach this point. They look tired, flat and defeated after losing Games 3 and 4 at home.
It’s been a helluva run for the Heat but the playoffs likely end Monday night in Denver.
Newark’s Bam Adebayo is averaging a double-double during this series with Denver. The Heat big man has shot 45% from the field and nearly 90% from the charity stripe.
Denver has found a way to slow Jimmy Butler down; the All-Star guard’s 21 points per game is eight points under his playoff average and that’s been the difference in this series.
Denver One Win Away from First NBA Championship
The Nuggets franchise had never reached an NBA final in its 56-year history, and now Denver is one game away from winning its first NBA championship.
Denver has never even come this close before this season, but is just one game away from lifting the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy, and that should happen Monday night.
The Nuggets have breezed through the Western Conference playoffs and figured out how to solve the eighth-seed Miami riddle–slow down Butler, and the Heat role players and reserves other than Adebayo have real trouble consistently scoring the basketball.
Nikola Jokic is averaging nearly a triple-double in this series, and Jamal Murray is scoring 26 points with seven dimes and about six caroms. Aaron Gordon has had a solid series, and reserves Bruce Brown and Christian Brown have provided solid minutes.
Miami Heat vs. Denver Nuggets Best Bet: Nuggets Under 208.5 -110 FanDuel
Denver has averaged 89.9 possessions per 48 minutes at home during this series, and my best bet is for this game to end Under 208.5 -110 at FanDuel.
Both sides are averaging 89 possessions per Finals contest, and there likely won’t be enough possessions between the two sides to exceed 208.5 points. The Heat is having difficulty scoring from inside or outside of the arc, and the Miami defense will attempt to make the Denver shooters miserable Monday night.
This is a must-win game for Miami, and I expect them to fight like tigers on the defensive end of the floor. The altitude will likely significantly impact the three-point shooters, and if Miami can’t knock down threes, and they probably won’t, this game ends under 208.5. Nuggets Under 208.5 -110 FanDuel