With a pair of double-digit wins and covers on the road last week, the Denver Nuggets have positioned themselves on the brink of a massive accomplishment for the franchise.
During the only Finals game that both Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray shot worse than 45% from the floor, the Nuggets got their heroics from Aaron Gordon to run away from the Heat in the second half of Game 4. Gordon’s 27 points led all scorers and marked a new playoff career-best for the man drafted as the Orlando Magic’s next star in 2014.
Jimmy Butler had his best performance of the series in terms of Game Score, and the Heat won the rebounding battle for the first time against the Nuggets, but neither was enough to avoid the dreaded 3-1 deficit.
The LeBron 2016 clips have resurfaced, and the situation isn’t too different from what the Cavaliers faced in the Warriors back then, aside from Miami not having the best player on the floor. Butler will need to be at his best if the Heat hope to make the trip back with another game on the schedule.
Denver is a home favorite of nine points ahead of tonight’s matchup. The Nuggets won by 11 points in Game 1 before experiencing their only home loss of the playoffs in Game 2, and Miami has yet to reclaim their shooting form from long-range since that upset. After another point total going under on Friday night (3-1 in the series), the number has dropped to 209 for Game 5.
Our Game 4 props finished agonizingly close to a winning night, with Jimmy Butler uncharacteristically missing three of his nine free throw attempts in Miami’s loss. We split on our Jokic/Murray plays to wrap up a 1-2 record for the evening.
Game 5 has the real possibility of being the final NBA game this season, and we’ve prepared a best bet card knowing that there may not be another opportunity until October. Tonight’s props are locked in; read more next.
Strus has embodied the streakiness of the Heat’s shooting in the playoffs, with a disappointing split occurring between his performances in wins versus losses.
The DePaul sharpshooter has connected on multiple three-pointers in 11 of the team’s 13 victories, compared to just three times in Miami’s nine defeats through Game 4 of the Finals.
All signs point to the Nuggets being ready to close out the Heat tonight, but if the road team hopes to stay alive, they’ll need Strus to contribute. We’ll take this number expecting a correction to the mean for him.
Porter Jr. has one assist in the series through four games and has played fewer than 27 minutes three times despite averaging 32.7 minutes per game overall in the 2023 postseason. Over the 62 regular season games Porter played in 2022-23, he had one or more assists in 40 of them.
He’s added to that trend while logging at least one assist in 12 of 19 playoff games, meaning Porter has gotten on the stat sheet in this category in 64% of his appearances this season. We’ll play him to accomplish that again tonight.
Love has averaged fewer than 15 minutes per game since the start of the Conference Finals and did not even appear in three games during that span.
During the nine games he’s played, Love has eight combined blocks and steals and has gone four games without recording any.
This number feels like it’s baiting us to take Love to hurdle a low bar, which could be said for our Porter play too, but we’re confident that Love’s minutes will be limited, and he’ll save his energy for shooting threes and grabbing boards.