The NBA Finals have arrived after a pair of series in the East and West that could not have been more different. Denver swept the Lakers and will have had nine full days off since their clinching win on May 22nd when they take the floor tonight.
Miami had the chance to match that feat after taking a 3-0 series lead against Boston before the Celtics won three straight to force a Game 7. The Heat dismantled the Cs at TD Garden to advance to their second NBA Finals in four years and the franchise’s sixth since 2011.
Denver is a significant favorite (-425) to win their first NBA title in this series, and the Nuggets are favored by nine points heading into Game 1 at home.
We went on a serious run last round as our props for the Conference Finals wrapped up with a scorching 10-1-1 record. With a maximum of seven games remaining in the NBA season, we aim to capitalize on as much value as possible over the next two weeks and change.
Looking ahead to Game 1, our plays for tonight’s matchup in Denver are included next.
Brown has reached or surpassed the 11-point mark in 11 of the 15 playoff games so far in 2023. He’s done so while achieving his best scoring average per 36 minutes in his postseason career at 16.6 points despite only shooting 29% from beyond the arc.
Brown is attempting 11.8 field goals and 3.5 free throws per 36 minutes, both career highs, and has an 18.1% usage rate for a team with Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray averaging 10.3 and 6.1 assists per game in the playoffs, respectively.
We like Brown to continue to benefit from his teammates' generous playmaking against the Heat on Thursday night.
Several players on the Heat, including Martin, have likely multiplied their future earnings thanks to significant contributions to Miami’s deep playoff run. The forward averaged 19.3 points per game in the conference finals, the second-best mark on the team, and dropped 26 points in 45 minutes against Boston in a season-defining Game 7.
Our concern is that his play has been unsustainable, especially against a team like Denver that was top ten in opponent points allowed per game in the league.
While Martin’s performance in recent weeks has made him a household name, we expect Denver to keep him under 16 points in Game 1.
The disappearing acts that Bam has pulled in some crucial games have given way to the rise of players like Martin, Gabe Vincent, and Duncan Robinson when Miami needed support for Jimmy Butler's efforts.
Adebayo has been a volatile rebounder during the playoffs, and the two-time All-Star’s scoring, rebounding, and blocking numbers per 36 minutes are all down relative to his regular season averages. A matchup with Jokic doesn’t bode well for any improvements there.
Adebayo has averaged 6.9 rebounds per game in 12 previous head-to-head battles with Jokic, and we predict a similar result for him tonight.