We've finally reached Game 1 of the NBA Finals! The Denver Nuggets will host the Miami Heat at 8:30 Eastern on ABC. Will the Nuggets continue to dominate on their home floor? Or will the Heat keep thriving in the underdog role?
Check out the live odds and our best bet for Heat at Nuggets below. Also, be sure to check out our player props article for Game 1. Those have done exceptionally well of late.
Good luck with your action, and as always, Bet Responsibly! Just because it's the Finals doesn't mean it's time to get careless with your bankroll.
Even with a 9-day layoff, most online sportsbooks are heavily favoring Denver over Miami. Most shops have the Nuggets as an 8.5 or 9-point favorite for Game 1. The total is currently sitting at 218.5 to 219.5, depending on where you check.
If you want to bet on the Nuggets, the best places to do so are at Prophet Exchange, DraftKings, or BetMGM. Prophet Exchange is offering (-8.5) at -110 juice, while the other two shops are offering it at -115.
Think the Heat will cover the spread? Caesars, FanDuel, and WynnBet would be the best options for you. All three are offering Miami +9 at -110 odds.
As far as the total is concerned, Caesars has the best price for the Over at 218.5 (-110). BetMGM is the top spot to play the Under at 219(-110).
There are a few reasons why we like the Under tonight in Game 1. As we mentioned above, the Nuggets haven't played for 9 days. With that long of a layoff, it could take Denver a quarter or two to get back into a rhythm with their shooting.
However, the large amount of rest should help the Nuggets on the defensive end of the floor. Their legs are fresh, and they'll be fired up and ready to shut down Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo. Also, the Heat have to be drained after having to go toe to toe with Boston for 7 games in the Eastern Conference Finals.
There are also a few schematic edges that favor the Under in this spot. Nikola Jokic is a beast and he's hard to handle down low. That being said, Miami ranks 2nd in paint points allowed per game. Joker will get his share of points, but we don't see him completely obliterating Adebayo in the paint.
Also, Denver defends three-pointers remarkably well. The Nuggets rank 2nd in the league in three-point defense. That means that Caleb Martin and Gabe Vincent won't get nearly as many open looks as they did against the Celtics.
Denver has also tended to be an Under team when at home. The Nuggets have stayed under the total in 28 of 49 games at Ball Arena. Look for this game to be played in the low 200s! Good luck!