NBA Finals Picks: Betting Advice and Analysis for Game 3
NBA Finals Betting Tips
Congratulations to the Miami Heat. Once again, they’ve proved doubters like me wrong for another night.
In the last game’s preview, I was ready to call the series over, and for three quarters of game two it seemed like another comfortable Denver Nuggets NBA Finals win.
Then the Heat caught fire. Miami made 11 of 16 shots in the fourth quarter, including five of nine from three-point range to secure a 111-108 victory to even the series at 1-1.
As the teams prepare for a pivotal game three in Miami, we’re reviewing the best odds on NBA betting sites to find ideal picks for the series.
Why You Should Bet on Denver in NBA Finals Game Three
Denver put itself in position to take a 2-0 series lead. The Nuggets led by as many as 15 points and eight going into the fourth quarter.
Before Sunday, Denver was 11-0 this post-season when leading by double digits at any point in a contest, and 37-1 this season with at least an eight-point lead going into the fourth quarter.
It was also the first loss at home since March 10 and the first home post-season loss.
Nikola Jokic continued to be his dominant self, scoring 41 points on 16 of 28 shooting and adding 11 rebounds and four assists. It was the rest of the team’s shooting woes that held it back.
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Michael Porter Jr. was essentially a no-show; he missed six of eight shots and was just one of six from three.
Add in Jamal Murray’s (three-of-eight) and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope’s (one-of-three) inefficient shooting from beyond the arc, and Denver’s best shooters combined to go five for 14 from three-point range.
But what was more glaring was the missed defensive assignments from the Nuggets. Repeatedly, Denver got lost in switches that led to Miami's open 3s.
You can forgive missing shots — that’s going to happen. However, blown coverage at this point of the year is inexcusable.
Miami adjusted well after game one, now the onus will be on the Nuggets to make their own schematic changes to match the Heat.
Why You Should Bet on Miami in NBA Finals Game Three
The Heat found something against Denver’s defence. After shooting just 41% from the field and 33% from three (13-39) in game one, Miami made 49% from the field and 49% from three-point range (17-35).
Given the Heat’s run, it’s hard to even call that an anomaly. It was the sixth time this post-season the Heat have shot 48.5% or better from three-point range in the playoffs. By comparison, they did it just three times in the regular season.
Additionally, the Heat scored 36 points on just 19 possessions for a rate of 189.5 per 100 in the fourth quarter. That's the most efficient fourth quarter for any team in any game over the last two seasons.
Miami also went with Kevin Love in the starting line-up and it managed to work out, despite Love making just two of nine from three. The Heat were +18 with Love on the floor thanks to what he provided defensively.
NBA Finals Game Three Pick
Denver are trading at 1.69 on the Money Line with Bet365, while the spread is seat at -2.5. If you’re into trends, the bet to make would be Miami +2.5 on the spread at 1.95.
When it comes to a side, I’d lean towards the Heat. Miami continues to shoot it at an elite rate and returning home where there’s more rim familiarity for the shooters should benefit the Heat’s offence.
But as far as an official pick, I’m suggesting the Over 215 (1.91). Miami still can’t stop Jokic and I’d expect Denver’s shooting to improve while Miami continue to hit at a high clip.
The over in game two hit despite it being an even slower pace than the first game. If there’s any pace increase and the shooting stays this efficient, the teams should clear 215.
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