NBA Finals 2023 Game 2 Picks: Betting Advice and Analysis
The Miami Heat have regularly defied the sports betting odds and narratives from fans and media that they are overmatched in this postseason.
Miami topped the two Eastern Conference favourites, the Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics, on its way to making the NBA Finals after competing in the play-in games.
But on Thursday in Game 1 of the NBA Finals against the Denver Nuggets, Miami looked every bit the No. 8 seed and a team that doesn’t appear to be equipped to deal with Denver’s duo of Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray. Denver won handily, 104-93, in a game that wasn’t as close as the final score indicated.
We’re looking at multiple NBA betting sites to give you the best NBA betting tips and advice for Game 2 and the rest of the series.
Why You Should Bet on Denver in NBA Finals Game 2
Game 1 delivered a simple reality that the Heat don’t have the personnel to match up with Denver’s frontcourt. Aaron Gordon feasted on the smaller defenders, scoring 14 of his 16 points in the first half. Jokic was in complete control of the game throughout and finished with a triple-double of 27 points, 10 rebounds and 14 assists. Together, those two combined to make 15 of their 22 shot attempts.
It’s difficult to see what personnel changes Miami could make to offset Denver’s advantage inside. Miami did attempt putting Jimmy Butler on Gordon in the second half, but then that took away from Butler’s ability to defend and limit Murray. And Jokic was able to get to his spots on offense whether Bam Adebayo or Cody Zeller was on him.
The scary thing is the Nuggets didn’t even play that well. Denver made just 8 of 27 attempts from 3, and Michael Porter Jr. (2-of-11) and Murray (2-of-7) both uncharacteristically struggled, as the team also missed all eight of its shots from beyond the arc in the fourth quarter when Miami rallied to make it somewhat a game.
Denver is now 1.13 on the moneyline to win the series at FanDuel, while the series spread of -8.5 is at 1.91.
If you feel Denver’s dominance will continue and Miami won’t find any answers, the Nuggets to sweep is 4.00 at DraftKings.
The Nuggets are also point spread favourites by -8.5 points for Game 2.
Why You Should Bet on Miami in NBA Finals Game 2
The only NBA action the Heat deserve from anyone right now is for any people holding a Miami futures betting ticket to cash it out and take any profit that there may be.
On a serious note, offensively, the Heat could take some positives from Game 1. Adebayo was effective, finishing with 26 points and 13 rebounds while making 13 of 25 attempts.
There’s room for improvement on the shooting end, too. The Heat were just 13 of 39 from 3 and Max Strus was a no-show, missing all 10 shots including nine from 3-point range. It’s also fair to assume Butler will give the Heat more going forward after scoring 13 points on 14 shots.
An adjustment to attack the rim more should also result in more than the two free-throw attempts the Heat had in Game 1.
NBA Finals Game 2 Pick
Instead of going with a side, I’d look to target the the Over-Under.
Game 1 flew under the total of 217.5 and Game 2 is posted at 214.5 on DraftKings. It seems like a little bit of an overreaction to an adjustment.
These were the top two 3-point shooting teams in the postseason this year, with both making nearly 40% from beyond the arc. It’s also hard for Game 2 to be as slow as the opener with the teams going with just 91 possessions.
Miami should also get more free looks at the line, with Butler noting the team has to be more aggressive in Game 2 by attacking the rim.
All of this could result in more scoring, making over 214.5 at 1.91 worth a bet.
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