NBA Finals 2023 Picks: Betting Advice and Analysis for Game 4
Historic performances from Nikola Jokic (32 points, 21 rebounds and 10 assists) and Jamal Murray (34, 10 and 10) have the Denver Nuggets back in control of the NBA Finals with a 109-94 win over the Miami Heat on Wednesday.
Jokic and Murray became the first duo to record 30-point triple-doubles in league history. Their performance led the Nuggets to a 2-1 series lead, allowing Denver to regain homecourt advantage.
The Nuggets are now 1.10 futures betting favourites to win the NBA title at FanDuel, while the Heat are 7.50 underdogs.
Denver opened as a 1.62 moneyline favourite and -4 on the spread for Game 4, but that has fallen to -3.5 since.
The Over-Under is currently sitting at 210.5.
We took a look at various sports betting sites to find what NBA betting angles you should target for Game 4 on Wednesday and the rest of the NBA Finals.
Why You Should Bet on Denver in NBA Finals Game 4
Jokic and Murray.
I could end the section with those three words and that should suffice as enough reason to back the Nuggets. The two combined to make 24 of 45 shot attempts and put on a masterclass of how to run the two-man game with an array of pick-and-rolls and dribble handoffs.
Denver set 42 ball screens for Murray, which is tied for the third-most they’ve set for him all season, according to Second Spectrum Tracking. It was nine more than the team set for Murray in Game 1 (33) and 11 more in Game 2 (31). Of the 42 ball screens for Murray, 32 were by Jokic. On the Murray-Jokic pick-and-rolls, Denver scored a point per chance, slightly down from the 1.095 points per chance this season but still enough for a career night.
For all the concerns about Jokic’s rim-protecting ability and the Nuggets’ defense inside, Denver controlled the paint in Game 4. The Nuggets outscored the Heat 60-34 in the paint, tied for Denver’s third-best paint differential of the season. Meanwhile, it was the Heat’s fourth-worst paint differential.
Denver held Miami to just 17 of 46 shooting inside (37%), tying the seventh-worst shooting performance in the paint for any team in any game this season.
Why You Should Bet on Miami in NBA Finals Game 4
It’s hard to find a reason to back Miami besides going with the narrative that they’ve continued to overcome the odds when they’re seemingly overmatched or a sizeable underdog.
Miami had just four turnovers in Game 3, tied for their lowest of the season and was just the 13th time any team had fewer than five turnovers in a game. Also, the Heat outscored the Nuggets by 18 from 3-point range, making 11 3s to Denver’s five.
The Heat dominated two key statistics and were still beaten. Bam Adebayo, who has been the team’s best player this series, was held to just 5 for 16 from the paint and Jimmy Butler wasn’t much better at 6 for 16.
It’s difficult to see a way back for the Heat, especially if Denver finds its mark from 3-point range.
NBA Finals Game 4 Pick: Denver -3.5
We saw a refocused Denver in Game 3. Coach Mike Malone publicly called out his team’s effort following the Game 2 loss, questioning why it was even being discussed when playing in the NBA Finals.
The Nuggets appeared to listen to the message for one of their best defensive performances of the season. Now, it’s on the Heat to adjust and bounce back.
But I don’t see how Miami can recover. The Kevin Love lineup adjustment worked in Game 2, but he was ineffective in Game 3, making just 2 of 9 shots and not providing anything on the defensive end.
Going small isn’t really an option for the Heat either since it will just allow the Nuggets to dominate inside.
These reasons, plus the likelihood we get a motivated Denver team that can go up 3-1 with a chance to win the NBA Finals at home in Game 5 are enough for me to want to back Denver.
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