Welcome to USA Best Bet NBA Edition: This may be the last one of the season, as the NBA Finals can come to an end on Monday night as the Denver Nuggets lead 3-1 and have Game 5 on their home court. Nikola Jokic has been spectacular, but the performances from Jamal Murray and Aaron Gordon have not gone unnoticed. Can they close out the Finals in 5 games, or can Jimmy Butler and the Heat steal another game in Denver? Let’s get into the experts picks, odds, betting lines and parlay bet predictions for NBA Finals Game 5 between the Miami Heat and Denver Nuggets.
Miami Heat vs Denver Nuggets picks, odds & parlay betting lines
Point spread: Heat +9.5, Nuggets -9.5
Total points over/under: 208.5 points
Money line odds: Heat +320, Nuggets -390
Miami Heat vs Denver Nuggets expert picks
Heat vs Nuggets point spread pick: Heat +9.5 (-110)
Since Game 1, no game in this series has been won by the home team. The Nuggets won and covered a 3-point spread in both games in Miami and the talent disparity showed. While the Jamal Murray-Nikola Jokić and Jimmy Butler-Bam Adebayo duos dueled back and forth, Denver’s role players stepped up and had big moments while Miami’s took a back seat and couldn’t be efficient when they had their chances. That’s why the Nuggets will come back home with a chance to close this series in Game 5.
However, the Heat aren’t a team to roll over and die, especially the game after shooting just 33.3% from the field and attempting 18 fewer free throws in the game. Part of that has to do with the Nuggets’ elite defensive rotations and part of it has to do with Jimmy Butler being a step slower following his foot injury and Miami’s depth being taken out of the equation. While not much of that will change heading into Ball Arena, Miami can make adjustments to get them back to the offensive stats that won them Game 2, their only game of the series scoring 100+ points. Defense has not been the issue for the Heat but they need to figure out how to turn that into offense and if there is anybody to make those adjustments during the two-day layoff, it is Erik Spoelstra, whose most recent trip to the NBA Finals was with a weaker Heat team where they lost in six games.
Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo will likely each see 48 minutes in this game and even if Miami cannot pull off the incredible upset to extend this series, it would be surprising if they didn’t keep this game competitive for four quarters like they have for the last three games. If they can get a better shooting game from their bench — something that has repeatedly happened after poor shooting performances — expect this to be decided by single digits.
Heat vs Nuggets over/under total pick: Over 208.5 points (-110)
As mentioned in our against-the-spread pick blurb, defense has not been the burning question for Miami and if the Heat are to keep Game 5 mildly interesting, they need to figure out how to turn defense into offense. They rank No. 2 in these playoffs in score frequency in transition but have not had that efficiency against the length of the Nuggets.
This total has only been cleared in one game (Game 2) but it’s clear the Heat cannot keep this game close unless they find a rhythm on offense. The Heat shot just 2-8 on wide open threes in Game 4. To go hand-in-hand with our theory that Miami can positively regress shooting the ball and find some relief buckets at the free throw line, it is imperative that they clear the 100-point mark. Given how explosive Denver’s offense can be at home, it makes sense to simply back the offenses in this game and take the over on the total.
NBA Picks and Parlay Bet
Our experts are taking the Heat +9.5 and also the Over points, look to combine these two into a same game picks and parlay bet for maximum returns opportunity.
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