The NBA Finals are finally here! When the season began, the Denver Nuggets were favorites to represent the Western Conference. The same cannot be said for the Miami Heat, who find themselves in the Finals after a hard-fought road to getting there.
Since the playoff expansion in 1984, there has not been an 8 seed to win the Finals. Can the Heat be the first team to accomplish this feat?
On the other hand, the Nuggets are looking for their first Finals win in franchise history and aren’t looking to go down without a fight.
There’s a lot at stake during this series. No matter the outcome, history will be made. Who will stamp their place in NBA history when all is said and done?
While we wait for the games to play out, let’s take a peek at our favorite player props for tonight’s game, which is powered by PrizePicks.
Nikola Jokic OVER 60.5 Fantasy Score
This might sound like a lazy analysis or even a cliché. In a quote that’s loosely translated from Draft Day, “Nikola Jokic, no matter what.” Jokes aside, we believe that Jokic and the Nuggets will start this series with a bang.
Not only are the Nuggets playing Game 1 at home, but they’re looking to put their foot firmly on the gas to begin this series. With that mentality on the forefront of our minds and Jokic’s consistent dominance, we love his chances to have a fantasy score of at least 61.
He’s surpassed this number in four of his past five games. Jokic consistently finds himself as the Nuggets’ best main scoring, rebounding, and assisting option, making this an easy play for us tonight.
Caleb Martin OVER 16 Points
Caleb Martin, C-Mart, as I like to call him, is on an absolute tear. Not only is he coming off a 26-point effort against the Boston Celtics, but he’s established himself as a core part of the Heat’s offense.
He has taken the world by storm and is a fun player to root for, if nothing else. Martin has scored at least 16 points in four of his last five games, and we’re expecting that trend to continue this evening.
He also played over 30 minutes in each game against the Celtics, a sign that the team trusts him in crunch time. We wouldn’t be surprised if Martin had 20+ again tonight.
Jimmy Butler OVER 7 Rebounds
Jimmy Butler’s role on the Heat has evolved over the past several weeks. While he’s still a scoring machine, he has also transitioned into a stanch rebounder and tends to dish the ball a bit more these days as well.
It certainly helps when players like Martin enter the fold, taking pressure off of Butler. In tonight’s game, we’re expecting some missed shots early from both teams, given the nerves of an NBA Finals game.
With that said, we believe Butler will continue his rebounding journey, racking up 8 or more boards tonight.