After a dominating performance in Game 1, the Denver Nuggets will look to put a stranglehold on the series against the Miami Heat. The Mile High advantage and 9 days of rest served Denver well in their 104-93 victory on Thursday evening.
Can the Heat pull off the road upset in Game 2 to even up the series before heading back home to South Beach? We all know that Erik Spoelstra will get maximum effort from his squad in this game, but will it be enough to make this a series? Check out our best bet for Game 2 of the NBA Finals below.
Best Bet: OVER 215 Points
Oddsmakers opened this line 4 points lower than Game 1, which we believe is too much of an overreaction. Miami had just gotten done with a 7-game series against Boston. The Heat didn’t have their sea legs under them on Thursday, which is why they struggled so much from the field.
Miami took 96 shots in Game 1 and only made 39 of them. However, if they keep up that kind of pace, the Over is the more likely outcome in Game 2. The Heat got a ton of open looks in Game 1 that just didn’t fall. That’s unlikely to happen two games in a row.
Denver could have easily scored 130 points in Game 1, but they took their foot off the gas when they got up by 24 points. We expect Miami to play them closer in Game 2. If that happens, the Nuggets will put up way more points than the 45 they scored in the second half on Thursday.
Heat Stars Will Play Better in Game 2
Jimmy Butler only scored 13 points in Game 1. The 33-year-old is one of the best playoff players in NBA history, so we could see him bouncing back with a 40+ point performance in Game 2.
Butler also commented that he’d be attacking the rim much more often on Sunday. This would also go a long way towards helping the Over.
Also, we expect much better production out of Caleb Martin and Max Strus in Game 2. After lighting up the Celtics the entire Eastern Conference Finals, Martin was held to just 3 points in Game 1. Strus shot 0 of 10 from the field and 0 of 9 from 3-point land. Both of these players are much better than that!
Trends and Other Stats That Support the Over
Still not convinced that the Over is the way to play Game 2? Here are a few trends and stats to help with that.
- 5 of the last 6 games between Denver and Miami have gone OVER the total
- The Over is 23-16 this season when the Heat are underdogs
- Denver ranks only 22nd in paint points allowed, so Bam Adebayo could continue to dominate
- Miami ranks 20th in opponent shooting efficiency, so Denver should still be able to score at will
- Denver ranks 3rd in 3-point field goal percentage (37.9%)