Getty Images

The Denver Nuggets and the Miami Heat collide in a big-time Game 1 of the 2023 NBA Finals on Thursday evening. The Nuggets are playing in their first-ever NBA Finals, while Miami will be suiting up in its seventh Finals appearance in team history. Denver is putting up 116.4 points per contest during the 2023 NBA playoffs. The Heat are averaging 111.7 points per game.

Tipoff from Ball Arena is at 8:30 p.m. ET. Denver is a 9-point favorite in the latest Heat vs. Nuggets odds from Caesars Sportsbook, while the over/under for total points scored is 218.5. Before making any Nuggets vs. Heat picks, make sure you check out what proven SportsLine NBA expert Matthew Severance has to say.

Matt Severance is a well-connected writer and handicapper who has worked in the industry since 2005. After joining SportsLine, Matt quickly established himself as a top expert in multiple sports. Over his past 162 NBA picks, he is 106-55-1 against the spread, returning $3,599 for $100 players. 

Now, Severance has set his sights on Heat vs. Nuggets and just locked in his picks and NBA Finals predictions. You can head to SportsLine now to see his picks. Here are several NBA betting lines and trends for Heat vs. Nuggets:

  • Heat vs. Nuggets: Denver -9 
  • Heat vs. Nuggets over/under: 218.5 points  
  • Heat vs. Nuggets money line: Denver -385, Miami +300 
  • MIA: The Heat are 9-2 ATS in their last 11 games following an ATS win 
  • DEN: The Nuggets are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 home games 
  • Heat vs. Nuggets picks: See picks at SportsLine
Featured Game | Denver Nuggets vs. Miami Heat

Why the Nuggets can cover

Guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope brings outstanding energy onto the floor for the Nuggets. Caldwell-Pope owns a knockdown perimeter jumper and has superb length to cause problems as a defender. The Georgia product logs 11.7 points, 1.3 steals, and makes 41% of his 3-point attempts in the playoffs. In Game 3 against the Lakers, Cadewell-Pope had 17 points and made four 3-pointers.

Guard Bruce Brown is an active presence off the bench. Brown is a savvy player who will find his way around the rim as a cutter and rebounder. The Miami product can also space the floor when needed and is averaging 12.2 points, 3.9 points, and 2.2 assists in the postseason. On May 20 against the Lakers, Brown notched 15 points, five boards, and five assists. See which team to pick here.

Why the Heat can cover

Center Bam Adebayo is a monster in the lane. Adebayo has terrific power and strength to push back defenders down low while constantly piling up boards. The Kentucky product is first on the team in rebounds (9.2) along with 16.8 points per game in the postseason. He's recorded a double-double in consecutive matchups, including in Game 7 against the Celtics when he totaled 12 points, 10 rebounds, and seven assists.

Guard Gabe Vincent is a sharpshooting playmaker in the backcourt. Vincent owns great court vision as a passer and can score off the dribble with ease. The UCSB product logs 13.1 points, 3.9 assists, and shoots 39% from downtown during the 2023 NBA playoffs. On May 21 versus the Celtics, Vincent finished with 29 points and went 6-of-9 from beyond the arc. See which team to pick here.

How to make Nuggets vs. Heat picks

Severance is leaning Under on the point total, and he has identified a critical X-factor he says makes one side of the spread a must-back. You can only find out what it is, and see which side of the Heat vs. Nuggets spread to back, at SportsLine.

Who wins Heat vs. Nuggets, and what critical X-factor makes one side of the spread a must-back? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Heat vs. Nuggets spread you need to jump on Thursday, all from the expert who has returned $3,599 to $100 players over his last 162 NBA picks, and find out.