The Denver Nuggets will look to go 10-0 at home this postseason when they battle the Miami Heat in Game 2 of the 2023 NBA Finals on Sunday. Denver won the series opener on Thursday, 104-93, at Ball Arena. The Heat (44-38), who are coming off a 4-3 series win over the Boston Celtics, are an impressive 6-5 on the road this postseason. The Nuggets (53-29), who swept a four-game series over the Lakers in the Western Conference finals, are 13-3 in the playoffs. Denver has won 10 of the past 11 meetings with Miami, going 5-1 at home during that stretch.
Game time in Denver is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET. The Nuggets are 8-point favorites in the latest Heat vs. Nuggets odds from Caesars Sportsbook, while the over/under for total points scored is 216.5. Before making any Nuggets vs. Heat picks, make sure you check out what proven SportsLine NBA expert Larry Hartstein has to say.
A former lead writer for Covers and The Linemakers, Hartstein combines a vast network of Vegas sources with an analytical approach. He excels in the NBA, especially when picking Denver Nuggets games. Over the past 98 Denver matchups, he is 58-37-3 against the spread, returning $1,735 for $100 players.
Now, Hartstein has set his sights on Heat vs. Nuggets and just locked in his picks and 2023 NBA Finals predictions. You can visit SportsLine now to see Hartstein's picks. Here are the NBA lines and trends for Nuggets vs. Heat:
- Nuggets vs. Heat spread: Nuggets -8
- Nuggets vs. Heat over/under: 216.5 points
- Nuggets vs. Heat money line: Heat +270, Nuggets -345
- MIA: The Heat are 22-16 ATS this season as underdogs
- DEN: The Nuggets are 31-18-1 ATS at home this season
- Nuggets vs. Heat picks: See picks at SportsLine
Why the Nuggets can cover
Denver's offense appears to be clicking on all cylinders. Power forward Aaron Gordon has been red hot. In the Game 1 win over the Heat, Gordon scored 16 points and grabbed six rebounds. In the Game 4 close-out win over the Lakers in the Western Conference finals, he scored 22 points, grabbed six rebounds and had five assists. Gordon has reached double-digit scoring in four of the past five games. In 16 postseason games, Gordon is averaging 13.2 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.5 assists.
Small forward Bruce Brown has been dynamic coming off the bench. In just 21 minutes in Game 1, he finished with 10 points, five rebounds and two assists. He has reached double-digit scoring in six of the past seven games, including a 25-point performance in a 118-102 win over the Phoenix Suns in Game 5 of their Western Conference semifinal series. In 16 postseason games with zero starts, he is averaging 12.1 points, 3.9 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.1 steals. See which team to pick here.
Why the Heat can cover
Small forward Jimmy Butler knows Miami can get right back in the series with a win, and he's been the team's catalyst this postseason. In 18 games, he is averaging 27.6 points, seven rebounds, 5.8 assists and two steals per game. He will look to bounce back from a playoff-low 13 points in Game 1. He has registered four double-doubles this postseason and is very capable of putting up points. He scored a playoff-high 56 in a Game 4 first-round win over top-seeded Milwaukee on April 24, and had 42 in the decisive Game 5 overtime win over the Bucks on April 26 in Milwaukee.
Center Bam Adebayo has proven his dominance throughout the playoffs, and has posted three consecutive double-doubles. In the Game 1 loss to Denver, he poured in 26 points and grabbed 13 rebounds to go along with five assists. Against Boston in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals, Adebayo scored 11 points and grabbed 13 rebounds. He then followed that up with 12 points and 10 rebounds in Game 7. In 19 postseason games, he is averaging 17.3 points, 9.4 rebounds and 3.9 assists. See which team to pick here.
How to make Heat vs. Nuggets picks
Hartstein is leaning Over 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 find out what it is, and see which side of the Nuggets vs. Heat 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 Sunday, all from the expert who has returned over $1,700 to $100 players over his last 98 Denver Nuggets picks, and find out.