Thu. Sep 28th, 2023

The Denver Nuggets will look to regain home-court advantage when they battle the Miami Heat in Game 3 of the 2023 NBA Finals on Wednesday. After opening the series with an 11-point win, the Nuggets fell 111-108 in Game 2 on Sunday. The Heat (44-38), who are 13-7 this postseason, have been red hot at home, going 7-2 there this postseason. The Nuggets (53-29), the No. 1 seed in the West for the first time in franchise history, are 13-4 in the playoffs, but just 4-3 on the road.

Tipoff from Kaseya Center in Miami is set for 8:30 p.m. ET. Denver leads the all-time series 39-35, and has won 10 of the past 12 matchups. Denver is a 2.5-point favorite in the latest Heat vs. Nuggets odds from Caesars Sportsbook, while the over/under for total points scored is set at 214.5. 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 99 Denver matchups, he is 58-38-3 against the spread, returning $1,625 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 -2.5
  • Nuggets vs. Heat over/under: 214.5 points
  • Nuggets vs. Heat money line: Nuggets -150, Heat +126
  • DEN: The Nuggets are 9-2 against the spread in their last 11 Wednesday games
  • MIA: The Heat are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 home games
  • Nuggets vs. Heat picks: See picks at SportsLine

Featured Game | Miami Heat vs. Denver Nuggets

Why the Nuggets can cover 

Despite the Game 2 loss, Denver center Nikola Jokic remains on a historical playoff run. On Sunday, Jokic scored 41 points on 16 of 28 shooting from the floor, and grabbed a series-high 11 rebounds and four assists for his 47th career playoff double-double and 14th of this postseason. He now has four career playoff games with 40 or more points, tying Alex English for second all-time in Denver’s history, only trailing Jamal Murray, who has five. In 17 playoff games this year, he is averaging 30.4 points, 12.9 rebounds, 10.1 assists and 1.1 steals. He is averaging a triple-double and has nine this postseason, including six in the last eight games.

Murray is also helping to carry the Nuggets’ offense. He is also coming off a double-double with 18 points and 10 assists to go along with four rebounds. In the Game 1 win over the Heat, he registered a double-double with 26 points and 10 assists with six rebounds and one steal. It was his sixth consecutive game of scoring 25 or more points. In 17 postseason games, he is averaging 27 points, seven more than his season average. He is also averaging 6.6 assists, 5.4 rebounds and 1.6 steals. See which team to pick here.

Why the Heat can cover

Small forward Jimmy Butler reached 20 or more points for the third time in four games in the Game 2 win. He scored 21 points, dished out nine assists and grabbed four rebounds. In 19 postseason games, Butler has been a difference-maker. He is averaging 27.3 points, 6.8 rebounds, 5.9 assists and 1.9 steals. His playoff-high was 56 points in a Game 4 first-round win over top-seeded Milwaukee on April 24. He also scored 42 in the decisive Game 5 overtime win over the Bucks on April 26 in Milwaukee.

Center Bam Adebayo is averaging 23.5 points in the series, and is coming off a 21-point and nine-rebound performance in Game 2. He also dished out four assists and blocked two shots. He was one rebound shy of recording his fourth consecutive double-double. In the Game 1 loss to Denver, he poured in 26 points and grabbed 13 rebounds to go along with five assists. In Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals vs. Boston, he had 12 points and 10 rebounds. In 20 postseason games, he is averaging 17.5 points, 9.4 rebounds and 3.9 assists. See which team to pick here.

How to make Heat vs. Nuggets picks

Hartstein 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 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 Wednesday, all from the expert who has returned over $1,600 to $100 players over his last 99 Denver Nuggets picks, and find out.

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