The Denver Nuggets have jumped out to a 3-1 series lead over the Miami Heat. And the latest odds to win the 2023 NBA Finals won't let us—or the Heat themselves—forget it.
Can Miami save their title hopes with a win in Game 5? Here's everything you need to know about the next matchup:
- What: Nuggets vs. Heat Game 5
- Date: Monday, June 12
- Time: 8:30 p.m. EST
- Where: Ball Arena in Denver, Colorado
- Series Score: Denver leads Miami 3-1
Denver is working off a dominant 108-95 victory on the road in Game 3. And the Nuggets have now led by double digits in all four NBA Finals games. (They blew a 15-point lead to lose Game 2.) Most view the Heat's 3-1 series hole as a death knell. Rightfully so, too. Only one team in NBA history has ever come from behind to win the Finals after falling into the 3-1 pit: The 2016 Cleveland Cavaliers. Winning three consecutive games against the same opponent in the NBA playoffs is incredibly hard. Even forcing a Game 7, with two straight wins, would be an historical feat by Miami.
To the Heat's credit, they have scrapped and clawed their way back from adversity all postseason. That matters. And yet, all the available online NBA betting odds don't even give them a puncher's chance of winning Game 5. You can see for yourself below:
Make sure to double-check these NBA Finals betting odds until you actually submit your wager. Our Nuggets vs. Heat Game 5 betting odds are accurate as of Sunday, June 11. The lines will move between now and the opening tip-off on Monday, June 12, at 8:30 EST.
Wagering on a Game 5 in which one team trails 3-1 for the series can be difficult. You tend to get too bogged down by the bigger picture. But for the time being, we really only have one job: figure out who will win Game 5. So, forget about what could be after the fact and focus on this singular matchup. Can the Heat extend the series and their championship aspirations? Or are the Nuggets about to win the 2023 NBA title?
Are Oddsmakers Wise to Heavily Favor the Denver Nuggets Over the Miami Heat in Game 5
Though the extent to which oddsmakers favor the Nuggets in Game 5 left us slightly surprised, we understand why the betting lines landed here. Not only is Denver playing at home, where they have lost just once all postseason, but they're coming off their most complete performance of the Finals.
Both Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray were spectacular in Game 4, just like they have been all series. But the Nuggets received more help from the supporting cast than they did during their previous two victories. Aaron Gordon absolutely murdered the Heat, and Bruce Brown came up absolutely huge in transition and the half-court. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope hit two of his five three-point attempts. Michael Porter Jr. had yet another off shooting night, but he still slogged his way to a couple of big buckets off cuts while bringing great energy overall. The Nuggets, as a team, finally had their first above-average showing from beyond the arc for the series. They drilled 50 percent of their three-point attempts.
It's unclear what adjustments the Heat can make to keep pace with a Denver offense currently pumping in over 1.18 points per possession—the equivalent of the second-best mark during the regular reason. They will usually shoot better than 32 percent from three themselves, but the Nuggets have done a great job pressuring them on the perimeter. Bam Adebayo won't always commit eight turnovers, so there's that.
In terms of actual adjustments, though, the Heat are running thin on options. Do they try to jump-start the half-court offense by playing Duncan Robinson over Max Strus? Do they try playing Codey Zeller alongside Bam Adebayo to counter the size on Denver's frontline? Is it time for head coach Erik Spoelstra to dust off Haywood Highsmith and pivot to smaller lineups?
Everything is no doubt on the table for the Heat. But it's starting to feel like they're out of counters that will actually impact the Nuggets. And that means it's time to admit what most of us already knew: Denver is going to win this series—and the NBA championship.
OSB Prediction: Denver Nuggets (-420)
Are the Heat in for Another Double-Digit Loss to the Nuggets in Game 5?
As we mentioned before, the Nuggets have held double-digit leads in every single game this season. Their three victories have also come by an average of 13 points. As you can tell from the latest NBA Finals point spread betting odds, linemakers are bracing for a similar outcome in Game 5:
- Denver Nuggets, -9.5 (-110)
- Miami Heat, +9.5 (-110)
This is another instance in which we understand why the market has settled into such a dramatic spot. However, we're not so sure Denver will pull off yet another blowout-style victory. For all of Miami's struggles, they have succeeded in dragging down the pace of this series. We would also expect the Nuggets to play a little more cautious than normal, knowing what's at stake. Murray, specifically, has been susceptible to wild swings this postseason and has yet to have a down game.
Mostly, we trust Erik Spoelstra to have the Heat ready. Jimmy Butler is already showing heightened aggression, and Miami is shooting 41 percent from long distance on the road. They should be able to keep this relatively close.
To that end, you can use the Nuggets vs. Heat Game 5 point spread to increase your potential. Our reviews of the best online sportsbooks are chock full of sites that allow you to build same-game parlays. If you pair the Nuggets' moneyline (-420) with the Heat at +9.5 (-110), you can bag a prospective payout of roughly 1.36-to-1.
OSB Prediction: Miami Heat, +9.5 (-110)
Will the Pace of the NBA Finals Continue to Drag Down the Finals Score?
The "under" has now hit in three of the first four NBA Finals games. Linemakers have progressively lowered their totals for each contest. It's the same story when looking at the NBA Finals over/under betting odds for Game 5:
- Over 208 (-110)
- Under 208 (-110)
We once again find ourselves surprised that the total isn't even lower. Denver and Miami are averaging 205.5 combined points for the series, and only one of these games has cleared the 208-point threshold. Given the slow pace at which this matchup is being played, both teams will need to shoot astronomical clips from three to hit the "over." And we don't see that happening.
Anyone with the stomach for added risk should consider parlaying all three of these lines. Betting on the Nuggets moneyline (-420), the Heat's point spread (-110) and the "under" (-110) leaves you with a potential 3.5-to-1 payout.
OSB Prediction: Under 208 (-110)
Take a look at this list of the top online sportsbooks so you can find one that works for all of your 2023 NBA Finals betting: