The 2023 NBA Finals will finally begin tonight with the Miami Heat heading west to meet the Denver Nuggets. The contest will tip at 8:30 p.m. ET on ABC. The Nuggets handled their business by sweeping the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference Finals. Meanwhile, the Heat avoided the dreaded reverse sweep in the Eastern Conference Finals and put down the Boston Celtics in seven games.
The Heat will still be without Tyler Herro and Victor Oladipo but are otherwise good on the injury front. The Nuggets have a clean injury report and have been able to stay healthy for this postseason.
Denver enters the game as an 8.5-point favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook. The total is installed at 219. The Nuggets are -360 on the moneyline while the Heat are +295.
Heat vs. Nuggets, 8:30 p.m. ET
Pick ATS: Heat +8.5
Denver has had plenty of time off after finishing off L.A. 10 days ago and the classic “rest vs. rust” question comes into play for the Western Conference champs tonight. Meanwhile, Miami just went the full seven with Boston and after clobbering the Celtics on the road at TD Garden, they’ll be wired to come swinging out the gate in this series. While I don’t envision the Heat getting the outright win here, I’d imagine Jimmy Butler, Caleb Martin, and company making things extremely uncomfortable for the Nuggets like they did in the regular season. Take Miami to cover.
Over/Under: Under 219
This is a matchup between a Nuggets team that might come in a little bit cold after the time off and a Heat team that was inconsistent offensively in the back half of the ECF. This could very well be a sloppy offensive matchup as the two teams get a feel for each other to start the series. Take the under.