Heat vs Nuggets NBA Finals Preview and Free Pick [Game 5]

Miami (1-3) at Denver (3-1)
When: Monday, June 12th 2023
Where: Ball Arena,
Denver, CO

Time: 8:30 ET | TV: ABC
Opening Odds: Denver -8.5/209

The Denver Nuggets had not been the best road team in the league with just a 25-25 record, but the last two triumphs away from home could have put away the series. Denver will look to close out their first NBA Championship with a win at home Monday night against the Miami Heat. A convincing 108-95 victory in Game 4 as 3-point favorites gave the Nuggets a commanding 3-1 series lead in the NBA Finals. Denver is now a 9-point favorite at home with a total set at 208.5.


This is familiar territory for Denver, who also went back home after taking a 3-1 series lead over the Minnesota Timberwolves in the first round. Game 5 ended up being closer than expected, but the Nuggets got the job done. This will be their third Game 5 in these playoffs, winning the previous two including against the Suns in the second round. So far in these finals, the eventual game winners have covered the spread each time, while the under has cashed in three of the four games.

The eighth-seeded team in the Eastern Conference doesn’t seem to have enough fire-power to keep up with the high-flying Nuggets. All three of the Heat’s losses in the series have been by double digits, although they did win 111-108 in Game 2 in Denver. The Nuggets are a staggering 28-10 ATS in their last 38 meetings with Miami. The Over is 6-2 in the last eight matchups.

It has been a terrific run for the eighth-seeded Heat, but they just might be out of gas. The three-point shooting went cold in the Game 4 loss, going 8-for-25 (32%). They also couldn’t stop the Nuggets from bombing away. Denver shot an even 50% (14-of-28) from beyond the arc. Miami got double-digit points from three bench players on Friday (Caleb Martin, Kyle Lowry, and Duncan Robinson), but it wasn’t enough. Bam Adebayo has averaged 22.3 points and 12.5 rebounds during the four games of the NBA Finals, up from his averages of 17.8 points and 9.8 rebounds in the playoffs.

The Nuggets found scoring from others besides Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray in the Game 4 win. Aaron Gordon had a team-leading 27 points and Bruce Brown came off the bench to add 21. Jokic had what one might consider an “off night”, failing to record a triple-double with 23 points and 12 rebounds. Murray was quiet, scoring only 15 points. Jokic has nearly averaged a triple-double for the entire playoff run with 30.1 points, 13.3 rebounds and 9.8 assists. Gordon was 11-of-15 shooting on Friday and has kept Heat star Jimmy Butler in check on the defensive end.

This series is over. Miami is out of gas and the Nuggets have all the momentum after winning the last two on the road. They have easily covered the spread in each victory and I can see it happening again Monday.

Check out who Bobby Babowski has on his Free NBA Picks page for today.

Pick: Nuggets -9