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Nuggets vs. Heat odds, prediction, time: 2023 NBA Finals Game 2 picks, bets by Denver expert on 58-37 roll

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The Denver Nuggets will look to take a commanding 2-0 series lead when they battle the Miami Heat in Game 2 of the 2023 NBA Finals on Sunday. The Nuggets opened the series with a convincing 104-93 victory on Thursday. The Heat (44-38), who are 12-7 this postseason, are looking to win their first championship since the 2012-2013 season. The Nuggets (53-29), who earned the top seed in the West for the first time in franchise history, are 13-3 in the playoffs, including 9-0 at home.

Tip-off from Ball Arena in Denver is set for 8 p.m. ET. Denver leads the all-time series 39-34, and have won 10 of the past 11 matchups. The Nuggets are 8.5-point favorites in the latest Heat vs. Nuggets odds from Caesars Sportsbook, while the over/under for total points scored is 216. 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 -8.5
  • Nuggets vs. Heat over/under: 216 points 
  • Nuggets vs. Heat money line: Heat +300, Nuggets -385
  • 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

Featured Game | Denver Nuggets vs. Miami Heat

Why the Nuggets can cover 

Denver center Nikola Jokic registered his ninth triple-double of the postseason in Thursday’s win over the Heat. In 40 minutes of action, he finished with 27 points, 14 assists, 10 rebounds, one block and one steal. He has been on a tear of late, registering six triple-doubles over the past seven postseason matchups. He has scored fewer than 20 points just once in the playoffs, and registered a 53-point performance in a Game 4 loss at Phoenix in the Western Conference semifinals on May 7. In 16 postseason games this year, Jokic is averaging 29.8 points, 13.1 rebounds, 10.5 assists and 1.1 steals.

Also helping carry the Nuggets offense is point guard Jamal Murray. In the Game 1 win over the Heat, he registered a double-double with 26 points and 10 assists. He also had six rebounds and one steal. It was his sixth consecutive game of scoring 25 or more points. In 16 postseason games, he is averaging 27.6 points, nearly eight more than his season average. He is also averaging 6.4 assists, 5.5 rebounds and 1.6 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.

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