NBA Finals, playing the spread and total in Heat-Nuggets: Best Bets for June 4

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Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler, right, is defended by Denver Nuggets forward Bruce Brown during the first half of Game 1 of basketball's NBA Finals, Thursday, June 1, 2023, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

Each day, one of our experts will offer up a best bet (or two or three) that mobile sportsbooks are offering. It might be a traditional spread bet, a player prop or one of the various odds boosts that books offer.

Here are our best bets for Sunday, June 4:

TOP PLAY

The play: NBA Finals, Miami Heat +8.5 over Denver Nuggets

The odds: -110

The book: FanDuel Sportsbook

Time/TV: 8 p.m. (ABC)

Our take: This one is for all of the bettors who were on the wrong end of a bad beat in Game 1. Those who had Miami Heat +9 on their tickets earlier in the week were kicking themselves late in the game after Erik Spoelstra’s squad could’ve covered late. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t Miami’s night.

The Heat shot 40% from the field (39-for-96) and just 33% from deep (13-for-39). If one more of those shots had fallen on the night, Miami would’ve covered, or at the very least, forced a push.

Despite there being insane value in backing the visitors to steal Game 2 in Denver, I’m not touching a +300 money line ticket with a 10-foot pole. However, the Heat have shown time and time again that they are a scrappy opponent.

Miami has shown that it can hang with the Nuggets — or any other team in the NBA, for that matter — so I think there is still some money to be made here.

ANOTHER TOTAL TICKET

The play: NBA Finals, Heat and Nuggets OVER 215 total points

The odds: -110

The book: FanDuel Sportsbook

Our take: Jim Derry was spot on during Game 1 when he predicted these teams would start slowly and the under would hit. While the Nuggets wasted little time getting after it, the Heat really struggled to make shots throughout the evening.

Poor shooting performances from Max Strus (0-for-10), Duncan Robinson (1-for-6) and Caleb Martin (1-for-7) — as well as an underwhelming display from Butler (6-for-14) — resulted in an off night offensively for Miami.

The reality is it’d be hard for the Heat to struggle this much from the field again in Game 2. Denver can score at ease with elite playmakers like Nikola Jokic (29.8 points per game in the 2023 NBA Playoffs) and Jamal Murray (27.6 PPG), so if Miami is getting shots to fall, Game 2 could result in a shootout.

The total dropped four points from 219 in Game 1 to 215 in Game 2 after Thursday’s 104-93 final score. Oddsmakers are daring bettors to take the bait and pick the over. Well, they’ve got us hooked.

HOW WE’VE FARED

Saturday’s best bets

Stanley Cup Finals: Panthers at Golden Knights UNDER 5.5 goals (LOST)

FA Cup final: Manchester City and Manchester United both to score (WON)

Saturday’s record: 1-1

Total for the week: 3-7, 2 pending

Total for June: 2-4

Total for 2023: 122-136, 2 pending

NOTE: If a line or odds are minus, it considers the juice one must lay to place the bet. Ex: Team A is -160 on the money line, one would have to bet $160 to win $100 (or $16 to win $10). OR Team B is a 5-point favorite at -110, one would have to bet $110 to win $100 (or $11 to win $10.)

Conversely, on positive lines, if Team C is +140 on the money line, $100 would bring in $140 (or $10 to win $14).

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