The Nuggets regained the lead in the NBA Finals in Miami on Wednesday with a convincing 109-94 win, the largest margin of victory in the series so far.
Denver is a 3.5-point favorite for Game 4 and has moved back to a -901 favorite to win its first title. Accordingly, Nikola Jokić is -800 to win Finals MVP. The Heat are once again a home underdog — they had covered all four previous times in that position (and won three times) until the Game 3 loss.
Below are four betting picks and one key question for Game 5, which tips off Friday at 8:30 p.m ET on ABC.
There’s No Slowing Nikola Jokić: Bet Jokić Over 23.5 Rebounds + Assists
Jokić tallied 21 rebounds to go with 10 assists and 32 points in his historic Game 3 performance. It was the first 30-20-10 game in NBA Finals history and his 10th triple double of the postseason. The two-time MVP’s playoff averages are now up to 13.4 rebounds and 10.1 assists, which puts him right at a 23.5 combined average. Jokić went well under his combined prop in Game 2 when he was limited to just four assists but he quickly returned to form with 10 dimes in Game 3 and he matched his playoff high for rebounds, to boot. With the opportunity to take a commanding 3–1 series lead, look for the Joker to be active getting his teammates more open looks and dominating on the glass once again.
Jamal Murray Does It Again: Bet Murray to Record a Double Double
Murray double-doubled just once in 15 games before the Finals but he’s accomplished that feat in his last three games on basketball’s biggest stage, including a triple double in Game 3. Each time he’s done so it’s been close, though — 10 assists in each game and an even 10 boards last time out to pair with 26, 18 and 34 points. Murray is available at nearly 2-to-1 odds to record his fourth straight double double and he’s proven he can get it done with either rebounds or assists.
Bam Adebayo Keeps Looking for His Shot: Bet Adebayo Over 19.5 Points
Adebayo has been extremely aggressive on the offensive end against the Nuggets, especially after a passive showing in the Celtics series. He’s up to 23 points per game in the Finals and he’s had 20 or more each time out. Adebayo’s minutes, shot attempts and free throws are all up in this series compared to his playoff averages. Even though he’s shooting under 50%, his increased involvement in the offense and the rising number of free throw attempts are both good signs that Adebayo can break 20 points for the fourth game in a row in Game 4.
Defense Prevails in Game 4: Bet Under 210.5
This has been a low-scoring series so far, especially given how both offenses were playing on the road to the Finals. Two of the first three contests saw fewer than 200 total points scored and the over/under has ticked down with each passing game. The Game 4 total currently sits at 210.5. Denver and Miami’s defenses have ramped up the intensity and both offenses have taken a step back. That’s led to six unders in the last seven Heat games and four in the last seven for the Nuggets. This will be the lowest over/under of the playoffs for Denver, though Miami has had a few totals set lower than this, especially in the New York series.
How Will Jimmy Butler Perform With His Team on the Verge of a 3–1 Deficit?
The only time the Heat have trailed in a series in these playoffs was after Game 1 of the Finals. Butler responded with 21 points and nine assists in a gutsy road win. After dropping Game 3 at home, Miami is on the verge of facing a two-game deficit as the series shifts back to the Mile High City. The Heat need a big outing from Butler to draw even. His over/under for points is set at 26.5 coming off a 28-point game, his best of the Finals so far, and his rebound and assist totals are both set at 6.5.
NBA Playoffs Betting Record: 35–34
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