NBA Finals Game 3 Betting Guide: Will the Nuggets Reclaim Control of the Series?
Betting on the NBA can get a little overwhelming throughout the season because there are games every day, and there's just a lot to track throughout the season and entering every night -- spreads, over/unders, injuries, and so on.
But you can rely on numberFire to help. We have a detailed betting algorithm that projects out games to see how often specific betting lines hit. You can also track spread bet percentages at FanDuel Sportsbook.
Where can we identify value in tonight's NBA odds?
(All offensive, defensive, and net rating splits come from PBPStats.com and account for medium-, high-, and very high-leverage situations unless otherwise noted. Unless otherwise noted, all injury news and notes come from the official NBA injury report.)
Denver Nuggets at Miami Heat
Miami Heat +2.5 (-108)
I've got to be honest; I'm pretty surprised to be on this side of tonight's game.
The public isn't buying Miami's impressive Game 2 win. Fans and media of the Denver Nuggets have made it well-known that they view the Heat's shooting as unstable, which is an angle that we also targeted as the Heat's series with Boston waned. I'm just not sure it's a lock that it stops any point in the next five games.
It stuck against the Celtics and Bucks, who held top-10 defensive ratings in the regular season. Denver was 15th overall in that category, which would be the second-lowest of an NBA champion since 1980. That also dipped to 21st on the road, which is where they find themselves tonight.
If we're caught up on shooting, we're missing the larger butt-kicking that Miami has enforced through two games in less variable categories:
It's actually Denver that's outperformed its 56.1 eFG% from the playoffs in this series so far. Miami actually sits below their playoff average (54.6%), which is no outlier. They're just sixth in the NBA during this time. Meanwhile, the Heat -- against all expectations -- have won the offensive glass and turnover battle.
Considering Miami should also expect an uptick in favorable foul calls in their own building, they've got a far better chance to win tonight than the vast majority of bettors at FanDuel Sportsbook would tell you.
For a small price, I'll also take this key number of two points in the event this one is tight late.
Under 214.5 (-112)
The Heat's 36-point eruption in the final period did cash the moneyline from Sunday's guide, but it did also cost what seemed like a sure under.
The pace in this series is glacial. The 88.9 pace mark shared earlier is significantly lower than the last series for both Denver (95.0) and Miami (92.3) as these bottom-10 pace teams from the regular season clash for the ultimate prize.
At this point, targeting unders based on regression to "normal" shooting just isn't wise. Denver had the top eFG% in the regular season each of the last two years, and the Heat seemed to have bottled the magic that allowed them to sit fifth in the league in eFG% last year (54.5%).
At their current rates of points per 100 possessions in the series, we'd project Denver for 106.1 points, and Miami would be projected for 102.1 points. That's 208.2 together, and I'm expecting that to decline on the Nuggets' side. Denver's 58.5 eFG% at Ball Arena this season dropped to 56.0% away from home.
Even with improvement from the Miami side, we've got plenty of cushion to take our third under of the series tonight. Let's leave the hyperefficient quarters at home, fellas.