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The Miami Heat (0-1) look to even the 2023 NBA Finals vs. the Denver Nuggets (1-0) Sunday in Game 2. My NBA Finals Game 1 prop piece didn’t go as planned. I went 1-2 with Nuggets PG Jamal Murray going Over his point prop by a half-point.
But, I’ve been running fairly hot in these player props throughout the NBA playoffs and have three looks worthy of your attention in Game 2. If I don’t go 3-0 Sunday then feel free to chirp me on Twitter.
3 NBA Finals Game 2 Player Props
- Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.
Miami Heat C Bam Adebayo point prop: 18.5
- OVER 18.5 POINTS: -105
- Under 18.5 points: -125
Most of my analyses for the OVER on Bam Adebayo’s Game 1 point prop works for Game 2. Adebayo scored 26 points on 13-of-25 shooting in Game 1 without any free-throw attempts.
He easily cashed my OVER bet for his 16.5-point prop. Nikola Jokic gives Bam a lot of space because he cannot stay in front of him. This allows Adebayo to knock down makable mid-range jumpers.
Adebayo averaged 20.5 PPG in both Heat-Nuggets games during the regular season and hit 17-for-18 from the foul line in those meetings. Bam has scored at least 19 points in four straight games vs. Jokic and five out of the last six.
I like to attack player props that are priced differently at the legal U.S. sportsbooks from offshore shops. Pinnacle Sportsbook makes the OVER for Bam’s point prop more expensive than the Under.
The opposite is true for most of the U.S. sportsbooks including DraftKings. Pinnacle is a market-making shop that the legal U.S. sportsbooks copy.
It seems like DraftKings is lagging behind. Or perhaps more action is the Under for Adebayo’s at DraftKings. Regardless, the OVER 18.5 for Bam points is the sharper look here.
BET: Heat big Bam Adebayo OVER 18.5 points (-105)
Denver Nuggets PF Aaron Gordon made 3-pointers: 0.5
- Over 0.5 made 3-pointers: -115
- UNDER 0.5 MADE 3-POINTERS: -115
Gordon is a capable outside shooter but doesn’t attempt a lot of 3-pointers. He only attempted 2.5 threes per game this season, making just 0.9 of them (34.7%).
In Game 1, Gordon used his size to post up smaller Heat defenders. Nine of Gordon’s 10 field goal attempts in Game 1 were from inside the arc and he didn’t make a 3 Thursday.
Gordon has gone 0-for 3-point land in eight of his 16 games this postseason including five of the last six. He also didn’t make a 3 in his only game vs. Miami during the regular season.
Jokic set up shop on the perimeter in Game 1 to pull Bam out of the paint. Since Gordon got whatever he wanted in Game 1, I’d expect the Nuggets to feed him in the paint again Sunday. Plus, Gordon IS the worst 3-point shooter in Denver’s starting 5.
BET: Nuggets PF Aaron Gordon UNDER 0.5 made 3-pointers (-115)
Heat SG Max Strus point prop: 9.5
- Over 9.5 points: +100
- UNDER 9.5 POINTS: -130
Strus has the 2nd-lowest on the Heat during these playoffs ahead of just SG Haywood Highsmith. In Game 1, Strus was 0-for-10 from the field and 0-for-9 from behind the arc.
Heat F Caleb Martin’s and Strus’ struggles got Highsmith more run in Game 1. Both Martin and Highsmith are bigger and better defenders than Strus as well. Strus had a 21 offensive rating Thursday.
For perspective, 114.8 was the average offensive rating during the NBA regular season. Nuggets SG Kentavious Caldwell-Pope spent the most time defending Strus in Game 1.
KCP is probably Denver’s best on-ball defender. Finally, if Heat SG Tyler Herro returns for Game 2 then Strus could have his minutes cut.
BET: Heat SG Max Strus UNDER 9.5 points (-130)
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