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Heat vs Nuggets: Predictions, Picks and Game Preview

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Celtics vs Heat Injury Report, Preview, Predictions and Picks

The Miami Heat (7-2 SU, 7-2 ATS) will travel to Denver to face the Nuggets (5-4 SU, 3-6 ATS).  The Heat are establishing themselves as one of best teams in the NBA this season, as they’ve won four of their last five games, covering the spread in those four wins.

The Nuggets, on the other hand, have had an up-and-down start to their season. They’ve won three of their last five games, including two close wins against the Timberwolves and Houston Rockets. They will be without Michael Porter Jr. for this game as he sits out with some lower back tightness. So, can the Nuggets get a statement win against the Heat at home? Or will Miami continue to show the league that they mean business this season?

Heat vs Nuggets Betting Odds and Lines

The below lines are taken from BetUS.

ATS: Miami -2

O/U: 206

Moneyline: MIA -130 / DEN +110

Heat vs Nuggets Injury Report

The most notable injury for this matchup, as mentioned, will be the absence of Michael Porter Jr. for the Nuggets, who is sitting out with lower back tightness. While Porter Jr. has not started the season well, averaging 9.9 PPG, 6.6 RPG, and 1.9 APG, he is still the Nuggets’ second best player behind Nikola Jokic. Denver hopes this is precautionary, as Porter Jr. has sat out an entire season due to back surgery before.

The Heat are not dealing with many injury issues themselves, as the only players currently listed as questionable are Max Strus and KZ Okpala. Kyle Lowry has been dealing with an ankle injury, but it’s not supposed to keep him out of this bout.

Heat vs Nuggets Preview

The Heat come into this game as one of the best teams in the NBA. Offensively, they are 4th in points per possession, 3rd in offensive rebound %, 9th in effective fg% and 3rd in FT Rate, per Cleaning The Glass. Defensively, they are 4th in points per possession, 5th in effective field goal percentage, and 3rd in offensive rebound %, per Cleaning the Glass. So they mix a really good offense (3rd in offensive rating) with a just as good defense (4th in defensive rating), per NBA Advanced Stats. The Heat credit their strong defense to the additions of P.J Tucker and Kyle Lowry filling in nicely with Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo.

The Heat are off a 118-115 win against the Utah Jazz, a game they dominated more than the final score suggests. In that game, Jimmy Butler poured in 27 points on 11-15 shooting while Kyle Lowry recorded a triple-double.

The Nuggets, on the other hand, boast a very solid defense but have struggled mightily on the offensive side of the ball in 2021. They are 24th in points per possession, 24th in Turnover Percentage, 24th in Offensive Rebound % and 30th in Free Throw rate, per Cleaning The Glass. Defensively, they have been exceptional this season. They are 3rd in points per possession, 5th in offensive rebound percentage and 5th in free throw rate, Per Cleaning the Glass. Overall, Denver ranks 26th in offensive rating and 2nd in defensive rating, per NBA Advanced Stats.

The Nuggets most recently defeated the Houston Rockets, 95-94, in Denver. Nikola Jokic scored 28 points (9-15) to go along with 14 rebounds. He also sealed the Nuggets’ win on a last second blocked shot.

Heat vs Nuggets Prediction

This game is set up perfectly to be a rock fight between two top defensive teams. The Nuggets are 8-1 to the under this season, while the heat are 5-4 to the under. The heat are one of the best offensive teams in the NBA this season, but they do play at the 3rd slowest pace in the NBA. The Nuggets play at the 10th slowest pace. This will be a low scoring affair that will likely come down to the wire.

Heat vs Nuggets Betting Pick

With this game set to be low scoring, take the under at 206. As for a side winner, it seems like the Heat are still not getting the respect they deserve in the betting markets. This is the first game of a five-game West Coast Trip for Miami, so look for them to come out motivated to get their trip started with a 102-99 win on the road.

Born and raised in New York, Robert's (@rcoles0206) fandom lies with the Brooklyn Nets, New York Jets and New York Yankees. He graduated from Colgate University with a degree in History and Political Science, and has taken the research skills honed from writing long history papers into finding an edge in the betting markets.

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