NBA Finals Game 5 Betting Guide: Can Miami Defy the Odds and Extend 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.)
Miami Heat at Denver Nuggets
Denver Nuggets -8.5 (-110)
Jimmy Butler had some slow individual performances in the New York and Boston series, but Miami's supporting cast was able to pick up the slack. Denver hasn't allowed that. A look at Basketball Reference's Four Factors shows how this series has continued to widen in all of the key phases:
While the gap on the offensive glass probably isn't as wide as you'd have expected with Nikola Jokic on the other side, Miami just can't make shots. I wish I could provide hope for shooting regression, but I really can't.
While the Heat have had a higher percentage of shots considered open -- with the nearest defender four-plus feet away (46.5%) -- than Denver (37.5%) has in this series, Miami just isn't as good of a shooting team. The Nuggets led the league in eFG% this year (57.3%), and Miami was fifth from the bottom (53.0%).
Under 209.5 (-110) - Lean
The public just can't help themselves with overs in this series.
I wasn't expecting there to be value on another under. That's been the result of three of four games in the series with the only exception being the Heat's historic fourth quarter in Game 2. Yet, this number rose from 208.5 to 209.5 overnight as money continues to pour in on the over.
The pace in this series (89.2) has been glacial, so even with the hyperefficient Nuggets' offense in tow, I've got Denver projected for 107.2 points, and Miami comes back -- as you'd guess with the spread -- at 98.2. All in all, that's a total of 205.4 points.
As I've mentioned previously, we likely won't get a Nuggets shooting clunker to help. They've had an eFG% south of 50.0% only once in the playoffs -- and still won the game. So, yes, the concern making this a lean is that Miami's eFG% probably won't remain so low (49.6%) forever.
The under is still the side I'd back, and it seems to be growing in value if you're willing to work against the current line movement.