NBA Finals 2023: Heat vs Nuggets Game 1 Prediction and Odds

NBA Finals 2023, Heat vs Nuggets Game 1 Prediction and Odds: The Denver Nuggets are predicted to win as per the latest odds and predictions.

Brace yourselves for the final showdown as the two best teams of the NBA 2022-23 are set to lock horns for the prestigious title. The Miami Heat and the Denver Nuggets will square off at Ball Arena in Denver, Colorado to kickstart the NBA Finals. It has been a roller-coaster ride for the Heat this season. They made an epic comeback in the final game of the Conference Finals against the Boston Celtics after three back-to-back defeats to qualify for the decider clash. 

The Denver Nuggets have been the top team in the Western Conference since the start of the tournament. They looked exceptionally consistent throughout the campaign. The Nuggets crushed the LA Lakers in the last round by 4-0 to storm into the Finals.

The Heat have won the NBA championship thrice. The last time they clinched the trophy was in 2013. On the other hand, the Denver Nuggets are eager for their first-ever NBA title.

NBA Finals 2023, Heat vs Nuggets Game 1 Prediction: Tactical Analysis

The Miami Heat have had a tough journey this season, but their spot-on strategy and tactics have helped them excel. Despite inconsistency on offense, Miami has taken control of the pace of the game in crunch moments with the help of dominating rallies. Spoelstra’s men are known for their strong ball movement, and that has helped them on numerous occasions.

Defensively, the Heat have done a brilliant job, especially in the playoffs. They have been excellent in restricting the opposition, which helps them avoid falling behind early. Miami’s defense played exceedingly well in the last series against the Boston Celtics’ potent offense. Bam Adebayo has been the key performer, averaging 9.2 rebounds and 1.0 steals per game.

The Denver Nuggets have been flawless on offense. They have dominated most of their opponents with their excellent 3-point shooting ability. The duo of Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray in the attack has been one of the main reasons for Denver’s success. They have put their side ahead so many times by exploiting the defensive weaknesses of the other teams. Both of them are averaging more than 27 points per game in the postseason.

The Nuggets also look pretty good on defense. Tactically, they always seem ahead of their opposition, which is proved by their amazing counter ability. They also look impressive in stealing and blocking areas.

Key Players

Nikola Jokic: Nikola Jokic’s strengths include scoring, rebounding, assisting, and field goal percentage, which ranks him among the top players in the NBA. However, he is consistent in 3-point shooting, a slight drop in free throw percentage in the postseason, and turnovers​.

Jimmy Butler: Jimmy Butler excels in scoring and free throw shooting, and has an active defensive presence. However, he is inconsistent in rebounding and three-point shooting.

NBA Finals 2023, Heat vs Nuggets Game 1 Prediction: Home-Away Stats

Game 1 of the series is scheduled at the home of the Denver Nuggets. The Nuggets’ home record is fantastic so far. In the regular season, they won 34 out of 41 home fixtures. In the playoffs, Denver hasn’t lost a single home matchup as they won all 8 games at Ball Arena as of now.

It will be an away challenge for the Miami Heat in the first game of the Finals. The Heat had an away record of 17-24 in the regular season. They won 5 out of 10 away fixtures in the postseason.

NBA Finals 2023, Heat vs Nuggets Game 1 Prediction: Playoff Series

Miami Heat

The Miami Heat struggled in the initial phase of the season. But they kept on striving to keep avoid an early elimination. Miami finished the regular season in the 8th position in the Eastern Conference with 44 wins and 38 wins. The Heat managed to book a Play-In Berth. In the Play-In Tournament, they defeated the Chicago Bulls in the second clash to confirm a playoff spot. The Heat looked brilliant in the postseason and won against the Milwaukee Bucks and the New York Knicks in the first two rounds. Miami won the Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Celtics by 4-3.

Denver Nuggets

The Denver Nuggets had one of their best NBA seasons of all time. They got hold of the top position in the Western Conference right from the start and retained it till the end of the regular season. The Nuggets had 53 wins and 29 wins. Denver continued the same momentum in the postseason as well. They handed crushing defeats to the Minnesota Timberwolves in Round 1 and the Phoenix Suns in the Conference Semifinals. Denver won the final round comfortably with a 4-0 win against the LA Lakers.

NBA Finals 2023, Heat vs Nuggets Game 1 Prediction: Offense and Defense Comparison


Offensive Advantage: Denver Nuggets

  • The Miami Heat have maintained a scoring rate of 111.7 points per game. They shot 47.2% from the field and 39.0% beyond the 3-point line. The free throw success rate stands at 80.4%. Miami was ranked 25 in the attack having an Adjusted Offensive Rating of 113.2.
  • The Denver Nuggets are playing in the playoffs with a good scoring average of 116.4 points per game. In shooting, they have a conversion rate of 49.0% in field goals, 38.6% in 3-pointers, and 81.5% in free throws. The Nuggets were the 5th highest-ranked side in the offense in the regular season with an Adjusted Offensive Rating of 116.9.


Defensive Advantage: Miami Heat

  • The Miami Heat have conceded 107.4 points per game this season. They played with an average of 43.5 rebounds per game. The average number of steals and the average of the blocks per game are currently at 5.7 and 4.6 respectively. The Heat restricted the opponents to 45.7% from the field and 32.5% beyond the 3-point line. In the regular season, Miami was ranked 8 in the defense having an Adjusted Defensive Rating of 113.4.
  • The Denver Nuggets have given away 108.1 points per game so far. They maintained an average of 38.3 rebounds, with 5.5 steals and 4.8 blocks per game. Denver allowed a shooting accuracy of 47.2% in field goals and 34.2% in 3-pointers. The Nuggets were the 5th best team in the offense with an Adjusted Offensive Rating of 116.9.

NBA Finals 2023, Heat vs Nuggets Game 1 Odds

The Denver Nuggets have undoubtedly been the more dominant side in the NBA 2022-23. However, the Miami Heat will also be flying high with confidence after eliminating the mighty Celtics who were the finalists of the last season. The home advantage is surely going to play a crucial role and it will be on the side of the Nuggets in Game 1.


  • Miami Heat: +6 (-110)
  • Denver Nuggets: -6 (-110)


  • Miami Heat: +280
  • Denver Nuggets: -350

NBA Finals 2023, Heat vs Nuggets Game 1 Prediction: Head-to-Head Stats

This will be the first meeting of these two sides in the NBA Playoffs. They met 72 times in the regular season. The Denver Nuggets have a slight upper hand with 38 wins, while the Miami Heat were on the winning side in 34 games.

The Denver Nuggets currently have a winning streak of 6 games against the Miami Heat. The Nuggets defeated the Heat twice in the current season. The previous clash took place on 13 February 2023. The Denver Nuggets won that contest by 112-108.

H2H Key Highlights: Last 5 Meetings

  • Number of home games won by the Denver Nuggets: 3
  • Number of away games won by the Miami Heat: 0
  • Average Number of Total Points Scored: 226.4
  • Average Number of Points Scored by the Miami Heat: 108.0
  • Average Number of Points Scored by the Boston Celtics: 118..4

NBA Finals 2023, Heat vs Nuggets Game 1 Prediction: Players to Watch Out

Miami Heat

  1. Jimmy Butler (Small Forward): Points Per Game: 28.5 | Rebounds Per Game: 7.0 | Assists Per Game: 5.7
  2. Bam Adebayo (Center): Points Per Game: 16.8 | Rebounds Per Game: 9.2 | Assists Per Game: 3.8
  3. Caleb Martin (Small Forward): Points Per Game: 14.1 | Rebounds Per Game: 5.7 | Steals Per Game: 0.8

Jimmy Butler (SF) has led the team in points per game (28.5), assists per game (5.7), and steals per game (2.1). His shooting efficiency was also excellent at 1.383 with a good shooting percentage (FG%) of 48.3% and a decent three-point percentage (3P%) of 35.6%. He’s had an overall outstanding performance during the postseason, with a few areas of concern, including turnovers per game (2.1) and personal fouls (1.8)

Bam Adebayo (C): Adebayo was a leader on the boards, with a team-leading 9.2 rebounds per game. He also contributed a healthy 16.8 points per game. His shooting efficiency was at 1.222 with a respectable FG% of 49.2%. The concern with Adebayo is the turnovers per game (2.8) and personal fouls (3.2), which can impact his playing time

Caleb Martin (SF) was a significant contributor with an average of 14.1 points per game and an impressive shooting efficiency of 1.530. He also had a stellar 56.6% FG% and an exceptional 43.8% 3P%. Martin is, however, not contributing significantly to assists or rebounds, indicating that he’s primarily a scoring-focused player.

Denver Nuggets

  1. Nikola Jokic (Center): Points Per Game: 29.9 | Rebounds Per Game: 13.3 | Assists Per Game: 10.3
  2. Jamal Murray (Point Guard): Points Per Game: 27.7 | Assists Per Game: 6.1 | Rebounds Per Game: 5.5
  3. Michael Porter Jr. (Small Forward): Points Per Game: 14.6 | Rebounds Per Game: 8.0 | Assists Per Game: 1.8

Nikola Jokic has been the leading player for the Denver Nuggets. His scoring efficiency (1.412) and shooting efficiency (0.58) are excellent, indicating his vital role in the team’s offensive production. His field goal percentage of 53.8% and 3-point percentage of 47.4% demonstrate remarkable efficiency from both inside and outside the arc. However, Jokic’s turnovers per game (3.5) could be an area of concern

Jamal Murray ranks second in points per game (27.7) and assists per game (6.1). His steals per game (1.7) lead the team, highlighting his contributions on the defensive end. Murray also demonstrated good shooting efficiency with a 48.0% field goal percentage and a 39.8% 3-point percentage.

Michael Porter Jr. and Aaron Gordon: Both players have provided solid support, each averaging double-digit points per game (14.6 and 13.0, respectively). Porter Jr. has also contributed significantly in rebounds, pulling down an average of 8 per game. Both players could improve their turnover rates (0.5 and 1.1, respectively) for better ball security.

NBA Finals 2023, Heat vs Nuggets Game 1 Winner Prediction

  • Momentum Advantage: Nuggets
  • Offensive Advantage: Nuggets
  • Defensive Advantage: Heat
  • Overall: Nuggets to win

A game like the NBA Finals is always a contest of nerves. The team that plays well under pressure is likely to succeed. The Miami Heat will aim to stun the Nuggets in their own backyard and take a crucial lead in the Finals. On the other hand, the Denver Nuggets will look to capitalize on their dominating momentum and crush the Heat in Game 1.

According to the odds and stats, the Denver Nuggets are expected to win this matchup.



Subhash, Founder of Crowdwisdom360 is an MBA and a Trained Financial Advisor with an extensive background in Forecasting in Financial Services and Politics. He has appeared many times on National TV and has written for a variety of magazines on Wealth Management and Election Strategy.

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