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NBA Finals Game 4 Betting Preview: Heat vs Nuggets June 9

Nikola Jokic from the Denver Nuggets

NBA Finals Game 4 tips off on Friday night as the Denver Nuggets look to bring a 3-1 series lead back to Mile High. After Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray each recorded triple-doubles in Game 3, the Nuggets have opened as 3.5-point road favorites in Miami tonight with the total sitting at 210.5 points.

NBA Finals Game 3 Recap

If we told you that Team A made six more three-pointers and won the turnover battle 13-4, you’d feel pretty good about Team A’s chances to win that basketball game, right? That certainly wasn’t the case on Wednesday. Miami cooled off considerably from three-point range, but the Heat still made 11 threes compared to the 5-for-18 (27.8-percent) effort from the Nuggets. Miami’s defense generated seven steals and three blocks to comfortably win the turnover battle. But the outcome of Wednesday’s Game 3 was clearly determined in the interior where the Nuggets held a 58-33 rebounding advantage and a 60-34 edge in points in the paint.

Bumps and bruises are starting to emerge on both sides. Tyler Herro is still not cleared to return and will be out for Game 4. Kyle Lowry slipped on a wet spot on the floor at the end of Game 3. He participated in Thursday’s practice and should be good-to-go. Jamal Murray suffered a floor burn which ripped open his hand. He still scored 34 points while recording a triple-double on Wednesday, so it clearly wasn’t bothering him too much at the time, but that hand is probably a little sore entering Game 4.

NBA Finals Game 4 Prediction

The expectation of scoring continues to drop. The Game 2 total closed at 216.5 at most shops (217 at a handful). The Game 3 total closed at 212.5 and we incorrectly made a case for the over. As of Friday morning, the Game 4 total is 210.5 at most places. We agree with the move, but we’re more inclined to look toward the under in the first half. Jimmy Butler called out his team’s lack of effort after Game 3. Heat Coach Erik Spoelstra made sure to highlight his team’s need to be stronger in the paint during his postgame press conference. Bam Adebayo won’t take too kindly to losing the points-in-the-paint battle by 26. We should see a very strong level of effort and intensity out of the gate on Friday. However, Miami’s offense hasn’t shown that it can get out to a fast start. Miami’s offense is averaging 23.3 points in the first quarter of this series. During the regular season, Miami’s offense was No. 22 in the league in first quarter scoring and No. 26 in first half scoring. The Heat are averaging 30.7 points in the fourth quarter of this series, so they’ve been able to turn it on late, but not out of the gate. If the Nuggets are comfortably in control in the fourth quarter, we may see the Heat become resigned to their 3-1 fate with a trip back to Denver on the horizon. We’re more inclined to stay away from the late-game shenanigans and focus on the first half where the intensity should be high and the defensive effort should be even higher. Take a look at the first half under 106.5 points.