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Miami Heat shooting guard Tyler Herro is expected to play for the first time since he sustained a hand injury in the opening game of the playoffs. The Heat square off in an elimination game Monday night against the Denver Nuggets in Game 5 of the 2023 NBA Finals.
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The Nuggets have a 3-1 series lead, and the Heat face a must-win situation after losing Game 4 in Miami on Friday night.
The Nuggets won Game 1 in Denver before the Heat stole a victory in Game 2 on the road to even the NBA Finals at 1-1. When the series shifted to Miami for the next two games, the Nuggets prevailed and won two consecutive road games, seizing a 3-1 lead.
Game 5 returns to Denver where the Nuggets have a chance to clinch their first championship on their home court at Ball Arena.
Oddsmakers opened Game 5 with the Nuggets installed as a -9 favorite at home. The point spread is still -9 and didn’t change when the Heat upgraded Herro’s status to questionable on Monday morning.
Herro Will Try to Play in Do-or-Die Game 5
Herro fractured his right hand in the opening series against the Milwaukee Bucks, and the injury required surgery. Even though the Heat lost Herro, they still managed to upset the #1 Bucks in the first round as the #8 seed.
The Heat also lost backup guard Victor Oladipo to a knee injury, but they still managed to keep winning with a short-handed squad.
The Heat met the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference finals for the third time in the last four seasons and defeated the heavy favorited Celtics without Herro to advance to the NBA Finals.
During the NBA Finals, the Heat struggled to contain the Nuggets. They lacked scoring in the first four games and could use an additional scorer like Herro after small forward Caleb Martin (6.8 ppg) and shooting guard Max Strus (4.3 ppg) went ice-cold the last four games.
The Heats’ defense had its fair share of issues as well and has been unable to slow down the dynamic duo of center Nikola Jokic and guard Jamal Murray, who combined for 54.1 points and 18.5 assists per game.
Herro was the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year winner last season. He was promoted to a starter this season and averaged 20.1 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 4.2 assists per game. He also shot 37.8% from 3-point range.
Herro is a streaky scorer and playmaker who thrives in pick-and-roll action, and whose biggest liability is his defense.
Herro has been practicing with the Heat over the last week but his injury wasn’t fully healed and he still had some pain in his shooting hand. Herro will be a game-time decision and is expected to come off the bench if he plays in Game 5.
Betting Game 5 of the NBA Finals
The Nuggets are 3-1 against the point spread in the NBA Finals. The Heat were installed as an underdog in the first four games, and they’re a +9 road underdog heading into Game 5 in Denver. The Heat are 8-2 ATS as a road underdog this postseason.
The under points total is 3-1 in the NBA Finals. The points total for Game 5 is 209.5 over/under.
The Nuggets are -5000 odds to win the series and NBA championship. The Heat are +2000 underdogs to pull off the rare comeback after falling behind 3-1.
Jokic is the consensus betting favorite to win the NBA Finals MVP at -5000 odds, and he was only -360 odds when the NBA Finals began. Murray and Jimmy Butler are the closest competition at +3000 odds to win the NBA Finals MVP.
Jokic averages 30.1 points, 13.3 rebounds, and 9.8 assists per game in the postseason. In the NBA Finals, Jokic averages 27.8 points, 14.5 rebounds, and 11.8 assists per game. He’s also shooting 47.1% from 3-point range.
The Nuggets locking up the series in five games pays -370 odds, according to DraftKings’ series exact result prop bet. The Nuggets needing six games to win the title is +475 odds. If the Heat can win the next two games and force a Game 7, but the Nuggets prevail, then a seven-game series score pays out +900.
If the Heat can win three games in a row to win the championship in seven games, that prop bet pays out +2000 odds.
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