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OK, you are excused if the NBA Finals has you confounded. That Game 2 featured sustained runs of dominance by both teams, ending in a 111-108 victory for the Heat that evened the series at one game apiece and insured that we will have NBA basketball at least through next Monday night when Game 5 will be played back in Denver.

And how about the lack of quit in the Heat?

Miami was down by as many as 15 points, trailed by eight heading into the fourth quarter and were facing a Denver team that was 11-0 when leading by double digits at any point in a game and 37-1 when leading by at least 8 going into the fourth.

But the Heat outscored Denver 17-5 in the first 3:17 of the fourth quarter to take the lead for good, eventually went ahead by 12, and then had to survive a last-second miss by Jamal Murray.

Yes, they are a No. 8 seed. But no, they are not playing like a No. 8 seed. And now they could have Tyler Herro back for Game 3 in Miami on Wednesday night. It’s a whole new series, and Denver coach Michael Malone is griping about his team’s effort. Clearly some of the Nuggets players have been underestimating the Heat as much as the oddsmakers have.

Heat vs Nuggets Game 2 Odds, Spread, Moneyline, Over/Under – NBA Playoffs Betting Lines 6/7

Moneyline: Denver Nuggets (-138), Miami Heat (+115)
Spread: Denver Nuggets -2.5 (-115), Miami Heat +2.5 (-105)
Total: Over/Under 214.5 points

Best NBA Same-Game Parlay Picks Wednesday for Heat vs Nuggets Game 3: 4-Leg Parlay Picks (+12000)

Jamal Murray

Game 2 was such an outlier that Nikola Jokic did not have a triple-double for the first time since Game 3 of the Lakers series in the last round. He has played 17 postseason games and has had nine triple-doubles, and he is still averaging a triple-double of 30.4 points, 12.9 rebounds and 10.1 assists in the postseason. He is on the Betway board at -105 to have another one, and we are not that enamored of starting a parlay with a -105 bet.

So we will first turn to his No. 1 running mate, Jamal Murray, who was the only other player to double-double in Game 2. Murray is clearly the best point guard in this series despite the emergence of Gabe Vincent and the career accomplishments of Kyle Lowry, and if the Nuggets win the whole thing he may be the best Finals MVP bet on the board.

He is coming off a Game 2 in which he missed the last shot of the game but still had 18 points and 10 assists for his third double-double of the playoffs, all coming within the last five games. Murray also had just one steal for the second straight game, but he had at least two in every game against the Lakers and had four in the closeout first-round game against Minnesota.

Leg 1: Jamal Murray to double-double (+255)

Leg-2: Jamal Murray 2+ steals (+160)

Nikola Jokic

OK, so the guy is not going to get a triple-double every night, but he remains the most dangerous offensive player in the series and dropped 41 on Miami in Game 2, making it his third 40+ point game of the postseason (He had five during the entire regular season, and in 2021-22 he had just one in the playoffs and two in the regular season.) He is getting better as he ages, and as nice of a player as Bam Adebayo is, Jokic is twice as good.

Leg 3: Nikola Jokic to score 40+ points (+750)

Points Total

One of the coolest things about the Betway board is that you can choose your own over/under line within a same-game parlay. Miami has gone under in five of the last six games, with Sunday night being the only outlier. Denver has gone under in five of the last eight and is going up against a Heat team that prides itself on defense much more than the Lakers, Suns or Timberwolves did during the West playoffs.

And since Betway allows for differing over/under line choices within same-game parlays, we are going to boost this bet into a four-way parlay by giving ourselves a little wiggle room beyond the standard over/under of 214 ½.

Leg-4: Game total under 224 ½ (-275)

That gives us a four-way parlay in which we do not have to deal with the fickle offensive peculiarities of the Heat, who have a broken faucet problem (they run hot and cold) with the likes of Caleb Martin, Max Strus, Duncan Robinson and even Jimmy Butler to a certain degree. Denver had a 19-22 road record during the regular season, which is particularly unimpressive given their first-place finish in the Western Conference. They have a bit of a deer-in-the-headlights thing going on right now, and Game 3 will be telling in terms of whether they will become in jeopardy of becoming the first No. 1 seed ever to lose to a No. 8 seed in the NBA Finals. It is somewhat surprising that they are favored, to be quite honest.

The wager: Murray to double-double and have at least 2 steals, Jokic to score at least 40 and the game total to be less than 224 ½. A $100 wager would pay $12,100 if it hits, which would set you up nicely for going a little crazier for Game 4 on Friday night. Let’s cross our fingers and wait and see.

Odds subject to change*

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