Livescore Tuesday, April 23
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The Nuggets (-8.5) will be looking to close out their gentleman’s sweep of the Heat in Game 5 on Monday (8:30 p.m. ET, ABC), with Miami still licking its wounds from Denver’s 13-point Game 3 beatdown on Friday. From a traditional betting perspective, this game offers very little value — Denver’s moneyline is heavily juiced (-375) and it’s hard to bet against a desperate Heat team getting 8.5 points. However, plenty of betting value lies deeper within this matchup, courtesy of exotic and non-traditional bets and player props.

The last time we highlighted our favorite exotic and non-traditional bets, we hit on 8-of-9 and cashed out hundreds of dollars. We’ve been doing this all season — when others smash the moneyline, spread, or over/under, we dive into the quarter or half props, alternate lines, stat over/unders, and signature game bets. Stay away from the heavily bet stuff highlighted on the main screen of sportsbooks — click on the game and open up the vast market of niche wagering. 

MORE HEAT-NUGGETS BETTING CONTENT:
Game 5 betting preview, best bets | Game 5 SuperDraft props

If you do your research and follow the betting trends and statistical storylines of the series, you can easily uncover a ton of props yielding strong value. The less liability a prop gives a sportsbook, the less time and energy a sportsbook gives that prop when setting the line. That’s why we typically go against the grain and bet the props that generate far less action.

Miami has covered 12 of 17 spreads as an underdog this postseason. If you want that smoke, bet Denver -8.5. If you want to make $26 on a $100 wager, bet the Nuggets’ -375 moneyline. But if you want to really make some cash like the sharp bettors of the world will be doing on Monday night, check out our best non-traditional bets for Game 5 of the NBA Finals. 

MORE: Click here for more NBA odds and sign up for BetMGM today!

Best exotic and non-traditional props for NBA Finals Game 5

First quarter total: UNDER 52.5 points (+100 on BetMGM)

While everybody and their mother bets the UNDER on the full game total (208.5), which has gone 3-1 this series, we will be heading down the path less traveled and betting the first-quarter UNDER — which has gone 4-0. These squads haven’t even reached 50 total points in one first quarter all series! And yet we’re getting +100 odds on UNDER 52.5!? Yeah, sign us up. 

The average total first-quarter points scored in this NBA Finals: 44.5. So, we have a pretty good buffer zone. Both these squads have gotten off to slow shooting starts, and both have been playing superb physical defense in the first halves. Even if both teams score four points more than they have averaged, we will be in the clear.

It’s also worth noting that Denver typically allows far fewer points at home than it does in away games. The UNDER has hit in 56 percent of Ball Arena games since the start of this season, the eighth-highest home UNDER percentage in the NBA. And with Miami facing elimination and Denver on the brink of its first championship in franchise history, we venture to guess there will be some game-time jitters Monday evening.

Nikola Jokic to record a triple-double (+110 on BetMGM)

Nikola Jokic 06072023

Jokic’s triple-double prop is back to plus odds, and thus we are back to betting it. The two-time MVP has been masterful all postseason, averaging 30.1 points, 13.3 rebounds, and 9.8 assists across 19 games. He famously came just 0.1 assists away from averaging a triple-double in the regular season this year, and while he’s not a stat-padder we think he will go for it this time around. He needs 14 dimes to average a triple-double for the playoffs — here’s betting he dazzles us with his passing and easily secures his 11th triple-double of the postseason. 

Head-to-head points props: Jamal Murray over Jimmy Butler (+105 on DraftKings)

Jamal Murray 06082023

Jamal Murray has turned into a superstar in front of our eyes this postseason, and he continues to impress despite being guarded by one of the league’s best perimeter defenders in Jimmy Butler. As we expect Joker to continue to command the majority of Miami’s attention on defense, we’re betting on Murray being the top scorer of this contest. And with Aaron Gordon continuing to play superb defense on Butler, we have even more confidence in “Playoff Murray” outscoring “Playoff Jimmy” for the third time this series. The plus odds are a cherry on top of an already-intriguing head-to-head prop.

Michael Porter Jr. to record the first dunk of the game (+1000 on DraftKings)

Michael Porter Jr. Denver Nuggets

Here’s a fun $10 scratch ticket that will make us $100 if it hits. MPJ has been utterly abysmal this Finals, shooting 12-of-41 from the field (29.2%) and 3-of-22 from three-point land (13.6%). And yet, Michael Malone and the Nuggets have made a concerted effort to get their rangy small forward going early. Porter Jr. had a dunk on a back-cut early in Game 4, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see something like that again in the first quarter on Monday. He’s also consistently drawing shorter defenders, so don’t be surprised if he utilizes his quick first step and 7-foot wingspan and flushes one home. The majority of dunk bettors will be wagering on Aaron Gordon (+135) or Bam Adebayo (+195), but we’ll go against the grain and try to make a big profit on a small bet.

Aaron Gordon to make his first field goal attempt (-125 on BetMGM)

Caleb Martin, Aaron Gordon 06092023

Gordon continues to play the best basketball of his career, and he’s coming off a postseason career-high 27 points along with seven rebounds and six assists in Game 4. We’re not going to take the bait and chase his points OVER (although 13.5 at -105 is tempting), but we will bet him to make his first shot attempt. His confidence is sky-high right now, and he’s shooting the ball at a 66.7 percent clip (and 71.4% from three). We don’t think Malone’s squad will be forcing anything in Game 5, and Denver will likely continue to take high-percentage shots early and often. This feels like a high-value prop at -125. 

Jamal Murray UNDER 2.5 turnovers (+100 on BetMGM)

Jamal Murray and Jimmy Butler

Through all the incredible stats Murray has compiled over this postseason run, the most amazing facet of his game might be his ball security. The 26-year-old has logged double-digit assists in all four games of this Finals, and yet he has turned the ball over three times or fewer in three of the four. Game 3 snapped a 15-game stretch of logging three or fewer turnovers. He had just one in Game 2 and zero in Game 4. That’s incredible for a player as ball-dominant as Murray, especially when he’s facing shadow coverage from one of the game’s most elite perimeter defenders. Here’s betting with plus odds that Murray logs two or fewer turnovers for the 11th time this postseason, and caps off a strong night of non-traditional prop betting for the against-the-grain bettors. 



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