After a grueling series that goes the distance of seven games, can teams keep up its high level of play and succeed?
History doesn’t look favorably on teams that play seven games the series prior, like the Miami Heat did in the Eastern Conference Finals. Based on recent history, the Heat are in trouble in the NBA Finals against the Denver Nuggets.
Of course, the Heat are massive underdogs in the series, north of +300 depending on where you look, but it doesn’t help that the team had to win on the road in Game 7 in Boston on Monday night and now have a quick turnaround to play on the road in Denver on Thursday, who have been off for more than a week.
There are diminishing returns for teams that went seven games the round prior, as Raheem Palmer of The Ringer points out.
Of course, the Celtics played in a seven game series in the semifinals against the Philadelphia 76ers and ran out of gas against the Heat, helping aid this trend.
Even more disturbing for the Heat is that teams in Game 1 following a Game 7 are even worse off, posting a winning percentage of below 39%. Of course, the Heat are massive underdogs in Game 1, so the team’s odds of winning are already low, but moving forward Miami may run into a similar fate the team it beat in the ECF did, running out of gas and failing to keep up with a talented team that has more gas left in the tank.
For now, let’s look at the Game 1 odds as well as our betting preview:
Heat vs. Nuggets odds, spread and total
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.