Recent History Favors Nuggets After Game 1 Finals Win Over Miami

Recent History Favors Nuggets After Game 1 Finals Win Over Miami
Fact Checked by Michael Peters

Denver pulled off the franchise’s first NBA Finals victory in the team’s inaugural championship series Thursday, dominating Miami, 104-93.

The Nuggets earned their 13th win of the 2023 postseason in style, with five players finishing the night with at least 10 points and a teamwide field goal percentage of 50.6%.  

Thanks to their Thursday night romp, the Nuggets have improved their already staggering Colorado sports betting championship odds, going from -400 to -700.

BetColorado.com took a look at how recent Game 1 winners have fared in the NBA Finals.

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NBA Finals Game 1 Winners Since 2000

  • 2022: Boston 120, Golden State 108 (Warriors in 6)  
  • 2021: Phoenix 118, Milwaukee 105 (Bucks in 6) 
  • 2020: L.A. Lakers 116, Miami 98 (Lakers in 6) 
  • 2019: Toronto 118, Golden State Warriors 109 (Raptors in 6) 
  • 2018: Golden State 124, Cleveland 114 (OT) (Warriors in 4) 
  • 2017: Golden State 113, Cleveland 91 (Warriors in 5) 
  • 2016: Golden State 104, Cleveland 89 (Cavaliers in 7) 
  • 2015: Golden State 108, Cleveland 100 (OT) (Warriors in 6) 
  • 2014: San Antonio 110, Miami 95 (Spurs in 5) 
  • 2013: San Antonio 92, Miami 88 (Heat in 7)  
  • 2012: OKC Thunder 105, Miami 94 (Heat in 5) 
  • 2011: Miami 92, Dallas 84 (Mavericks in 6) 
  • 2010: L.A. Lakers 102, Boston 89 (Lakers in 7) 
  • 2009: L.A. Lakers 100, Orlando 75 (Lakers in 5) 
  • 2008: Boston 98, L.A. Lakers 88 (Celtics in 6) 
  • 2007: San Antonio 85, Cleveland 76 (Spurs in 4) 
  • 2006: Dallas 90, Miami 80 (Heat in 6) 
  • 2005: San Antonio 84, Detroit 69 (Spurs in 7) 
  • 2004: Detroit 87, L.A. Lakers 75 (Pistons in 5) 
  • 2003: San Antonio 101, N.J. Nets 89 (Spurs in 6) 
  • 2002: L.A. Lakers 99, N.J. Nets 94 (Lakers in 4) 
  • 2001: Philadelphia 107, L.A. Lakers 101 (Lakers in 5) 
  • 2000: L.A. Lakers 104, Indiana 87 (Lakers in 6) 
  • Game 1 Winner Since 2000: 15-8 (.652) 

Finals Game 1 Winners Have Mixed Success

BetMGM Sportsbook Colorado has the Nuggets as an 8.5-point favorite with a -400 moneyline for Sunday’s Game 2. The over/under is 214.5.

But fans of the Nuggets shouldn’t get too comfortable after their team’s win in Game 1, as previous winners of the opening game of the NBA Finals have lost four of the last 10 championship series overall.

In fact, each of the last two NBA champions (Golden State in 2022 and Milwaukee in 2021) lost Game 1, falling to Boston and Phoenix, respectively.

The good news if you are a Nuggets fan — and are backing them with Colorado sportsbook promos — is Finals Game 1 winners have gone on to win the championship 15 out of 23 times this century, equaling a .652 winning percentage.

Also luckily for Nuggets fans, the team has two-time league MVP Nikola Jokic in fine form and a supporting cast full of veteran talent, which should prevent the club from faltering down the stretch.

Still, anything can happen in the best-of-seven NBA Finals, so the Nuggets would be smart to keep their feet on the pedals in Sunday’s Game 2 at Ball Arena.

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Author

Christopher Boan has been covering sports and sports betting for more than seven years, including stops at ArizonaSports.com, the Tucson Weekly and the Green Valley News.

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