The Daily Sweat: The Heat are a home underdog again after going down 2-1 to the Nuggets

The Miami Heat enter Game 4 down 2-1 to the Denver Nuggets and as a home underdog.

The Nuggets are 3.5-point favorites at BetMGM after they pulled away in the second half of Game 3 on Wednesday night. Nikola Jokić put in another historic performance as Denver regained the home-court advantage it lost when Miami tied the series at 1-1 in Game 2.

Denver outscored Miami by 14 over the second and third quarters on Wednesday night as it won 109-94. The Nuggets won the game despite shooting just 5-of-18 from the 3-point line.

That stat is dangerous for Miami. Denver was 36-of-62 from the field inside the arc and also shot over 80% from the free-throw line. Miami shot just 37% from the field and made six more 3-pointers than the Nuggets.

Miami won Game 2 after it shot poorly in Game 1, so perhaps the Heat will rebound in Game 4 and shoot well again. But it’s also a bit troubling for the Heat that they’re shooting better and a lot more frequently than Denver from behind the arc over the entire series and still trail entering Game 4.

Miami is 41-of-109 from the 3-point line over the first three games of the series and has shot no fewer than 35 3s in a single game. Denver, meanwhile, is just 24-of-73 from behind the arc and hasn’t shot more than 28 3-pointers in any of the first three games of the series.

Miami was nearly 50% from 3 in Game 2. If it gets a performance like that again in Game 4, this series is likely going to be tied. But a performance like that is also pretty unlikely. If the Heat are going to cover and win straight up on Friday night, they need to figure out a way to slow Denver and Jokić down in and around the paint.

Champions League final on Saturday

Manchester City goes for three trophies in 2023 on Saturday as it aims to win the first Champions League in club history against Inter Milan.

City is an overwhelming favorite to beat Inter at -225. Man City is the most talented club soccer team in the league and has already won the English Premier League and England’s FA Cup this season. Erling Haaland has been an unstoppable force at striker while midfielders Kevin de Bruyne and Ilkay Gundogan have been brilliant this season.

Inter is +575 to win its first Champions League title since 2010. Those are staggeringly high odds for an underdog in this scenario. While Inter has the players and the system to play disciplined and defensive soccer to keep Manchester City at bay, we’re not confident that will happen. It’s hard not to be the favorites.

Rory McIlroy now +1000 to win Canadian Open

Rory McIlroy is the two-time defending champion of the RBC Canadian Open and is now +1000 to win the tournament after shooting a 1-under 71 on Thursday. McIlroy’s wedge game was once again inconsistent on Thursday as he needed two big putts over his final two holes to get into the clubhouse at under par.

Four players ended the first round at 5-under, including Canadian Corey Conners. He’s co-favorites with Matt Fitzpatrick at +650 after the first round. If Conners wins the tournament, he’ll be the first Canadian to win the Canadian Open since Pat Fletcher in 1954.

Red Sox vs. Yankees and Dodgers vs. Phillies highlight baseball slate

The Red Sox are in New York to play the Yankees as Gerrit Cole takes the hill for New York against Garrett Whitlock. The Yankees are -175 to win the game straight up while the total is at eight runs. The Phillies are -115 to win at home against the Los Angeles Dodgers as LA’s Michael Grove takes on Ranger Suarez.

Who cashed tickets Thursday?

The Florida Panthers got a late goal from Matthew Tkachuk to send the game to overtime and Carter Verhaeghe’s goal in the extra period gave the Panthers a 3-2 win on Thursday night in Game 3 to cut Las Vegas’ Stanley Cup Final lead to 2-1.