Heat vs. 76ers Odds & Picks: The Live Bet & Prop to Play for Game 3
Via michael Reaves/Getty Images. Pictured: Victor Oladipo (#4) and Jimmy Butler (#22)
- The 76ers host the Heat hoping to avoid an 0-3 hole in the series.
- Does Philadelphia have enough depth to pull out a win in Game 3 of the NBA Playoffs?
- Robert Arguello breaks down his best bet below.
Heat vs. 76ers Odds
|Over/Under||210.5 (-110 / -110)|
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
The Miami Heat beat the Philadelphia 76ers 119-103 in Game 2 to take a 2-0 series lead. Both teams will head to Philadelphia with key players on the injury report.
Joel Embiid missed Games 1 and 2 with a concussion and orbital fracture and has also been listed as out for Game 3. He will also be playing through torn ligaments in his thumb if he miraculously plays. During Game 2, TNT’s Chris Haynes reported that Tuesday was the first time Embiid was able to use his phone because of the light created from it.
Kyle Lowry also missed Games 1 and 2, in addition to Games 4 and 5 of the previous series with the Hawks, because of a hamstring injury. The good news for the Heat is that Lowry has been upgraded from Out to Questionable for Game 3 and will travel with the team to his hometown of Philadelphia.
With uncertainty on both sides, let’s break down this matchup.
Heat Look to Stay Hot in Philly
If the Heat win Game 3, it will be because they continue to play with quality spacing and ball movement on offense while limiting James Harden and 76ers shooters.
The Heat have done an impressive job of limiting their opponent’s best players so far in these playoffs. They made sure that Trae Young couldn’t get into the paint against the Hawks and they have similarly had all eyes on Harden and limited his ability to impact the game as a scorer. Harden went under his scoring prop in both Games 1 and 2 — and we cashed that bet as one of our best bets for Game 2.
If Embiid can’t go again in Game 3, the 76ers will have weak links defensively at all times. They started the first two games with DeAndre Jordan at center, who is an easy target in a drop-scheme defense. Paul Reed gives the 76ers a bouncier and more mobile option at center, but he is still inexperienced and makes defensive errors that a well-coached team like the Heat can feast on.
Through two games, Tyler Herro and Jimmy Butler have run 35 direct pick-and-rolls at either DeAndre Jordan or Paul Reed. Including assist opportunities, they've produced 56 points (1.6 ppp) out of those actions.
— Couper Moorhead (@CoupNBA) May 5, 2022
The 76ers’ best lineups have been small lineups with Georges Niang or Tobias Harris at the five, but those lineups haven’t played a ton of minutes together and lack cohesion, especially on the defensive end. If the Heat continue to play with quality spacing and ball movement, it should open up opportunities for players like Jimmy Butler, Tyler Herro and Bam Adebayo to continue their success from Game 2.
The Heat defense is designed to limit opposing teams from getting to the rim and consequently, they give up a high volume of threes. The 76ers were ice cold in Games 1 and 2 in Miami as they made a combined 14 of 64 threes (21.9%). The 76ers’ role players will regress to the mean at home and the Heat will need to limit the number of quality looks from beyond the arc.
Victor Oladipo gave the Heat some much needed juice off the bench as another driver who can get his own shot while also making his open threes as he erupted for 19 points in Game 2. It will be interesting to see how he, Vincent and Lowry are incorporated into lineups in Game 3 if Lowry is available. Don’t expect to see much of Duncan Robinson (who has only played in garbage time thus far) as the Heat won’t let Harden and Tyrese Maxey get him as a target to attack on switches.
76ers Need to Make More Shots at Home
Embiid’s potential impact on both offense and defense would be huge. On offense, it would mostly help open up space for Harden, but if Embiid doesn’t play, Harden will still have the biggest target on his back from the Heat defense.
Defensively, Embiid is by far Philly’s best big man and his length and physicality would give Adebayo a much stiffer challenge inside, while limiting the amount of space on jumpers for players like Herro, Butler and others.
If Embiid can’t play, the Sixers need efficient nights from Maxey, Tobias Harris and Harden. Maxey broke out for 34 points in Game 2 with his elite speed, but he remains a liability defensively and the Heat have targeted him consistently. Harris has been solid, scoring at least 21 points in each game, and his defense is much improved. He can get to his mid-range pull ups whenever he wants.
Harden will likely need to be more of a facilitator than scorer again with Embiid out and shooters on the perimeter like Niang, Furkan Korkmaz and Danny Green need to be more efficient and take advantage of quality looks he creates.
With Embiid unlikely to play, the Heat are the better team and have a greater margin for error than the 76ers, who will have a defensive weakness whether they decide to play Jordan or Reed at the five or go small.
Expect the 76ers to come out strong in the first half as they will be fighting hard, with the home crowd behind them, to avoid going down 0-3. Home teams down 0-2 in Game 3 of the NBA playoffs are 34-12-1 Against The Spread (2-2 so far this year).
While I don’t have a ton of confidence in betting a 76ers team in the first half, especially if they start Jordan again, I’ll be looking for live lines to bet on the Heat at plus-money on the moneyline or on the spread if the 76ers come out really hot from beyond the arc. I like the Heat to eventually settle in and win this game — whether or not Lowry plays — thanks to the strong two-way play of players like Gabe Vincent, Oladipo and Max Strus.
At the time of writing on Thursday afternoon, prop lines aren’t available for most players, but I’ll be looking to target Danny Green’s points to go over, up to nine points, as he has had a ton of quality looks through two games, but hasn’t gotten anything to drop (combined 3-16 from the field and 2-14 on threes). He has been a notorious Heat-killer in past postseasons and I like the chances of his shooting to get back on track at home in Game 3.
As more props are posted Thursday night and Friday, more plays will be added here.
Pick: Heat Moneyline Live at +100 or better | Danny Green Points Over (play up to 9 at -115)