Heat vs. 76ers: NBA Betting Odds, Pick, Prediction
Pictured: Jimmy Butler. (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)
- A pair of Eastern Conference contenders go head-to-head on Thursday night as the Philadelphia 76ers host the Miami Heat.
- Both teams are playing well, but Miami needs this game more as it looks to avoid the play-in round.
- Continue reading to see how Jacob McKenna is betting Heat vs 76ers on Thursday night.
Heat vs. 76ers Odds
|Time||7:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.|
The Miami Heat will travel to Philadelphia to face off against the 76ers for the third and final time on Thursday night.
The Heat enter this matchup riding a two-game win streak, and Miami will have to add to that win total if it wants to avoid the play-in tournament. The Heat are in seventh in the Eastern Conference, more than a full game back of the sixth-place Nets.
Philadelphia is coming off a gritty 103-101 win against Boston on Tuesday, making the 76ers winners of three of their past four games.
This season series is split one win apiece, but it appears Miami has much more to play for down the stretch, which could affect suits up for this matchup. Let’s dive into the matchup and make a betting pick for Heat vs 76ers.
The Miami Heat are on a two-game win streak, which was much needed as the bottom of the Eastern Conference starts to get closer.
Prior to those two wins, Miami dropped three straight games to Brooklyn, Toronto and New York. A lack of offense was the main theme for Miami in that three-game stretch as the Heat failed to score more than 100 points in any of those matchups.
The low scoring output was the result of two things, the first being Miami’s slow pace. According to NBA.com, the Heat generated a league-low 90.33 offensive possessions per game in that three-game stretch, four fewer than the next closest team.
The next was the Heat’s poor shooting efficiency. Miami shot 43.9% from the floor and 34.3% from behind the arc in those three games. The Heat gave themselves very few chances to score and even when they had a chance, they didn’t often convert.
However, the Miami offense has made a resurgence over the past two games, posting a league-best 130.0 Offensive Rating during the winning streak.
Philadelphia is sitting comfortably in the No. 3 slot in the Eastern Conference.
Joel Embiid, who may have secured the MVP Award with his performance against Boston on Tuesday is a big reason for Philadelphia’s success this season. In that matchup, Embiid scored 52 points on 20-of-25 shooting, a game in which Philadelphia only scored 103 points.
Embiid’s dominance has been making headlines all season long, and for good reason. However, that has allowed a few of the 76ers flaws to slip through the cracks.
For example, Philadelphia has won three of its past four games, but has posted a 119.5 Defensive Rating in that timeframe. That ranks 22nd in the NBA and is up from Philly’s 112.6 season rating.
Additionally, Embiid was responsible for more than 50% of the 76ers points against Boston, something that has been a common trend lately. James Harden and Tyrese Maxey are the only others averaging double figures for Philadelphia in the past four games.
It shouldn’t be a surprise to see Embiid producing at such a high level on the offensive end, but the lack of support recently, along with some vulnerability on defense, puts the 76ers in an interesting spot. As a result, I like the Heat to cover the spread as a road underdog.
Philadelphia already has several key players listed on the injury report. Maxey, PJ Tucker and De’Anthony Melton are all listed as questionable, which would likely cause Philadelphia to lose a large chunk of production on both ends of the floor.
Kyle Lowry and Bam Adebayo are on the injury report for Miami, but both played in Miami’s last game against the Pistons.
The Heat have more to play for and are the healthier team — which could certainly puts them in position to keep this game close. I would play this spread down to three.
Pick: Heat +5.5 | Play to +3
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