The red-hot Philadelphia 76ers head down to Miami for a battle with the Heat. We’ve got your betting questions covered below with our Philadelphia 76ers vs. Miami Heat predictions, picks, odds, and an in-depth analysis!
Philadelphia 76ers Vs. Miami Heat Prediction
Talk about the Sixers throwing a wrench into our game predictions. Joel Embiid will miss the Christmas Day game between the Philadelphia 76ers and the Miami Heat due to a lingering ankle injury. Still, we aren’t that surprised.
The Miami Heat always seem to defend Joel Embiid well, balancing physical play and not fouling into a perfect blend of frustration for the reigning MVP. Embiid has averaged just 23 points and 11 rebounds in 17 regular season games against Miami throughout his career.
Unfortunately, Philadelphia is 0-3 when Embiid does not play this season. In those games, the Sixers have shot just 45% from the field and 36% from behind the arc. Further, they have a net rating of -9.7, which is worse than the Washington Wizards’ net rating this season. Yikes.
Making matters worse, the 76ers have allowed opponents to shoot 51% from the field and 40% from deep without Embiid on the floor. Additionally, they have committed nearly 25 fouls and 17 turnovers per game in that span. Their defense suffers substantially when he is off the floor; Embiid’s interior presence and rim protection talents are utilized in their system to funnel players into the lane, especially against a team that shoots as efficiently as Miami.
Meanwhile, Miami has won three of the past four games, with its only loss coming by four points to one of the league’s best teams in Minnesota. The Heat have the tenth-highest effective field goal percentage and third-highest three-point percentage in front of their own fans. Expect a ramped up effort defensively, too. No team wants to lose at home on Christmas Day.
Philadelphia 76ers Vs. Miami Heat Prediction: Heat -2.5 (-110)
Best NBA Betting Promo Codes
Philadelphia 76ers Vs. Miami Heat Best Odds
The Miami Heat are narrow 2.5-point home favorites when they host the 76ers on Christmas Day. Philadelphia is +120 to grab a road win and keep its positive momentum, climbing up the Eastern Conference ladder. Meanwhile, the Heat are -142 to get a win at home, where they are only 8-6. The point total (Over/Under) hangs around a modest 225.5 points, which is likely a bit lower than it would have been if MVP frontrunner Joel Embiid was available to play.
Philadelphia 76ers Starting Lineup
Miami Heat Starting Lineup
Philadelphia 76ers Vs. Miami Heat Injuries
Miami’s injury report should be fairly clean ahead of the Heat’s Christmas Day matchup against the Philadelphia 76ers; Jimmy Butler (calf) and Haywood Highsmith are listed as day-to-day, while Dru Smith will miss the game with a knee injury. Butler has missed the past two games with that calf injury, but he could be available for Monday.
Meanwhile, Philly has several players on the injury report, including Mo Bamba (illness), Robert Covington (illness), Joel Embiid (ankle), and Nic Batum (hamstring.) Embiid and Batum will miss the game, while Bamba and Covington are game-time decisions.