The Philadelphia 76ers are looking to bounce back from a disappointing home loss to archrival Boston on Saturday night when they host the Miami Heat on Monday, February 27. That loss ended a five-game winning streak for the Sixers.
The Heat are looking to snap a four-game losing streak after dropping their first two games following the All-Star break against Milwaukee and Charlotte.
This is the first meeting of the 2022-23 season between the Sixers (39-20, 24-9 home, 3rd in the East) and the Heat (32-29, 13-19 away, 7th in the East). They play each other in back-to-back games, with the next one coming up on Wednesday in Miami. These teams last met in the second round of the playoffs last season, with the Heat winning that series 4-2.
Miami Heat vs. Philadelphia 76ers Prediction
My pick: Sixers -6, under 217
The Heat have the worst record against the spread in the league this season, thanks in large part to a 2-10 ATS record over their last 12 games. Meanwhile, the Sixers own the second-best record against the spread and the best home ATS record.
Despite all that, I was still hesitant to lay the six points with the Sixers tonight. The Heat are an experienced, tough and well-coached team playing with some desperation given their recent struggles. These teams also tend to play close, down-to-the wire types of games.
Those factors are giving me a gut feeling that this game will end up being closer than the numbers would lead me to expect. But I still can’t ignore those numbers.
The Sixers have been one of the hottest teams in the league for the last six weeks, going 14-4 over that span, and they are extremely tough at home.
Matchup-wise, the Heat are not built to exploit some of the Sixers’ biggest weaknesses, namely rebounding and 3-point defense. The Sixers are 28th in rebounding and 28th at defending the three-point line. The Heat attempt the 9th most three-pointers per game, but make only 33.1%, 28th in the league. They are also just 26th in rebounding.
With Kyle Lowry still out for the Heat, I like the Sixers to cover 6-point spread. But my favorite bet in this game is the under. At a line of 217, the under was 7-3 in the 10 games these teams played last season (including playoffs), and 3-1 in the regular season.
These are two of the top defensive teams in the league. They are both in the top eight in points allowed per 100 possessions. The Heat are also one of the lowest-scoring teams, averaging 108.1 points per game (30th) and 110.9 points per 100 possessions (27th).
The Sixers and Heat also rank 26th and 28th, respectively, in average pace (possessions per 48 minutes), which is a good recipe for a low scoring game.
I am fading the public and hammering the Under on 217 total points.
Miami Heat vs. Philadelphia 76ers Betting Odds
The Sixers are -6 favorites in this game with moneyline odds of -240 at DraftKings, while the Heat are getting +200 odds on the moneyline. The point spread has fluctuated by half a point in either direction at some books and based on the betting trends it’s possible it will close at -6.5 by tipoff.
Over 80% of the public money and over 70% of the spread bets at DraftKings are on the Sixers. Philadelphia is also getting over 90% of the handle on over 85% of the bets on the moneyline.
The total for this game opened at 216 and rose to 217. Roughly 70% of the money and 80% of the bets at DraftKings are on the over.
The implied outcome of these odds is the Sixers winning 111.5-105.5.
- The Heat are 0-4 ATS in their last four games and 2-10 ATS in their last 12 games. They are 1-5 ATS in their last six road games.
- The Sixers are 5-1 ATS in their last six games and 21-7 ATS in their last 28 home games.
- The Under is 8-3 in the last 11 meetings between these teams.
Will Bam Adebayo be able to slow down Joel Embiid? How will the Sixers defend Jimmy Butler?
Joel Embiid vs. Bam Adebayo
Embiid is playing some of the best basketball of his career right now. His numbers are as good as they have ever been, and he is continuing to get better at recognizing defenses and making smart decisions with the ball, especially against double teams.
Adebayo continues to be one of the best defensive big men in the game and currently has the third-best odds for Defensive Player of the Year. However, he has struggled against Embiid in the past, and that isn’t likely to change tonight.
Jimmy Butler vs. Tobias Harris
The Heat’s offense runs through Jimmy Butler, especially with Kyle Lowry out of the lineup. Butler is putting together one of his best seasons in years. His 21.9 points per game is his best scoring average since his 2017-18 season with the Timberwolves, and his 51.5% field goal percentage is the best of his career.
Tobias Harris will match up with Butler for most of the night. His contributions on the defensive end of the floor may be even more important than his offensive performance.
Miami Heat Starting Lineup
Philadelphia 76ers Starting Lineups
Miami Heat Injuries: SG Tyler Herro (Q – ribs), PF Kevin Love (P – knee), PG Kyle Lowry (O – knee). Lowry has missed the Heat’s last seven games with left knee soreness.
Philadelphia 76ers Injuries: C Dewayne Dedmon (Q – hip)