The Miami vs. Philadelphia odds took a huge swing when 76ers All-Star center Joel Embiid was ruled out of the first two games with an orbital fracture and mild concussion. Embiid is out for the first two games of this series, hoping to return for Game 3 in Philadelphia. The 76ers were 2-2 against Miami this year, even winning 113-106 at home without Embiid or James Harden.
Miami is a talented No. 1 seed, but the Heat went through a streak of bad games late in the season. They lost four games in a row, and failed to cover eight of nine games in late March.
Miami is the overwhelming favorite in this series, but if the 76ers can earn a split of the first two games, the return of Embiid could be the impetus for a second-round upset.
With so many unknowns, how should we bet Game 1 tonight at Miami? Here are my best bets for tonight’s opening matchup between the 76ers and Heat?
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Heat vs. 76ers Betting Odds
*Lines accurate at the time of publication.
Heat vs. 76ers Best Bets
76ers +7.5 (-110, DraftKings)
While Embiid’s absence is the main storyline, the Heat enters tonight’s game with injury concerns as well. Tyler Herro and Jimmy Butler are questionable, and Kyle Lowry is out tonight with a hamstring injury. With so much uncertainty, I am grabbing the 7.5 points with the underdog.
The 113-106 Philadelphia win was very encouraging for tonight’s game. Tyrese Maxey put forth a dominant performance with 28 points, five rebounds, four assists, and three 3Ps. The 76ers were able to survive three 20-plus scoring performances from Jimmy Butler, Bam Adabayo, and Kyle Lowry. The absence of Lowry will hurt the Heat defensively, where they showed vulnerability to 3P efficiency all season. Miami allowed the second-most 3PM to opposing shooting guards, trailing only Charlotte this season.
Miami center Bam Adabayo is not a traditional big man, which should allow verstaile forward such as Tobias Harris and Paul Reed to have success at limiting his production. On defense, the loss of Lowry will hurt the Heat’s defense on Harden, who will look to attack the basket frequently while setting up Maxey.
I expect the Heat to win this game and this series, but laying 7.5 points in the opening matchup is too high in a game with so many unknowns.
Risk: 1.10 units on PointsBet to win 1 unit. (Bet up to -120)
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Heat vs. 76ers Game Total Over 208.5 Points (-110, DraftKings)
Both Miami (22-21-1) and Philadelphia (22-21-1) bring identical over/under records to a game in these conditions. The Heat (in home games) and 76ers (in road games) both played to one game above .500 to the over this season. However, the loss of the main stars should open scoring chances near the basket and from beyond the arc for both teams.
The 76ers did his four unders in Games 2-5 against Toronto, but the game total exceeded this number in four of the six games overall. The adjustment for two defensive-oriented teams has gone too far with a total below 210 points.
Neither team can afford foul trouble, leading to less aggression on defense. The 76ers lose valuable rim protection while the Heat will be challenged to stop Maxey and Harden on the perimeter. The addition of a strong shooting big such as Georges Niang will also test the Heat defense.
With the public backing the under across all formats, I’m betting the over between two strong defense that are not limited due to injuries.
Risk: 1.10 units on DraftKings to win 1 unit. (Bet up to -120)
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