Miami Heat (8) vs. Philadelphia 76ers (7) Play-In Prediction, NBA Odds

Edgar Chaput | Updated Apr 16, 2024

NBA: Philadelphia 76ers at Miami Heat

The Eastern Conference play-in commences on Wednesday when the Miami Heat visit the Philadelphia 76ers for a shot at the seventh seed and a series against the Knicks

Miami
46-36
AT
April 17, 2024, 7:00 PM ET
Wells Fargo Center
Philadelphia
47-35
Pointspread +5.5 -110
Moneyline +185
Over / Under o +208.5
Pointspread -5.5 -110
Moneyline -225
Over / Under u +208.5

Neither side experienced the sort of regular season they anticipated, with injuries and inconsistency nagging them. That said, each finished with respectable overall records and now has a chance to make good on the opportunity awarded to them in this play-in in the City of Brotherly Love. The biggest question heading into this all-important tilt is the health of Joel Embiid, who practiced Monday but officially is day-to-day (knee).

The NBA odds prefer the 76ers in this one, pegging them at -4.5.

Heat (8) vs. 76ers (7) NBA Betting Odds

Miami has contended with Philly when the latter had Embiid in the lineup and when the superstar was absent through injured.  The result? Both sides shared the spoils over four matches, with one of those Sixers victories coming sans Embiid. Each has also won once on the other’s court this season.

We shouldn’t brush aside the injury bug that has bitten the Heat. Kevin Love is day-to-day (arm contusion), Duncan Robinson (back) is listed as out although that was on Sunday, and Terry Rozier (neck) did not play Sunday either. Miami wasn’t anything to write home about against the spread this season. Even their two wins over the moribund Raptors to conclude the campaign improved them to just 40-40-2. Erik Spoelstra’s group is quite good on the road, however, having finished 24-17 this season.

Other than Embiid, Philadelphia is dealing with potential absences from De’Anthony Melton (back) and KJ Martin (toe). To no one’s surprise, the 76ers were a different team when their Cameroon-born All-Star returned to action a few weeks ago. They finished the regular season on a run of eight wins. Unlike the Heat, the Sixers were rather good ATS this season, finishing 48-33-1. To that effect they’ve covered 10 spreads in a row.

Miami Heat (8)

One thing is for sure, the Heat don’t have to worry about any lack of experience in the play-in tournament. Not only were they at this stage a year ago, but they lost their 7 vs. 8 game, and got a second crack by playing the winner of 10 vs. 9, and that put them on the path to a berth in the NBA Finals.

With so many key figures potentially out, it’s time for playoff Jimmy Butler to show up. Everyone knows how good he is and what he means to this team and now is the time of year when he erupts. Tyler Herro has been very good since returning from injury (20.8 points per game, tied with Butler). Bam Adebayo is always a jump-shooting threat and a great rebounder (10.4), and it will be fascinating to see how rookie Jaime Jaquez Jr. fares when the pressure is on. He’s been a wonderful revelation this season.

Miami is equipped with the third-best defence in the NBA, giving up only 108.4 points a night.

Philadelphia 76ers (7)

76ers fans will hope that the team they’ve seen play the past two weeks is the one that should have been present all along were it not for unfortunate setbacks. Frankly, the Philly squad of the past fortnight has indeed looked like a side that could cause some postseason damage.

Other than the obvious name on everybody’s lips, the 76ers have a strong lineup of explosive playmakers like Tyrese Maxey (25.9 points, 6.2 assists) and Kelly Oubre Jr. (15.4 points). They also bolstered their firing power at the trade deadline by acquiring Buddy Hield (12.2 points, 3.0 assists) from the Indiana Pacers. Having Cameron Payne in one’s back pocket on the bench is never a bad thing either.

The team’s ranking in a lot of major statistical categories doesn’t wow, but that’ll happen when the undisputed best player is missing for several months.

NBA Play-In Prediction: Who Will Win Heat vs. 76ers?

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