Game: Philadelphia 76ers @ Miami Heat
Time: 7:00 p.m. ET
Odds: 76ers +7.5, Raptors -7.5
The big news in this second-round series is the health of Joel Embiid. The Sixers big man will miss Games 1 and 2 of the series and potentially could miss more. He suffered an orbital fracture and a concussion after taking a Pascal Siakam elbow to the face in Philadelphia’s Game 6 win over Toronto. What makes this series even more interesting is the Miami Heat injury report. Kyle Lowry will not play for the Heat tonight and a number of other players are banged up after Miami’s first-round win over Atlanta in five games.
Miami’s Jimmy Butler didn’t play in the Heat’s Game 5 victory over the Hawks. Tyler Herro has an upper respiratory infection and P.J. Walker has a calf strain. All are expected to be available, but the Heat, like Philly, will not be at 100 percent. Defense will most definitely be the name of the game tonight.
Philadelphia and Miami have played each other four times this season. Each team won two games and each team covered twice. Three of the four games went Under the total. That isn’t at all surprising when you look at the final combined scores of the four games this season – 197, 207, 181, and 219. Tonight’s total is a reflection of the regular season and the fact that the NBA’s leading scorer, Embiid, will not be on the floor.
Embiid led the NBA in scoring during the regular season averaging 30.6 points per game. With him out of the lineup, James Harden (22.5 ppg) will have to step up his game. The Sixers will also count on Tyrese Maxey and Tobias Harris to continue their solid play. It was Maxey who had 38 points in the Sixers’ Game 1 win over Toronto. Philadelphia will attempt to win at least one game in Miami with the hopes of returning home for Game 3 and Embiid being ready to play.
What many forget is that the Sixers, like Miami, are a top-10 defense. Miami doesn’t score a lot – they averaged 106 points per game in defeating Atlanta in five games. The Heat average 110 points per game, which is 18th in the NBA. It’s no secret that the key to Miami’s success is its defense, which is third in the league in points allowed per game (105.1).
Miami is 10-2 SU and 9-3 ATS in its last 12 games The Heat is 6-0 SU in its last six games at home and 5-1 SU in its last six games at home against the 76ers. Philadelphia is enjoying success too with a 9-3 SU record in its last 12 games. The Sixers are 5-2 ATS in their last seven games but just 2-6 ATS in their last eight games on the road.
Both teams have trended Under recently. Four of the last five Sixers’ games and each of the last five Heat games have all gone Under the total. Four of the last five games between the Heat and the Sixers have gone Under too.