76ers vs. Heat Predictions and Picks: Harden Heats Up at Home
James Harden has been letting it fly from long range recently, and our NBA predictions see that trend continuing tonight as the 76ers face a Heat defense that is prone to getting burned from long range.
It’s hard to believe that the Miami Heat and the Philadelphia 76ers will square off for the first time this season on Monday night. This will be the first meeting between these teams since the Heat defeated the 76ers in six games in last year’s Eastern Conference semifinals.
However, if these two teams meet again in the playoffs, the Sixers appear to be the team to beat, and they are laying 6 points of chalk in this East matchup.
Despite having a five-game winning streak snapped, Philadelphia remains comfortably in third place in the East. Miami has lost four straight games, dropping them to seventh in the standings. But, with a win in Philadelphia tonight, the Heat could make a statement — is giving them that many points disrespectful?
I break down this Eastern Conference matchup and give you my best NBA picks and predictions for Heat vs. 76ers.
Picks and predictions for the Heat vs. the 76ers
The 76ers are hoping that this is the year they finally make it to the NBA Finals. And they know that if they want that to happen, Joel Embiid and James Harden will have to play like they are right now.
Despite a narrow loss to the East-leading Celtics last time out, the Sixers are currently playing excellent basketball. Philadelphia has won 14 of its last 18 games.
During that time, Embiid has averaged 32.5 points on 52.2% shooting, 11.3 rebounds, 3.7 assists, and 1.6 blocks per game. But he’s always done it that way. Harden reaching his elite level of play is what will make this team dangerous.
During that time, Harden has averaged 21.3 points, 9.9 assists, and 5.8 rebounds per game while shooting 40% from 3-point range. Harden’s long-range shooting should be useful today.
Even though Miami has a strong defense, the team’s style of play can expose them on the perimeter. When the ball moves inside, the Heat tend to collapse on it, and that’s exactly what will happen in a game featuring Embiid. A smart team with vision, on the other hand, can keep the ball out for open looks from three.
As a result, the Heat allow the NBA’s second-most made three-pointers per game while ranking 21st in opponent 3-point shooting percentage.
As previously stated, Harden has been feeling it from the inside out. Over his last four games, he’s shot 45.5% from three on an impressive 8.3 attempts per game. The Over/Under for Harden’s 3-pointers made is set at 2.5. So, let’s take a look at his alternate-made threes prop. He’s hit four or more in two of his last four games, and I believe his offense will be needed tonight with Bam Adebayo blanketing Embiid.
At +145, it’s worth backing Harden to keep his hot shooting streak going against the Heat tonight.
Analysis of the Heat vs. 76ers spread
This Eastern Conference matchup has an intriguing spread. The 76ers opened as 5.5-point home favorites, but have since moved up to 6 in some markets. However, both numbers appear to be available as of Monday afternoon.
To be honest, a spread this large between two teams with high expectations for this season is jarring. But there are a few factors at play here that result in this much chalk for the Sixers.
As previously stated, the Sixers have been dominant at home recently, going 14-4 straight up and 11-7 against the spread in their last 18 games. This season, the Sixers are 24-9 SU and 22-11 ATS when playing at Wells Fargo Center.
READ MORE : Matt Ryan : Lakers will release former DoorDash driver and sharpshooter
Meanwhile, the Heat have lost four straight games and six of their last nine overall. The offense hasn’t been great all season, but it’s really costing them lately, to the point where Miami has only covered the spread once in its last nine games and now ranks 26th in offensive rating. It doesn’t help that Kyle Lowry is still out and Tyler Herro is now doubtful for tonight’s game.
Six points seems excessive for a team known for its competitiveness and defensive prowess. However, given each team’s current form, Philly’s dominance at home, and Miami’s subpar 12-18-1 ATS record on the road this season, I believe avoiding the spread is the best bet here.
Heat vs. 76ers Over/Under prediction
With all of the scoring in the NBA this season, a total of less than 220 seems unusual. But that’s exactly what we’re getting in this Eastern Conference showdown. This game’s total began at 216 and has since risen slightly to 217. However, even a low number like this feels a little too high for these two teams.
Yes, Philly is having a good time right now. However, I anticipate the Heat to bring their A-game defensively to this matchup. This season, Miami ranks fifth in the NBA in defensive efficiency and second in scoring defense, allowing only 108.6 points per game.
Throw in a Miami offense that ranks 26th in efficiency, 27th in effective field goal percentage, and dead last in scoring at 108.1 points per game, and you have the makings of a fantastic Under team. Not surprisingly, the Heat have the fourth-best Under record in the NBA this season.
And don’t expect that offense to take off against the Sixers. At 110.4 points per game, Philadelphia ranks seventh in defensive rating and third in scoring defense.
With the Sixers and Heat ranking 26th and 28th in pace, respectively, the tempo of this game will be slowed to a crawl. If you’re looking to place NBA online betting PH, I’d go with Under here.