Are the 76ers a Safe Bet in the NBA Lines for Game 3 vs. Heat?
The Philadelphia 76ers had their 17-game winning streak – a franchise record – stopped against the Miami Heat in Game 2 of the teams’ playoff series. The Sixers could use superstar center Joel Embiid as the series shifts to South Florida for Game 3 on Thursday but it doesn’t appear Embiid will be ready to play. The 76ers are -1 in the NBA lines for Thursday’s matchup.
How to Bet 76ers at Heat NBA Lines & Game 3 Info – April 19th
When: Thursday, 7 PM ET
Where: American Airlines Arena, Miami
Radio: 97.5 FM (Philadelphia) / 790 AM (Miami)
NBA Lines: 76ers -1 (216)
Why Bet on Philadelphia?
The 76ers’ team-record 17-game winning streak came to an end Monday in a 113-103 loss to the Heat in Game 2. Just for the record, I recommended the Heat here at Mybookie.ag, knowing they would play much better than Game 1.
J.J. Redick, who had 28 points in Game 1, hit just 4-of-13 shots and 1-of-7 3-pointers for 11 points and four assists in Monday’s Game 2 loss. The Heat were determined not to let Redick burn them again and he was rarely open from beyond the arc. The Sixers will likely try to get Redick open more often in Game 3, and they’ll need better performances from him and Robert Covington (3-of-12, two turnovers).
Ben Simmons hit 10-of-17 shots for 24 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and two blocks in 39 minutes in the loss. Dario Saric hit 8-of-20 shots and three 3-pointers for 23 points, eight rebounds, three assists, five steals and a block. Saric was in foul trouble for most of the second half but was able to stay on the court and hit some big shots. In the end, the Sixers had too many late turnovers. Ersan Ilyasova moved into the starting lineup over Amir Johnson on Monday and had 14 points, 11 rebounds and a steal on 7-of-10 shooting.
What About Joel Embiid?
The big question here is whether 76ers star Joel Embiid returns. It doesn’t sound likely. Embiid (eye) vented his frustrations over not playing in Monday’s Game 2, posting “[Bleeping] sick and tired of being babied” on Instagram after the game. He did travel to Miami but reportedly hasn’t been cleared for contact yet. Embiid was able to do some one-court work at practice on Wednesday, and even made seven 3-pointers in a row, but again took no contact.
The team is calling Embiid doubtful. I would expect him for Game 4, though. Coach Brett Brown has stressed that Embiid — who averaged 22.9 points, 11.0 rebounds and 1.8 blocks in 63 games in the regular season — will not be rushed back if Philadelphia falls behind in the best-of-seven series.
Why Bet on Miami?
With their series-tying win in Game 2, the Heat have now won at least one game on the road in 19 consecutive playoff series, the longest such streak in NBA history.
The Heat won Game 2 thanks to 36-year-old future Hall of Famer Dwyane Wade. Wade scored 21 points in the first half and made several key plays late. He helped the Heat outscore the Sixers 34-13 in the second quarter. He finished by hitting 11-of-18 shots and 6-of-8 free throws for 28 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two steals, and added a steal and dunk in the fourth quarter, a great pass to James Johnson, and a clutch jumper with 43 seconds left in the game. The 28 points were a team record for points off the bench in a Heat playoff game.
Additionally, Wade has now become the fourth-oldest player in NBA postseason history to score at least 28 points off the bench and the first player in Heat postseason history to have a 25-point game as both a starter and a reserve.
What Does the Opposing Coach Say About the Heat?
Sixers coach Brett Brown said Wade’s steal on Dario Saric that led to a Wade dunk — and a six-point Heat lead — with four minutes to play was the biggest play of the Game 2. Even Heat coach Erik Spoelstra says he doesn’t know how much longer Wade can be this effective.
Miami got little again from starting center Hassan Whiteside. He played just 15 minutes and hit 1-of-2 shots for four points, five rebounds and a block. He was in some early foul trouble. James Johnson hit 7-of-7 shots, 2-of-2 3-pointers and 2-of-3 free throws for 18 points, seven rebounds, five assists, three steals and a block.
The Heat have posted a 73-23 (.760) record at the American Airlines Arena during postseason play. Their .760 winning percentage inside the AAA is the best among Eastern Conference teams and second-best in the entire NBA for teams at their current home venue during the playoffs.
Latest NBA Lines Trends
- Philadelphia is 2-4 ATS in the last 6 games
- Philadelphia is 17-1 SU in the last 18 games
- The total went OVER in 5 of Philadelphia’s last 7 games
- Miami is 1-4 ATS in the last 5 games at home
- Miami is 10-2 SU in the last 12 games at home
- The total went UNDER in 4 of Miami’s last 6 games at home
Expert NBA Playoffs Betting Prediction
If Embiid plays, go Philly. If not, and I doubt he does, take the Heat in the NBA lines.