The No. 3 seed Philadelphia 76ers (1-2) hope to even their Eastern Conference semifinals playoff series with the No. 1 seed Miami Heat (2-1) when they host Game 4 Sunday. Tip-off at the Wells Fargo Center is set for 8 p.m. ET (TNT). Below, we look at the Heat vs. 76ers odds and lines, and make our expert NBA picks, predictions and bets.
Sixers MVP Finalist C Joel Embiid returned to action after missing Games 1 and 2 with an orbital fracture and concussion he sustained in Philly’s first-round series-clinching victory at the Toronto Raptors April 28.
Embiid’s return immediately improved Philly’s defense, which held Miami to just 35.1% from the field (23.3% from behind the arc). He was particularly effective on Heat big Bam Adebayo, who averaged 23.5 points on 71.4% shooting in the first 2 games but only scored 9 points in Game 3.
Miami is 4-3 straight up (SU) and against the spread (ATS) vs. Philly this season, which includes the playoffs, and the total is 2-5 Over/Under (O/U) in those meetings.
Heat at 76ers odds and lines
- Money line (ML): Heat +110 (bet $100 to win $110) | 76ers -135 (bet $135 to win $100)
- Against the spread: Heat +1.5 (-105) | 76ers -1.5 (-120)
- Over/Under: 206.5 (O: -115 | U: -107)
Heat at 76ers key injuries
- C Dewayne Dedmon (illness) questionable
- SG Tyler Herro (ankle) questionable
- PG Kyle Lowry (hamstring) questionable
- SF Caleb Martin (ankle) questionable
- SG Max Strus (hamstring) questionable
- PF P.J. Tucker (calf) questionable
- PG Gabe Vincent (knee) questionable
- C Joel Embiid (facial fracture) questionable
Heat at 76ers picks and predictions
76ers 102, Heat 99
LEAN 76ERS (-135) because this series should go 6 or 7 games with Embiid back in the lineup and because Miami’s half-court offense was dreadful in Game 3.
First-year Heat PG Kyle Lowry looks washed up and Philly figured something out when it started blitzing Heat SG Tyler Herro on high ball screens in the second half of Game 2, forcing Herro into bad decisions and turnovers.
That said, Miami has the better coach, has more continuity and more playoff experience. Also, the Heat were down just 4 points heading into the 4th quarter of Game 3 before Philly combo guard Tyrese Maxey erupted for 14 4th-quarter points on 5 of 5 shooting (4 of 4 from behind the arc).
It’s only a LEAN to the 76ERS (-135) because I see Game 4 being a rock-fight and the Under is my favorite wager in this contest.