The Philadelphia 76ers head to South Beach to take on the Miami Heat on Monday night at the American Airlines Arena.
These are two elite teams in the Eastern Conference and both these teams have won six out of their last 10 games played. The Sixers head to Miami having lost three of five games played including their last two. The Heat welcome the Sixers after a win over the Magic. Miami has won three out of their last five games played. These teams have played each other three times this season. Miami leads the season series 2-1 which includes a win in Philadelphia.
The Sixers continue to spiral in the team standings as they dropped their third game in the last five assignments. Philadelphia heads to Miami having lost back to back games to the Atlanta Hawks and Boston Celtics. They have dropped to 31-19 SU overall and 9-17 SU on the road this season.
Joel Embiid is coming off one of his worst games ever. After two big games since his return from a finger injury, Embiid went 1-11 against the Celtics last Saturday. Al Horford also returned from a one-game absence to score nine points on 1-6 three-point shooting. Ben Simmons led the Sixers with 23 points. Simmons has scored at least 20 points in eight out of his last 10 games played.
Philadelphia ranks 23rd in scoring at 108.4 points per game this season. They are the 12th best rebounding team in the league this season at 45.8 boards grabbed per contest and they are the 7th best passing team overall at 25.9 assists per game. The Sixers rank 3rd in the NBA in scoring defense at 105.4 points per game this year.
The Miami Heat are a tough team to beat. This team recently had two players named to the Eastern Conference All-Star teams in Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo. They also have Rookie of the Year candidates in Kendrick Nunn and Tyler Herro. Miami also has a quality guard like Goran Dragic off the bench. Even when Adebayo has a bad night, they have other big men who can step up and help win games for them.
Such was the case against the Orlando Magic last Saturday night when Bam shot just 1-8 from the floor. All-Star guard Jimmy Butler led the Heat with 24 points while rookie Tyler Herro scored 23 points off the bench but it was the play of reserve big man Myers Leonard which helped the Heat pick up the win over the Magic. Leonard scored 18 points while grabbing a season-high 14 rebounds while taking 14 shot attempts, his most since 2015.
The Heat rank 14th in the league in scoring at 111.8 points per game this season. Miami is 11th in scoring defense at 107.9 points per game this season. They also rank 16th in rebounding at 45.3 boards grabbed per contest and they are 11th in passing at 25.1 assists per game.
The Sixers are 6-3 SU in their last nine games played. Philadelphia is 2-4 SU in their last six games played at home, and 1-5 SU in their last six games against the Southeast Division. The Heat are 6-3 SU in their last nine games played. Miami is 17-3 SU in their last 20 games played at home. Head to head, the Heat are 3-1 SU in their last 10 games played against the Sixers.
The Sixers’ struggles continue and they have spiraled in the team standings. Philly has lost three out of their last five games played and head to this game coming off back to back losses to the Hawks and Celtics. Embiid is coming off a poor outing where he scored just 11 points on 1-11 shooting.
The Heat are just 6-4 SU in their last 10 games played. But Miami has won four out of their last six games played and they are coming off a win over the Orlando Magic last Saturday. Miami heads to this game with only three home losses so far this season. They will be without Justise Winslow who has a back injury.
The Sixers are a solid 22-2 SU at home this season but are just 9-17 SU on the road. That will be a problem because Miami is 21-3 SU at home this season and the Heat are 2-1 versus the Heat this season with two straight wins including one on the road. I don’t like the way the Sixers are trending. Meanwhile, the Heat continue to play solid basketball, especially at home. No doubt, there is more depth in Miami.
PREDICTION: MIAMI HEAT
Philly is 1-4 ATS in their last five games played. The Sixers are 1-8 ATS in their last nine games played. Miami is 5-5 ATS in their last 10 games played. The Heat are 3-3 ATS in their six games played at home, 1-4 ATS in their last five games played against the Atlantic Division, and 5-2 ATS in their last seven February games. Head to head, the Sixers are 6-4 ATS in their last 10 games played against the Heat.
The Sixers have shot just 16-64 from behind the three-point arc during their two-game losing streak. Miami is still without Justise Winslow while the Sixers will be without Josh Richardson. I expect Joel Embiid to bounce back with a big game here but I also expect the same from Bam Adebayo. In the end, I think it goes down to Miami’s homecourt edge and the depth of their roster.
PREDICTION: HEAT -3
The total has gone under in 10 out of the last 15 games played by the Sixers. The under is 4-2 in Philadelphia’s last six games played on the road and the under is 7-3 in their last 10 games played against the Eastern Conference. The total has gone under in each of the last three games played by the Heat. The over is 11-5 in Miami’s last 16 games against the Eastern Conference. Head to head, the total has gone over in four out of the last five home games of the Heat versus the Sixers.
These teams have seen the total go under in two out of their last three meetings this season. The Sixers have scored 100 or fewer points in half of their last 10 games played. The Heat have gone below the 213 total in their last three outings. The Sixers are the third-best defensive team in the league while the Heat are 11th in scoring defense. I think this will be a dog fight with both teams displaying excellent defense.
PREDICTION: UNDER 213
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