By Adam Thompson | | 12 mins
Heat vs 76ers Odds, NBA Playoff Picks & Betting Predictions
A clash of similar strategies face off in the second round of the 2022 NBA Playoffs when Jimmy Butler and the top-seeded Miami Heat face James Harden and the No. 4 Philadelphia 76ers.
The Eastern Conference powerhouses split their regular-season series, each winning twice. Those four games never featured both teams at full strength, and unfortunately that will again be the case for this second-round NBA betting matchup.
Looming over the entire series is the status of NBA MVB candidate Joel Embiid. The Sixers' star suffered an orbital bone fracture and mild concussion in the closing minutes of Philly's 35-point win to close out the Raptors. The latest report from ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski is that Embiid could return for either Game 3 or Game 4.
As a result, the Heat went from -165 to win the series at DraftKings to -350 (it was -390 when the Embiid news first broke). Philadelphia is now +270 to win the series, versus +135 prior to the Embiid news breaking.
With Embiid out, more of the focus turns to Harden, who didn’t play in any of the previous games against Miami. On the flipside, Miami’s Victor Oladipo and Markieff Morris missed three of four and Bam Adebayo missed one. All five starters sat for the Heat in the first meeting in December – a game Miami won 101-96 in Philly. On the flip side, Harden and Embiid both missed the last matchup, a game Philadelphia won.
The Sixers dispatched of the Raptors in six games. The Heat cruised by the Hawks in Round 1, winning in five games despite Butler missing one of them and point guard Kyle Lowry missing two.
76ers vs. Heat Odds
76ers vs. Heat Betting Tips
Two Stars, One Ball: Few players command the ball like Harden and Embiid, but when both have them played together, the 76ers are 18-9 (.667) overall. Against the spread, they’re 11-14-1 (.440). Unfortunately, the Sixers were only 2-6 SU vs. playoff-level teams without Embiid.
Paint Finishing: Miami allowed the fewest points in the paint, a key defensive metric against the driving Harden (amd Embiid, upon his return). Conversely, Butler ranked No. 2 in points in the restricted area (right around the rim), behind only Giannis. The Sixers’ defense ranked a respectable seventh overall, 12th in points in the paint.
Defense First (and Last): Miami ranked No. 1 in the NBA in least production allowed to opposing point guards and power forwards, bad news for Tyrese Maxey and Tobias Harris. The Sixer ranked dead-last in the NBA in production allowed to opposing centers, good news for Bam Adebayo.
76ers vs. Heat Picks
When Embiid was expected to play, Miami was favored at -165 to win the series, while Philadelphia came in at +135 at sports betting sites. Now, Miami is a whopping -390, Philadelphia is +295. When it comes to exact results, Miami in 5 is +260, the favorite according at NBA odds, with Heat in 7 +340 and a Heat sweep +400.
Embiid took another step in his evolution as a player this season and also stayed healthy. He was a top-three NBA MVP candidate and appeared poised to make this the series Philly takes that next level. His loss can't be overstated.
Even before Embiid's injury, depth was a huge advantage for the Heat. Harden’s postseason career numbers have paled in comparison to his regular-season marks (2.9 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 3.5 apg fewer in the playoffs). The Sixers have an OK defense, but Miami’s is better across the board.
We think Harden will get his (and maybe Embiid if he returns) but the top-seeded Heat can slow everyone else down and use superior roster depth to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals. We got Miami at -350, and it appears still wise to back the Heat sport betting apps.
76ers vs. Heat Schedule
Game 1: May 2, Philadelphia at Miami, 7:30 p.m. ET, TNT
Game 2: May 4, Philadelphia at Miami, 7:30 p.m. ET, TNT
Game 3: May 6, Miami at Philadelphia, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN
Game 4: May 8, Miami at Philadelphia, TBD
Game 5: May 10, Philadelphia at Miami, TBD, TNT*
Game 6: May 12, Miami at Philadelphia, TBD, ESPN*
Game 7: May 15, Philadelphia at Miami, TBD*