The Miami Heat visit the Philadelphia 76ers for an Eastern Conference matchup on Thursday evening. The teams also faced off on Tuesday in the same venue, with the Sixers prevailing in overtime. Miami is 4-5 on the season, with Philadelphia entering this contest at 8-4 overall and 6-1 at home. The Heat will be without Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, Goran Dragic, Avery Bradley, Kendrick Nunn and others due to the NBA's health and safety protocols. Seth Curry (protocols) is out for Philadelphia, with Joel Embiid (back), Tobias Harris (protocols), Shake Milton (protocols) and Ben Simmons (knee) listed as probable.
Tip-off is at 7 p.m. ET in Philadelphia. William Hill Sportsbook lists Philadelphia as a 10.5-point home favorite, while the over-under, or total number of points Vegas thinks will be scored, is 222.5 in the latest Heat vs. Sixers odds. Before making any Sixers vs. Heat picks, be sure to see the NBA predictions and betting advice from SportsLine's proven computer model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times, and it returned over $5,000 in profit on its top-rated NBA picks last season. The model is up nearly $8,100 over the past two-plus seasons. Dating back to last season, it is also on a stunning 67-38 roll on top-rated picks against the spread, returning almost $2,500 on those selections alone. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns.
- Heat vs. 76ers spread: 76ers -10.5
- Heat vs. 76ers over-under: 222.5 points
- Heat vs. 76ers money line: 76ers -600, Heat +450
- MIA: The Heat are 4-5 against the spread this season
- PHL: The 76ers are 5-5 against the spread in the last 10 games
Why the Heat can cover
Miami's roster limitations are well-known, but the Heat still have the ability to create efficient shots and convert them at a high level. The Heat are a top-eight team in both effective field goal percentage (55.7 percent) and true shooting percentage (59.1 percent), and Miami is No. 2 in the NBA in assist rate at 66.8 percent. The Heat are very adept at creating free throw attempts as well, ranking in the top 10 in the NBA in free throw frequency rate.
Defensively, Miami contests shots at a high level, with above-average marks in shooting efficiency allowed and free throw rate allowed. The Heat also lead the league in points allowed in the paint at 38.4 per game, and they can take solace in Philadelphia's lack of ball security. The 76ers turn the ball over on 16.1 percent of possessions, which could aid Miami's transition offense.
Why the Sixers can cover
Embiid was, by far, the best player on the floor in Tuesday's matchup between the 76ers and the Heat, and that could continue on Thursday. Embiid produced 45 points and 16 rebounds, dominating the proceedings, and Miami had no answer given its short-handed roster. As a team, the Sixers generated 32 assists and 16 offensive rebounds, owning the possession battle in the win, and Embiid is averaging 26.6 points and 12.1 rebounds per game this season.
From there, Philadelphia is a top-five defensive team, yielding only 1.06 points per possession, and the 76ers are effective on the glass overall. Embiid keys Philadelphia's league-leading mark with 7.1 blocked shots per game, and the 76ers also have the edge of home court in this matchup.
How to make 76ers vs. Heat picks
SportsLine's model is leaning over on the total, with the teams projected to combine for 228 points. The model also says one side of the spread hits in almost 70 percent of simulations. You can get that pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Heat vs. 76ers? And which side of the spread hits in almost 70 percent of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the Heat vs. 76ers spread you need to jump on Thursday, all from the model that has crushed its NBA picks.