Heat vs. 76ers Betting Preview for Monday: Slugfest Between Top 10 Defenses

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NBA Pick: Under 217 (-110) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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Under 217 (-110)
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  • Under 217 (-110)
  • Heat +6 (-110)

We are almost to March and yet the Miami Heat and Philadelphia 76ers haven’t met in this NBA season. That changes Monday from the City of Brotherly Love.

Which side of the 6-point spread at the top-rated sportsbooks has the best value for your NBA picks? We also have a total play. 

Remember, fans from the Sunshine State who want to wager on this game should check out our top-rated Florida betting sites.

Miami Heat vs. Philadelphia 76ers 

Monday, February 27, 2023 – 07:00 PM EST at Wells Fargo Center 

Just a four-game slate around the NBA on Monday, and Miami at Philadelphia is the lone national TV matchup as it’s shown by NBA TV. We are nearly into March and somehow this is the first meeting of the season between conference rivals. 

It marks the second latest the two teams have faced each other for the first time in a season, with only their first meeting on March 5 during the lockout 1998-99 campaign being later.

Last season, they split four meetings with each going 1-1 at home. Jimmy Butler averaged 18.7 points, 6.7 assists, and 4.7 rebounds in the series for Miami. Fellow All-Star Joel Embiid put up 23.7 points, 13.7 rebounds and 3.3 assists for Philly. 

The Heat are 6-3-1 ATS in the past 10 meetings on the NBA odds.

Heat Trending Wrong Way 

Seventh-seeded Miami’s chances of getting into the East’s top six and automatic qualification for the East playoffs is taking a big hit with the team on a four-game losing streak and falling further and further behind No. 6 New York. Losing at home to Denver, at Brooklyn, and at Milwaukee, one can understand, but that fourth straight loss was Saturday at a bad Charlotte team, 108-103.  

Just can’t have that, even in the second of a back-to-back. The Hornets are a terrible defensive team yet the Heat shot just 40% from the field. After shooting 44.3 percent in their five games before the All-Star break, the Heat have made 39.5 percent of shots in their past two losses

“I’m tired of losing,” Jimmy Butler said. “I don’t think anybody in here wants to lose. We’ve got to figure this out very, very quickly.” 

Frankly, Saturday’s game wouldn’t have been that close if not for Miami finishing 28-for-34 from the free-throw line. The Heat rank second in the NBA in free-throw shooting at 82.6%. Philly is No. 1 at 82.9. 

Love to the Rescue?

One piece of good news Saturday was recent signee Kevin Love looking almost in his All-Star prime with 13 points and 13 rebounds in 26 minutes in his second game with Miami since a buyout from Cleveland. Butler had 28 points and Tyler Herro 33 against the Hornets.

Among Miami’s 61 games, 33 of them have been decided by five points or less, including 11 of the last 14. The Heat are 20-13 in those closer games. The franchise single-season record for wins by five points or fewer is 22 in 1996-97.  

Injury-wise, Herro and starting point guard Kyle Lowry are listed as questionable for this one. Lowry hasn’t played since Feb. 2 with a knee injury but is from Philadelphia so surely will try to go in this one. Gabe Vincent has been starting for Lowry but has been terrible in the past two games with only seven combined points. I expect Herro to play as it’s somewhat desperation time.  

Miami is 1-5 ATS in its past six road games. 

Sixers Can’t Cope When Embiid Sits 

Philadelphia had a five-game winning streak snapped on Saturday in one of the more entertaining NBA games of the year, a 110-107 home defeat to Boston. The Sixers blew a 15-point third-quarter lead. Jayson Tatum hit the winning three-pointer with under two seconds left.  

Joel Embiid caught the ensuing inbounds pass, and his 70-foot heave swished but it came a split second after the final buzzer sounded so no good. P.J. Tucker, who immediately grabbed the ball after Tatum’s shot and inbounded it to Embiid, said Sixers players realized it was late. 

“The other guys on the bench knew right away,” he said. 

Embiid was terrific as usual with 41 points, 12 rebounds, five assists, and three blocks. It was his eighth 40-point, 10-rebound double-double of the season, second-most in the NBA. It was the 14th time Embiid has recorded at least 40 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists in a game, breaking a tie with Wilt Chamberlain for the most such games in Sixers history. Embiid has scored at least 20 in 20 straight games, the second-longest active streak in the league.

He remains a (+400) second-favorite at the top-rated books to win MVP.  

Not Enough Horses on the Bench

The Sixers simply collapse when Embiid is not on the court even with the trade for Hornets big man Jalen McDaniels. In his 15 minutes Saturday, the Sixers were minus-23. The entire Philly bench was trash against Boston with 12 points.  

Another potential Embiid backup, Dewayne Dedmon will likely be out a couple more games according to 76ers coach Doc Rivers. Dedmon used to be a backup in Miami but fell out of favor with the coaching staff and was traded early this month to the Spurs, bought out, and landed in Philly.

All-Star NBA Slam Dunk champion Mac McClung will not make his Sixers debut, either, as he remains in the G-League.

Our Picks

Philadelphia is now 12-3 in its past 15 games decided by less than 10 points and is 30-2 when leading after three quarters.

We have to take the points here simply as Miami is good enough to steal a win outright and at worse keep it close. Could be a bit of a letdown game for the Sixers after that wild Celtics loss.  

Our top play here is the total as both clubs are in the Top 7 in the league in defensive rating. The under is 7-3 in the past 10 meetings and has hit in three straight.  

NBA Pick: Under 217 (-110) at BetOnline 

NBA Pick: Heat +6 (-110) at BetOnline 

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Heat +6 (-110)
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