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The best bets and resources to make you more profitable
|Heat Win Percentage||46%|
|Sixers Win Percentage||54%|
|Game Date & Time||May 8, 8:00 p.m. ET|
What a difference an NBA All-Star caliber player makes to a team and series. Sixers center Joel Embiid returned to the court in game 3, after missing the 1st 2 games of the series with a concussion and orbital fracture. His biggest impact on the game didn’t show up in the box score. His return meant that the struggling Deandre Jordan didn’t have to play, after being largely responsible for Bam Adebayo’s dominance in games 1 and 2. Embiid had a modest game statistically by his standards, but his effect on the boards and neutralizing Miami’s pick and roll game could not go unnoticed.
Now, the series sits at 2-1 and it feels like Philly has a new life with the return of Embiid. While the Sixers are riding high, no one should be counting out the Heat for this game. The Sixers certainly showed some gamesmanship with their secrecy and misreporting of Embiid’s status for game 3. Now, with a few extra days to prepare and gameplan, I expect the Heat to look much more prepared in game 4. The Heat shot an abysmal 35% from the field Friday night.
A lot of that can be attributed to Embiid’s ability to clog driving lanes and alter shots. You would expect a seasoned coach like Erik Spoelstra, to have a counter to Embiid’s return. I’m looking for Miami’s secondary players, like Herro and Olidipo to have much better shooting nights.
A series with this much volatility is always tough for oddsmakers, making for a great opportunity for you to take advantage of some line discrepancies. Philly started as a 3 point favorite for Sunday, and the line now is settling at 2. Also, after Friday’s poor shooting performance, the total dropped to 207.5, the lowest it’s been in the series.
As I mentioned above, the volatility of Embiid returning, and the Heat’s poor performance Friday has made for some interesting lines. Books seem to have the mainline spread anywhere from -1.5 to -2.5 for the Sixers. Which means you can get some great value on those spreads, depending on the book you chose. I love the Sixers in this spot. A primetime home game to tie the series is exactly the type of energy that team needs.
Admittedly, I believe we’ll see a much closer game than game 3. The Heat couldn’t possibly shoot that poorly again on Sunday. But, Embiid on the court just makes all the difference for me. His presence, even at maybe 75%, is enough to neutralize much of Miami’s offensive power. Plus, his addition to the offensive end allows for much more open looks for Philly’s wings; as evidenced by Danny Green’s 7 3-pointers in game 3 I’m taking the Sixers to win and cover, sending the series back to Miami tied 2-2.
I love the value we’re getting here on the Sixers -1.5 at -110. You’re giving up the least amount of points, while also retaining mainline odds. The Perfect Line has this at around -118.
Pick: Sixers -1.5 | -110 at Bet MGM
+EV Bonus Prop: James Harden Points, Rebounds, Assists under 35.5 | -110 at BetMGM (OddsJam Perfect Line is -138)
It’s hard to understate the importance of this game for either team. A 3-1 Heat lead, headed back to Miami would be devastating for the Sixers chances in this series. While I’ve criticized Doc Rivers plenty before, his adjustments to the rotation and defensive scheme proved very effective in game 3.
Of course, it helps that he has an MVP candidate return to “mask” a lot of his mistakes. It seems like all of the Sixers’ wrongs from games 1 and 2 have been righted by Embiid’s return and I’m looking for Philly to continue rolling and even the series at 2-2.
Prediction: Sixers 110-Heat 103