On Sunday night, the Sixers will take on the Miami Heat in Philadelphia in Game 4 of their second round NBA playoff series. The Sixers rebounded from two losses in Miami with a convincing Game 3 victory. Joel Embiid’s return, which was announced very shortly before tip, had a lot to do with the Sixers not only getting their first win of the series, but also making this series competitive.
Let’s get into our Sixers vs. Heat betting pick with player prop predictions, odds, and analysis for this May 8, 2022 matchup.
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Sixers vs. Heat Betting Pick (May 8, 2022)
Writing on deadline means exactly what it says — you have a moment where the work is due to post, and you have to do the best you can with the information at your disposal. Usually, that’s not a problem. On Friday night, though, it became a significant problem for this serial entry.
The Sixers were as much as a 3.5-point underdog most of Thursday and into Friday morning. Then the word emerged that Embiid had cleared concussion protocol, and the line froze for a time. Once the books had a chance to adjust, the Sixers were only getting 1.5 points. The line sat there for most of the day until, very close to game time, it became apparent that Embiid was again going to put on a mask and play. By that time, this piece was already up, and the pick was the Heat. Obviously, that didn’t work out.
Today, there’s a new problem: How do you assess Embiid’s capacity from Friday night’s game? He played 36 minutes, scored 18 points on 12 shots, and pulled down 11 rebounds. So his points were down, but his rebounds were in line with what he normally does. Were his points down because his vision was impaired by the mask? You would think not, since he made eight of his ten free throws, but of course that means he only scored 10 points from the field and, notably, did not attempt a three-point shot.
The uncertainty around Embiid doesn’t explicitly make this game a stay-away, but it does mean that even more than normal, caution is the watch word. The range of outcomes for Embiid is far wider than normal, and as we have seen, as Embiid goes, so go the Sixers.
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Sixers vs. Heat Odds
Here’s the line for the Sixers and Heat at FanDuel Sportsbook:
- Point Spread: Sixers -2 (-114), Heat +2 (-106)
- Moneyline: Sixers -138, Heat +118
- Total: 208
Bets We Like With a Sixers Win
Sixers to Win and Under 208 Total Points (+214, FanDuel Sportsbook)
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Friday night’s game was far under because the Heat were atrocious. They scored 79 points, far below their season average. Only two Heat players scored in double figures. Meanwhile, the Sixers got 12 three-point field goals from Danny Green and Tyrese Maxey and still didn’t crack 100 points. The Heat are still a great defensive team, and Embiid is not apt to go back to scoring 30+ points in this game. So the pick here is under.
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Bets We Like Independent of Outcome
Sixers First Half -1 Point (-110, Caesars Sportsbook)
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We won with this prop on Friday night and we are going with it again. The crowd in the Wells Fargo Center on Friday night was raucous and seemed to carry the Sixers for stretches of the game. With a line this close, stuff that normally doesn’t matter (like crowd noise) matters a lot.
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Joel Embiid Over 24.5 Points (-140, DraftKings Sportsbook)
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Embiid scored 18 points after missing two games and while playing with a mask. He returns tonight still with the mask on but with his legs under him again. Whereas Embiid was used as something of a decoy at times on Friday night, and where the Sixers seemed to have to spoon feed him some of his opportunities, tonight Embiid projects to look a little bit more like himself.
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Matisse Thybulle Under 1.5 Rebounds (-149, FOX Bet)
With so much attention focused on Embiid’s injuries, the story of Thybulle’s shocking decline has been largely overlooked. But the defensive specialist who flew around the court during the regular season putting up decent steals and rebounding numbers…that guy is gone. Thybulle looks shook, and this prop is informed by the fact that Thybulle probably won’t even get the 20 minutes of game time he got on Friday night. In 20 minutes, he didn’t have even one rebound.
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Sixers vs. Heat Prediction
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Unless the Heat lose not just tonight’s game but Game 5 as well, this will probably be the last time you will have the chance to take the better team at these odds in this series. Friday night was exciting, and it’s great that Game 4 is meaningful as opposed to being a death march. But the Sixers aren’t getting another monster game out of Danny Green, and the Heat aren’t going to shoot 35% from the field again.
Pick: Heat moneyline (+110, Barstool Sportsbook)
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