On Monday night, the Sixers will be in Miami to take on the Heat in Game 1 of their second round NBA Playoffs series. The Heat eliminated the Atlanta Hawks in five games, with three of the wins coming by double digits. The Sixers looked to be on their way to blowing a 3-0 series lead against the Toronto Raptors until claiming a true Pyrrhic victory over the Raptors in Game 6 to advance.
Let’s get into our Sixers vs. Heat betting pick with player prop predictions, odds, and analysis for this May 2, 2022 matchup.
Sixers vs. Heat Betting Pick (May 2, 2022)
Pascal Siakam is probably going to walk away from the Game 6 cheap shot that has put Joel Embiid on the sidelines indefinitely at a terrible time. It’s aggravating, but there are too many reasons why Siakam is never going to suffer a consequence for what he did.
Money is the biggest reason. In this modern era, players are making way too much money to risk a suspension by retaliating against Siakam the next time the Sixers face him. For that matter, a retaliatory act would just invite another one, and so the player sticking up for Embiid could get hurt himself.
Embiid is probably not going to go out of his way to exact revenge on Siakam for the same reasons. Besides, by the time Embiid and Siakam face each other again, months will have passed and presumably Embiid will be fully healed.
The timing of Siakam’s act also comes into play here. The Raptors don’t have any more games to play this season. Suspending Siakam (which we haven’t seen seriously discussed anyway) at the beginning of next season for something he did months prior will look and seem pointless.
Make no mistake, though: Siakam walking away from this incident totally unscathed is a terrible look for the NBA. Embiid had an MVP-caliber season and led his team to a playoff series win playing with a torn ligament in his thumb. The league would doubtlessly prefer that Embiid could play as many games in this series as possible, starting with Game 1, which Embiid will miss due to the injuries Siakam inflicted on him, including an orbital fracture and concussion.
And what a break for the Heat, who will be without Kyle Lowry in Game 1 and who have Jimmy Butler, Tyler Herro, and P.J. Tucker listed as questionable. All three of them are probably going to play, but their effectiveness will be in question. Playing the Sixers without Embiid is exactly what the Heat needed in this spot.
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Sixers vs. Heat Odds
Here’s the line for the Sixers and Heat at FanDuel Sportsbook:
- Point Spread: Sixers +7.5 (-110), Heat -7.5 (-110)
- Moneyline: Sixers +260, Heat -320
- Total: 208.5
Bets We Like With a Sixers Win
Sixers to Win and Over 208.5 Total Points (+515, FanDuel Sportsbook)
We don’t like the Sixers in this spot, but if they are going to win this game it is going to have to happen with James Harden, Tyrese Maxeyb and Tobias Harris all scoring more than 20 points. For that matter, the Sixers will need some spectacular three-point shooting from the likes of Danny Green and Georges Niang. This is probably too much of an ask against the Heat, who held opponents to 105.6 points per game this season, the fourth-best defense in the league as measured by opposition points allowed.
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Bets We Like Independent of Outcome
Bam Adebayo Double Double (-150, Caesars Sportsbook)
Adebayo averaged 19.1 points and 10.1 rebounds per game in the regular season and posted two double doubles in five games against the Hawks in that series. Without Embiid, the Sixers are stuck either playing small or relying on DeAndre Jordan, Paul Reed, and maybe even Charles Bassey to try to slow Adebayo down. Adebayo might hit this prop in three quarters.
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Jimmy Butler Over 23.5 Points (-125, DraftKings Sportsbook)
Butler only played In 57 games in the regular season. The Sixers probably factored in not only Butler’s age, but also his high mileage when considering whether to keep him in Philadelphia. It’s not clear that Butler really wanted to stay with the Sixers anyway, but the time Butler missed this season makes the $184 million extension he signed last summer look sort of iffy. None of that matters tonight, though. Butler averaged over 30 points per game in the four games he played in the Hawks series, and with Embiid missing tonight, Butler’s path to the basket is going to be more open than it was against the Hawks.
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James Harden Over 9.5 Assists (-125, FOX Bet)
In the six games against the Raptors, Harden had double digit assists three times and averaged just over 10 assists in the series. The loss of Embiid for Game 1 is not helpful for this prop, but it’s highly likely that the Sixers’ game plan tonight is to run most of the offense through Harden. The Sixers don’t have to win or even score prolifically for Harden to get 10 assists in this game.
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Sixers vs. Heat Prediction
STATES: AZ, LA, CO, IL, IN, MI, PA, VA, NJ, TN, IA, WV
Some late money has come in on the Sixers and the points in the last 36 hours, as the spread has dropped a full point. The Sixers still have three reasonable scoring threats in Harden, Maxey, and Harris, and as noted above, the Heat tend to play low-scoring games. Those factors suggest that the Sixers can hang around in this game. We don’t see it, though. The Sixers expended significant energy in Game 6 against the Raptors and lost their superstar indefinitely in the end. The Heat are too professional and too well-coached not to step on the Sixers’ necks in this spot.
Pick: Heat -7.5 (-110, Barstool Sportsbook)
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