NBA Picks and Predictions: Miami Heat Travel to Philadelphia to Face 76ers
Betting odds courtesy of Bovada
The Miami Heat have dropped three straight contests to three poor opponents (New York, Brooklyn and Washington) and the struggles are perplexing, but it doesn’t give NBA oddsmakers at Bovada any reason to favor the Philadelphia 76ers. Miami is 10.5-point favorites in the contest.
The 76ers have already defeated the Heat this season, and Miami hasn’t lost four straight since Feb-Mar of 2011. Miami has struggled to find its offense in the skid, averaging just 94.7 points per game.
Erik Spoelstra told ESPN the team needed to “get connected,” and further added that “we can’t just slide this one under the rug.” The Heat are two-time champs and must find a way to remedy the lack of fluidity on offense, but LeBron James says the Heat “love adversity” and while this may not quite rival being behind in the playoffs as the team was to Indiana, it will be a test for the team.
The Heat trailed by as many as 34 in the team’s loss to Washington on Wed night and a key to the Heat being able to win this may be James’ keeping down his turnovers. The Heat are 18-2 when the point-forward has three turnovers or less. Dwayne Wade will also have to play far better and more aggressively. He shot just 4-of-11 in the loss and he sat out the game against the Brooklyn Nets.
Philly is 13-25 this season but an almost respectable 8-11 at home. The Sixers have been very pleased with rookie Michael Carter-Williams of Syracuse, who has averaged 17.6 points, 5.9 rebounds and seven assists. Carter-Williams is the youngest in the Association and now legitimately looks as though he could be the most talented and best player of the 2013 draft class.
Evan Turner leads the team in scoring with 19 points per game, but he’s been very inefficient (14.0 PER) and the team has flirted with trading the swingman from Ohio State.
Thaddeus Young may be the Sixer with the most potential trade value though. He’s a tweener, but a very good one who could be a featured player in a rotation on a contender. He stretches the court and though he doesn’t rebound exceptionally well (6.6 boards per game in 33 minutes a night), the Sixers could dangle Young in hopes of reeling in another pick.
The Sixers don’t have a defined direction in the rebuild, and may have a better idea soon of what the team has in 2013 draft selection Nerlens Noel of Kentucky, as he’s now been cleared for basketball activities and should make his return to the court this season following a horrific leg injury in NCAA play last season.
Miami Trends: OVER 5-0 in last 5 following SU loss; OVER 8-1 in last 9 Friday games; 1-7 ATS in last 8 vs teams with losing SU records; OVER 8-1 in last 9 Friday games; 1-7 ATS in last 8 vs teams with losing SU records.
Philly Trends: OVER 6-1 in last 7 Friday games; UNDER 5-1-1 in last 7 overall; OVER 4-1-1 in last 6 vs teams with winning SU records.
Head-to-head: OVER 4-1-1 in last 6 meetings; UNDER 11-4 in last 15 in Philly.