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Heat vs. 76ers Prediction: Will Playoff Jimmy Rise Again?

Written by: Grant Mitchell
Published April 17, 2024
11 min read

The Miami Heat will battle the Philadelphia 76ers in the Play-In Tournament and in the City of Brotherly Love on Wednesday for the rights to the seven seed in the Eastern Conference.

The Heat became the first team in league history to reach the NBA Finals after starting their postseason in the Play-In Tournament last year. They’re comfortable being the underdog, though they did not show the trademark late-season improvement they did in years past.

The Sixers are 31-8 with Joel Embiid in the lineup and enter the matchup riding an eight-game win streak. The reigning MVP also posted outstanding box score numbers since his return, though he does not look completely healthy.

Here, we will go over the betting odds and will share our favorite pick for the Heat vs. 76ers matchup.

Heat vs. 76ers 2024 04 17 Prediction

Heat vs. 76ers Betting Odds for Wednesday, April 17

The Heat are 40-40-2 (50 percent) against the spread and 16-9 (64 percent) ATS as a road underdog. They covered in two of four meetings with Philly and in six of their last 10.

The Sixers are 48-34 (58.5 percent) ATS, the second-best mark in the league, and 21-11 (65.6 percent) ATS as a home favorite. They also covered in a whopping 10 straight games.

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Teams Spread Moneyline Total
Miami Heat +5.5 (-110) +180 Over 208.5 (-105)
Philadelphia 76ers -5.5 (-110) -225 Under 208.5 (-115)

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Heat vs. 76er Prediction

Miami Heat Preview

What does “Heat culture” mean to you? In South Beach, Heat Culture is simply a way to refer to making the extra winning plays, paying attention to detail, and getting the most out of every possible asset.

The Heat’s trademark slogan is a major part as to why they aren’t even more of an underdog. Their actual on-court play throughout the season was relatively disappointing for a team that made it to the Finals last year.

Miami’s defensive burden is enormous. Although they finished with the sixth-best net rating over the final 15 games (+7), they were just about average in offensive efficiency but finished second in defensive efficiency. They also held opponents to a ridiculously low 32.9 percent shooting from beyond the arc since the All-Star break.

As much praise as the Heat’s defense deserves, their offense deserves the same amount of questions. Jimmy Butler finished the regular season with three straight games scoring 15 or fewer points, Bam Adebayo only scored 20 points once in his last eight games, and Tyler Herro’s 21 points per night are nowhere near enough to lead a team on a deep postseason run.

To Miami’s credit, they finished the year with the eighth-best road net rating (+1.8). They went 2-2 against Philly in the season series but will have to try for their third win without the injured Terry Rozier.

Philadelphia 76ers Preview

Philly’s season numbers are fairly misrepresentative of their actual ability since Embiid missed more than half of the year.

Since he returned to the lineup, Philly led the league in net rating (+12.2) and defensive rating (101.4). Their offense actually played below average, but Embiid put up 30.4 points per game on 49.5 percent shooting and 48.1 percent from beyond the arc.

The Sixers have an interesting group of postseason performers. Kyle Lowry and Nic Batum are both weathered but experienced playoff veterans who will accept defensive challenges and take big shots. Buddy Hield got his shot going lately and converted 40 percent of his attempts over the final 10 games of the season, and his spacing around Embiid should be tough for any team to track. 

All that said, Tyrese Maxey just might be the difference-maker in the matchup. Philly’s young guard averaged 27.3 points, 8.3 assists, and 6.5 rebounds in four games against the Heat, and his speed and ability to get to the cup should prove to be invaluable against their excellent defense.

Philly, despite playing well below .500 during Embiid’s absence, still finished with the 10th-best home rating (+4.8). They’ll give themselves a better chance to win if they can control the tempo against a Miami team that ranked 29th in pace.

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Heat vs. 76ers Betting Pick

The Heat should not be disrespected or overlooked, even though it’s clear that the 76ers are the better team.

Embiid has produced since he came back into the fold, but he’s always going to be an injury risk. He also has a history of underperforming in the playoffs and will have to overcome that stigma in addition to his knee problems.

There’s still a solid chance the 76ers win this game, but we don’t expect them to bury the Heat. We like the underdog with the points even if we’re not convinced they’ll pull off the upset.

How to Watch Heat vs. 76ers

  • When: Wednesday, April 17 @ 7:00 p.m. ET

  • Where: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA

  • TV: ESPN

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AUTHOR

Grant Mitchell

528 Articles

Grant is a sports and sports betting journalist who prides himself on delivering breaking news and insightful analyses of the industry. Grant graduated from Virginia Tech in 2021 and is feverishly pursuing his ambitions in the sports betting field.

In his free time, Grant can be found passionately watching sports, doing a workout, or searching for adventure with his friends.

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