Only the home team has won so far in the Eastern Conference Semifinals series between the Philadelphia 76ers and the Miami Heat, as the two teams are set for Game 5 at 7:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday.
The Heat won the first two games by 14 and 16, respectively, before Philadelphia took Games 3 and 4 by 20 and eight, respectively. In all four games, the home team has covered the spread, though the under hit in the first and third games with the over cashing in the second and fourth.
Miami won the Eastern Conference to secure home-court advantage in a tumultuous season. The Heat are used to playing without key guys, and ahead of Tuesday’s game, seven players were listed as questionable.
They are: Kyle Lowry, Tyler Herro, Max Strus, Gabe Vincent, Caleb Martin, P.J. Tucker, and Dewayne Dedmon.
The line opened at Miami -4 with an over/under of 210, but each has dropped a half-point to Miami -3.5 with an over/under of 209.5 as of this writing.
76ers Must Limit Turnovers
This series has been won by the team that has shot the ball much better, and it’s why games haven’t been close. For Philadelphia, that is despite turning it over 34 times in its two wins. That’s something that can’t happen in Miami or going forward if they want to be a championship contender.
James Harden needs to get going in the playoffs. He’s averaging 18.6 points per game while shooting 39.8% from the field and 32.1% on 3-pointers across nine playoff games. Even a slight boost would go a long way in spacing the floor for Joel Embiid to get more paint touches.
Meanwhile, Tyrese Maxey has been tremendous, and Tobias Harris, along with Embiid, are all shooting over 50% for the postseason. Maxey is scoring 22.4 points per game in the playoffs.
Heat Need Vintage Lowry
Lowry is having a great season as a veteran point guard with Miami. He’s averaging 7.5 assists per game and is clearly still finding his rhythm after missing the final four games against the Atlanta Hawks and the first two of this series, which spans a week and a half. He’s been hampered by a hamstring and is 3 for 14 in the two losses to the 76ers.
Duncan Robinson has not played in the series despite shooting 52.6% on 3-pointers in the previous six games. With Philadelphia’s length and willingness to drive to the basket, it isn’t a good matchup for him defensively. Though if Herro can’t go, he may be forced into action.
Victor Oladipo is another wild card. He’s only played eight games this season after recovering from a second quad injury. He’s averaging 11.8 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 2.4 assists per game in five postseason games. However, he was a much better shooter in his eight regular-season games.
76ers/Heat Betting Prediction
Across the last five meetings in Miami, the under has hit four of those times. Philadelphia is also 1-6-1 in the last eight games in Miami, which is known to be a difficult city to win in for visiting teams due to the nightlife. Between the regular season and playoffs combined, the Heat are 34-12 at home this season.
The officials working the game are Scott Foster, Scott Twardoski, and Eric Lewis, with Brian Forte as an alternate. Many like to point to Foster working games with big trends, but that isn’t the case with either of these teams like it is with Chris Paul.
There are so many unknowns with Miami, especially with the length of the injury report, that betting on this game before the final injury report or inactives list seems like a bad idea. That being said, if Lowry and Herro are both in, and maybe even just one of those two, we’ll take Miami -3.5.