Blake Daniels, May 4, 2022
The Philadelphia 76ers try to get a split when they return to the FTX Center for Game 2 of their Eastern Conference semifinals series against the Miami Heat.
Philadelphia lost by 14 points while scoring only 92 in Game 1 as they played without All-Sta center Joel Embiid who is out indefinitely with an orbital injury and concussion. Without Embiid, the Sixers’ offense looked lost and was easily handcuffed by the excellent Miami Heat defense.
Embiid is still out for Game 2 so the Sixers must look for other sources of offense and hope that James Harden picks up his scoring. Harden had a good all-around game in the series opener but more than his passing and rebounding stats, his team needs him to revert to his old scoring-machine self so that they will have a chance at toppling the top-seeded Heat.
Miami got Jimmy Butler and Tyler Herro back in Game 1 but will still be without Kyle Lowry in Game 2. Despite Lowry’s absence, the Heat looked solid again the Sixers the last time out. Coach Erik Spoelstra hopes his boys keep up the defensive intensity for they can head to Philly with a comfortable 2-0 lead.
The Sixers lost Joel Embiid to injury at the worst possible time. With Embiid sitting out Game 1, Bam Adebayo went to work on the depleted Philadelphia frontline and picked up big numbers for Miami. Meanwhile, James Harden scored only 16 points in a game where the Sixers would’ve loved to see him score at least 30. Instead, it was Tobias Harris who led Philadelphia with 27 points while Tyrese Maxey added 19.
Harden has been averaging only 18.6point per game in the postseason and is being outscored by Maxey who is putting up 21 PPG for the Sixers in the playoffs. Harris is even scoring more at 19.1 points per game. Philadelphia is shooting better in the playoffs than during the regular season at 48% from the field and 37.4% from behind the three-point arc. However, the absence of Embiid’s 26.2 PPG playoff scoring hurt them in Game 1.
Moneyline Odds: 76ers +320, Heat -400
Odds from BetOnline as of 05/04/2022
The Heat were already favored to win this series but when Embiid was declared out indefinitely, Miami has become a heavy betting favorite to eliminate the Sixers. In Game 1, the Heat looked like a championship-ready team with their defense holding the Sixers down to just 92 points. Meanwhile, Bam Adebayo made the most of Embiid’s absence with 24 points and 12 rebounds. Jimmy Butler returned from injury to score 15 points while Tyler Herro also had a big game with 25 to lead Miami.
Miami outrebounded Philadelphia 47-37 including 15-9 on the offensive glass. More rebounds meant more possessions and consequently more shot attempts for the Heat who took 13 more shots and made 6 more than the Sixers. The Heat also outscored the Sixers 52-46 in points in the paint while also issuing 3 more assists than Philly. Kyle Lowry is out for the Heat once again.
The Sixers are 9-4 SU in their last 13 games played. Philadelphia is 2-3 SU in their last five road games, 4-6 SU in their last 10 games played against the Heat, and 1-6 SU in their last seven games played in Miami.
The Heat are 11-2 SU in their last 13 games played. Miami is 6-0 SU in their last six home games, 24-6 SU in their last 30 home games against the Eastern Conference, and 7-3 SU in their last 10 games against the Atlantic Division.
Without Embiid in Game 1, the Sixers were outrebounded 47-37 including 15-9 on the offensive glass. Philly also sucked from three-point distance, making only 6 of 34 three-point attempts or 17.6%. James Harden only scored 16 points on 5-13 shooting but he did grab 9 rebounds and 5 assists. However, that won’t be enough from him if the Sixers want to tie this series heading to Philadelphia.
Bam Adebayo went to work in Embiid’s absence, making 8-10 shots for 24 points. The Heat’s All-Star big man also grabbed 12 rebounds with four assists, two steals, and one blocked shot. Tyler Herro also had a big night with 25 points including 4-6 from deep. Herro, who was named as the NBA’s 2022 Sixth Man of the Year winner outscored the entire Sixers bench which produced just 21 total points.
Miami will once again be without Kyle Lowry but with Jimmy Butler returning in the previous game, the Heat should be okay, especially since the Sixers are missing their best player. Maxey and Harden are going to have another rough night against the tough Miami defense. Give me the Heat to take a 2-0 series lead heading to Philly.
Prediction: Miami Heat
Other Bets to Make
Philadelphia is 2-4 ATS in their last six games against the Southeast Division. The Sixers are 2-7 ATS in their last nine road games, 7-15-1 ATS in their last 23 games after allowing more than 100 points in their previous game, 4-9 ATS in their last 13 games when their opponent allows 100 or more points in their previous game, 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games when playing on one day rest, 2-5 ATS in their last seven road games against an opponent with a winning home record, 1-4 ATS in their last five Conference Semifinals games, and 0-4-1 ATS in their last five games against an opponent with a winning percentage better than .600.
Miami is 10-3 ATS in their last 13 games played. The Heat are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 Wednesday games, 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games as betting favorites, 6-1 ATS in their last seven games as home favorites, 6-1 ATS in their last seven home games, 4-1 ATS in their last five games after a straight-up win of more than 10 points, 8-2 ATS in their last 10 Wednesday games, 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games against an opponent with a winning straight up record, 13-4 ATS in their last 17 games against an opponent with a winning record better than .600, 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games after scoring more than 100 points in their previous game, 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games when their opponent scores 100 or more points in their previous game, and 5-2 ATS in their last seven home games against an opponent with a winning road percentage better than .600.
Spread Odds: 76ers +8 (-110), Heat -8 (-110)
Odds from BetOnline as of 05/04/2022
The Heat struggled to start Game 1, despite that, they still ended up winning by double digits at 106-92. That just shows how difficult life was without Joel Embiid, both on offense and defense. The Sixers scored just 92 points in Game 2, their second-lowest scoring game in the playoffs, and only the second time they have been held to under 100 points in the current postseason. Bam Adebayo had a big game with Deandre Jordan unable to defend him as Embiid would’ve. And unless they have Embiid back, it’s hard to trust the Sixers.
Miami shot just 25% from deep at 9-36 but despite that poor shooting effort, they still emerged victorious and even won by double digits to cover the -8.5 points spread. I don’t expect the Heat to struggle again from downtown. Once they start hitting their outside shots, it’s going to be another tough night for the Sixers.
Miami is 35-16-1 ATS in their last 52 Conference semifinals games and 41-20 ATS in their last 61 games as playoff betting favorites. Give me the Heat to cover this 8-point spread as the Sixers will continue to struggle without their best player.
Prediction: Heat -8
The total has gone under in five out of the last six games played by the Sixers. The under is 4-1 in their last five games against teams from the Eastern Conference, 5-0 in their last five Conference Semifinals games, 15-1 in their last six games against an opponent with a winning straight up record, 4-1 in their last five road games against an opponent with a winning home percentage better than .600, 5-2-1 in their last eight road games against an opponent with a winning home record, and 36-17 in their last 53 games against an opponent with a winning percentage better than .600
The over is 6-1 in the Sixers’ last seven games after an ATS loss, 5-1 in their last six games after a straight up loss of more than 10 points, 7-2 in their last nine games after a straight up loss, and 6-2 in their last eight games as betting underdogs.
The total has gone under in each of the last six games played by the Heat. The under is 5-0 in Miami’s last five games when their opponent allows 100 or more points in their previous game, 5-0 in their last five games after scoring more than 100 points in their previous game, 4-0 in their last four games after a straight up win, 5-0 in their last five games as home favorites, 5-0 in their last five home games, 14-2 in their last 16 games as playoff 5-1 in their last six games with a winning straight up record, 4-1 in their last five games after an ATS win, and 4-1 in their last five games after a straight up win of more than 10 points.
Head to head, the total has gone under in five out of the last six meetings between these two teams. The under is also 4-0 in the last four meetings in Miami.
Over/Under Odds: Over 207.5 (-110), Under 207.5 (-110)
Odds from BetOnline as of 05/04/2022
These teams have combined to score an average of only 199.33 points per game in their last three head-to-head meetings, including 198 in Game 1. Miami is currently allowing its regular season and playoff opponents to score an average of 104.4 points per game at the FTX Arena this season. Joel Embiid was averaging over 30 points per game before his injury and in a playoff game where defense is at a premium, that’s too many points to miss on offense. With a guy like Embiid, the Sixers also lose plenty of rebounds, which lead to shot opportunities and prevent the opposing team from scoring more points.
Philly only has three other players averaging in double-digits this season. I’m not sure where Doc Rivers is going to get the offense. Without Embiid, the Sixers scored only 92 points in Game 1. I’m not sure how that changes in just a couple of days and with Embiid still out. This should be another low-scoring game between these two teams.
Prediction: Under 207.5