After being held to just 79 points in Game 3, our NBA betting picks are backing this Heat offense to refind its strong early-playoff form. Take them with the points and expect a much better performance in Game 4.
Joel Embiid’s surprise return to the lineup injected the Philadelphia 76ers with “Willis Reed-like” energy in Game 3 of their conference semifinal set with the Miami Heat.
With their masked big man in the middle, the Sixers struck back with a 99-79 win, making the series 2-1 in favor of Miami and set Philadelphia up as a 2-point favorite for Game 4 on Sunday. Can Philly even the series and cover this short spread or is Miami better prepared to battle an Embiid-led squad?
Check out our free NBA picks and predictions for Heat at 76ers on May 8.
Heat vs 76ers odds
This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.
Following Embiid’s return and the Sixers’ win in Game 3, Philadelphia opened as big as a 2.5-point favorite for Game 4 and that spread has bounced between -1.5 and -2.5 at most books. The total for Sunday’s contest hit the board at 206.5 points and has jumped to 207.5 as of Sunday morning.
Heat vs 76ers predictions
Predictions made on 5/8/2022 at 8:30 am ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.
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Heat vs 76ers game info
• Location: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA
• Date: Sunday, May 8, 2022
• tip-off: 8:00 pm ET
• TV: TNT
Heat vs 76ers series odds
Heat vs 76ers betting preview
Heat: Dewayne Dedmon C (Questionable), Kyle Lowry G (Questionable)
76ers: Isaiah Joe G (Questionable)
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Betting trend to know
The Heat are 13-6-1 ATS in their last 20 games following a loss. Find more NBA setting trends for Heat vs. 76ers.
Heat vs 76ers picks and predictions
Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets.
Embiid’s return to action was a huge bonus for the 76ers – namely on defense after watching the Heat score at will in the opening two games while exploiting an undersized Philly defense. With Embiid protecting the paint in Game 3, Miami put in its worst offensive effort of the playoffs, shooting just 35% from the floor and managing a mere 79 points.
However, all the credit can’t go to Embiid. Miami returned its own standout in guard Kyle Lowry, who played his first game of the series after missing the openers with a hamstring injury. Lowry lacked aggression and passed on opportunities he would normally take (0-for-4 shooting), finishing Game 3 with zero points, three assists, and four fouls in just over 25 minutes.
Lowry started and somewhat jostled a backcourt rotation that was getting great energy from guards like Gabe Vincent and Caleb Martin, helping Miami boast an offensive rating of 119.7 in the two home games back in Florida.
Both Vincent and Martin played decreased minutes in Game 3 and the Heat’s overall offensive flow felt disjointed. Part of it was Philly being able to play more aggressively up top knowing Embiid is behind them, but another part was Lowry just not being the same threat. Miami head coach Erik Spoelstra will want an early look at Lowry in Game 4 but expect more of those backcourt reserves if Lowry isn’t effective.
As for Philadelphia’s attack, the 76ers finally snapped an ice-cold shooting slump in their return home. After taking and missing multiple wide-open 3-pointers in the opening two games in South Beach (14-for-64 from 3-point range), the Sixers ignited inside Wells Fargo Arena especially Danny Green and Tirese Maxey, who combined 14- for-20 from 3-point range and led the 76ers to a 16-for-33 night from outside. Yep, that’s right. The rest of the team continued to run cold at 2-for-13 beyond the arc.
Those long-range makes from Green and Maxey made up for an otherwise vanilla offensive effort from the 76ers, who watched their stars struggle from the floor. Embiid was obviously bothered by the protective mask he had to wear and he, James Harden and Tobias Harris finished a collective 13 for 36 from the floor for a combined 44 points.
Miami is going to provide much more pushback in Game 4 and their loss on Friday is explainable, considering Embiid’s sudden 180 in status, Lowry’s listless play, and perhaps the Heat letting up after taking a 2-0 series lead into Friday’s contest.
This spread is all over the place across the market, with Miami anywhere from +1.5 to +2.5, so shop for as many points as you can. I expect a close one and getting the Heat with the extra half point or two is vital.
PredictionHeat +2.5 (-110 at PointsBet)
Covers NBA betting analysis
A disjointed night from Miami sunk any hopes for Over backers in Game 3 but I don’t see the Heat mailing in another punchless performance.
Spoelstra will be quick to unplug Lowry if he can’t get right and it also wouldn’t be a surprise to see more of Miami’s 3-point threat Duncan Robinson, who’s played very limited minutes in this series. The Heat were just 7-for-30 from distance in Game 3 but this is the best 3-point shooting team (37.5%) in the NBA and even a less-than-average night could still fetch 10 or more triples.
Philadelphia scored just 99 points on Friday but with Embiid getting used to his mask and working off any rust, as well as upticks from at least Harris, the 76ers are staring down a team total of 104.5 points at sportsbooks. That feels about right.
The Game 3 pace bottomed out at 88.50 after the Sixers and Heat posted a rating of 94.25 in the opening two games. Embiid’s impact may play a role in that but he’s one of the more athletic big men who can thrive in tempo and transition. The Sixers know they can’t survive from beyond the arc, so look for them to try to get inside and attack the rim with efficiency.
Prediction: Over 207.5 (-110 at PointsBet)
I took one on the chin with the Heat’s team total in Game 3, betting Over 105.5 points and watching Miami muster just 79 total points.
As mentioned, a few factors played into that result and a possible letdown could have been sprinkled in, considering the Heat’s dominant play at home.
The Game 4 backcourt rotation will lean into whichever players provide the most energy and the 3-point shooting will at least provide 30 points toward topping Miami’s slim team total of 102.5 points Sunday night.
The Heat have failed to score 103 or more in just two games in the postseason and have failed to crack that mark only three times in their last 23 outings, going back to early March.
PickHeat team total Over 102.5 (-120 at bet365)
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