The Philadelphia 76ers will head to Miami to face the Heat on Monday night, with both teams looking to improve their positioning in the Eastern Conference. We’re sure to be in for an entertaining game.
The 76ers are 31-19 heading into Monday night and currently sit in the sixth spot in the East. A huge win on the road against Miami could boost them to the number five position and put them only two games behind the Heat.
Miami is 33-15 and one of the most exciting teams to watch in the Eastern Conference. After dealing the Orlando Magic a loss on the road on Saturday, the Heat look forward to returning home and facing another Eastern Conference contender.
The spread is close in this one, as Miami is only -3.5, with the over/under at 213. Let’s evaluate both teams and decide who to take.
Trying To End The Losing Streak
The 76ers have had a rough start to their current four-game road trip, losing their first two to the Atlanta Hawks and the Boston Celtics. On Monday, they face one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference in the Heat and will look to get back on track.
One of the Sixers struggling the most is All-Star Joel Embiid, who shot 1-for-11 and had four turnovers in their game against the Celtics.
Inconsistency is a common theme in Philadelphia, as it goes from beating teams like the Lakers a week ago to losing to the Hawks a few nights ago. Even with all the talent the 76ers have, it’s very hard to trust them.
Unfortunately, there won’t be any room for mistakes on Monday, and the whole Sixers team will need to be at its best if it wants any chance of beating the Heat.
Against the spread, Philadelphia has been just as bad as you can get, with a terrible overall record of 21-28-1 and a 1-4 ATS record in its last five games. Trusting the Sixers on the road with such a small spread isn’t a confident pick.
Pushing For No. 2
The Heat have all the makings of a great playoff-caliber team: great shooting, great rebounding and a great record at home. Sitting in a third-place tie with Boston and just two back of Toronto, the Heat have a chance to advance their positioning in the Eastern Conference.
As the second-best shooting team from the three-point line, the Heat have emerged as one of the most efficient teams in the NBA and will look to continue that efficiency against the Sixers.
The last time these two squads played, Miami was able to edge out 117-116 win against Philadelphia. In their most recent game, the Heat were able to knock out the Orlando Magic. Rookie standout Tyler Herro was able to put up 23 points to go along with Jimmy Butler’s 24-point game. Perhaps the player who had the most impact, though, was Meyers Leonard, who finished with 18 points and 14 rebounds.
The Heat have done well against the spread overall with a record of 26-20-2 but have struggled recently, going 2-3 in their last five games. The good news is, Miami has a great record at home, and with such a small spread, it won’t have to cover by much.
Pick and Prediction
The Sixers have had a rough stretch on away games. Unfortunately, I think their struggles will continue against Miami. Embiid hasn’t been able to be consistent throughout the season, and heading from Boston to Miami with only a day in between is going to be difficult.
The Heat need to get some wins to catch the red-hot Raptors, and the only team in the way right now is the Sixers. With Butler elevating everyone’s play around him, expect Miami to capture another one at home. I’m taking the Heat -3.5.