Heat vs. 76ers Game 1 Prediction
The Philadelphia 76ers enter the 2018 NBA playoffs as the hottest team in the tournament. But despite all of their recent success, will they fail to cover the point spread in Game 1 of their opening-round series against the Miami Heat? Tip-off tonight is set for 8:00 p.m. ET.
505 Miami Heat at 506 Philadelphia 76ers
Saturday, April 14, 2018
TV: ESPN, 8:00 p.m. ET
Public Betting Information
According to oddsmakers from online sportsbook YouWager, the 76ers are 6.5-point home favorites to beat the Heat while the over/under sits at 215.5 points. As of this writing, 60% of the betting tickets wagered at online sportsbooks are on the Sixers to cover the spread. Meanwhile, 54% of the betting tickets are on the over.
Heat's Dragic ready to face 76ers in Game 1
Goran Dragic (knee) said he is 100 percent, but he will feel his knee issue "a little bit" in the playoffs.
"It feels way better now than it was two days ago," Dragic said. "But I’m doing everything that I can. Probably, I’m going to feel it a little bit. But it’s not going to bother me. That’s the only thing that I’m about, I can play through the pain. But as long as it’s not bothering me, I’m OK."
The Heat did downplay Dragic's knee issue that kept him out Wednesday, and this isn't the first time he's played through an injury after his elbow problem before the break. Dragic is not listed on the injury report for Game 1 on Saturday vs. the Heat.
76ers' Embiid set to miss Game 1 versus Heat
Coach Brett Brown confirmed that Joel Embiid (orbital fracture) will not play Game 1 on Saturday vs. the Heat. It was assumed Embiid wouldn't play, as he was listed as out on the injury report, and Brown confirmed it in a radio interview on Friday morning. Game 2 of the series is Monday night, and it seems there is a chance Embiid will be cleared to return for that contest. We should expect plenty of updates over the weekend. Amir Johnson will likely draw the start at center, with Ersan Ilyasova and Richaun Holmes seeing an uptick in minutes off the bench.
Meanwhile, J.J. Redick (back) will play in Game 1 against the Heat. It's good news for the 76ers as they get their red-hot scorer in the lineup. In 30 minutes per game this month, Redick averaged 23.0 points per game, and his minutes may even go up in this series, especially with Embiid out for Game 1.
The Heat are 3-1-1 against the spread in their last five games versus the 76ers although the favorite is also 3-1-1 against the number in the last five meetings between these two teams and Miami is not favored.
The 76ers are 19-7 against the spread in their last 26 home games and are 9-1 against the number in their last 10 games coming off an ATS win.
Considering the 76ers have won 16 straight games this might not be the wisest decision but the Heat are a well-coached team that doesn't have many holes. Are they dynamic? No. Do they have star power? No. But the 76ers have zero postseason experience and I expect Erik Spoelstra to have his team well prepared. I wouldn't be shocked if the nerves got to Philly and Miami won this game outright tonight. Nevertheless, I'll still take the points.
NBA Prediction: Miami Heat +6.5