Miami Heat vs. Philadelphia 76ers Prediction, Preview, Picks & Odds - 12/15/2021

by Chuck Sommers

Time: 7 p.m. ET
Venue: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA
Where to watch: NBC Sports Philadelphia, Bally Sports Sun

Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks


DraftKings: NL
BetMGM: NL
Caesars: NL

Season record
Heat: 16-12 (5th place, Eastern Conference)
76ers: 15-13 (6th place, Eastern Conference)

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Heat - 76ers preview and analysis


In a matchup with two teams struggling to find ways to win, I like the Philadelphia 76ers at home against the Miami Heat on Wednesday in Philly.

Both teams enter off a loss, but in different ways: The Heat are coming off an 11-point loss at the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday but were still without Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo. Kyle Lowry had 22 points and five assists, and P.J. Tucker erupted for 23 points and nine rebounds.

That was not enough to cool down the five in double figures from the Cavs, led by Kevin Love’s 23 off the bench.

The Sixers, meanwhile, are not having a good time. They’ve won three of five but the two losses – against the Utah Jazz and Memphis Grizzlies – were each by more than 20 points. The loss to Memphis on Monday was without the services of Joel Embiid and Seth Curry. Tyrese Maxey led the way with 20 points.

"Obviously, it hurt us," Sixers forward Tobias Harris added. "That's a big scoring punch. With Joel, he's been where our offensive game really flows through. For us, it was just a tough adjustment."

Ben Simmons, of course, remains out, but the end to Days of our Simmons may be over soon with reported traction of Philadelphia trading its former No. 1 overall pick. That could, of course, take forever and a day, but of course we’ll all sing Kumbaya when the day comes.

The Heat are keeping things above water without their two All-Stars and that’s come by way of sharpshooters Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson. Herro, who leads the Heat at 20.3 points per game, has cooled off a bit in the last 10 by shooting 38.5 percent from the floor and 33 percent from 3. Robinson has also shown his shooting touch lately; he had 26 points on Saturday against the Chicago Bulls, but was held to just 6 in 32 minutes against Cleveland.

Someone’s going to need to start making some shots outside of Lowry. Maybe it’s the sudden scoring prowess of Tucker to get the job done. One may never know.

Prediction


Expecting Embiid back in the lineup, the Sixers should have a major advantage in the post on the small Miami club. Philly’s perimeter defense is going to give Miami trouble and I’d expect the Sixers to pull away in the second half. 76ers by 14

Betting trends


The Heat are 7-2 ATS as an underdog this season and 36-36 in their last 72.

The Heat are 9-2 ATS this season off an under.

The 76ers are 1-8 ATS this season off an over.

The 76ers are 5-1 ATS off an upset loss by 15 or more in their last six.

Projected starting lineup


Heat:
PG: Kyle Lowry
SG: Duncan Robinson
SF:
Max Strus
PF:
P.J. Tucker
C:
Dewayne Dedmon

76ers:
PG: Tyrese Maxey
SG: Seth Curry
SF:
Matisse Thybulle
PF:
Tobias Harris
C:
Joel Embiid

Key injuries


Heat: Jimmy Butler (back, out), Bam Adebayo (thumb, out), Markieff Morris (neck, out), Tyler Herro (quad, questionable),

76ers: Seth Curry (shoulder, questionable), Joel Embiid (ribs, questionable)

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Chuck Sommers

About the Author:

Chuck Sommers has camped outside of sportsbooks since he can remember, learning the tricks and nuances of the trade. He still has nightmares of betting $5,000 on the Raiders in the Tuck Rule game but has since turned that to 25 years of veteran handicapping greatness. You can find him mostly in the shadows at the Red Rock or Aliante casinos wondering if the over is cashing on any given Sunday.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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