The Miami Heat took the series opener versus the Joel Embiid-less Philadelphia 76ers, winning — and covering — with relative ease. The series continues Wednesday night, and the betting market is even more bearish on the 76ers prevailing, not only in Game 2, but the series overall.
Some of the top sportsbooks in the market, including FanDuel and BetMGM, naturally widened the conference semi-final series price following Philadelphia’s largely uncompetitive 106-92 series-opening defeat. Coming into the series +320, the Sixers could be had for +450 at BetMGM as of Tuesday afternoon.
Embiid will sit Game 2 but remains in play for when the series returns to Philadelphia. Even so, it’s reasonable to suggest that it may be too little, too late.
76ers vs. Heat Series Prices
Here are odds from around the betting market to win this East semifinal series as of this Tuesday update.
|Sportsbook||Miami Heat||Philadelphia 76ers|
76ers vs. Heat Game 2 Line
While Miami closed -7.5 for Game 1, Heat bettors will be required to lay an extra point or so on the spread ahead of Game 2. This certainly doesn’t come as a shock. Miami held the Sixers to 6-of-34 (17.6 percent) from beyond the arc and won the turnover battle 14-to-11. These aren’t flukes. The Heat ranked third in the NBA in three-point percentage allowed and opponent turnover rate.
The End Of James Harden?
On the surface, Game 1 presented a golden opportunity for James Harden to “rehabilitate” his stock. Could he put the 76ers on his shoulders to steal a game in Miami before potentially getting Embiid back later in the series? The answer to that question appears to be a resounding “no”.
For whatever reasons — mileage, refereeing, opposing defenses — Harden simply looks like a shell of his former self. And while Tobias Harris and Tyrese Maxey have played well, a series against a rugged team like the Heat reveals the difference between having All-Star caliber players and an All-NBA performer. The Sixers acquired Harden to be the latter, but that simply hasn’t been the case.
Put It On The (Bulletin) Board
In this day and age, even the hint of a sideways glance can be overblown and built up as a slight. So when Sixers second-year center Paul Reed spoke of the Heat and uttered the phrase “they’re going to fold”, many raced to anoint it as the freshest delivery of “bulletin board material.”
76ers' Paul Reed: "We can beat this team. If we keep them on their heels, they're going to fold."
— Barry Jackson (@flasportsbuzz) May 3, 2022
A comment made by a player with 563 NBA minutes — including postseason — under his belt doesn’t warrant an overreaction. However, it’s still an ingredient bettors should sprinkle into the crockpot as they lock in their wagers.
Perhaps Reed’s comments will ultimately mean nothing, but he’s writing a check his teammates need to cash. The last thing a player wants to do is give an all-business team as much as a crumb of extra ammunition.
Odds To Win Eastern Conference
Miami is priced as a favorite or co-favorite to win the Eastern Conference at several sportsbooks. Those who believe in sports miracles can get odds as long as +1400 on the Sixers to win the East. Crazier things have happened, but it appears to be a tall order for Philly.
Here are futures odds to win the conference, current as of Tuesday afternoon.
Sixers vs. Heat Props
Here’s a sampling of props offered by sportsbooks on the Philly-Miami series ahead of Game 2.
Series spread (DraftKings)
Heat -2.5 games (-115)
Sixers +2.5 games (-115)
Series will end in exactly how many games? (BetMGM)
4 games +300
5 games +185
6 games +325
7 games +275
Series correct score (BetMGM)
Heat 4-0 +300
Heat 4-1 +200
Heat 4-2 +500
Heat 4-3 +450
Sixers 4-1 +3000
Sixers 4-2 +1100
Sixers 4-3 +800
Correct score after 3 games (FanDuel)
Heat 3-0 +134
Heat 2-1 -105
Sixers 2-1 +730