Venue: American Airlines Arena.
The Heat, taking advantage of Boston’s poor form, took both games from the Celtics and effectively secured a playoff spot. Philadelphia, on the other hand, have long since made it to the postseason, moreover, are likely to finish the regular season in 1st place. Is the upcoming game a rehearsal for the playoffs?
Miami are a dark horse again
When the Heat entered the last playoffs being a dark horse, they won the East. How will it be this time? Needless to say, a repeat is quite possible. Erik Spoelstra’s team has slightly, and forcibly, rebuilt the roster, but it’s hardly gotten any weaker. Still, the same Butler and Dragic, still progressing youngsters, and Trevor Ariza, who probably doesn’t have many of Jae Crowder’s qualities, but has just as much experience.
The games against Boston didn’t turn out to be all that difficult for Miami. Their opponent is unstable this season, and they’re still without Jaylen Brown, the team’s true leader during the season. The Celtics, as usual, showed themselves to be potentially the strongest team in the league, but in the end, the higher class of the Heat were 130-124 and 129-112.
Philadelphia rarely lose
Doc Rivers’ team managed to stay steady for the championship. Even a midseason injury to Joel Embiid did not contribute to their stellar defeat. All are now healthy and preparing for the playoffs. By all appearances, Philadelphia will not miss out on the first seed. There are 3 games left to play and a handicap from Brooklyn, who are in 2nd place, is 2 wins.
The 76ers now have a doubleheader away. Before the meeting in Miami, Philadelphia visited Indianapolis, where they lost to the local Pacers 94:103. Joel Embiid missed the game because of illness. The defeat snapped a winning streak of eight straight games. And so all season long - victories interspersed with occasional defeats.
Expert Betting Tips
Miami have surely exhaled after beating Boston, but they can hardly relax in the final games. Erik Spoelstra’s team can go anywhere from 4th to 6th with roughly equal performances against the New York Knicks and Atlanta. There is a difference. A 4th place finish, at least in the first round, gives the home court advantage. So, it will be difficult for Philadelphia, especially since it is not yet known whether Embiid will participate. The 76ers’ 0-3 season series loss to the Heat is also unlikely. The prediction is a win for Miami.
- Miami to win with odds of about 2.20;
- Miami’s Individual Total Over 107.5 for 1.90;
- Miami to win and Total Over 217.5 at around 3.50.