Heat vs 76ers Game 6 Picks and Predictions: Miami Breaks Trend, Thrives on Road

The home team has dominated this series, but the Heat are coming off a thorough beatdown of the underwhelming 76ers and we expect Miami will travel well to Philly tonight. Our NBA betting picks are high on the Heat — find out more here.

Last Updated: May 12, 2022 4:20 PM ET Read Time: 4 min
Jimmy Butler Miami Heat NBA Playoffs
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

Home is where the heart is, but it isn’t where the Miami Heat are. No, Miami is heading to the City of Brotherly Love to face the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 6 of its conference semifinal series against Joel Embiid's crew.

Miami can advance to the East finals with a victory tonight, but home teams have held court in this series, with hosts boasting a perfect 5-0 SU and ATS mark. With that pattern in mind, bookmakers have Philadelphia as a short home favorite facing elimination inside the Wells Fargo Center.

Check out our free NBA picks and predictions for Heat at 76ers on May 12.

Heat vs 76ers odds

This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.

The Sixers opened as low as -1.5 but quickly moved to a market consensus of -2. As of Thursday morning, most shops are dealing Philadelphia -2.5, but some are still at -2. As for the total, it opened as low as 206.5 and is now up to 207.5 across most operators.

Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right until tip-off and be sure to check out the full NBA odds before betting to ensure you get the best number.

Heat vs 76ers predictions

Predictions made on 5/12/2022 at 9:55 a.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.

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Heat vs 76ers game info

Location: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA
Date: Thursday, May 12, 2022
Tip-off: 7:00 p.m. ET

Heat vs 76ers series odds

Heat: -380
76ers: +300

Heat vs 76ers betting preview

Key injuries

Heat: Kyle Lowry G (Out).
76ers: Matisse Thybulle F (Questionable), Isaiah Joe G (Questionable).
Find our latest NBA injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Over is 13-6 in the Heat's last 19 games as road underdogs. Find more NBA betting trends for Heat vs. 76ers.

Heat vs 76ers picks and predictions

Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets.

Spread analysis

Yeesh. What the hell happened to Philadelphia on the plane ride to Miami between Games 4 and 5? The Sixers went from looking like the best team in the East to an empty husk of soiled playoff potential, getting steamrolled from the tip and losing by 35 points on Tuesday.

With MVP snub Joel Embiid in the middle, former MVP James Harden up top, and a cast of capable supporting players, the 76ers shouldn’t be losing postseason games by 35 points. But here we are. The ceiling is so high for this Philadelphia team, but we’ve only seen its full potential doled out in sugar-packet-sized increments since Harden arrived in Philly in late February.

You would hope that facing elimination at home — as well as Game 4’s listless effort — would light a fire under the 76ers tonight. But that hope feels very similar to the way basketball bettors treated the talent-rich Brooklyn Nets in the first round, knowing they’re capable of more but not getting that confidence back from Brooklyn.

Miami did Miami things to win big in Game 4, namely, finding its form on defense after struggling to contain the Sixers' stars and boasting a soft 116.2 defensive rating in the two games in Philadelphia. The Heat did a great job flustering Embiid with Bam Adebayo's active defense, causing chaos, and taking advantage of careless passes from Philly, forcing 15 turnovers (with eight steals), which created 23 points from those mistakes.

The mismatch in depth is starting to show in this series, especially when the 76ers starters struggle as they did on Tuesday. Beyond the first five, Philadelphia’s bench is playing just 14.7 minutes and mustering a mere 19.6 points in support per game in this series. That lack of depth will be tested tonight with key reserve and defensive stopper Matisse Thybulle listed as questionable with foot soreness. Thybulle has been obviously slowed by this ailment as his production on both ends hasn’t been great.

As for the Heat, it unleashes a deep and dangerous backcourt — even with Kyle Lowry out with a hamstring injury. That only means more playing time for energetic guards Gabe Vincent and Victor Oladipo as well as extended minutes from the league’s top sixth man Tyler Herro. Miami is getting 17.1 minutes and 37.4 points per contest from its bench in this series.

There’s no doubting the potential for this Philly team, but Embiid is being held together by hard plastic and an entire roll of athletic tape and Harden has only truly shown up for about a quarter of basketball in Game 4. I just can’t trust them and have a hard time betting on a team as a favorite after getting mopped by 35 points last time out.

Prediction: Heat +2.5 (-110 at FanDuel)

Over/Under analysis

I’ve won some Overs and I’ve lost some Overs in this series, but I’m willing to die on my sword when it comes to these two teams topping the total.

Take Game 5, for example. Philadelphia sharts out 85 points on 36% shooting and, thanks to Miami laying it on thick, the 120-85 final score just barely stayed Under the closing number of 207.5 points. 

A notable decline in road team performance has made tacking down totals difficult in this series but I don’t see the Heat falling into this trend again, even if there is a natural regression from a 54% shooting performance in Game 5. 

The Sixers aren’t winning these games on the back of their defense (113.9 rating this series) and while Embiid’s return to the lineup made the Sixers a tougher nut to crack on that end of the floor, Philadelphia needs points to pull out a Game 6 win in order to send the series to South Beach for Game 7.

A big issue in Game 5 was the 76ers failed to get to the foul line, taking just 15 shots from the stripe. With the regular offensive sets failing to produce, Philadelphia forgot about one of its biggest strengths and played passively, which is a shame when you have Embiid and Harden –— two of the best players in the NBA at drawing whistles.

Expect a more aggressive approach from those two standouts in Game 6. The 76ers were averaging 24.5 free-throw attempts through the first four games of this series while the Heat are also getting to the line, averaging 24.8 FTA per contest. That’s a lot of scoring chances with the clock stopped and a key ingredient for Overs.

Prediction: Over 207 (-110 at bet365)

Best bet

Part of the problem with picking totals in this series has been that the visiting team has forgotten to pack its 3-point shooting. Road teams are a collective 37-for-161 from beyond the arc in the series, shooting a deep-freeze success rate of just 23%.

Even Miami, which ranks tops in the NBA in 3-point shooting at 37.4% on the season, fell into this strange trend in Games 3 and 4, making just 14 of their 65 looks from long range. The Heat came back home to hit 13 of 33 from distance in Game 5 (39%).

These road woes from 3-point land are a strange anomaly and as with most weirdo trends, there will be a course correction.

The worst 3-point shooting team in the NBA (Oklahoma City) still hit 31.6% of its attempts from outside. If Miami was only to muster that success rate on the road, it would still put out almost 31 points in production from 3-point range. I expect Miami to hit a higher rate tonight.

The Heat have gone Over their team total in three of the last four games and face a short number of 102.5 points for Game 6 — a bar they’ve gotten past in all but two playoff games and in 22 of 25 outings going back to the regular season.

This isolated wager on Miami's performance feels safer than the full-game total, as it protects against the 76ers' stars going M.I.A. again.

Pick: Het team total Over 102.5 (-115 at bet365)

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