NBA Picks: 76ers vs. Heat

Jeff Grant

Friday, March 8, 2013 12:34 PM GMT

Friday, Mar. 8, 2013 12:34 PM GMT

The Miami Heat own the league’s longest current winning streak, as they prepare to take on the Philadelphia 76ers tonight. Where are we looking to place our NBA picks in this showdown?

Let’s take a closer look at the NBA odds for this Eastern Conference affair, with the opening tip scheduled for 8:00 p.m. ET at AmericanAirlines Arena.

Lost season

Philadelphia will be playing for the ninth time in 14 days Friday, as it looks to snap a three-game losing streak, which includes a 107-96 setback to the Atlanta Hawks as 8.5-point road underdogs Wednesday night.

The 76ers are 6-21 straight up (SU) and 11-16 against the spread (ATS) when playing on the road this season, with the UNDER going 17-10 in that situation.

Streaking

Miami has won 16 games in a row, including a 97-96 victory over the Orlando Magic as 15.5-point home favorites Wednesday night, while going UNDER the total for a third consecutive contest.

The Heat have won 11 of those games by a double-digit margin, with one of those coming on the road as 8.5-point favorites against the 76ers on Feb. 23 (114-90).

Road woes

It’s hard to get excited to back a road underdog that hasn’t won away from home since New Year’s Day, especially when that team has lost 12 consecutive regular-season meetings against its next opponent.

Philadelphia has managed to score 100 or more points just once in its last 16 games versus Miami, but it has averaged 97.0 over its last four games overall heading into this conference affair.

Looking ahead?

I’m not interested in laying this amount of points on a team that arguably has its biggest regular season game on deck, as Miami has lost both of its games against the Indiana Pacers during the 2012-13 NBA regular season.

The Heat haven’t lost since suffering a 102-89 defeat to the Pacers as two-point road favorites on Feb. 1.

[gameodds]5/220504/43/us[/gameodds]

Prediction

I’m going to recommend that readers back the 76ers as one of their NBA picks, as they’ve gone 4-1 ATS when revenging a blowout loss of 20 or more points this season, while the Heat are 12-14 ATS as home favorites of 12.5 or more points since the 2010-11 campaign.

NBA Pick:  Philadelphia 76ers +13 at Pinnacle

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