NBA Picks for Heat vs. 76ers Friday Night

Jordan Sharp

Friday, January 17, 2014 2:47 PM GMT

Friday, Jan. 17, 2014 2:47 PM GMT

The Miami Heat look to pick up the victory tonight when they face the Philadelphia 76ers, but with sprortsbooks asking for ten points, has the bar been set too high? Find out which side of this line should you be on with your NBA picks?

The Miami Heat are in the midst of a 3 game SU losing streak after being embarrassed by the Wizards on Wednesday. Maybe Barack Obama put some bad vibes on them when they visited the White House a few days ago, but either way, the defending champs head into Philadelphia tonight to play the Sixers, and the NBA Odds have the Heat as -10 favorites, with a total of 211 ½ points. Will Miami get back to their winning ways against the very bad Sixers, or will they falter again, leading to more drama for the champs?

[gameodds]5/253042/?r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]

Lack of D in Philly 

The Sixers by far are the worst team defensively in the NBA, and with the Heat coming in, unless the champs put up another dud, we are going to see just why that is. Philadelphia is giving up over 110 points per game this season, and while they played well against the Bobcats the other night, Charlotte was coming off a back to back and ran out of gas at the end of the game. I would not put too much stock I their performance on Wednesday. 

With the criticism in Miami starting to mount, it is only a matter of time before the Heat break out of this mini January slump. Coincidently, Miami is only 1-3 SU since Mario Chalmers went down with injury, and while I don’t think that is why they are losing, the lack of Chalmers right now is really hurting the Heat’s solid perimeter defense. With Dwyane Wade slowed because of ailing knees, and without Chalmers the last four games, teams have been able to get past what was the best perimeter defense in the NBA before all the injuries.

However tonight I see things changing. Miami has not lost four straight games in forever, and I see the Sixers as slightly overvalued here against the champs. Chalmers might make his return as well, which will only help the Heat’s cause tonight.

Take a look at our NBA Picks of the Day for more free plays.

The Sharp Pick

Philadelphia is only 7-12 ATS at home this season and only 5-11 ATS when playing as home underdogs. However one of those wins came against the Heat on the first game of the year, and I doubt Miami has forgotten about that either. The Heat have every reason and motivation in the world right now to come in and blow out the Sixers, and as long as everyone is out on the floor and Wade isn’t nursing his sore knees against an inferior opponent, I see the Heat covering.

Even against the sorry Eastern Conference, the Sixers are giving up nearly 110 points per game to opponents in their own conference, and if any team is capable of meeting or exceeding those averages, it’s a pissed off Heat team coming off of three straight losses. 

Even though Miami has been horrible against East teams at home ATS, on the road, they are only 7-7 ATS against the East. I see Lebron James having a game for the ages against statistically the worst small forward defense in the NBA. Either way it goes, Thad Young and Evan Turner are nowhere close to being good enough to defend James throughout the entire game, and it will probably lead to a patented Miami heat blowout win, meaning that we should back a Heat cover with our NBA picks.

My Pick: Heat -10

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