East Game 1: Sixers Set to Beat the Heat on Saturday Night

sixers magic

Swinging Johnson

Friday, April 13, 2018 3:08 PM GMT

Friday, Apr. 13, 2018 3:08 PM GMT

Miami travels to the City of Brotherly Love to meet the hottest team in the league entering the postseason. Let’s break this Saturday Game 1 matchup down and keep cashing our NBA picks.

Game 1: Heat (44-38 SU, 41-37-4 ATS) at 76ers (52-30 SU, 48-34 ATS)

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Free NBA Pick: 76ers -7Best Line Offered: at Betmania
  • Philadelphia is 27-13 ATS in home games this season.
  • Philadelphia is 7-0 ATS in home games on Saturday games this season.
  • Philadelphia is 18-8 ATS when playing with 2 days rest over the last two seasons.
  • Miami is 4-9 ATS when playing with two days’ rest this season.
  • Miami is 9-9 ATS against Atlantic division opponents this season.
  • Miami is 2-3 ATS in April games this season.

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The @NBA Playoffs are coming...#HereTheyCome x #PhilaUnite pic.twitter.com/Tdsv1j3iu2

— x - Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) April 11, 2018
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The 76ers will host the Miami Heat in the opening round of the playoffs as they try to add to their torrid winning streak which has been almost a month in the making and stands at 16 straight. Those who have backed the 76ers in their NBA picks during that streak have an 11-5 ATS record to show it for it and plenty of the books’ money. Simply put, Philadelphia is the team no one else wants to face, at least at this particular moment.

However, there are a few silver linings for Miami and the biggest of all is the absence of burgeoning Sixers superstar Joel Embiid. As many of our readers know, Embiid has been sidelined with a fractured orbital bone and will not be suited up for this matchup on Saturday night. That means the void must be filled by Amir Johnson and Richaun Holmes who have done an admirable job in Embidd’s stead. Secondly, Miami has held its own against Philly this season with a 2-2 straight up and ATS mark. Success breeds confidence and that could be a factor not only in this game but the series as well.

Many handicappers will point to Philadelphia’s inexperience against a veteran Miami team that may be short on superstars but long on maturity. Yet, over the last 10 games, the Heat have gone 5-5 straight up and 3-6-1 against the all-important number. Philly has found its footing and is playing with a swagger that is usually devoid in young teams. Just consider the following for a moment. The 76ers are averaging an eye-popping 118 points per game over their 16 game winning streak. Compare that to the Heat’s 103 PPG average over their last 10 games and it’s clear these are two offenses operating on distinctly different levels. Even Philadelphia’s bench brigade looked potent in their last game of the season when the Sixers rolled to a 130-95 win over the playoff-bound Milwaukee Bucks. Rookie Markelle Fultz, Philadelphia’s No. 1 overall pick last year’s draft, who missed 68 games with a shoulder injury, became the youngest player in NBA history to record a triple-double with 13 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds in the victory.

A quick check of the NBA odds board tells us that the home team is favored by seven in this matchup and we could very well see the Sixers dominating from tip-off to the final buzzer. This is a different team than the one the Heat faced earlier in the season and I’m not sure Miami is capable of competing in a track meet with the young guns from Philly. Lay the lumber and back the Sixers.

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