Sixers vs. Heat NBA expert prediction, pick and odds for Thursday, April 4 (Trust the Miami defense)

NBA betting preview, prediction and best bet for Sixers-Heat. 
Mar 31, 2024; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Miami Heat guard Terry Rozier (2) shoots a layup against the Wizards.
Mar 31, 2024; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Miami Heat guard Terry Rozier (2) shoots a layup against the Wizards. / Reggie Hildred-USA TODAY Sports

Eastern Conference playoff seeding is on the line when the Philadelphia 76ers visit the Miami Heat on Thursday night. Philadelphia got a big bump to its season when reigning MVP Joel Embiid returned on Tuesday in a 109-105 win over Oklahoma City. The 76ers are currently in the play-in tournament but are within 1.5 games of the Heat for the final automatic playoff spot in the east. 

Miami has reeled off three consecutive wins for the first time since February after pulling away from the Knicks on Tuesday, 109-99. Can the Heat repeat that performance as a small favorite when Philadelphia comes to town? Here’s the betting breakdown of the matchup with a best bet. 

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Sixers vs. Heat odds, spread and total

Sixers vs. Heat how to watch

  • Date: Thursday, April 4 
  • Game time: 7:30 p.m. EST
  • Venue: Kaseya Center
  • How to watch (TV): Bally Sports
  • Sixers record: 41-35
  • Heat record: 42-33

Sixers vs. Heat injury report

Philadelphia 76ers

  • Mo Bamba (illness): questionable
  • Robert Covington (knee): out
  • Joel Embiid (knee): questionable
  • Tobias Harris (knee): questionable
  • Tyrese Maxey (hip): questionable
  • De’Anthony Melton (back): out

Miami Heat

  • Tyler Herro (foot): out
  • Josh Richardson (shoulder): out

Sixers vs. Heat key players to watch

Philadelphia 76ers

Kelly Oubre Jr.: In 29 minutes in his return, Embiid went 6-of-14 from the field and finished with 24 points. Meanwhile, Oubre kept up his hot streak on the offensive end, shooting 50% from the floor for a second consecutive game. Oubre finished with a team-high 25 points against Oklahoma City. He’s now combined for 57 points on 18-of-36 shooting over the last two games with 13 rebounds. 

Miami Heat

Terry Rozier: Missing some of its top perimeter weapons didn’t impact the Heat in Tuesday’s win over the Knicks, mostly because Rozier was able to light it up from deep. Rozier, who is averaging 20.1 points per game this season, knocked down 8-of-11 three-pointers against New York, finishing with a game-high 34 points to extend Miami’s winning streak to three. Rozier has now scored 22-plus points in three consecutive contests. 

Sixers vs. Heat prediction and pick

There are injury concerns on the Philadelphia side with some of its top players carrying questionable tags into this matchup. Miami is just 15-22 ATS this season at home but brings the fourth-best scoring defense in the NBA (108.4 points per game) into this matchup. 

Philadelphia is 19th in the NBA in 3-point shooting and Miami is top-10 in the league in defending the perimeter. Down low, the 76ers shoot from inside the perimeter at the seventh-highest rate in the league (63.1%) but rank just 27th in shooting percentage from 2-point range. Miami is finally getting healthier and has the backcourt to defend guys like Oubre and Embiid (also questionable for this matchup) with guys like Nikola Jovic (available Thursday) and center Bam Adebayo. 

In three meetings between these two teams this season, Miami is 2-1 straight up and has held the 76ers to 101.6 points per game. Look for Miami’s defense to set the tone in this matchup. They match up well with the 76ers having played Embiid twice this season and Miami has held three of its last four home opponents under triple digits. Trust the Heat defense, which is fourth in net rating this season.

Game odds update periodically and are subject to change.