Philadelphia 76ers (52-30) at Miami Heat (44-38)
NBA Basketball: Thursday, April 19, 2018 at 7:00 pm (American Airlines Arena)
The Line: Miami Heat +1 -- Over/Under: 216 Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
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The Philadelphia 76ers and Miami Heat meet Thursday in game three of the first round of the NBA playoffs at the American Airlines Arena.
The Philadelphia 76ers can steal back home court advantage with a victory on the road. The Philadelphia 76ers are averaging 116.5 points on 44.5 percent shooting and allowing 108 points on 47.2 percent shooting. Dario Saric is averaging 21.5 points and 7.5 rebounds while Ben Simmons is averaging 20.5 points and 11 assists. Marco Belinelli is the third double-digit scorer and JJ Redick is dishing 2.5 assists. The Philadelphia 76ers are shooting 36.1 percent from beyond the arc and 74.5 percent from the free throw line. The Philadelphia 76ers are allowing 41.2 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 49.5 rebounds per game. The Philadelphia 76ers have won seven straight road games.
The Miami Heat can take control of this series with a victory here and improving to a 2-1 lead. The Miami Heat are averaging 108 points on 47.2 percent shooting and allowing 116.5 points on 44.5 percent shooting. Dwyane Wade is averaging 19.5 points and 3.5 assists while Kelly Olynyk is averaging 18.5 points and six rebounds. Goran Dragic is the third double-digit scorer and James Johnson is grabbing five rebounds. The Miami Heat are shooting 41.2 percent from beyond the arc and 73.8 percent from the free throw line. The Miami Heat are allowing 39.1 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 43.5 rebounds per game. The Miami Heat have won 10 of their last 12 home games.
The 76ers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 road games, 3-10 ATS in their last 13 Thursday games and 12-4 ATS in their last 16 games overall. The Heat are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 home games, 1-4 ATS in their last 5 Thursday games and 15-7 ATS in their last 22 Conference Quarterfinals games. The 76ers are 0-3-1 ATS in the last 4 meetings in Miami, 1-3-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings and the home team is 7-2-1 ATS in the last 10 meetings.
I had the Miami Heat winning this series in six games because of their experience and defensive pressure. The Heat showed that defensive pressure in their game two victory, and the experience tends to takeover the longer the series drags out. Yes, the Philadelphia 76ers are the more talented team, but experience matters come playoff time, and this team is a bunch of kids who have never played in these type of games on this stage. The American Airlines Arena gets nasty come playoff time and the players usually feed off that energy. Nobody knows how the young 76ers are going to be able to handle that environment on the road. I trust experience in big games. Give me the Heat on their home court.