If the Miami Heat (5-7) wanted to get a little revenge against the Philadelphia 76ers (8-6) for beating them in the first round of the playoffs last season, this game might be the perfect one to get it. With the 76ers trading for Jimmy Butler over the weekend, they are going to be without two starters, Dario Saric and Robert Covington. They will also be without reserve guard Jerryd Bayless.
In their place, the 76ers are expected to start rookie Landry Shamet and will look to get a lot more out of Markelle Fultz. Shamet has started two games this season and has averaged 21.3 minutes a game. Fultz is averaging 24.3 minutes a game so far and scoring 9.3 points a game.
Dwyane Wade will be out again on paternity leave, but otherwise, the Heat will have their roster at their disposal.
So—who’s going to win?
This is a tough one. The 76ers have been terrible away from this season (1-6). With two of five starters missing, it would be easy to assume that they are not going to play better.
But the Miami Heat have been having some issues lately. Their fourth quarter defense has been non-existent the last two games. They had a lead on the Pacers but then let Indiana go on a 12-0 run to end the game (Pacers won by eight).
Against Washington, they lost by six in the end, but let the Wizards go on a 31-12 run to start the fourth quarter. The Heat closed with a 13-2 run, but it was too little, too late.
Even down two guys, the 76ers have more talent. Take 76ers (+100) to win over the Heat (-114) straight up and against the spread (+1) . As for the over/under—take the under (224).