The NBA playoffs are well underway and the Eastern conference semi-finals are entering the business end of the series.
In one of the better matchups we’ve seen the Miami Heat go head-to-head with the Philadelphia 76ers in game 3 tonight in Philadelphia, with the Heat leading the series 2-0 after the first two games.
But with a place in the conference final up for grabs at the end of the series, we’ll break down what we’ve seen so far and what we can expect to see going forward while picking out the best betting picks to earn you some extra cash where we can.
|NBA Playoffs Game 3|
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Game 3 information
- May 6th, 2022
- 19:00 ET
- Wells Fargo Centre, Philadelphia
- Live on ESPN
What happened in Game 1 & 2?
Game 1 was a great game for the Heat as Bam Adebayo, and Jimmy Butler combined for 39 points, seven assists, and 21 rebounds during the win that saw them earn a 106-92 win without having to deal with the excellent Joel Embiid.
Philadelphia had some decent showings themselves, too, with Tobias Harris landing 27 points with six rebounds, while James Harden got 16 points, nine rebounds and five assists.
Game 2 was a bigger blowout in favor of the home side as Miami claimed a 119-103 victory as they won every single quarter en route to a dominant win.
Victor Oladipo and Tyler Herro both joined Butler and Adebayo with double figures for points for the game, completely nullifying Tyrese Maxey’s huge 34-point haul that went alongside Harden and Harris’ 20+ points each too.
Embiid was still missing and without him, the 76ers have really struggled to be able to deal with the Heat defence in this series so far. It’s unclear if he’ll be back for Friday’s game, but even if he is it’s a big uphill task awaiting the team.
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Game 3 predictions
The first two games took a very similar route to the end result, but the switch in the venue and home advantage for game three should see a change in momentum swings having such an effect on the Heat.
After fairly competitive first halves in both games, the Heat made small tweaks and tactical adjustments to be able to pull away for rather dominant wins in the end.
Embiid is suffering from a concussion and a broken orbital bone, but there is some hope he will be cleared in time to play in game three and keep his side in the series after an MVP-calibre season in the regular season.
But even if he is back, he won’t be at 100 percent, and the Heat have got the personnel to slow down the 76ers offense and ensure that unless it’s Harden or Embiid on the ball, then they’re not in too much danger.
For Miami, though, they’re very helpful in welcoming back the formidable Kyle Lowry soon, and that will only make their chances of success even greater.
Even without Lowry, though, it’s hard to see how Philadelphia can turn their form around and find a way to get past one of the strongest teams left in the playoffs. There is a very real risk that they get swept here.
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Back the overs!
The first game of the series was another relatively low-scoring affair considering the scoring ability of both sides.
Only one of the first five meetings between Miami and Philadelphia, including game 1 of this series, had achieved the Over of 208.5 points that most sportsbooks had in the first two games.
However, there have been 219+ points scored in two of the last three matchups between these two squads.
The total has now gone up to 210.5 points, but there’s reason to believe we can reach the Over in Game 3. With the series headed to Philadelphia, Harden is likely to be far more aggressive when trying to get to the free-throw line while his three-point attempts are likely to be more frequent with the crowd behind him.
In addition to Harden, Maxey and Harris have been in great scoring form, too, and they will be full of confidence as they try to build towards a much-needed win in the series.
The bet relies entirely on the 76ers hitting 100+ points once again because the Heat are more likely to get over that tally on their own because of the amazing form of their current offence.
There’s no doubt that the potential returns of Embiid and Lowry could improve the chances of the Over hitting as well which makes this a great betting pick, so I’d definitely be all over the pick at -110.
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