76ers vs. Heat prediction, odds, TV schedule for 2024 NBA Play-In Tournament game


The Eastern Conference No. 7 vs. 8 Play-In matchup is set.

In a battle between two teams you did not expect to be in the Play-In Tournament, the 76ers will host the Heat in Philadelphia with the No. 7 seed on the line. The winner will face the No. 2 Knicks in the first round of the 2024 NBA Playoffs while the loser will play the winner of the No. 9 Bulls vs. No. 10 Hawks Play-In game.

The 76ers made a valiant push for a top-six seed in the East upon star center Joel Embiid’s return from injury, riding an eight-game win streak going into the postseason. The teams in the top six didn’t budge, though, and that will result in Philadelphia taking on the reigning Eastern Conference champion Heat.

This is familiar territory for Miami, which qualified for the playoffs via the Play-In Tournament last year. Will the Heat make a similar Cinderella run or will the 76ers keep the momentum rolling and secure their playoff spot?

The Sporting News has you covered with a breakdown of the matchup below.

MORE: Bulls vs. Hawks Play-In Game: Prediction, odds, key matchups to know

76ers vs. Heat prediction

Prediction: 76ers win

Philadelphia would have been nowhere near the Play-In Tournament if not for Embiid’s knee injury.

The 76ers were 29-16, sitting in third place in the East before Embiid went down. They went 12-18 in 30 games without the reigning MVP, dropping out of the top six in the conference.

Philadelphia didn’t lose a single game after Embiid returned. He picked up right where he left off, averaging 30.4 points, 9.2 rebounds, 5.2 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.2 blocks in the five games he played. He also handled a semi-regular workload, averaging 30.5 minutes played in those games.

With Embiid back and relatively healthy, the 76ers will take care of business against the Heat.

76ers vs. Heat betting odds

The 76ers open as 4.5-point favorites against the Heat per BetMGM.

  Spread Total Moneyline
76ers -4.5 (-110) o208.5 (-115) -185
Heat +4.5 (-110) u208.5 (-105) +150

MORE: TSN’s Steph Noh shares his expert All-NBA picks

76ers vs. Heat 2023-24 regular season series

The 76ers and Heat split their season series, winning two games apiece.

  • Dec. 25, 2023: Heat 119, 76ers 113
  • Feb. 14, 2024: Heat 109, 76ers 104
  • March 18, 2024: 76ers 98, Heat 91
  • April 4, 2024: 76ers 109, Heat 105

Embiid and Jimmy Butler only played in one of the matchups — the 76ers’ win over the Heat on April 4.

The Christmas Day game between Philadelphia and Miami lost a little bit of juice without Embiid or Butler. The Heat took care of business behind a 31-point breakout from rookie forward Jaime Jaquez Jr.

The two sides faced off again on Valentine’s Day, but Embiid and Butler were out of the lineup again. Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro had 23 points apiece to fend off a 30-point game from Tyrese Maxey.

The Heat had a chance to clinch the season series on March 18, but Maxey went off for 30 points again to lead the 76ers to victory.

In the only meeting where you could really take something away — with both Embiid and Butler in the lineup — Philadelphia won. Embiid went for 29 points, but it was Maxey’s near-triple-double of 37 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds that led the way

76ers vs. Heat key storyline: Bam Adebayo vs. Joel Embiid

Embiid is back, and that’s bad news for the Heat.

In five games since his return, Embiid is averaging 30.4 points, 9.2 rebounds, 5.2 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.2 blocks in 30.5 minutes per game. He has wasted no time to shake off his knee injury, looking healthy enough to lead the 76ers on a playoff run.

Adebayo will draw the Embiid assignment, and the Defensive Player of the Year candidate will have to do a much better job than he did in their lone matchup two weeks back. Adebayo finished with a team-worst -29 +/- in a game Miami lost by four points.

According to the NBA’s matchup data, Embiid had 16 points, two assists and one turnover with Adebayo as his primary defender. He shot an efficient 6-for-12 from the field while going 3-for-4 from 3-point range.

Maxey ran wild in that game, so the Heat had bigger issues to worry about, but Embiid is the heartbeat of the 76ers. If Miami is going to pull off the upset, it starts with Adebayo’s defense on the reigning MVP.

76ers vs. Heat date, start time, TV channel, live stream

  • Date: Wednesday, April 17
  • Time: 7 p.m. ET | 4 p.m. PT
  • TV channel: ESPN
  • Live stream: Sling

76ers vs. Heat will air on ESPN. Viewers in the U.S. can also stream the Play-In Tournament game on Sling TV.

Sling is the home for the avid sports fans, offering a range of sports channels so you can always cheer for your favorite teams with channels like ESPN, TBS, TNT, NFL Network, FS1 and more. 

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