Sixers vs. Heat NBA expert prediction and odds for Christmas Day

Betting odds, pick and prediction for the Philadelphia 76ers' Christmas Day matchup against the Miami Heat.
Philadelphia 76ers guard Tyrese Maxey.
Philadelphia 76ers guard Tyrese Maxey. / Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The fourth of five Christmas Day matchups in the NBA takes place in Miami with the Philadelphia 76ers taking on Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat. 

Philly has been terrific on the road this season, going 8-4 straight up, but it finds itself as an underdog in this game after Joel Embiid was ruled out.

Miami is finally back to full strength with Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro recently returning to the lineup, but is that enough to take down a Sixers team that has proven to be one of the best teams in the NBA so far this season? 

Let’s dive into the latest odds for this matchup and my favorite bet:

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Sixers vs. Heat odds, spread and total

Sixers vs. Heat how to watch

  • Date: Sunday, Dec. 25
  • Game Time: 8:00 p.m. EST
  • Venue: Kaseya Center
  • How to Watch (TV): ESPN
  • Sixers Record: 20-8
  • Heat Record: 17-12

Sixers vs. Heat injury reports

Philadelphia 76ers injury report

  • Mo Bamba – probable
  • Nicolas Batum – out
  • Joel Embiid – out
  • Ricky Council IV – out
  • Robert Covington – probable
  • Terquavion Smith – out

Miami Heat injury report

  • Jimmy Butler – questionable
  • Haywood Highsmith – questionable
  • Dru Smith – out
  • Josh Richardson – probable

Sixers vs. Heat key players to watch

Philadelphia Sixers

Tyrese Maxey: Tyrese Maxey is thriving with James Harden no longer in Philly, averaging 26.4 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 6.8 assists per game. A volume scorer, Maxey could be in line for a big game against a Miami team that no longer has its guard defensive stopper (Gabe Vincent) on the roster. Plus, Maxey is now the No. 1 option with Embiid ruled out.

Miami Heat

Jimmy Butler: This is a semi-revenge game for Butler. We’ve all seen the “Tobias Harris over me?” videos and Butler has fared well against the Sixers since leaving for Miami. In the 11 regular season games Butler has played against Philly, the Heat are 7-4. This season, Butler’s scoring numbers are a little down, but he’s still averaging 21.5 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game. 

Bam Adebayo: Adebayo has only been back for three games for Miami from an injury, but he’s made an immediate impact, averaging 19.3 points and 8.0 rebounds over that stretch with the Heat going 2-1.

Sixers vs. Heat prediction and pick

This matchup had Sixers written all over it until Embiid was ruled out. Still, there could be a reason to take Philly.

Philly is the league’s best team against the spread this season (20-8 ATS), and the team has thrived on the road, winning eight out of its 12 games.

Meanwhile, Miami is just 4-10 ATS overall at home in the 2023-24 season. 

The additions of Adebayo and Herro back in the lineup are big for the Heat, but does Butler (questionable) end up playing? The Sixers have a lot more depth now with the Harden trade, which may help them make up for the loss of Embiid.

Even though Butler has fared well against Philly since leaving the franchise, I have a hard time fading the Sixers – who have the best net rating in the NBA – in this game. 

I’ll take Philly to win on the road on Christmas.

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

Find Peter Dewey's NBA betting record here (futures included). You can also follow my daily plays on BetStamp here.