The home team has won every game in the NBA Eastern Conference playoff series between the top-seeded Miami Heat and No. 4 Philadelphia 76ers, and the Heat are 2.5-point favorites at Caesars Sportsbook for Game 5 in Miami tonight. That's despite the fact that starting point guard Kyle Lowry is out – although he didn't play well at all in back-to-back losses in Philadelphia. That spread had been as high as -3.5. Click here for model picks.
Lowry injured his hamstring in Game 3 of the first-round series against Atlanta and didn't return until Game 3 in Philadelphia on Friday. The Heat lost that fane by 20 and then lost by eight on Sunday as the Sixers tied the series at 2-2. Lowry was clearly laboring and combined for six points on 3-for-14 shooting (0-for-8 from deep) with five turnovers and six fouls in the two games. It's no surprise at all that he's out tonight and probably will be for Game 6 as well.
Gabe Vincent will presumably return to the starting lineup, and perhaps this is the impetus for head coach Erik Spoelstra to dust off Duncan Robinson. Robinson played in 79 regular-season games and started 68, averaging 10.9 points. He's an excellent three-point shooter – Miami is 14-for-65 from deep the past two games – but a liability on defense, and which is likely why Robinson has fallen out of the rotation in the postseason.
"I'm not Nostradamus … and it's all hands on deck. Duncan has kept himself ready. He's right there. So we'll see what happens tonight," Spoelstra said of Robinson.
There are no player props set for Robinson at Caesars, while Vincent is at Over/Under 8.5 points and Victor Oladipo, who also figures to play more with Lowry on the bench, is set at 12.5. Jimmy Butler is at 25.5 points after putting up 33 in Game 3 and 40 in Game 4. Butler has joined Dwyane Wade and LeBron James as the only Heat players with consecutive 30-point playoff games.
Miami continues to play games with the injury report, listing P.J. Tucker (calf), Tyler Herro (ankle), Caleb Martin (ankle), Max Strus (hamstring), Dewayne Dedmon (illness) and Vincent (knee) as questionable for Game 5. They are all expected to play, although Dedmon did miss Game 4.
Dating back to late March, the Heat are on an eight-game home winning streak. At Caesars, 68 percent of the money on the spread and 70 percent of the ticket action is on Miami, but 56 of moneyline bettors favor Philadelphia. On the total of 209.5, 68 percent of the money and 58 percent of the tickets like the Over.
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