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Bet on the NBAFriday night's game between the Miami Heat and the Philadelphia 76ers could be a potential Eastern Conference playoff preview. If the rankings hold steady from here to the end of the season, the 76ers will head into the playoffs facing off against the Heat. The game will be played in Miami, and the heat are the 8.5 point favorites to win.

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However, both teams are looking to improve on their current rankings to obtain a better standing and potential home-court advantage in any playoff series. This is a game the Heat should win (after all, the 76ers are not potential Eastern Conference Finals contenders), and they are still in the running for a potential first or second seed in the conference, 1 ½ games behind Boston and 2 ½ behind Chicago.

The Heat have gone hot since that unfortunate but amusing five-game losing streak, winning six of their last seven games. They are coming off of an unimpressive 100-94 win against the Detroit Pistons, though, despite their big three having a good night. D-Wade put in 24 points, Bosh had 23, and LeBron James added 19.

Miami had been trailing the Pistons by 11 at one point in the game, but found enough to make a comeback in the fourth quarter. Their 30-13 run that began in the third quarter and lasted well into the fourth put them back on top of the game. But the Heat have squeaked out a few wins with a small margin of victory that still causes a bit of doubt among NBA observers.

The 76ers have also lost the last six meetings with the Heat. And the Heat have come out on top in 11 out of the last 13 games played in South Florida, including the last 5 straight. Eventually, and possibly tonight, that streak will be snapped. Philadelphia is also coming off of a big win against the Atlanta Hawks to move within 2 ½ games of the fifth slot in the East.

 

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