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NBA Playoffs 2024 Play-In Tournament

Play-In Tournament Odds

Eight teams are vying for four playoff spots. We get three days of pre-playoff basketball to prepare for the main event starting next week. If you’re a die-hard basketball fan, this week is a perfect transition from the end of the college basketball season to the NBA playoffs.

Eastern Conference

  1. Philadelphia 76ers (47-35)
  2. Miami Heat (46-36)
  3. Chicago Bulls (39-43)
  4. Atlanta Hawks (36-46)

Western Conference

  1. New Orleans Pelicans (49-33)
  2. Los Angeles Lakers (47-35)
  3. Sacramento Kings (46-36)
  4. Golden State Warriors (46-36)

 Philadelphia 76ers vs. Miami Heat (-4.5, 208.5)

These teams have split their regular season match-ups 2-2, but that doesn’t give a complete picture. The 76ers were in third place in the Eastern Conference before Embiid suffered a knee injury. Their record without him tumbled to 12-18, knocking them out of the top six in the East. The 76ers have been unbeatable since his return, with him averaging 30.4 points, 9.2 rebounds, and 5.2 assists in those five games.

The Heat’s Adebayo will shadow Embiid, but that will leave Maxey open to post another 30-point game like he did in the last matchup of these two teams. I would keep an eye on the total as your players could be jumping on the Over bet.

 Atlanta Hawks vs. Chicago Bulls (-3.5, 220.5)

The Hawks have never lost a game in the play-in tournament, but that won’t help them get past the Bulls this year. Atlanta is in a six-game losing streak and will be without Jalen Johnson and Onyeka Okongwu. Besides that, they have the worst road record of all the play-in teams. The Bulls don’t have a great home record, so that will effectively negate Atlanta’s poor away record. Even if they win, they still have to beat the loser of the Miami/Philadelphia game for a chance to take on the top team of Boston Celtics. Phew. That’s a lot of underdog.

 New Orleans Pelicans vs. Los Angeles Lakers (-1.5, 227)

As you can see, the Western Conference Plan-In teams are very closely matched, with the No. 7 Pelicans barely ahead of the No. 10 Warriors. The Pelicans are ahead of the Lakers, but they’ve struggled against them all season, winning only one out of four. They played their last regular-season game against each other, with the Lakers topping New Orleans 124-108. The Pelicans might have the 6th best defense in the league, but LeBron James tends to turn it up a notch in the playoffs. Assisting him are Anthony Davis, Austin Reaves, and D’Angelo Russel, all averaging over 20 points per game. Watch them lead the Lakers to win and go against the Nuggets in the first round.

 Sacramento Kings vs. Golden State Warriors (-1.5, 226.5)

The Kings have something to settle after losing to the Warriors in the first round last year. Sacramento lost in the seventh game but gained much-needed playoff experience.

Both teams have had their share of injuries. The Kings will have to do without Malik Monk and starter Kevin Huerter. Fortunately, Keon Ellis has stepped up as a good three-point shooter and defensive player. Other players who improved their defense are De’Aaron Fox and Keegan Murray.

The Warriors’ Jonathan Kuminga is a candidate for Most Improved Player, and some of their younger players are also stepping up their game. That’s how they won 10 of their last 12 games in the regular season. The Kings have not been as good, losing seven of their last 11 games. On top of that, if Stephen Curry gets into a rhythm, his points could explode like they did in the seventh game of last year’s playoffs when he dropped 50 points.

These teams split their regular season meet-ups 2-2, with the last three games being decided by only one point. This game should be a lights-out phenomenal one. I only wish it was a series instead of only one battle.


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