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The Hawks and Hornets will fight for a playoffs spot in the NBA play-in tournament.

The NBA season is in the books, but before the playoffs start there’s a small matter of the NBA play-in tournament to decide the final two seeds in each conference. 

In the Eastern Conference, the No. 7 Brooklyn Nets take on the No. 8 Cleveland Cavaliers and the No. 9 Atlanta Hawks face the No. 10 Charlotte Hornets. In the Western Conference, the No. 7 Minnesota Timberwolves take on the No. 8 Los Angeles Clippers and the No. 9 New Orleans Pelicans battle the No. 10 San Antonio Spurs.

The winners of the 7 vs 8 games advance to the playoffs, and the losers face the winners of the 9 vs 10 games for the second spot. 

Odds Shark is your one-stop shop for NBA championship coverage and has all the details about 2021-22 NBA play-in tournament betting odds. Here are the odds for which teams will grab the final two seeds in each conference and advance to the playoffs.

NBA Play-In Tournament Odds: Odds To Make The Playoffs

Odds to make the playoffs
Teams Odds
Brooklyn Nets -3000
Minnesota Timberwolves -1000
Los Angeles Clippers -600
Cleveland Cavaliers -200
Atlanta Hawks +200
New Orleans Pelicans +400
Charlotte Hornets +550
San Antonio Spurs +850

Odds as of April 11 at Bovada

The Nets get to face the struggling Cavs in their play-in matchup and are -430 favorites to win that game. It would be shocking if the Nets, the team nobody wants to face in the playoffs, didn’t win this game or a game vs either Charlotte or Atlanta. That reality is reflected here.

It’s a similar situation for the T-Wolves, who are favored against the Clippers and should be able to win one of their two chances to advance.

It gets interesting after that. 

We see no reason why the Spurs can’t beat the Pelicans as they’ve already beaten New Orleans in three of four meetings this season and have been the better team of late.

The Spurs have the 11th-ranked net rating in the NBA over the last two weeks and won six of their last 10 to squeak into the play-in. 

They would then need to beat the Wolves or Clippers, but they have a 2-1 record against the Clippers this season. San Antonio has lost all three meetings with Minnesota this year, but it’s not far-fetched to think they could beat the Pels and Clippers in consecutive games – +850 is pretty good odds for that outcome.

NBA Play-In Odds: Best Bet

Although the Spurs have the longest odds and represent solid value in NBA play-in tournament odds, our favorite bet is in the East.

We expect the Cavs to lose to Brooklyn, so the next step is to decide who will win the Hawks/Hornets game and then whether either of those teams can beat Cleveland.

We think both of them can.

It wouldn’t be surprising at all if the Cavs lost both of their play-in games and missed the playoffs based on how they’ve been playing late in the season. The absence of Jarrett Allen has been a big deal for the Cavs, and while star rookie Evan Mobley is back in the lineup, the team just has not played as well as Charlotte or Atlanta down the stretch. 

The Hornets and Hawks rank sixth and seventh in net rating and second and third in offensive rating respectively over the last month while the Cavs rank 21st in net rating in that same span.

We would take either Charlotte or Atlanta as a likely road underdog against Cleveland and love both of them here in NBA play-in tournament odds.

We lean toward Charlotte at +550 with the longer odds and better value if choosing between the two.

The Hornets are +180 to beat Atlanta in their play-in matchup while the Hawks are -185 to win. The season series is split 2-2.

How Does The NBA Play-In Tournament Work?

The NBA play-in tournament setup can be quite complicated for new bettors and even professional ones trying to wrap their heads around it. Below, we break down key dates, how the schedule will unfold and important factors to consider before placing your bets on these props.

When Is The NBA Play-In Tournament?

The NBA play-in tournament for the Eastern and Western conferences will begin on April 12 and go till April 15. The playoffs will begin April 16 with first-round action.

NBA Play-In Tourney Format

Eight teams will be part of the NBA play-in tournament, with four from each conference. There will be six total games played involving only the teams that finish seventh to 10th in each conference at the conclusion of the regular season.

Here’s a breakdown of how the play-in schedule will unfold in each conference:

  • Game 1: The No. 9 team in the regular-season standings gets to host the No. 10 team, with the winner moving on to Game 3. The loser is eliminated from playoff contention. 
  • Game 2: The No. 7 team in the standings will host the No. 8 team. The winner of this game earns the No. 7 playoff seed and the losing team will get another chance to earn the 8 seed in the third game.
  • Game 3: The loser of the No. 7 vs No. 8 matchup will host the winner of the No. 9 vs No. 10 matchup, with the victor grabbing the conference’s No. 8 seed in the postseason. The loser of Game 3 also enters the lottery.

This means that the No. 7 and No. 8 teams each have two shots to earn a playoff spot. The No. 9 and No. 10 teams have to win two straight games in order to clinch a spot in the postseason.