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2024 NBA Play-In Tournament Odds: Lakers Safest Bet To Participate For Third Time

The NBA Play-In Tournament provides ample opportunity for more teams to potentially qualify for the postseason, and even more chances for bettors to make big gains. 

The No. 7 through 10 seeds in both the Eastern and Western Conferences will participate in a mini-tournament to determine the final two seeds, with the following odds indicating which teams oddsmakers believe will be participating next month.

Eastern Conference Play-In Tournament Odds:

Miami Heat-450
Philadelphia 76ers-250
Indiana Pacers +200
Orlando Magic+350
New York Knicks+800

Odds as of April 9, 2024

Best Eastern Play-In Bet: Miami Heat, -450

The Miami Heat almost welcome the challenge of battling through the play-in tournament, and are confident enough in their own ability that should they escape its confines, that they can perhaps replicate last season's run which took the team all the way to the Finals. 

They sit a full game-and-a-half behind the Indiana Pacers, with the Philadelphia 76ers wedged between. There may not be enough time remaining to snag the No. 6 seed or better, but that likely doesn't faze the team in the slightest. 

East Contender: Philadelphia 76ers, -250

The recent return of Joel Embiid following surgery on his left knee has made the 76ers arguably the most dangerous team in the East not named the Boston Celtics. 

The top-tier teams of the conference are likely paying more attention at the traffic jam vying for those final few seeds as opposed to Philadelphia looking up at who may be a potential matchup for them. 

Western Conference Play-In Tournament Odds: 

Los Angeles Lakers-2000
Sacramento Kings-800
New Orleans Pelicans-200
Phoenix Suns-170

Odds as of April 9, 2024

Best Western Play-In Bet: Los Angeles Lakers, -2000

The Los Angeles Lakers currently trail the No. 6-seeded New Orleans Pelicans by a full 2.5 games with just two games remaining on the schedule. So, suffice it to say, you'll be seeing the purple and gold fighting for their lives in the play-in tournament for the third time in franchise history.

They've been the No. 7 seed on the prior two occasions, and won their initial play-in matchup to secure the seed outright without needing a second game to advance out. Los Angeles even got all of the way to the conference finals in last year's playoffs before bowing in a sweep to the eventual champion Denver Nuggets.

West Contender: Phoenix Suns, -170

Qualifying for the play-in tournament would be viewed as a disappointment for a Phoenix Suns team with the highest of expectations, but under circumstances where all you can afford to lose is just a single game depending on your seed, no one should want to stand across from them. 

They're limping towards the end of the season with two-straight losses and three remaining games against winning competition, mind you. But with Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, and Bradley Beal at the helm, knocking them off in this format regardless of any recent struggles will be hard to do. 

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 16 and go till April 19. The playoffs will begin April 20 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. 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 2: 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 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.

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