NBA Play-In Tournament Odds: Which Teams Will Make The Playoffs?

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Written By Mo Nuwwarah | Last Updated
nba play-in rules

The long regular season grind has ended, which means it’s time for the NBA play-in. Eight teams will participate, and four will advance to contend for NBA Finals odds. Let’s take a look at NBA play-in odds and see which teams the market likes to survive.

Odds To Make NBA Playoffs

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7. Pelicans
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8. Lakers
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9. Kings
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10. Warriors
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7. 76ers
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8. Heat
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9. Bulls
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10. Hawks
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NBA Play-In Tournament Rules & Format

As a reminder of the format, the NBA play-in features a tiered system involving the Nos. 7-10 seeds of each conference. Each respective No. 7 plays the No. 8. The winner of that game is in as the No. 7 seed. Nos. 9 and 10 face each other in a lose-and-out scenario, with the winner advancing to face the loser of No. 7 vs. No. 8. Whoever wins that game enters the bracket as the No. 8 seed.

So, essentially, Nos. 7 and 8 have two chances to win one game and make the playoffs. Nos. 9 and 10 must win two games in a row.

In all cases, higher seeds host.

We’ll look at the odds for each NBA play-in game now, along with a brief look at each matchup.

Tuesday, 7:30 P.M. ET: Lakers (West No. 8) At Pelicans (West No. 7)

Click on the odds to bet on the best prices across betting sites.

L.A. has seemed to have New Orleans’ number this year, crushing them in a pair of high-profile matchups.

Initially, the Lakers clowned the Pelicans in the semifinals of the In-Season Tournament.

And to close the regular season, the two teams faced off in a fairly high-stakes game. The Lakers needed to win to stave off Sacramento and remain in the top half of the play-in, while the Pelicans could avoid the play-in altogether by simply winning at home. The Lakers won 124-108 in a game where they entered the fourth with a 22-point lead.

Health does appear to be on New Orleans’ side, however. Anthony Davis is nursing a sore back after putting together a monster campaign this year, though he assured reporters he will play. The Pelicans, meanwhile, got Brandon Ingram back from injury to close the year, although he only played 23 minutes in the anticlimactic loss.

Tuesday, 10 P.M. ET: Warriors (West No. 10) At Kings (West No. 9)

Golden State closed the season on quite a strong run once they got healthy. After the All-Star Break, they went 19-10 (27-26 first half), with an average point differential of +4.6 (+1.5 first half).

The Warriors also have the better efficiency on the season as a whole, +2.2 to +0.8, per Cleaning The Glass. In fact, Sacramento had the second-luckiest results in the NBA by Cleaning The Glass’ numbers, winning 3.1 games more than expected given their efficiency differential.

Worse yet, the Kings have been left extremely short-handed in the backcourt. Injuries to Kevin Huerter and Malik Monk have left the Kings starting Keon Elliss, an undrafted second-year player who is essentially a rookie after barely playing last season.

Though the teams split the season series, none of the games happened past January.

Golden State also enters with a rest advantage. They sat players in the finale, while Sacramento had to play their guys, albeit not heavy minutes (beat Portland by 39), in case the Lakers lost.

Yes, everything seems to point to the Warriors here. Sacramento still has home court though, and they’ll have revenge on their minds after narrowly dropping a 4-3 series last season to the Dubs.

Wednesday, 7 P.M. ET: Heat (East No. 8) At 76ers (East No. 7)

A mighty interesting matchup here, as two underachieving championship hopefuls meet in Philly.

Of course, in the Sixers’ case, the disappointing campaign can be blamed squarely on a fairly serious knee injury to Joel Embiid. The soon-to-be former MVP returned in April and posted 30.4/9.2/5.2 averages in five games that aren’t too dissimilar to his season-long 34.7/11/5.6.

In games featuring both Embiid and Tyrese Maxey, the Sixers went 30-7. Sharing the court, the two posted a +11.1 differential per Cleaning The Glass, which dwarfed the team’s season-long +2.8. In short, Philly is much stronger than its overall stats indicate.

Of course, flat playoff performances have been an unfortunate hallmark of this era of Sixers hoops.

Miami finds itself in quite the opposite situation, consistently outperforming its seeding year after year. The Heat made the Finals as the No. 8 seed in 2023. They won’t be fazed in this spot, although the Sixers do have a nice blueprint after Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets steamrolled the Heat in last year’s NBA Finals.

Wednesday, 9:30 P.M. ET: Hawks (East No. 10) At Bulls (East No. 9)

The least consequential game in NBA play-in odds, which will at best serve up a sacrificial lamb to the Celtics juggernaut. Whoever wins this game will be a large underdog in the subsequent one unless someone like Joel Embiid or Jimmy Butler sustains an injury.

Atlanta enters in an odd spot. They’re missing key rotation pieces Onyeko Okongwu, Saddiq Bey, and Jalen Johnson. Trae Young returned late in the season. However, it’s unclear if that’s a net positive, as the team construction seems to make more sense when one of Young or Dejounte Murray plays but not both.

Chicago also underachieved this season but showed some real tenacity in nearly beating the Knicks on the road to close the season, in a game in which the Knicks had much more on the line. They have some playoff veterans in Demar DeRozan and Alex Caruso. Caruso should be a real weapon if he can sustain the sort of defensive intensity he brought to the table against Jalen Brunson in the finale.