The NBA regular season concluded Sunday, paving the way for sportsbooks to post play-in tournament odds. The No. 7 Brooklyn Nets host the No. 8 Cleveland Cavaliers in the East, and the No. 7 Minnesota Timberwolves welcome the No. 8 Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday. Wednesday features the N0. 10 Charlotte Hornets at No. 9 Atlanta Hawks and the No. 10 San Antonio Spurs at No. 9 New Orleans Pelicans. Bettors can keep tabs on NBA odds throughout the postseason at Gaming Today.
The play-in tourney still has that new-car smell, so it’s worth reviewing how it works. The winners of the No. 7 vs. No. 8 games claim playoff spots. The losers of the No. 7 vs. No. 8 matchups still have a lifeline. They’ll face the winners of the No. 9 vs. No. 10 contests on Friday. The winner of this second game slides into the final remaining playoff spot.
NBA Play-In Tournament Odds
Cavaliers (44-38 SU, 42-37-3 ATS) at Nets (44-38 SU, 33-47-2 ATS)
The most recent matchup between these teams — a Nets win and cover on April 8 — is what some bettors will reference. Brooklyn enters the contest on a four-win run. Cleveland, meanwhile, has stumbled to the finish line, sporting a 2-5 mark over its final seven.
Defense vs. offense is a theme as these teams hit the floor Tuesday. Brooklyn boasts one of the most potent scoring duos in Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. However, they’re bottom-third in defensive rating, an Achilles heel that could haunt them should they advance beyond the play-in tournament. The Cavaliers rank fifth in points allowed per game and seventh in defensive rating. They’re 19-22 on the road, though, so the odds will be stacked against them, literally and figuratively.
NBA · Tue (4/12) @ 7:06pm ET
|Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York|
Clippers (42-40 SU, 41-41 ATS) at Timberwolves (46-36 SU, 42-38-2 ATS)
The Clippers have hit a nice run of form, covering four of their last five and winning all five outright. This streak coincides with the return of Paul George, who will have to do the heavy lifting throughout the postseason. The Clippers won and covered in their three November meetings with the Timberwolves. Minnesota returned the favor in their fourth and final matchup of the season on January 3.
Minnesota has dropped four straight against the spread heading into Tuesday night. They’re on an ‘over’ run, however, combining with their opponents to soar past the total in five straight. That’s not a big shock considering they finished the season as the NBA’s highest-scoring team. Center Karl-Anthony Towns is the focal point of the offense, but he’s well-supported. Second-year wing Anthony Edwards is blossoming into a star, and D’Angelo Russell is a dynamic playmaker in the backcourt.
NBA · Tue (4/12) @ 9:41pm ET
|Target Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota|
Hornets (43-39 SU, 45-35-2 ATS) at Hawks (43-39 SU, 37-45 ATS)
The Hornets and Hawks are Southeast Division foes, and thus played each other four times. Those four contests were split, both straight-up and against the spread. They also played to the ‘under’ in three of the four. The Hornets and Hawks can score, but they struggle defending. Keep this in mind as sportsbooks set a lofty total of around 237.
LaMelo Ball leads the Hornets, who are 6-4 over their final 10. Meanwhile, Atlanta’s Trae Young is one of the most exciting young players in the game. The Hawks — 7-3 over their final 10 — will go as Young goes. Both guards have been productive but inefficient in head-to-head meetings this season.
NBA · Wed (4/13) @ 7:15pm ET
|State Farm Arena, Atlanta, Georgia|
Spurs (34-48 SU, 44-37-1 ATS) at Pelicans (36-46 SU, 41-40-1 ATS)
NBA fans and bettors know not to count out San Antonio head coach Gregg Popovich. The Spurs have not performed up to the standard they’ve established over recent decades. However, they’ve covered in 10 of their last 11 and finished 7-4 straight-up over that span.
New Orleans bolstered its team when it acquired C.J. McCollum on February 8. However, the Pelicans dropped two of three meetings with the Spurs since that trade and have played .500 ball overall. Still, McCollum has averaged 25.2 points on 49.4 percent shooting since joining the Pelicans. And to McCollum’s credit, he’s willing to look out for fans on the NBA wagering front.
NBA · Wed (4/13) @ 9:43pm ET
|Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, Louisiana|