The NBA play-in tournament originated during the 2019-20 season as part of the league’s return to play initiative inside the bubble in Orlando. The idea has since stuck around and helped create drama for the teams (and with NBA betting) ranked 7-10 in both conferences.
In the Eastern Conference, the Brooklyn Nets will play host to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 7 vs. 8 matchup, while the Charlotte Hornets will visit the Atlanta Hawks in the 9 vs. 10 game.
The winner of the Nets and Cavaliers contest will move on to the playoffs, while the loser will face off with the winner of the Hornets-Hawks match up for another chance to get in.
In the Western Conference, the Los Angeles Clippers will visit the Minnesota Timberwolves in the 7 vs. 8 matchup, while the San Antonio Spurs will visit the New Orleans Pelicans in the 9 vs. 10 game.
The winner of Clippers vs. Timberwolves will move on to the playoffs, while the loser will face off with the winner of the Pelicans-Spurs match up for a second chance to advance to the first round of the NBA Playoffs.
— Cyrus Saatsaz (@DogSurfRoadshow) April 10, 2022
With eight teams still vying for playoff spots, let’s rank them in terms of who has the highest remaining NBA odds to win the championship.
Odds to Win NBA Finals, Play-in Tournament Teams
|Play-In Team||Odds to Win Finals|
|Los Angeles Clippers||+3500|
|New Orleans Pelicans||+25000|
|San Antonio Spurs||+50000|
1. Brooklyn Nets +700
The Nets are in the NBA play-in tournament but still boast the third-best odds in the NBA to win the championship at +700.
It might be a surprise to some to see the Nets in the play-in tournament, but with the injuries and drama surrounding the team this year, there’s a reason they were only able to nab the No. 7 seed. With that being said, they should have no problem moving on and if Ben Simmons returns for the playoffs, the Nets have a team very capable of pulling off multiple series victories.
2. Los Angeles Clippers +3500
The Clippers have held their heads above water for the majority of this season without superstars Paul George and Kawhi Leonard in the lineup. With George returning prior to the end of the regular season and a lot of solid depth pieces on the Clippers roster, they likely have the best chance to move on in the West.
The Clippers boast odds of +3500 to win the Championship this season.
3. Minnesota Timberwolves +8000
The Timberwolves have a solid frontcourt to build around in Anthony Edwards and Karl-Anthony Towns, which make them a threat to have upset potential in these playoffs.
Minnesota enters the play-in at +8000 to win it all this year.
4. Cleveland Cavaliers +12500
Not many people expected the Cavaliers to be competing for a playoff spot this year and they don’t exactly draw a good match-up vs. the Nets to start the tournament.
Even if the Cavs do fall in game one, they should still be favorites to win their second game but are also a longshot to win the title this year at +12500
5. Atlanta Hawks +15000
Trae Young’s Hawks showed teams last year what they could do in the playoffs and they’ll look to build off that again this spring if they can pull off an upset.
When you have a star like Young, anything is possible, but you still shouldn’t expect too much from this Hawks team at +15000 to win the Championship.
6. New Orleans Pelicans +25000
Without Zion Williamson, it’s hard to see this Pelicans team making any noise this season. The addition of CJ McCollum jolted this squad, but they just aren’t good enough yet.
The Pelicans sit at +25000 to win it all entering the play-in tournament and will likely see a quick exit, even if they advance.
7. Charlotte Hornets +40000
LaMelo Ball is one of the NBA’s brightest young stars and this experience will likely help the team moving forward.
However, don’t expect them to be around long as the Hornets have the second-worst odds of the remaining teams to win the title this year at +40000.
8. San Antonio Spurs +50000
Never count out a team coached by Gregg Popovich, but if you were going to, this would be the time to do so. The Spurs have some nice pieces like Dejounte Murray, but this just isn’t their year.
They will enter the play-in tournament at +50000 and that doesn’t exactly inspire confidence.