NBA Play-In Tournament Odds and Schedule: Suns, Lakers Fight for West Playoff Berth

The NBA playoffs are around the corner, but first, the Play-In Tournament odds need to play out. See which teams are favored to battle for the final postseason spots in each conference.

Apr 9, 2024 • 15:05 ET • 4 min read
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We're into the regular season's final week, and several wars for playoff spots rage on. Sportsbooks continue to shift NBA Play-In Tournament odds as a glut of teams are locked in an all-out war for postseason positioning.

This NBA futures market has added a layer of intrigue for bettors in recent seasons, and 2024's playoff picture is one of the most intense races in recent memory, with extremely thin margins for multiple spots in both conferences. 

As the fight for an NBA playoff spot intensifies, bettors can back the following teams' NBA odds to land in the 2024 Play-In Tournament. 

2024 NBA Play-In Tournament odds

With the play-in picture looking very murky in both conferences — two spots more or less decided and an all-out war to avoid the other two, with more interdependent connections than the Pepe Silvia meme from It's Always Sunny — top sportsbooks FanDuel and DraftKings have suspended these markets.

Eastern Conference play-in

Team  DraftKings  FanDuel
Bulls Chicago Bulls OTB* OTB
Hawks Atlanta Hawks OTB OTB
76ers Philadelphia 76ers OTB OTB
Pacers Indiana Pacers OTB OTB
Heat Miami Heat OTB OTB
Knicks New York Knicks OTB OTB
Magic Orlando Magic OTB OTB
Nets Cleveland Cavaliers OTB OTB

Western Conference play-in

Team  DraftKings  FanDuel
WarriorsGolden State Warriors OTB* OTB
Lakers Los Angeles Lakers OTB OTB
Kings Sacramento Kings OTB OTB
Pelicans New Orleans Pelicans OTB OTB
Suns Phoenix Suns OTB OTB
Mavericks Dallas Mavericks OTB OTB
Clippers Los Angeles Clippers OTB OTB
Rockets Houston Rockets OTB OTB

Odds as of April 9, 2024.
*Off the board; selection not available

2024 NBA Play-In Tournament favorites 

Eastern Conference

The Chicago Bulls and Atlanta Hawks have long been locks for the Play-In Tournament, with a five-plus game cushion on either end of their eligibility, such that they'd been taken off the board entirely for weeks.

Meanwhile, the Philadelphia 76ers now have Joel Embiid back in the fold and can look to rebound after falling to the No. 8 seed, now just a game back of the 6-spot. The current No. 6, the Indiana Pacers are hoping to follow the Orlando Magic's recent ascent up the standings, with three very winnable games remaining. And the Miami Heat, looking very mercurial down the stretch, currently hold down the No. 8 seed

Miami and Indiana both have Bottom-10 strength of remaining schedules per Tankathon, but Philadelphia — with games against Orlando, Brooklyn, and Detroit — has the weakest remaining lineup of opponents. 

Western Conference

Out West, the Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors are effective locks for the play-in, with the top of the bracket still mired in a close fight.

The margins for the 7 and 8-seeds are razor-thin. Just one game separates the Phoenix Suns, New Orleans Pelicans and Sacramento Kings, hile the Lakers — 8-2 in their last 10 — are now suddenly just a half-game back of Sacto as well. 

Friday's Suns-Kings clash will be of critical importance, and likely Sunday's Lakers-Pelicans regular-season finale as well. The Suns close out a hellish final stretch with other games against the Clippers (twice) and Timberwolves — the toughest remaining slate of these teams. 

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What is the NBA Play-In Tournament?

The NBA Play-In Tournament is a relatively new wrinkle in the league's playoff format. Instead of the Top 8 teams all being guaranteed playoff spots, the 7-through-10 seeds in each conference are entered into a mini-tournament, taking place shortly after the regular season's conclusion, determining the East and West's final two playoff spots. 

NBA Play-In Tournament format

Here's how the Play-In tournament works:

For each conference, the 7 and 8-seeds earn double-elimination status and play each other, while the 9 and 10-seeds play in a single-elimination game. The winner of the 7-8 game earns the No. 7 seed, while the loser of the 7-8 game then plays the winner of the 9-10 games for the No. 8 seed.

From there, the playoffs begin in earnest, following the traditional bracket format. 

NBA Play-In Tournament schedule

The 2024 Play-In Tournament will take place on April 16-19, with matchups to be announced.

Date Matchup
April 16 TBA
April 16 TBA
April 17 TBA
April 17 TBA
April 19 TBA
April 19 TBA

When was the NBA Play-In Tournament introduced?

The Play-In Tournament was introduced, in a beta concept form, for the 2020 season as part of the league's plans for a bubble re-launch during the heights of the COVID-19 pandemic — originally just with the 8 and 9-seeds playing. 

After positive initial impressions from both fans and media, the Play-In Tournament was expanded to its current format and introduced, however unideal the timing, for a 2020-21 season that was already marred by pandemic absences and injuries.

NBA Play-In Tournament trends

  • 2023 marked the first upsets in the opening round of games, with the lower seed taking three of the four games.

  • 2023 was fruitful for the eventual success of play-in teams, with the 7-seed Los Angeles Lakers going on a run to the Western Conference Finals, and the 8-seed Miami Heat making it all the way to the NBA Finals. 

NBA Play-In Tournament Odds FAQ

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