My 2021 NBA Play-in Tournament Betting Preview is here! After testing out a “play-in” game in the Bubble last season, the NBA has decided to expand its Play-in game to determine the last two seeds in the playoff for each conference. The top six seeds in each conference clinch a playoff spot while No.7 through No.10 play in a mini tournament to determine the final two spots.
There has been some criticism to this new play-in format though. Notable critics like players Lebron James, Luka Doncic and also Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban have stressed the expansion could hurt teams going forward. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver stated that the inclusion of the play-in tournament will help stop teams from out-right tanking their seasons. Very excited to watch this experiment get underway tonight starting at 6:00 PM ETPURCHASE MY NEXT NBA WINNER
Here is a preview of each play-in game starting with the Eastern Conference
Charlotte Hornets vs. Indiana Pacers: Betting Preview
- This is the No.10 vs No.9 matchup which is a single elimination game. Winner of this game will take on the loser of the Celtics/Wizards matchup. The Hornets, led by Rookie of the Year candidate Lamelo Ball, have been a very exciting team to watch this year. With Miles Bridges breaking backboards and Terry Rozier playing well at the point, the Hornets have started to build a good young core for the future. The Pacers have had a very odd season which saw them leading the East very early on this year but now are fighting for a berth in the playoffs. Led by big man Domantas Sabonis and a healthy Caris Levert, the Pacers could catch the Hornets off guard with their size and shooting. Should be a great game to being the Play-in Tournament.
Spread: Pacers -3
Moneyline: CHA +120, IND -148
Washington Wizards vs. Boston Celtics: Betting Preview
- In the No.6 vs No.7 matchup the red-hot Wizards are up against a slumping Celtics squad. Russell Westbrook fresh off breaking the triple-double record with 182, is playing some great basketball right now. Along with Bradley Beal, who finished 2nd in total points this season, the Wizards look like a deadly matchup if they get through the play-in round. The Celtics led by Jayson Tatum have had a rocky season riddled with injuries. If Tatum can score efficiently against the league’s worst defense in the Wizards, they could get a victory and move on. The winner of this game is set in the playoffs and match up with the No.2 seed Brooklyn Nets.
Spread: Celtics -2
Moneyline: WAS +106, BOS -129
Memphis Grizzlies vs. San Antonio Spurs: Betting Preview
- The Grizzlies are 19-23 in Western Conference games. Memphis ranks second in the league with 11.2 offensive rebounds per game led by Jonas Valanciunas averaging 4.1 offensive boards. Led by Ja Morant, the Grizzlies are a very exciting squad, with Dillon Brooks also contributing very well. San Antonio is ninth in the Western Conference with 11.7 fast break points per game led by Dejounte Murray averaging 2.4. If the can get some control of the boards this should be a very close game
Spread: Grizzlies -3
Moneyline: SAS +120, MEM -148
Golden State Warriors vs Los Angeles Lakers: Betting Preview
- This is the game to watch out of the play-in games. This is a Finals caliber matchup is why the play-in tournament is so exciting. The Warrior led by potential MVP Steph Curry, have found some success this season with Steph putting up unreal numbers. With Draymond continuing to be an effective point forward, the Warriors can score with the NBA’s best night in and night out. The Lakers have battled a lot of injuries throughout this season, with both Anthony Davis and Lebron James missing a good amount of time. The Lakers have the firepower to get to the Finals if they can stay healthy. This game should be a classic.
Spread: Lakers -6.5
Moneyline: GSW +215, LAL -265