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2023 NBA In-Season Tournament Winner: A December to Remember?

The NBA’s Own “March Madness” as Knockout Stage Arrives

Take These NBA In-Season Tourney Odds Lightly

If you’ve wondered how things would play out if the NBA had its own single-elimination tournament, NCAA March Madness-style now’s your chance. The 2023 NBA In-Season Tournament is down to its final eight teams as we head to the Knockout Rounds. There is no seven or five-game series here: it’s win or you’re out. Most interestingly, some of the best NBA teams are not in the running leaving this tournament wide open despite the odds.

NBA In-Season Tournament W5H: The ‘Deets’

The 2023 NBA In-Season Tournament’s Knockout Rounds tip-off on Monday, December 4. The quarterfinals (first round) will be played in the higher seeds’ home court while the semifinals and championship game will be in the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, a neutral court.

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Here is the schedule:

Quarterfinals (on TNT)

Semifinals

  • Thu., Dec. 7: TBD vs. TBD (5 p.m. ET) (on ESPN)
  • Thu., Dec. 7: TBD vs. TBD (9 p.m. ET) (on TNT)

Championship (on ABC)

  • Sat., Dec. 9: TBD vs. TBD (8:30 p.m. ET)

The Eight NBA Teams Vying For the Inaugural In-Season Title

So how did we get to this In-Season NBA playoffs bracket? Six of the final eight teams are their division’s winners: the Lakers, Kings, and Pelicans in the West and the Bucks, Pacers, and Celtics in the East. The final two teams, both seeded fourth, are the “wild card” teams, who finished with the best records (and won the tiebreakers) outside of the division winners: the Suns in the West and the Knicks in the East.

For obvious reasons, the Celtics (+300) and Bucks (+375) have the shortest odds to win the 2023 NBA In-Season Tournament. The Knicks are the longest underdogs at 16-1:

  • Celtics logo Boston Celtics: +300
  • Bucks logo Milwaukee Bucks: +375
  • Lakers logo Los Angeles Lakers: +500
  • Kings logo Sacramento Kings: +500
  • Suns logo Phoenix Suns: +550
  • Pelicans logo New Orleans Pelicans: +1200
  • Pacers logo Indiana Pacers: +1400
  • Knicks logo New York Knicks: +1600

But as we denoted in our headline, take these NBA odds lightly. This is a single-elimination tournament so one loss will knock out the Celtics or Bucks. On the flip side, it may be as big of a shocker if the teams with the longest odds go all the way here.

March Madness in December? Underdogs to Watch

Given their long lines, the Pacers may warrant a bet. This team is being disrespected. It finished 4-0 in its group and even upset the 76ers in Philadelphia. Indiana is also putting up the most points per game: 127.6 per game and leading the league in field goal percentage at 50.4%. Furthermore, the Pacers are 4-2 as underdogs, straight-up.

The Pelicans are also worth a look at 12-1. New Orleans will be a threat if it can stay healthy. Star forward Zion Williamson is playing games. And the NBA injury report indicates C.J. McCollum, a 20-point scorer, will return to the team. New Orleans won its group by beating Dallas, Denver, and the LA Clippers. It is 7-5 as an underdog this season.

The Knicks at 16-1 may not be a bad team to back. New York is only 1-5 as underdogs this NBA season. And the team has lost seven straight games against Milwaukee. But the Bucks are dealing with an injury to star forward Khris Middleton. And the 2021 NBA champions are still adjusting to its new NBA players.

Last but not least, the Suns will be dangerous at +550. As long as superstar forward Kevin Durant plays, Phoenix should not be counted out. It goes against the Lakers in a must-watch first-round game. The winner of this NBA matchup could just go all the way.

For NBA betting news, odds analysis, and more, visit Point Spreads Sports Magazine.


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