The NBA’s regular season is officially completed, which means it’s time for the league’s inaugural play-in tournament.
This expanded NBA postseason format gets underway on Tuesday night, and West Virginia sportsbooks are loaded with betting markets.
While multiple players expressed their disinterest in the new wrinkle, it seems to be working out. The last few days of the regular season seemed to have a lot more urgency than in previous years.
This NBA Play-In Tournament consists of the four teams seeded seventh through 10th from each conference.
The No. 7 and No. 8 teams will match up, with the No. 9 and No. 10 teams meeting in the other game. Those who currently sit in the higher seeds will have two opportunities to make the actual postseason.
If they lose in the first game, they’ll have the chance to knock off the winner of the other contest.
Although it might be slightly confusing, the tournament is great for fans and bettors in the Mountain State. Let’s examine the initial play-in tournament odds and break down how you can wager at WV online sportsbooks.
Betting on the NBA Play-In Tournament
Hornets vs. Pacers
The first tilt involving the Indiana Pacers and Charlotte Hornets begins on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. EST on TNT. Whichever team advances in this game moves on to face the loser of the other East matchup.
Currently, WV sportsbooks give the advantage to the Pacers. They show Indiana laying -3.5 in the point spread, with a moneyline around -160.
Charlotte, who finished with just one fewer win than its opponent, is available at +130.
Unfortunately for Hornets backers, their team isn’t playing particularly well. They’ve won just three of their last 10 while in the midst of losing five straight.
Charlotte’s last few victories also came against some of the worst teams in the league, like Orlando and Detroit.
The Pacers finished up the regular season with a win over Toronto to secure the No. 9 spot. They’ve won three of their last five but aren’t carrying much momentum.
Oddly enough, Indiana struggled on its home floor this season. It went just 13-23 in the Hoosier State.
The Pacers defeated Charlotte in their first game this season; however, the Hornets took the last two.
Charlotte won by 17 points despite being five-point underdogs in the most recent contest, on April 2.
This game might be the least flashy of the tournament, but it could end up being the most exciting finish.
Wizards vs. Celtics
The other game in the East is between the Washington Wizards and Boston Celtics.
Boston enters this one as a slight favorite at sportsbooks. DraftKings WV Sportsbook is giving -1.5 in the spread, with its moneyline at -118.
The Celtics finished this year going 36-36, which was a very disappointing result for this team. They won at least 48 games in each of the last several years.
This season did not go as planned, and the Boston fan base is growing more impatient. Even though the Celtics feature a notable roster, they were never among the elite teams this season.
Both Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown averaged nearly 25 points per game, but even their play couldn’t turn the tide.
Boston closed out the regular season with only four wins in their final 10 games.
On the other hand, the Wizards won four of their last six and are looking much more competent. They recently had an eight-game winning streak and are definitely considered a dangerous opponent.
Like Boston, the Wizards include two playmakers who are some of the best in the NBA. If Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook perform as they have been, then taking Washington at around +100 might be the smart move.
Spurs vs. Grizzlies
The Western portion of the play-in tournament starts on Wednesday night on ESPN.
Once again, the 10-7 matchup will get things started, with the Memphis Grizzlies hosting the San Antonio Spurs.
The Spurs qualified for the last spot in the conference even though they haven’t been winning of late. They’ve lost their last four, including eight of their last 10.
Memphis finished five whole games ahead of the Spurs for the ninth position. It fell to the Warriors to end the year but won five straight before that.
The Grizzlies’ strong second half actually got them within striking distance of Dallas in the Southwest Division. The Mavs ended up with four more wins overall.
FanDuel Sportsbook WV shows the Grizzlies giving -4 in the point spread, while their moneyline is at -166. San Antonio’s odds to win straight up are +140 based on the online sportsbook.
Memphis had the edge during the regular-season series, taking two out of three. Its victories in the last two came by an average of 24 points.
Warriors vs. Lakers
The only disappointing aspect of the final play-in contest is that there will be just one game. All eyes will be on the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors on Wednesday evening.
Of course, these two sides feature two of the most impactful players in the sport in LeBron James and Steph Curry.
James is looking to add to his trophy collection by adding his fifth Larry O’Brien with another title.
Curry isn’t far behind, as he owns three championship rings himself. He also just finished the regular season on a tear and earned his second scoring title.
Curry averaged an even 32 points per game to take the top mark in the NBA this season.
As far as both teams go, each is finding its groove at the exact right time. Following a tough run, the Lakers have won five straight and have their main guys back on the floor.
The Warriors might be even hotter, though. They’ve earned a W in six consecutive games and are 15-5 since April 10.
At the moment, DraftKings lists the Lakers as the favorite to lock in as the seventh seed. The online sportsbook shows them giving -4.5 in the spread, with a moneyline of -190.
DraftKings gave the Warriors +160 odds to come away with another win.
No matter which side you’re leaning toward in this one, it should shape up to be one of the most compelling games all season.