The Milwaukee Bucks are the favorites to win the inaugural NBA In-Season Tournament, with odds of +170. They are favored over the Los Angeles Lakers (+240), New Orleans Pelicans (+360), and the Indiana Pacers (+425). Damian Lillard and Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks are just two victories away from winning the tournament, as they are set to face the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference semifinal.
The tournament has garnered a lot of attention, especially among fans, despite initial skepticism. It has also provided exposure to small-market teams, such as the Indiana Pacers. This exposure has allowed fans to catch a glimpse of up-and-coming star point guard Tyrese Haliburton. The winning team of the tournament will earn a $500K bonus for each player, with $200K going to the runners-up.
With a record of 15-6, the Bucks are the second-best team in the Eastern Conference. Lillard and Antetokounmpo have been a formidable duo, and they will be showcasing their skills in the upcoming semifinal game against the Pacers. The Bucks are favored by -5 on a neutral court in Las Vegas, but they have a losing betting record against the spread.
The Lakers, who are set to face the Pelicans in the Western Conference semifinal, are the second favorites to win the tournament, with odds of +240. LeBron James is the betting favorite to win the tournament MVP, with odds of +350.
The Pelicans are led by Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram, while the Pacers are led by the underrated Tyrese Haliburton. Haliburton, averaging a career-high 26.9 points and leading the NBA in assists with 11.9 per game, has been a standout player in the tournament.
The semifinal games will take place in Las Vegas, with the winners advancing to the tournament finale on Saturday. This tournament has provided an exciting platform for the teams and players, giving fans a unique opportunity to witness some thrilling basketball action.