The top two betting favorites to win the inaugural NBA In-Season Tournament are the Boston Celtics (+300 odds) and the Milwaukee Bucks (+340 odds). Eight teams have qualified for the tournament’s knockout stage, which is single elimination, and begins Monday night with the quarterfinals. The semifinals take place in Las Vegas on Thursday, and the championship game is slated for Saturday night in Sin City.
The Boston Celtics currently have the best record in the NBA with a .789 winning percentage and are the consensus favorite to win the NBA Championship at +370 odds. They have the second-best defense in the Eastern Conference and are anchored by the dynamic duo of Jayson Tatum (27.4 points per game) and Jaylen Brown (21.8 points per game). The Celtics recently acquired center Kristaps Porzingis in a trade this offseason, who is currently sidelined with a calf injury and isn’t expected to play in the In-Season Tournament.
The Milwaukee Bucks, led by Giannis Antetokounmpo (29.9 points per game) and Damian Lillard (25.5 points per game), have a 9-1 record on their home court this season and are the third-highest-scoring team in the NBA this season.
The Los Angeles Lakers, despite being banged-up, posted a perfect 4-0 record in group play, and are led by LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and D’Angelo Russell.
The Sacramento Kings are the surprise team in the NBA this season and have the NBA’s fourth-best scorer, De’Aaron Fox, who averages 30.3 points per game.
The Phoenix Suns have a dangerous one-two punch in Kevin Durant (31.0 points per game) and Devin Booker (27.9 points per game) and have one of the best road records in the NBA this season at 7-3.
The New Orleans Pelicans’ fate is tied to the health status of Zion Williamson, who leads the team with 23.5 points and 5.8 rebounds per game, while shooting 56.7% from the floor.
The Indiana Pacers are the highest-scoring team in the NBA this season but have a porous defense that allows a league-worst 125.9 points per game.
The New York Knicks are the fifth-best team in the Eastern Conference this season and have the best scoring defense in the NBA, allowing only 105.5 points per game.
Overall, the NBA In-Season Tournament promises to be an exciting event with top teams competing for the championship.