NBA Play-In 2022: Are Underdogs The Best Bet?

  • The NBA’s Play-In Tournament begins on April 12, 2022.
  • The 7-8 matchup in the East sees the Brooklyn Nets favored by 8.5 points on the odds boards.
  • In the West, the Minnesota Timberwolves are three-point favorites over the Los Angeles Clippers.

NEW YORK – The NBA Play-In Tournament will determine the seventh and eighth seeds in the Eastern and Western Conferences.

The format of the tournament sees the seventh seed take on the eighth seed, while the ninth seed takes on the tenth seed in each conference.

The winner of the 7-8 game goes on to be the permanent seventh seed, while the loser faces the winner of the 9-10 game for the permanent eighth seed spot.

This makes the game between the seventh and eighth seeds likely the most impactful of the immediate games because it sets a playoff matchup.

Cleveland Cavaliers Vs. Brooklyn Nets Odds

  • Cleveland Cavaliers +8.5 -110
  • Brooklyn Nets -8.5 -110

The Cleveland Cavaliers and Brooklyn Nets face off in the 7-8 matchup in the Eastern Conference. The winner will take on the Boston Celtics in the first round of the NBA Playoffs.

The Nets have been regarded as a top threat to win the East for most of the year, and are still among the top three in the East in terms of odds to win the conference at online sportsbooks.

Despite this, Nets star Kevin Durant thinks that other teams are not worried about facing them in the playoffs.

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The Cleveland Cavaliers are no pushovers, but the Nets are significant favorites to move on to the Playoffs with a win in this game.

If Durant’s assessment is correct, the Cavs could have a bigger chance in this matchup than the sportsbooks think.

Los Angeles Clippers Vs. Minnesota Timberwolves Odds

  • L.A. Clippers +3.0 -110
  • Minnesota Timberwolves -3.0 -110

In the other 7-8 matchup, a Los Angeles Clippers team that has been decimated by injury faces off against a Minnesota Timberwolves squad that finally rounded into form this season.

The Clippers will likely be without superstar Kawhi Leonard, who has not progressed to working out with the team yet, according to head coach Ty Lue.

Paul George, who returned from a serious injury that kept him out for most of the season a few weeks ago, will be playing, and his performances this season – although limited – have been up to his high standards – he’s averaged 24.3 points and 6.9 rebounds in 31 games.

The Minnesota Timberwolves are favored in this game due to their significantly better play over the course of the season than the Clippers. The Timberwolves went 46-36, the Clippers went 42-40.

However, the Clippers dominated the season series, 3-0, although all three of those games happened in November 2021. Leonard did not play in any of those games, meaning the Clippers should have their team at a similar level in the Play-In.

The Timberwolves did seem to be a much worse team at the time, however. That final Clippers loss put them at 4-8 on the season, and they went 42-28 the rest of the way, including a 15-8 record after the all-star break.

The Clippers certainly could be an underdog that NBA betting fans should wager on, given their record in the head-to-head matchup. However, if Minnesota is a different team than they were in November, this matchup might go to the favorite.