2022 NBA Play-In Tournament Odds, Best Bets, and Predictions

The NBA regular season is over and we’ll have the Play-In tournaments in both the West and the East next. Four teams in each conference will try to keep their hopes for the title alive. I share my 2022 NBA Play-In predictions for their chances in this post.

Before we get there, let me remind you how the whole thing works.

  • Match 1 – The 7th seed in each conference hosts the 8th seed from the same conference. The winner progresses to the NBA Playoffs and faces the second seed. The loser has another chance.
  • Match 2 – The 9th seed hosts the 10th The winner has the chance to fight for a spot in the playoffs.
  • Match 3 – The loser from Match 1 hosts the winner from Match 2. The team that ends up on top qualifies for the postseason and plays against the top seed of the conference in the opening round of the NBA Playoffs.

The stakes are high, especially since each clash is in the best-of-one format. There’s no room for error!

We know the teams and NBA Play-Ins betting odds are out, so let’s dive into it.

NBA Eastern Conference Play-Ins Preview with Odds

The East is first in line. The Cleveland Cavaliers will face the Brooklyn Nets in a direct clash for the NBA Playoffs, while the Hornets and the Hawks will try to prolong their season in the other game.

It’s going to be exciting, so here are my predictions for the NBA East Play-In Tournament.

Cavaliers vs. Nets Betting Pick

  • Cavaliers to win; +315
  • Nets to win; -385
  • Cavaliers (+8); -105
  • Nets (-8); -115
  • Over 229.5; -110
  • Under 229.5; -110

The regular season was wild and I don’t think anyone expected to see a team as strong as the Nets in the Play-Ins. Brooklyn struggled with injuries and Kyrie Irving missed a ton of games because of his health choices.

The franchise was also involved in a blockbuster deal that sent James Harden to Philadelphia in exchange for Ben Simmons and Seth Curry. The former is yet to play, but the Nets had a strong finish to the regular season even without him.

The latest reports suggest Simmons might return for the first round of the Playoffs if the Nets make it. He’s certainly out of the game against the Cavs, but I don’t think the Nets are too concerned.

The team won the last four games of the season, looking strong in the process. Kevin Durant is flying at the right moment, Kyrie is close to his best, and the roster is full of veterans who know how to win in the playoffs.

It’s a strong group that can go all the way with some luck. That’s why the odds for the Eastern Conference Play-Ins favor the Nets. The other reason is related to Cleveland’s decline in the second part of the season.

The team has struggled in the past few months and the 3-7 record in the last 10 games doesn’t look good. The defense is still solid, but the Cavs simply can’t score enough points and they don’t have a true star player in their ranks.

On top of that, the Nets won three of the four regular season games between the two teams, including both encounters in Brooklyn. The bookies know that and they have adjusted their NBA Play-In lines. Backing the favorite is not the best idea.

I prefer the under 229.5 points option for my 2022 NBA Play-In predictions instead. All regular season games finished with fewer points and the Cavs heavily rely on their ability to protect the basket.

Hornets vs. Hawks Betting Pick

  • Hornets to win; +160
  • Hawks to win; -180
  • Hornets (+4.5); -110
  • Hawks (-4.5); -110
  • Over 238.5; -110
  • Under 238.5; -110

The NBA Play-In odds for the second clash show a different picture. The basketball betting sites expect a closer game between Atlanta and Charlotte. It should be a wild game, even if the home side is a slight favorite.

The Hawks will be disappointed with their position after reaching the Eastern Conference Final last season. They seemed to be weaker in 2022, but let’s not forget that Atlanta still has Trae Young.

The Hawks have the second-highest offensive rating in the NBA thanks to the point guard. The main issues are on the end of the floor and the same can be said about Charlotte.

The Hornets score a lot of points, but they can’t protect their own basket well. It should be a wild shootout when the two sides meet. I believe that the Hawks are equipped better to win such a game, especially if you add Gordon Hayward’s injury.

I prefer to back the Hawks in my 2021-22 NBA Play-In predictions and I expect them to cover the spread rather comfortably.

Eastern Conference Play-In Prediction

I obviously expect to see the Nets as the 7th seed in the East and an additional game between the Cavs and the Hawks for the 8th seed. It’s going to be a clash of style with the defensive-minded Cleveland hoping to limit the explosive Atlanta offense.

It could go either way, but I prefer the Cavaliers. They should be able to slow down the tempo, and cause a lot of trouble in the paint. It’s a close call, but my final prediction is that the Nets and the Cavaliers will reach the playoffs.

NBA Western Conference Play-Ins Preview with Odds

The situation in the West is muddier. The Clippers and the Timberwolves will fight for the 7th seed, while the Spurs and the Pelicans will be desperate to extend their season for at least another few days.

Here are the latest NBA 2022 Play-In odds for the West and my betting picks.

Clippers vs. Timberwolves Betting Pick

  • Clippers to win; +120
  • Timberwolves to win; -140
  • Clippers (+2.5); -110
  • Timberwolves (-2.5); -110
  • Over 230.5; -115
  • Under 230.5; -105

The Los Angeles Clippers deserve enormous credit for their performance in the 2021-22 NBA regular season. The team has been plagued with injuries, with stars Kawhi Leonard and Paul George absent for most of the year.

The latter has been back for a while and he immediately improved the team. The likes of Marcus Morris, Norman Powell, and Nicolas Batum should be available for the game against the Timberwolves too.

Another reason to be optimistic is that the Clippers ended the regular season with five consecutive wins, including a demolition job against OKC on the last day of the campaign.

The Clippers feel great and will be optimistic for the upcoming game. On the other hand, they will face an impressive Timberwolves team.

Minnesota had a successful second half of the season after the roster was finally healthy. KAT looks unstoppable at times and he has plenty of support. D’Angelo Russell and Anthony Edwards provide a lot of offense, while Malik Beasley brings a spark from the bench.

It feels like the Timberwolves are finally ready to leave a mark and I expect them to win this Play-In game.

Spurs vs. Pelicans Betting Pick

  • Spurs to win; +175
  • Pelicans to win; -200
  • Spurs (+4.5); -105
  • Pelicans (-4.5); -115
  • Over 229; -115
  • Under 229; -105

The San Antonio Spurs somehow managed to qualify for the Play-In Tournament in the West after the Lakers crumbled in the last few months.

I didn’t expect that and I don’t think it will last. The lack of talent on the Spurs roster is obvious. Dejounte Murray is the most consistent guy and the only player barely averaging over 20 points per game.

It’s hard to find success in the NBA without significant star power and the Spurs offense is just not good enough. On the bright side, a bunch of players deliver double-digit numbers per game and Jakob Poeltl is one of the most underrated rim protectors in the NBA.

The question is whether the Spurs can do enough against the more talented Pelicans. New Orleans struggled badly at the start of the campaign, but CJ McCollum’s arrival changed the course of the season.

The guard is averaging more than 25 points per game and his presence opens a lot more space for Brandon Ingram. I think these two will be instrumental in the clash against the Spurs and I expect them to carry the Pelicans to the next round.

You should never underestimate Greg Popovich when the pressure is high, but I prefer New Orleans in my predictions for the Play-Ins in the NBA Western Conference.

Western Conference Play-In Prediction

I believe that the Timberwolves will earn the right to face the Memphis Grizzlies in the 2022 NBA Playoffs. The big question here is what happens with the other spot in the West.

It should be between the Clippers and the Pelicans. With Paul George back, I prefer LA’s chances. We all saw how good PG can be last year and the team was already solid without his help. It won’t be easy, but I expect to see the Clippers in the next round.

Where to Bet On the 2022 NBA Play-Ins?

I hope that you found my 2022 Play-In Tournament preview helpful. If you want to follow my picks with a wager, I recommend checking the top NBA betting sites. They offer excellent odds for all games, including the postseason.

You can also enjoy large bonuses and all sorts of exciting promotions that can improve your chances of making money from your NBA Play-In predictions.