- The NBA Play-In Tournament begins on Tuesday, May 18th
- The Los Angeles Lakers are the biggest favorites of all the games, favored by 7 against the Warriors
- Read on to find the format and early previews for each game
With the 2020-21 regular season coming to a conclusion on Sunday night, we now look ahead to the brand-new Play-In Tournament, which begins on Tuesday. In case you weren’t familiar with the format, here it is.
The winner of the #7 vs #8 game in each Conference will head into the NBA playoffs as the #7 seed. The loser of that game will then take on the winner of the #9 vs #10 game. Whoever comes out victorious will lock down #8 in the postseason.
As for the matchups, they go as follows:
- #10 Charlotte Hornets at # 9 Indiana Pacers
- #8 Washington Wizards at #7 Boston Celtics
- #10 San Antonio Spurs at #9 Memphis Grizzlies
- #8 Golden State Warriors at #7 Los Angeles Lakers
Read on to find the opening odds and spreads for each matchup
2021 NBA Play-In Tournament Opening Odds
|Team||Spread at FanDuel||Moneyline|
|Charlotte Hornets||+3.5 (-110)||+136|
|Indiana Pacers||-3.5 (-110)||-162|
|Washington Wizards||+3 (-110)||+130|
|Boston Celtics||-3 (-110)||-154|
|San Antonio Spurs||+3 (-110)||+122|
|Memphis Grizzlies||-3 (-110)||-144|
|Golden State Warriors||+7 (-110)||+245|
|Los Angeles Lakers||-7 (-110)||-300|
All odds as of May 16th
|Promo: Up to $1,050 Free!||Learn More|
|Promo: $1,000 Risk-Free Bet||Learn More|
|Promo: $600 Risk-Free Bet||Learn More|
Hornets, Pacers Face-Off
LaMelo Ball and the Hornets will travel to Indiana to take on the Pacers. Charlotte rolls into this contest in rough shape though, losing five straight games and going just 3-7 in their last 10.
The Hornets were defeated by the Wizards in the season finale and if James Borrego’s team does beat Indy here, they could play Bradley Beal and co. in the next Play-In game if DC loses to the Celtics. A positive sign for Charlotte heading into Tuesday is their two-game winning streak against the Pacers this season. The Hornets are under .500 on the road, however.
Indiana has been dealing with a lot of injuries over the last month but thankfully, the squad has a lot of key players back in time for the Play-In. Domantas Sabonis dropped 25 against the Raptors in the final contest of the campaign after missing the Lakers matchup with knee soreness. Caris LeVert also returned, although he left early with a migraine. He should be available on Tuesday though.
With both teams being relatively even across the board, the spread will likely stay pretty much the same.
Celtics Host Wizards
A depleted Boston team will be hoping to get some key figures back in the lineup vs. Washington. Brad Stevens’ squad has been without Kemba Walker, Marcus Smart, Robert Williams, and Tristan Thompson for a few games, while Jayson Tatum sat out the final contest of the season. Jaylen Brown is out for the rest of the year as well.
The Celtics lost to the Knicks on Sunday by a score of 96-92, but it was actually an impressive showing considering none of their starters were available. Jabari Parker had a team-high 18 points off the bench, while Romeo Langford and Tremont Waters combined for 31 in the Boston backcourt.
DC is on a two-game winning streak ahead of this Celtics matchup, with Bradley Beal making his return on Sunday after missing three contests due to a hamstring injury. He collected 25 points, while Russell Westbrook had 23. Washington is basically at full strength too which is a huge positive as they look to expose a vulnerable Boston defense in this one.
Our 17 wins since April 7 are the most in the NBA.
Next up: Play-In at Boston. pic.twitter.com/F8ZMdnHJ8Z
— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) May 16, 2021
Depending on the Celtics’ health situation, the spread may change slightly.
Spurs Meet the Grizzlies
It’s a Southwest Division showdown on Wednesday with San Antonio visiting Ja Morant and Memphis. The Spurs are on a four-game losing skid, but they have played some tough teams in the Nets, Knicks, and Suns on two occasions.
— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) May 16, 2021
Their last defeat to Phoenix was slightly concerning, though. Monty Williams rested both Chris Paul and Devin Booker yet Gregg Popovich’s squad still lost. San Antonio is also just 1-2 against the Grizzlies this season.
Steph Curry ended any hope at Memphis securing the No. 8 seed in the West, sinking 46 points in a crucial win on Sunday. The Grizzlies will now have a tougher road getting to the playoffs, but their recent success versus San Antonio should give them confidence.
Final Numbers 📊
JV: 29 points 16 reb
DB: 18 points 6 a
Ja: 16 points 9 a 3 reb
Trip: 14 points 7 reb 3 stl 2 blks
SLOMO: 10 points 5 reb 4 a
Bane: 8 points
Melt: 4 points #GrzNxtGen
— Memphis Grizzlies (@memgrizz) May 16, 2021
Memphis is 18-18 at home while the Spurs are 19-17 on the road. Taylor Jenkins’ team is a slim 3-point favorite, which is accurate. This should be a close game.
Marquee Matchup Between Warriors and Lakers
We were all hoping for it and now it’s a reality. The Warriors will play the Lakers as Curry faces off against LeBron and AD. LA did everything imaginable to avoid the Play-In, ending the season on a five-game winning streak. But, the Blazers were too hot, blowing out Denver on Sunday en route to securing sixth place in the West.
The Lakers have all their stars back in action and they seem to be catching fire at the perfect time. The route to winning another title is going to be tough, but if there’s a team capable of it, it’s Los Angeles.
Golden State also heads into Wednesday in great shape, winning six straight contests to conclude their campaign. Steph has been red-hot, winning the scoring title on the final day of the regular season with 31.8 points per game. But, he will have a daunting task ahead in the Lakers.
WE GOT A LAKERS VS. WARRIORS PLAY-IN GAME 🤯
Another chapter in the LeBron-Steph rivalry pic.twitter.com/hpA2VtU5RJ
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) May 17, 2021
LA has outscored the Dubs by 56 points across their last two meetings and honestly, there shouldn’t be any issues for Frank Vogel’s team here. The only serious threat is Curry and unfortunately, he can’t do it all.
Expect the spread to stay heavily in favor of the Lakers.