Welcome to the 2022-23 NBA postseason, everybody! The play-in tournament is back for a third season, and there's already been no shortage of drama to go around before the action even tips off. (Mavs, anybody? Too soon? Yikes.)
Here's all you need to know ahead of this week's play-in and how the playoff field has shaken out.
When: April 11 through 14 — Find the full TV schedule here
How it works: Teams that finish 7th-10th in each conference participate in the play-in tournament, where two of the four participants in each conference advance to the first round.
Let's take a look at Game 1 results in the Eastern Conference...
Game result: Hawks won! ATL 116, MIA 105
What it all means: The Hawks secured No. 7 seed in NBA playoffs to play the Celtics. As the loser, the Heat will play the Bulls (who won vs. Raptors) as they both compete for a second opportunity to secure the No. 8 seed.
Game result: The Bulls won! CHI 109, TOR 105
What it all means: The Bulls move on to play a second game against the Heat (who lost vs. Hawks) Heat vs. Hawks, and the loser is eliminated. Donezo. Kaput. Season over.
Now, onto Game 1 results of the Western Conference...
Game result: Lakers won in OT! LAL 108, MIN 102
What it all means: The Lakers secured the No. 7 seed in NBA playoffs to play the Grizzlies. The Timberwolves will go on to play the No. 10 Thunder, who won their first play-in matchup against the No. 9 Pelicans.
Game result: Thunder won! OKC 123, NO 118
What it all means: The Thunder will play the Timberwolves, who lost their first play-in game against the Lakers, for a second opportunity to secure the No. 8 seed.
How to watch: Friday, April 14 at 7 p.m. ET — TNT
What's on the line: The winner will go on to play the Eastern Conference's No. 1 seed — the Milwaukee Bucks.
Who's expected to win? The Heat are favored to advance to the first round of the playoffs, with moneyline odds (AKA odds to win) at -210. That means it would take a $210 wager on the Heat in order to make a $100 profit with a win. Less risk, less reward!
The Bulls' moneyline odds are at +176, meaning a $100 wager on CHI would win you $176 in profit if they pull out a W. Since the Bulls are considered underdogs (projected to lose), the sportsbooks award you with more profits if they pull it off.
How to watch: Friday, April 14 at 9:30 p.m. ET — ESPN
What's on the line: The winner will go on to play the Western Conference's No. 1 seed — the Denver Nuggets.
Who's expected to win? The Timberwolves are the odds favorite to win the game at -220, meaning it would take a $220 wager on them to win in order to make $100 profit with a win. The Thunder are underdogs at +184, meaning a $100 bet on OKC to win would make you $184 in profit if they pull out a W.
When: April 15 through June 9, at minimum.
Format: All rounds are a best-of-seven.
Who's expected to win each series? I put a cute lil' asterisk next to teams that are projected to win each series.
No. 1 Milwaukee Bucks vs. No. 8 seed (MIA or CHI)
No. 2 Boston Celtics* vs. No. 7 Atlanta Hawks
No. 3 Philadelphia 76ers* vs. Brooklyn Nets
No. 4 Cleveland Cavaliers* vs. No. 5 New York Knicks
No. 1: Denver Nuggets vs. No. 8 seed (MIN or OKC)
No. 2 Memphis Grizzlies* vs. No. 7 Los Angeles Lakers
No. 3 Sacramento Kings vs. No. 6 Golden State Warriors*
No. 4 Phoenix Suns* vs. No. 5 LA Clippers
Ahead of the play-in tournament, the Milwaukee Bucks are the odds-favorite to be crowned NBA Champions 🔥 at +275 (A $100 bet wins $275 profit, plus your $100 back!). They're closely followed by the Celtics (+350) and Suns (+500).