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2022 NBA Play-In Tournament Betting Preview

By Carlos Chacon

The 2021-22 NBA regular season is in the books and the postseason is here. It’s the second year of the play-in tournament and the matchups Tuesday are East No. 8 Cleveland at No. 7 Brooklyn and West No. 8 Los Angeles Clippers at No. 7 Minnesota, both on TNT. The Wednesday games are East No. 10 Charlotte at No. 9 Atlanta and West No. 10 San Antonio at No. 9 New Orleans. Those are both on ESPN. We’ll have individual game previews of all four.

Remember, the winner of the 7 vs. 8 games becomes the No.7 seed in their conference and faces the No. 2 seed. Then, the loser of the 7-8 matchup will face the winner of the 9-10 matchup with the eighth seed on the line and a shot at the top seed in each conference (Miami in the East and Phoenix in the West). The loser of the 9 vs. 10 game sees its season end.

Nitrobetting delivers more exciting previews with eight teams fighting for the last four playoff positions up for grabs. Check out what’s in store for basketball fans and bettors down below.

2022 NBA Play-In Tournament Betting Preview

The Play-In headline: Brooklyn Nets

With a stacked lineup and Kyrie Irving now able to unleash his skills at home games, the franchise can maximize its lineup once the Play-In Tournament begins. The side can end their Play-In run early with a win over the Cavs. However, if things don’t go their way the first time, there’s still another shot at getting the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. If Brooklyn loses its first game, the team will face the winners of the Atlanta Hawks vs. Charlotte Hornets matchup.

The Duo of Durant and Irving are slated to take over scoring duties. Ben Simmons could return from a back injury for his first game of the season in the playoffs. Shooting concerns for the Australian player are still looming. But, if the two-time All-Defensive selection can adapt to the Nets’ system and return to form, he could offer some much-needed safeguarding against the top guns in the playoffs.

There are no easy routes for the Nets in the playoffs. The Nets are up for a testing opening-round matchup regardless of how the Play-In Tournament pans out. If they get the No. 7 seed, the Nets have to take on defending champions Milwaukee Bucks, while a longer Play-In Tournament run could have them set against the best team in the Eastern Conference, the Miami Heat.

Even though the Nets aren’t even assured of making the final playoff field, they are +600 third favorites to win the NBA title. It’s possible that Ben Simmons could play for the first time this season if the Nets do advance out of the play-in tournament. Simmons has been moving more freely on the court and advanced to shooting and 1-on-0 workouts after stops and starts since his trade to the Nets from the Philadelphia 76ers two months ago.

The Nets signed Kessler Edwards to a standard NBA contract Sunday, making him eligible to play in the postseason. The second-round pick from Pepperdine had been on a two-way contract, which meant he couldn’t play beginning next week. The Nets changed that Sunday. The 6-foot-8 forward has played in 47 games, starting 22, and averaged 5.8 points. He has become a regular member of the rotation, playing about 20 minutes per game.

A Los Angeles Clippers surprise

The Clippers had to get the Play-In spot the hard way. They get a shot at extending their 2021/22 season after several weeks of clawing their way back up the ranks. The team finished at the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference. This puts the Clippers against Karl-Anthony Towns and the Minnesota Timberwolves next week.

Los Angeles gets two chances at a playoff spot. They line up against the No. 2 Western Conference seed (Memphis Grizzlies) if they get past the Timberwolves. This is a challenging matchup for the side as they lost all four regular-season games against the Grizzlies. On the other hand, a defeat to the Timberwolves and a win over the New Orleans Pelicans or the San Antonio Spurs draw up a clash against the No. 1 team in the West, the Phoenix Suns. Although this looks like a lopsided game seeing how the Suns performed, it gives the Clippers a sigh of relief knowing that they won two of four games against Phoenix this season.

Paul George played only 31 games this season. For all that, George returns just in time to help his team clinch a playoff spot. Meanwhile, Kawhi Leonard has yet to play this season. The Clippers have not ruled him out for the time being and the former Raptors forward has been doing individual workouts and 3-on-3 basketball. If the team pulls off a strong playoff run, the doors are still open for a Leonard return this season.

An unforgiving playoff route for the New Orleans Pelicans

The Pelicans were quickly ruled out of the playoffs following an underwhelming 3-16 start in the season. Former number one pick Zion Williamson missing the entire season with a foot injury also held back the team. However, the franchise found pace since the All-Star break and secured the Western Conference No. 9 seed for a chance at making the playoffs.

New Orleans found new life after bringing on CJ McCollum, who quickly took over scoring duties and provided Brandon Ingram with much-needed breathing room. Seasoned big man Jonas Valanciunas played a key role in clinching a Play-In Tournament spot after putting up big numbers in his maiden season with the Pelicans.

Their current position demands everything from the squad. Although they are taking on an erratic Spurs team, there’s still plenty of work for the squad. On top of that, the Pelicans have to overcome the Timberwolves or the Clippers for a surefire ticket to the playoffs.

The Lakers Couldn’t Get It Done

Of course, the Lakers didn’t even make the play-in tournament this year despite opening the season as the second favorites to win the NBA title. Coach Frank Vogel is going to be fired perhaps as soon as Monday. Russell Westbrook took some shots at the coach this season, claiming that it’s a “difficult process” to “create some rhythm and some consistency” when one doesn’t know when they’re coming in or out of the game.

“You never know when you’re coming in, you never know when you’re coming out. You never know when you’re playing, you never know… a bunch of things. And I’m speaking for me personally, so it’s a difficult process to be able to figure out and create some rhythm and some consistency where we can actually see what we’re able to do as a team, but those decisions are made by him and his coaching staff, and you’ve got to live with it and move on… No. He hasn’t. But I don’t need him to be clear. He makes whatever decision he makes, and that’s up to him. My job as a professional is to come to work, be in a positive mindset, put my head down and do my work to the best of my ability and be there to encourage my teammates. That’s it.” Westbrook said.

The Lakers probably will try and trade Westbrook this offseason, although good luck finding a taker for that contract.

This is just one of the many sports betting guides that you can read here at NitroBetting news. Stay tuned for more NBA game previews and articles and don’t forget to check out the latest Basketball betting odds on the sportsbook.

*All odds stated are subject to change without prior notice.

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