Battle for the NBA Playoffs Continues Tonight


The results of tonight’s two NBA play-in games will set the field for the 2024 NBA playoffs. In a rematch of last year’s final Eastern Conference play-in, Chicago will travel to Miami to take on the Heat. Last year, of course, Miami defeated the Bulls then went on to an improbable run in the playoffs and advanced all the way to the NBA Finals where they lost to Denver.

The second play-in game tonight will pit Sacramento against New Orleans. The two teams have played five times this season. One of those was in the NBA’s in-season tournament. New Orleans won all five games, including two by double digits. The winner of tonight’s game will face Oklahoma City in the first round of the NBA playoffs.

Tonight’s Winners Advance to the NBA Playoffs

As mentioned, the winner of the Kings-Pelicans game tonight will face No. 1 seed Oklahoma City in the Western Conference playoffs. In the Eastern Conference, the Bulls-Heat winner will face top-seeded Boston in the first round of the playoffs.

Both the Heat and the Pelicans will be shorthanded tonight, playing without their leading scorers. For the Heat, Jimmy Butler went down in Wednesday night’s loss to Philadelphia. Butler suffered a sprained MCL and will not play tonight. It’s possible that Butler could be done for the season even if Miami qualifies for the playoffs.

Battle for the NBA Playoffs Continues Tonight
Jimmy Butler will not play for Miami tonight.

It’s a similar story for the Pelicans. Zion Williamson, who leads New Orleans with 22.9 points per game, shot 17-of-27 and scored 40 points in the Pelicans loss to the Lakers on Tuesday night. Williamson had to leave the game in the fourth quarter with a hamstring injury. He will not play tonight and would likely miss the first round of the playoffs if New Orleans can beat the Kings for a sixth time this season.

Despite the injuries, both the Heat and the Pelicans opened as short favorites for tonight’s games. Miami is still a -2 favorite over Chicago. The line flipped in Sacramento’s favor and the Kings are now a -1.5 road favorite at New Orleans tonight.

Sas Insider Reigns Supreme

If you’re a Sports Hub member, you would be wise to check out what Sas Insider is betting on every day. For the last month, Sas Insider has nailed 56.78 percent of its 500-plus picks. As a result, the Insider is up $5058! Imagine if you had made all of the same bets. 

Battle for the NBA Playoffs Continues Tonight
Sas Insider likes wins!

That’s just the power of Sports Hub’s handicappers. Sas Insider isn’t the only one. There are plenty of others as well and these cappers are the reason why a Sports Hub membership makes complete sense. You want more wins? We’ve got them.

Check out what our top guys did yesterday.

  • More wins: As mentioned, Sas Insider has been killing it for the past month plus. It’s the result of days like yesterday. The Insider hit all five picks – 5-0 – and collected another $500. That makes it $833 for the last seven days and $2527 for the last 14. 
  • Frankie goes to the bank: Frankie the Fan is still kicking it. He went 4-0 yesterday and earned $400. It’s Frankie’s first trip to the Top 5 in a while, but catch him while he’s hot. He’s got picks for both of tonight’s play-in games. 
  • Invest with confidence: The Sports Investors treat sports betting like investing. Last night, they invested well, going 3-0 and winning $385. Sports Investors went big on underdogs last night, hitting on two.
  • Knup is back: Our friends at Knup Sports continue to shine. Yesterday, Knup hit on 6 of 9 picks and added $383 to its bankroll. They hit on 4 of 5 NHL picks. Catch them today. Knup Sports already has 11 picks in the system for today’s games, including both NBA play-in picks.
  • The power of the dog: SWJ Sports only went 4-4 on eight picks last night. But, Scott as SWJ backed some serious underdogs last night and still came ahead $325 to finish in yesterday’s Top 5. He had two NHL underdogs and one MLB run line dog.

NBA Playoffs Coming Soon

After tonight’s two NBA play-in games, the playoffs will be set. Tonight, the No. 8 seeds in each conference will be determined. Then, it’s off to the playoffs, which begin tomorrow. One thing is certain. Injuries will impact this year’s NBA playoffs.

Here’s what’s trending right now.

  • Butler, Williamson out: As mentioned, Jimmy Butler won’t play tonight for Miami. Zion Williamson will not suit up for New Orleans. If either or both teams qualify for the NBA playoffs, it’s likely that both players remain out for an extended period.
  • Old man: Remember Jaromir Jagr? The former Pittsburgh Penguins great played for Kladno in the KHL playoffs this week. Jagr is 52 years old, which makes him the oldest player to be taking regular shifts in professional hockey. He passes Gordie Howe, who was 52 years and 11 days old when he played his final NHL game in 1980. 
Battle for the NBA Playoffs Continues Tonight
Jaromir Jagr plays for Kladno in the KHL.
  • Houston, we have a problem: What’s up with the Astros? They are 6-14 so far this season and have just two wins in their last nine games. Justin Verlander gets his first start of the season tonight in Washington. Maybe he can help turn things around.
  • NHL playoffs: The New York Rangers won the Presidents Trophy and they will start in the first round of the NHL playoffs on Sunday. The New York Islanders will play at Carolina and Toronto is in Boston when the playoffs start tomorrow.

TGIF – Big Friday Betting Board

Bettors have plenty to choose from tonight. Today’s sports schedule is loaded with opportunities in a variety of sports. Baseball, basketball, soccer, and more can be found today. Smart bettors will check out what our Sports Hub handicappers have to offer. Our cappers already have over two dozen picks for tonight’s NBA play-in games. You might want to check those out before you place your own wagers.

Here’s what you could be betting on today.

  1. MLB: All 30 teams are back in action today. There are 15 games on the schedule with an Apple TV+ doubleheader tonight. Texas is at Atlanta at 7:20 p.m. and Arizona and San Francisco will follow at 10:15 p.m.
  2. NBA play-in: Two play-in games tonight will determine the final teams to enter the NBA playoffs. Chicago plays at Miami with tip-off time at 7:00 p.m. The late game is in New Orleans where the Pelicans will host the Sacramento Kings. Tip-off time is 9:30 p.m.
  1. Soccer: There are a handful of top tier matches today. Bundesliga, La Liga, Ligue 1, and Serie A all have at least one match on their schedules. Bettors can find European and South American soccer on today’s schedule.
  2. Tennis: The quarterfinals are underway on the ATP Tour in the BMX Open in Munich, the Barcelona Open, and the Tiriac Open in Bucharest. It’s the same on the WTA Tour where the women are playing the quarterfinals in the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, the Open Capfinances Rouen Metropole in France, and the Oeiras Ladies Open in Portugal.
  3. RBC Heritage: JT Poston shot an 8-under 63 yesterday to take the lead at The RBC Heritage held at Harbour Town Golf Links in Hilton Head, S.C. Round 2 is already underway. Favorite Scottie Scheffler shot a 2-under 69 yesterday.
  4. Corales Puntacana Championship: Wesley Bryan’s 11-under 63 was tops after Round 1 at the Corales Puntacana Championship in the Dominican Republic. Favorite Alex Noren shot a 2-under 70 yesterday.

Get yourself ready for tonight by diving into Sports Hub’s members area. You’ll find all of the best picks in all sports from the best handicappers in the world. Check out our consensus page where you’ll see where the sharps are betting on today’s games. Use Sports Hub to your advantage. That’s why we’re here!