In-Season NBA Tournament Betting 101

We’re going to explain everything you need to know about In-Season NBA Tournament betting. We’ll start by explaining the format and important dates, before analyzing the betting markets.

The inaugural NBA In-Season Tournament will feature all 30 teams. The teams will be competing for new hardware (NBA Cup), while players can also earn cash or awards (MVP and All-Tournament Team).

The goal is to increase basketball fan engagement and interest in the early portion of the regular season.

In-Season NBA Tournament Format

The NBA In-Season Tournament will feature two stages, Group Play and Knockout Rounds. The 30 NBA teams have been split up into six groups of five teams (three from each conference) for Group Play.

Teams will play every team in their group once during Group Play. The team with the best record in each group will advance to the Knockout Rounds. One wild card team from each conference will also advance to the Knockout Rounds. The wild card will be the team with the best record that didn’t win their group.

In total, eight teams will advance to the Knockout Rounds (four from each conference). There will be plenty of excitement spread out for In-Season NBA tournament betting opportunities.

If two teams within the same group have the same record after Group Play, the following tiebreakers will be used in sequential order (ties within a group will be broken before breaking wild card ties):

  • Head-to-head record during Group Play
  • Point differential during Group Play
  • Total points scored during Group Play
  • Regular season record from the 2022-23 NBA season
  • Random Draw

Group Breakdowns – Elimination, Seeding & Bracket Info

The Knockout Rounds are single-elimination and the remaining four teams from each conference will be seeded based on results from Group Play for the Quarterfinals. The three Group winners will be seeded #1-#3 based on their Group Play records. If teams are tied with the same record, the tiebreakers above will be used to determine seeding. The #4 seed in each conference will be the wild card team.

The #1 seed will host the #4 seed and the #2 seed will host the #3 seed in the Quarterfinals.

The Semifinals and Championship will be hosted on a neutral court (T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas). The Semifinals will feature the two remaining teams from each conference playing against each other. The Championship will feature the winner of the Western Conference and Eastern Conference brackets.

NBA In-Season Tournament Betting bracket example
NBA In-Season Tournament Betting will heat up in Vegas

All of the NBA In-Season Tournament games will count towards the regular season standings and stats except for the Championship. That means the two finalists will play an extra game during the season.

In-Season NBA Tournament Betting Dates

In-Season NBA Tournament betting has already opened up with futures markets available. The tourney is scheduled to start on Friday, November 3rd, 2023 and conclude on Saturday, December 9th, 2023.

Group Play will take place during November. Tuesdays and Fridays in November are “Tournament Nights” and the only NBA games on those days will be Group Play games. There will be Group Play games every Tuesday and Friday in November except for Election Day (Tuesday, November 7th, 2023).

Every NBA team will play four Group Play games (two at home and two on the road) during November. The Knockout Rounds (QFs, SFs and Championship) will take place during December.

Here’s a breakdown of the important In-Season NBA Tournament dates to mark on your calendar:

  • Group Play: November 3rd – November 28th, 2023
  • Quarterfinals: December 4th – December 5th, 2023
  • Semifinals: December 7th, 2023
  • Championship: December 9th, 2023

In-Season NBA Tournament Prizes and Awards

The winner of the In-Season NBA Tournament will be awarded with the NBA Cup.

Players will also have the opportunity to earn some extra cash and win awards. After the Championship, the NBA will announce the MVP of the In-Season Tournament and an All-Tournament Team. Players will also earn cash prizes if their team makes it to the Knockout Rounds.

Here’s a breakdown of the cash prizes that players will be able to earn:

  • $50,000 for every player on a team that loses in the Quarterfinals.
  • $100,000 for every player on a team that loses in the Semifinals.
  • $200,000 for every player on the team that loses the Championship.
  • $500,000 for every player on the team that wins the Championship.

I’m sure there are lots of players at the end of a team’s rotation that would be excited to earn an extra $500,000 this season, but I’m not sure the prize pool will entice most superstars to care too much. The NBA will try to tap into the emotion and buzz the NCAA Tournament creates.

With the continuous evolution of the gaming industry, there’s bound to be interesting and creative In-Season NBA Tournament betting opportunities. We have an entire article that focused on NBA betting strategies, go learn more about betting basketball.

All 30 teams will compete in the inaugural NBA In-Season Tournament
All 30 teams will compete in the inaugural NBA In-Season Tournament

How to Watch the NBA In-Season Tournament

The NBA will announce the In-Season Tournament broadcast schedule in August.

However, we already know that 14 Group Play games will be televised nationally (two games for each Tournament Night). All seven of the Knockout Round games will be televised nationally as well.

If you’re a cord cutter, NBA League Pass will air all of the games. Some of the games can be watched on other streaming services, but availability will vary based on your location (blackout restrictions).

In-Season NBA Tournament Betting – Group Play Draw Results

Before jumping into the Group Play draw results, I want to explain how the draw worked. Teams from each conference were put into five pots of three teams using the 2022-23 NBA standings. 

Here’s the breakdown of how teams were split into the five different pots:

  • Pot #1: Teams #1-#3 in the conference standings after the regular season
  • Pot #2: Teams #4-#6 in the conference standings after the regular season
  • Pot #3: Teams #7-#9 in the conference standings after the regular season
  • Pot #4: Teams #10-#12 in the conference standings after the regular season
  • Pot #5: Teams #13-#15 in the conference standings after the regular season

Once split into pots, the NBA randomly drew a team from each pot to form a Group. This helped ensure that the six groups were as evenly matched as possible.

NBA In-Season Tournament Eastern Conference Groups

Here are the NBA In-Season Tournament draw results for the Eastern Conference:

  • Group A: 76ers (1), Cavaliers (2), Hawks (3), Pacers (4) and Pistons (5)
  • Group B: Bucks (1), Knicks (2), Heat (3), Wizards (4) and Hornets (5)
  • Group C: Celtics (1), Raptors (2), Nets (3), Bulls (4) and Magic (5)

NBA In-Season Tournament Western Conference Groups

Here are the NBA In-Season Tournament draw results for the Western Conference:

  • Group A: Grizzlies (1), Suns (2), Lakers (3), Jazz (4) and Trail Blazers (5)
  • Group B: Nuggets (1), Clippers (2), Pelicans (3), Mavericks (4) and Rockets (5)
  • Group C: Kings (1), Warriors (2), Timberwolves (3), Thunder (4) and Spurs (5)

*The number in brackets is the pot number the team was drawn from.

In-Season NBA Tournament banner
In-Season NBA Tournament betting tips and strategies

In-Season NBA Tournament Betting Tips

It’s too early to start making In-Season NBA Tournament predictions. Teams are still finalizing rosters and there’s lots of chatter that there could still be some big trades before the regular season starts.

With this being the first NBA In-Season Tournament, there are a lot of unknowns. If research for this new tournament becomes too much, all you need to do is sign up for a free membership at Sports Hub. Our handicappers will help boost your betting bankroll.

Will teams be motivated to win the NBA Cup? Will teams treat tournament games differently than normal regular season games? There are still a lot of questions to be answered.

Here are some early tips for In-Season NBA Tournament betting that should be considered:

  1. Motivation: I don’t expect the best teams to have extra motivation, as they’ll be focused on the playoffs. They’ll be treating the tourney games like any other regular season game. However, I expect star players on teams that will likely miss the NBA playoffs to have added motivation. This is a great chance for players to show out on nationally televised games and grow their fanbases.
  1. Watch the Start of the Season: In-Season NBA Tournament betting lines have been released, but there’s no rush to place your wagers. The NBA regular season starts on October 24th 2023, which means NBA handicappers can analyze how teams start out of the gate before betting. A number of teams have made a lot of changes this offseason and it’ll be important to see how those teams mesh to begin the regular season before the tournament gets underway.
  1. Head-to-Head Records: We already know what teams will be playing in each group. Now is a good time to look back at recent head-to-head records between teams in the same group. For example, the 76ers went 12-2 during the 2022-23 regular season against teams in their group and they had a winning record against all four teams they’ll play against in Group Play.

In-Season NBA Tournament Betting Odds

Now that you understand the format, dates, prizes and more, it’s time to analyze the 2023 In-Season NBA Tournament betting odds. There are Championship futures and Group winner futures currently available.

Here are the In-Season NBA Tournament betting odds for all 30 teams:

*Group winner odds are listed first and odds to win the Championship are in brackets.

East Group A Winner Odds:

Philadelphia 76ers +195 (+1400)

Cleveland Cavaliers +220 (+1300)

Atlanta Hawks +320 (+2000)

Indiana Pacers +600 (+3500)

Detroit Pistons +900 (+7500)

East Group B Winner Odds:

Milwaukee Bucks +155 (+1000)

Miami Heat +205 (+1500)

New York Knicks +350 (+2200)

Charlotte Hornets +900 (+5500)

Washington Wizards +1100 (+7500)

East Group C Winner Odds:

Boston Celtics -105 (+700)

Toronto Raptors +450 (+4000)

Brooklyn Nets +550 (+3500)

Orlando Magic +650 (+3500)

Chicago Bulls +650 (+3500)

West Group A Winner Odds:

Phoenix Suns +135 (+1100)

Los Angeles Lakers +185 (+1300)

Memphis Grizzlies +475 (+2800)

Utah Jazz +850 (+4000)

Portland Trail Blazers +1300 (+7000)

West Group B Winner Odds:

Denver Nuggets +160 (+950)

Dallas Mavericks +300 (+2200)

Los Angeles Clippers +350 (+2500)

New Orleans Pelicans +425 (+2800)

Houston Rockets +1200 (+5000)

West Group C Winner Odds:

Golden State Warriors +160 (+1200)

Sacramento Kings +340 (+2000)

Minnesota Timberwolves +340 (+2200)

Oklahoma City Thunder +380 (+2200)

San Antonio Spurs +1100 (+6000)

*In-Season NBA Tournament betting odds are subject to change

NBA In-Season Tournament Betting Futures – Revolve Around Group Winners

The Celtics, Nuggets, Bucks, Suns and Warriors have the best odds to win the In-Season Tournament.

With the Knockout Rounds being single-elimination, anything can happen. What’ll be most important for Championship winner futures is betting on a team or teams that should win their Group.

If you plan on betting multiple teams to win the Championship, I recommend betting on your top team in the East and West since non-conference teams won’t meet until the Championship. This will give you a chance to have both of your picks in the Championship, guaranteeing you make a profit.

NBA In-Season Tournament Betting FAQ

When is the NBA In-Season Tournament?

The tournament starts on Friday, November 3rd, 2023 with the first “Tournament Night”, which will feature Group Play games. The tournament will end with the Championship on Saturday, December 9th, 2023.

How many teams will participate in the NBA In-Season Tournament?

All 30 NBA teams will compete in Group Play. Fans will have lots of In-Season NBA Tournament betting options with every team in action. The top eight teams advance to the Knockout Rounds.

Where will the In-Season NBA Tournament be played?

The Group Play games and the Quarterfinals will be played in NBA team markets. The Semifinals and Championship will be played on a neutral court at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

What rewards can be won during the In-Season Tournament?

The winning team will win the NBA Cup. There’s also a cash prize pool that’ll be paid out to teams that make it to the Knockout Rounds, with each player on the team receiving the same amount. The biggest cash prize is $500,000 to each player on the team that wins the NBA In-Season Tournament. Look for NBA betting sites to release In-Season NBA Tournament betting odds for the MVP market.

Where can I watch the NBA In-Season Tournament?

A total of 21 games (14 Group Play games and all seven Knockout Round games) will be televised nationally. Fans can also watch the action on NBA League Pass or other streaming services. Our NBA handicappers will provide In-Season NBA Tournament betting picks throughout the tourney, so you’ll not only be able to watch all of the games, but you’ll also make money betting on the action.

About the Author
Joe Berra
Joe Berra
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Joe takes care of the bits and pieces that sometimes slip through the cracks of the sports world. Efficiency and consistency is what makes different. JB helps keep Sports Hub’s content fresh and exciting, managing its many authors. From the New York area, Joe knew he had a knack for sports betting when his uncle was always asking him which side he was on as a young boy. His meticulous approach to the numbers formed his career path as a professional handicapper. Joe is sometimes called Jimmy Bagpipes, JB or Mr. B.