NBA Play-In Tournament Almost Set


The NBA play-in tournament is just about set in each conference. In the East, the bottom five teams in the conference have already been eliminated and Chicago and Atlanta have clinched spots in the play-in tournament. As it stands heading into tonight’s NBA action, Indiana and Philadelphia own the No. 7 and No. 8 spots in the East. 

That could all change though since three games separate third-place Cleveland from eighth place Indiana. The Cavs (46-31), Orlando (45-31), New York (44-31), and Miami currently hold third through sixth place in the Eastern Conference. Teams finishing in the Top 6 avoid the play-in tournament. 

NBA Play-In Tournament Almost Set
Current Eastern Conference standings

In the Western Conference, there is even more potential for movement before the end of the regular season on April 14. The Houston Rockets, currently 11th in the West, have not yet been eliminated from the play-in tournament. Houston is now three games behind 10th-place Golden State. Only four games separate fifth-place Dallas from the Warriors.

How the Play-In Tournament Works

In the pandemic season in 2020, the NBA approved the first-ever play-in game. If the ninth seed in either conference was within four games of the eighth seed, the two teams would play each other to see which team would qualify for the playoffs. If the No. 8 seed won the game, it would make the postseason. If the No. 9 seed won, the two teams would play again. The No. 9 seed could only advance by beating the No. 8 seed twice.

The current play-in tournament system is similar but includes teams No. 7 through No. 10 in each conference. At the end of the regular season, the seventh-place team plays the eighth-place team. The winner is automatically the No. 7 seed in the playoffs. The loser faces the winner of the game between the ninth-place and tenth-place teams.

NBA Play-In Tournament Almost Set
The play-in tournament race in the West is interesting.

No. 9 hosts No. 10 with the loser eliminated from the postseason. The winner then plays at the home of the No.7-No. 8 loser. The winner of that game becomes the No. 8 seed in its conference playoffs. 

Essentially, a team that finishes seventh or eighth in its conference must win one play-in tournament game to qualify for the playoffs. A team that finishes ninth or tenth must win two games to make the postseason.

Back-to-Back at the Top of the Leaderboard

There’s no play-in tournament at the top of the Sports Hub daily leaderboard. If there was, Sas Insider would be the winner. After a stellar day yesterday, the Insider followed it up with another outstanding performance to take the top spot again. Once again, Sas Insider owns the top spot on just about every leaderboard we have here at Sports Hub.

NBA Play-In Tournament Almost Set
Sas Insider is on a mission!

Three-day leaderboard? 38-19, $1911 in profits. Check. Seven-day leaderboard? 14-day? Check and check. Sas Insider is on a rip-roaring tear through the sports betting world and if you were smart you’d be checking all their picks in Sports Hub’s members area every day. Not a member? Not a problem. Join now for free and ride elite handicappers like Sas Insider to piles of wins!

Here’s a look at yesterday’s action at the top of the leaderboard.

  • Follow up: After topping the board yesterday, Sas Insider did it again. Armed with a wealth of experience and information, Sas Insider went 12-6 on 18 picks and collected $597 in profits to remain at the top of our daily leaderboard. The Insider is still No. 1 on the 3-day, 7-day, 14-day, and 30-day leaderboards. If you had tailed the Insider’s picks for the last 30 days, you’d be up $5109!
  • Knup again: Knup Sports returns to the Top 5 with a strong 13-8 performance yesterday. With $513 added to the bankroll yesterday, Knup Sports is now up $907 over the last seven days.
  • The Bookie goes 4-0: The Bookie periodically shows up with great days. Yesterday was one of them. The Bookie went 4-0 on three MLB picks and a classic NBA prediction, taking the Magic +4 against the Pelicans. 
  • Sports Hub experts round out Top 5: Jimmy Liu and Robert Jones rounded out yesterday’s Top 5. Both Sports Hub exclusive cappers went 3-0 and took home $300. Robert hit three NBA picks. Jimmy nailed two NBA picks and one in MLB. Both cappers have picks for today’s action in the system. You’ll have to visit the members’ area to see what picks are available.

Everybody Was Kung Fu Fighting

Well, it wasn’t actually, kung fu fighting, but a huge brawl broke out right at the start of an NHL game last night. No fighting in Buffalo, but the Bills did make a trade with the Houston Texans. 

The Oklahoma City Thunder found themselves on the wrong end of a whoopin’ last night in Boston and Yankees slugger Aaron Judge won his fight with the baseball last night. 

Read on to see what’s trending in sports.

  • Big NFL trade: The Bills traded WR Stefon Diggs to Houston. Buffalo receives a second-round pick in the 2025 draft as compensation.
  • NHL Fight Night: Rangers & Devils fans went to a hockey game and Boxing Night in New York broke out. As soon as the puck dropped last night all 10 skaters dropped the gloves and got after it. When it was all said and done, eight players – four from each team – received game misconducts and were ejected. The Rangers went on to win 4-3.
  • Celtics rout Thunder: Could it have been an NBA Finals preview? Maybe. Boston pounded Oklahoma City last night, 135-100, behind 27 points from Kristaps Porzingis. Neither the Celtics nor the Thunder will be anywhere near the play-in tournament. Both teams have clinched playoff berths already.
  • Judge hits first homer: Yankees slugger Aaron Judge hit his first home run of the 2024 season last night and he also gave New York the winning runs on a two-run double in the top of the 11th inning as the Yankees beat Arizona 6-5. 

NBA Games Tonight Affect Play-In Tournament

Seven of the ten NBA teams playing tonight will have their play-in tournament hopes affected by the results. TNT will broadcast a doubleheader and both games will some influence on the play-in tournaments in both the Eastern and Western Conferences.

Here’s what is on tap tonight.

  1. Valero Texas Open: It’s one of the oldest PGA events on the tour. The Valero Texas Open begins today at TPC San Antonio. World-ranked No. 2 Rory McIlroy is the +900 favorite. Ludvig Aberg is next on the board at +1200.
  2. ATP & WTA Tours: First round play continues on the ATP Tour today in the Millenium Estoril Open. The first round continues in the Fayiz Sarofim & Co. US Men’s Clay Court Championships, and the Grand Prix Hassan II in Marrakesh. The women continue in their three separate WTA Tour events. It’s second round play in the Charleston Open, the Copa Colsanitas, and the Open Internacional Femini Solgirones.
  3. TNT doubleheader: The Kings will play the Knicks at Madison Square Garden at 7:30 p.m. ET in the first game of the doubleheader. Denver plays the Clippers at Arena in the second game. Tip-off is at 10:00 p.m. ET. Tonight’s games will surely impact the NBA’s play-in tournament. 
  1. NHL: After last night’s fight night, the NHL has nine games on tap tonight. St. Louis (40-31-4) is at Nashville (43-28-4) as the two teams battle for fourth place in the Central Division. The game will be broadcast by ESPN+ and Hulu.
  2. NIT championship game: Indiana State is a 3.5-point favorite against Seton Hall tonight in the NIT final. The Sycamores average 84.9 points per game. Seton Hall has held its NIT opponents to just 66.3 points per game. It should be a good one tonight at Madison Square Garden.
  3. Premier League again: How about some Premier League action on a Thursday? Okay. Liverpool faces Sheffield United and Chelsea hosts Manchester United. Granada plays Valencia in a La Liga match and there is a ton of South American soccer today.
  4. MLB: There are only six games on the MLB schedule today. The Yankees and Tigers start it all off at 12:10 p.m. ET. The White Sox and Royals finish it at 7:40 p.m. ET. Check out any MLB F5 bets for today’s action. 

Most NBA teams have five or six games remaining. The rest of the season will determine which teams are in the play-in tournament. You can watch the TNT doubleheader tonight. Both games will impact the play-in tournament in the respective conferences. 

You can bet on all the NBA games as well as the rest of the sports schedule tonight. The betting boards will be full tonight. For the best picks in the industry, visit the Sports Hub members area and get on the path to more wins. If you’re not a member, click that orange button at the top of this page to get started. It won’t cost you anything but a few minutes of your time and the rewards will be plenty!