The NBA In-Season Tournament field is down to a pair of recent former champions and two upstarts, making for an intriguing final four field set to take the court in Las Vegas beginning Thursday afternoon.
Milwaukee, considered one of the favorites to hoist the inaugural NBA Cup before the event began in early November, will face Central Division rival Indiana in the first semfinal. Both Eastern Conference teams have won all five of their games in this event.
The Lakers will take on the Pelicans in the night’s second semifinal.
Read more: NBA In-Season Tournament semifinal odds and predictions
NBA In-Season Tournament championship odds
The Bucks were in the +750 to +900 range to win it all before tournament action began last month and they were close to even money to win East Group B. Currently, they’re the favorite to become the first team to hoist the cup, listed at
The Pacers will pay out at least four times your investment if you’re willing to back the in-season tournament’s top remaining longshot at
and they come through.
The Western Conference’s semifinal reps are lumped a little closer. The Lakers are listed at
after surviving the Suns in a game that came down to the wire, while numbers as high as were available on the Pelicans.
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NBA In-Season Tournament MVP odds: Bucks duo tops list of candidates
Damian Lillard (
) and Giannis Antetokounmpo ( ) are among the top choices to earn NBA In-season Tournament MVP honors over at FanDuel. L.A.’s LeBron James ( ) and New Orleans’ Brandon Ingram ( ) are right there with Antetokounmpo, but the popular site is of the belief that it will be Dame Time on the Las Vegas strip as the first week in December concludes.
Antetokounmpo has averaged 32.5 points, 9.5 rebounds and 10 assists over his first two games this month, so he might actually be the better pick given he’s putting up Nikola Jokic numbers. The “Greek Freak” has 10 assists in each of the last two games, a season-best, and has notched double-digit helpers in consecutive outings for the first time since March 2021.
James and Ingram have been the primary facilitators for their teams as well, so depending on who survives the semifinal showdown and how they fare in that game, both have a great chance to earn MVP honors if the Bucks are indeed knocked off.
Pacers point guard Tyrese Haliburton, the league leader in assists (11.9), has been good enough that he deserves MVP love even if the Pacers don’t end up in the final. While unlikely, consider that his odds at FanDuel (
) rank fifth despite his team being such a heavy underdog to get past the Bucks and Western bracket winner.
Haliburton joined Michael Jordan and LeBron James as the only players in league history ever to average 25 points and 10 assists while shooting over 50 percent from the field and over 40 percent from 3-point range over the course of an entire month in November. He helped knock off the favored Celtics by overcoming a slow start and producing his first career triple-double (26 points, 10 rebounds, 13 assists), finishing without a single turnover.
L.A.’s Anthony Davis (
), and New Orleans’ Zion Williamson ( ) and CJ McCollum ( ) round out the top eight and are the most realistic remaining candidates. Of the three, Williamson is probably the best value choice since he’s capable of taking over as the revelation of the tournament if he can lift the Pelicans to a pair of upset wins by staying healthy and effectively taking advantage of his physical gifts.
NBA In-Season Tournament exacta odds: Milwaukee wins favored among final result props
Exact results featuring the Bucks beating either the Lakers or Pelicans to win the first NBA Cup are priced at +400 at FanDuel. That’s interesting since L.A. is favored to defeat New Orleans, but does illustrate exactly how favored Milwaukee is now that we’ve reached a neutral site in the knockout stage.
The Lakers are +480 to beat the Bucks but +650 to beat to topple the Pacers, who have the worst odds, netting a cool +1000 in projections of wins over either L.A. or New Orleans.
Pick: Bucks over Pelicans +400