NBA In-Season Tournament 2023: Bracket, Quarterfinals Schedule, Betting Odds

Annie Nader
Annie Nader@ANader33

The group-play stage of the inaugural NBA In-Season Tournament has concluded. Eight teams remain in competition for the NBA Cup, with each squad vying for the $500,000 (per player) prize money.

The rest of the tournament will consist of sudden-death, bracket-style games, with the quarterfinals kicking off next Monday. Here's a look at the quarterfinal matchups as well as betting odds for both the quarterfinals and the tourney as a whole.

NBA In-Season Tournament Quarterfinals: Date, Time, and Spread

Boston Celtics at Indiana Pacers

  • Date: Monday, December 4th
  • Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
  • Spread: Celtics -5.0 (-110)

New Orleans Pelicans at Sacramento Kings

  • Date: Monday, December 4th
  • Time: 10:00 p.m. ET
  • Spread: Kings -5.0 (-110)

New York Knicks at Milwaukee Bucks

  • Date: Tuesday, December 5th
  • Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
  • Spread: Bucks -6.0 (-110)

Phoenix Suns at Los Angeles Lakers

  • Date: Tuesday, December 5th
  • Time: 10:00 p.m. ET
  • Spread: Lakers -2.0 (-106)

NBA In-Season Tournament Betting Odds

The quarterfinal spreads are all fairly close, but there are some clear favorites to win it all and take home the Cup. Here's how the In-Season Tournament odds shake out for each team.

NBA In-Season Tournament Odds
Boston Celtics+310
Milwaukee Bucks+350
Sacramento Kings+490
Los Angeles Lakers+550
Phoenix Suns+600
New Orleans Pelicans+1200
Indiana Pacers+1400
View Full Table

NBA In-Season Tournament Analysis

The Boston Celtics are currently the betting favorite to win both the In-Season Tournament (+310) and the NBA Championship (+370). If, at this moment in time, I'm looking to put my faith in a Boston futures bet, it has to be the In-Season Tourney, especially given how close their odds are for the respective achievements. A trio of wins next week will be much easier to come by than the latter, and they have the easiest quarterfinal matchup.

The Celtics played the Indiana Pacers earlier this season and completely blew them out of the water, with the game ending in a 155-104 Boston victory. Indiana went 4-0 in the group-play games, but outside of that, they have struggled to a 5-7 record. They play at a league-high pace and put up a massive 127.6 points per game (most), but the Celtics' third-best defensive rating helped silence this young and scrappy Indiana team in their last matchup.

Plus, Indiana's defense is nonexistent. They have the second-worst defensive rating and allow more points than any other team in the league -- this shouldn't fare well against Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and company. Boston's league-best record (14-4) and seemingly cushy quarterfinal matchup make them the rightful favorite to take home the NBA Cup.

And not for nothing -- the Celtics seem keen on winning this thing. In last night's blowout victory against the Chicago Bulls, Boston coach Joe Mazzulla kept his starters on the floor until the end of the game despite their 30-plus point lead. He also employed Hack-a-Drummond to run the score up for point differential purposes, which was necessary for Boston to clinch placement in the Knockout Rounds. The optics on this were -- fairly so -- questioned, but it proves that the Celtics are treating the In-Season Tourney with reverence, which never hurts when siding with a squad.

The Sacramento Kings are the favorites in the Western Conference. They played back-to-back games against the New Orleans Pelicans last week and lost both of them, including a whopping 36-point defeat. C.J. McCollum (lung) will likely be back for New Orleans after missing a handful of games, which could give the Pelicans even more momentum in this matchup.

With that being said, De'Aaron Fox is one of the most threatening players who will suit up in the Knockout Rounds, and this Kings team is familiar with closing out big games. While the Kings' recent struggles against New Orleans could pose a threat, I do think their path is clearer than the path for any other Western Conference team.

The Phoenix Suns-Los Angeles Lakers matchup is a bit more of a toss-up -- these teams have played each other twice this year and both games were decided by five or fewer points. Phoenix's health is all too shaky -- not enough to count them out, but enough to make me hesitant.

I don't see a whole ton of value in the Milwaukee Bucks' +350 odds. While they are a great team and the Giannis Antetokounmpo-Damian Lillard connection is starting to flourish, the Bucks have a hard path to the championship game, which makes their short odds fairly unappealing in my eyes. The Bucks will go up against the New York Knicks in the quarters, and New York is a better team than their 10-7 record indicates.

The Knicks have the fifth-best defensive rating in the league, while Milwaukee has the 10th-worst. The Bucks have been dominant at home, going 8-1 at Fiserv Forum, but even if they get past the Knicks, a potential semifinal matchup against the Celtics could be tough to get through -- although the injury status of Kristaps Porzingis may help level things.

New York has the longest odds (+1700) to win the tournament, but they could be worth a look as a sleeper pick. If they manage to get past Milwaukee, they will go up against either a Pacers team that struggles to win games against tough defenses or the Celtics, who the Knicks have a decent history against. Last season, the Knicks went 3-1 against Boston, and the Celtics usually have a hard time containing Julius Randle.

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