NBA: In-season tournament betting tips & things to consider

News - Basketball
NBA: In-season tournament betting tips/ things to consider

The NBA announced the launch of the inaugural in-season tournament on Saturday. The league gave the in-season tournament the green light to debut this year. The tournament begins on November 3 and will end on December 9, the date of the championship game which will be held in Las Vegas. NBA commissioner Adam Silver spoke about the reasoning behind the new tournament at NBA Con.

“This is a concept that has been rumbling around the league office for about 15 years,” Silver said. “It is not a new concept in sports. For those who follow particularly international soccer, it is a long tradition of having in-season tournaments, mid-season tournaments, and different kinds of cups throughout the year. We thought what a perfect opportunity for a global league like the NBA and it is a perfect fit for our game.”

Quick Take

  • NBA Announced details for inaugural in-season tournament
  • In-season tournament groups released
  • Two important things to think about ahead of the tournament

In-season tournament Important details

One of the most important things to remember about the tournament is these are regular season games. Every in-season tournament game will affect teams’ regular season records except the championship game on December 9. As a result, these games will impact playoff seeding and the play-in tournament. 

The NBA announced awards for the tournament. The league chose to introduce an MVP award and All-Tournament Team, which are based on how players perform in the group stage and knockout rounds of the tournament. 

The Groups were released

West A: Memphis Grizzlies, Phoenix Suns, Los Angeles Lakers, Utah Jazz, Portland Trail BlazersEast A: Philadelphia 76ers, Cleveland Cavaliers, Atlanta Hawks, Indiana Pacers, Detroit Pistons
West B: Denver Nuggets, Los Angeles Clippers, New Orleans Pelicans, Dallas Mavericks, Houston RocketsEast B: Milwaukee Bucks, New York Knicks, Miami Heat, Washington Wizards, Charlotte Hornets
West C:  Sacramento Kings, Golden State Warriors, Minnesota Timberwolves, Oklahoma City Thunder, San Antonio SpursEast C: Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets, Toronto Raptors, Chicago Bulls, Orlando Magic

Important things to consider when betting on the in-season tournament this year, star players

Some players in the NBA are known for raising their level of play during the playoffs, LeBron James, Jamal Murray, and Jimmy Butler to name a few. Last season, Murray averaged 20 points, 6.2 assists, and 4 rebounds in the regular season. All of Murray’s numbers went up in the playoffs, averaging 26.1 points, 7.1 assists, and 5.7 rebounds. His numbers also rose during the 2019-2020 postseason compared to his regular season numbers. 

In last year’s playoffs, Butler averaged 26.9 points, 6.5 rebounds, 5.9 assists, and 39.7 minutes per game. He averaged 22.9 points, 5.9 rebounds, 5.3 assists, and 33.4 minutes in the regular season. So, will stars like Murray and Butler elevate their game during the in-season tournament like they do for the postseason? It is probably a good idea to keep a close eye on whether or not the stars treat these games like regular season games when you bet on the NBA In-Season Tournament. 


If you are someone who follows the NBA, you probably understand that teams give more players minutes during the regular season than in playoff games. Last season, 10 players on the Denver Nuggets played in at least 50 games and played at least 10 minutes per game. During the playoffs, only eight players played in 19 or more games and averaged 10 or more minutes per game. Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray, and Aaron Gordon all averaged over 35 minutes per game during their championship run, none of them averaged over 34 minutes during the regular season. Bettors might want to keep an eye on whether or not coaches treat the in-season tournament like playoff games before making a pick on basketball betting sites when the odds are released. 

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry gave his thoughts on the in-season tournament during an interview on SportsCenter. “I think the fact that it doesn’t replace regular season games, it’s just kind of formatted a little different is a big deal for us because 82 games is already intense. And for us to be healthy and get through the season, I know that’s a priority. I know there will be a little new, fresh energy for whoever the two teams are that are playing for the in-season championship in Vegas.”