This weekend we'll see the NBA's first ever play-in series between the Portland Trail Blazers and the Memphis Grizzlies, to claim that 8th seed in the Western Conference. Thoughts have to go out to the Pheonix Suns, 8-0 in the bubble and not quite able to grab a spot here.
How does the play-in series work?
Portland currently hold that 8th spot, with 35 wins, just ahead of Memphis on 34 wins. If Portland win Saturday's game then they automatically advance to playoffs, where they'll meet LeBron James' LA Lakers, the 1st seed. in the West.
If Memphis win, then it'll level the teams together on 35 wins, meaning Sunday's game is a decider, the winner of which gets to meet the Lakers in the first round. It's easiest to think of it as a 'first to 36 wins' game.
What are the play-in series odds?
Currently Portland are favorites for the opening game, -240 on the moneyline, with Memphis at +240. The difference is unsurprising given each teams form in the bubble. The Blazers went 6-2, with Damian Lillard starring, whereas the Grizzlies slumped to a 2-6 record and were fortunate not to miss out entirely.
What are the Portland Trail Blazers vs. Memphis Grizzlies odds?
As of today the line is currently set as Portland -6, meaning the Grizzlies are 6 point underdogs. The total is currently set at 233.5, something which you'd expect to see go over if Dame Lillard continues to go off.
Who will win the play-in series?
We obviously don't know the answer to this but we can reveal our betting data for the first game of the series. A huge 75.38% of bettors have backed the Portland Trail Blazers with just 24.62% backing the Memphis Grizzlies. That result would see the Trail Blazers straight into the first round of playoffs.
We have picks every day for the NBA and will also have picks for each game of the play-in series here if you want to see who our expert handicapper has picked to win.
When is the Trail Blazers vs. Grizzlies play-in series?
Game 1: Saturday, Aug. 15 at 1:30 pm ET
Game 2: Sunday, Aug. 16 at 3:30 pm ET*
* Game 2 may not be needed if Portland win the first game.
What is the NBA playoff schedule?
The first round of games is as follows.
Eastern Conference playoffs
Western Conference playoffs
(1) Los Angeles Lakers vs. (8) Portland Trail Blazers or Memphis Grizzlies
(3) Denver Nuggets vs. (6) Utah Jazz
NBA Championship Odds
Milwaukee Bucks +270
Los Angeles Lakers +320
Los Angeles Clippers +333
Houston Rockets +1400
Toronto Raptors +1800
Boston Celtics +2000
Denver Nuggets +3000
Miami Heat +3000
Dallas Mavericks +5000
Utah Jazz +6500
Philadelphia 76ers +5000