The NBA play-in tournament is set to continue on Friday with two games remaining on the slate.

With the Toronto Raptors and New Orleans Pelicans now eliminated, there are four teams remaining in the tournament. Meanwhile, Tuesday’s winners (Los Angeles Lakers and Atlanta Hawks) are already advancing to the playoffs.

The teams that remain include the Chicago Bulls, Miami Heat, Oklahoma City Thunder, and Minnesota Timberwolves.

Miami will host Chicago on Friday, while the Timberwolves will play host to the Thunder on Friday as well.

Both games are projected to be exciting affairs. All four of these teams’ seasons are on the line, so fans can expect an all-out effort from all parties involved.

With the NBA play-in tournament winding down and the official playoffs right around the corner, let’s take a look at Friday’s games.

Overall Info & Outlook

  • NBA play-in tournament
  • Two games are scheduled for Friday.

NBA Play-In Tournament Betting Preview

Chicago Bulls at Miami Heat Preview

The Chicago Bulls defeated the Raptors on Wednesday to keep their playoff hopes alive. Chicago narrowly escaped with a 109-105 victory over Toronto, but in the end, they got the job done.

The Heat were defeated on Tuesday by the Hawks. Since they were a higher seed, Miami gets one final chance to book their playoff ticket.

The Miami Heat and Bulls came into the 2022-23 season with lofty expectations but dealt with inconsistency. Nevertheless, both teams are still alive and can earn a playoff spot on Friday.

Let’s take a look at their against-the-spread records.

  • The Chicago Bulls are 41-39-3 against the spread this season. 
  • The Miami Heat are a league-worst 30-50-3 against the spread this year.
  • The Bulls are 19-20-2 against the spread as the away team. 
  • The Heat are 14-26-2 against the spread when playing at their home arena.

Top Sportsbooks Odds

Betonline: Miami Heat -5.5

Bovada: Miami Heat -5

MyBookie: Miami Heat -5

BetUS: Miami Heat -5.5

BetNow: Miami Heat -5.5

The Heat are favored in this game. Miami has been extremely underwhelming against the spread this year, on the other hand. In fact, they hold the worst against the spread mark in the league.

The Bulls have held their own against the spread. They aren’t the best team in the league in terms of covering the NBA odds, but Chicago has proven that they can pull off upsets.

The Bulls rank in the NBA standings 19th in points per game, 20th in assists per game, 21st in rebounds per game, seventh in turnovers per game, third in field goal percentage, and 16th in three-point percentage.

The Heat are 30th in points per game, 25th in assists per game, 27th in rebounds per game, ninth in turnovers per game, 26th in field goal percentage, and 27th in three-point percentage.

Miami’s offense has been a concern this year. They have a few talented scorers, but their all-around offensive efficiency has been a question mark. The Heat need to feed Bam Adebayo the ball on a more consistent basis and let him score in the post.

The Bulls’ offense has endured its share of ups and downs. Chicago is led by Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan, but they will need everyone to step up on Friday.

Both defenses are going to play a pesky brand of basketball. This game will be determined by offensive output. Whichever team finds consistency in terms of finding the bottom of the net will emerge victorious.

Go ahead and take a chance on the Heat at home as your betting selection.

Oklahoma City Thunder at Minnesota Timberwolves Preview

The Thunder are still alive against all odds. Oklahoma City has upset the odds all season long and did exactly that once again in their win against the Pelicans.

The Timberwolves, on the other hand, just did lose to the Lakers in L.A. on Tuesday. It was a competitive game that went into overtime, but the Lakers were able to steal the win.

Minnesota will remain confident heading into Friday, but the Thunder will give them everything they can handle.

Here’s a look at the against-the-spread records for this contest.

  • The Minnesota Timberwolves are 41-42 against the spread this year.  
  • The Oklahoma City Thunder are 45-34-3 against the spread this season.  
  • The Timberwolves are 19-22 against the spread when playing as the home team.
  • The Thunder are 21-17-3 against the spread as the away team.

Top Sportsbooks Odds

Betonline: Minnesota Timberwolves -4.5

Bovada: Minnesota Timberwolves -4.5

MyBookie: Minnesota Timberwolves -4.5

BetUS: Minnesota Timberwolves -4.5

BetNow: Minnesota Timberwolves -4.5

The Timberwolves are favored at home. The 4.5-point separation doesn’t exactly suggest that Minnesota is a heavy favorite. The oddsmakers are well-aware that OKC could make things interesting.

The Timberwolves haven’t had a consistent campaign. They will need to lean on their rebounding prowess against the Thunder. Additionally, forcing OKC to rely on jump shots will work to their advantage as well.

If Minnesota clogs the lane and wins the rebound battle, they will be in good shape.

The Thunder need to play defense at a high level. Their offense is going to give them a chance, but slowing down the Timberwolves’ scoring attack will be of the utmost importance. 

In the end, roll with the Thunder as the away underdogs.

Summary

The NBA play-in tournament hasn’t disappointed up to this point. Each game has been exciting for the most part, and that likely won’t change.

Miami was favored in their last game against Atlanta but ultimately fell short. They should be able to make the necessary adjustments and rebound on Friday.

The Thunder continue to upset the odds, and the Timberwolves are facing uncertainty heading into Friday. As a result, OKC is worth a betting pick.

In summary, take the Thunder and Heat as your betting picks.

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