The NBA In-Season Tournament Semifinals start tonight!

NBA Betting: In-Season Tournament Semifinals Odds & Predictions

Tonight, there four teams that remain in the running for the first ever NBA In-Season Tournament trophy. For the Eastern Conference, the Indiana Pacers will matchup with the Milwaukee Bucks, beginning at 5 p.m. EST on ESPN. For the Western Conference, the New Orleans Pelicans will face the Los Angeles Lakers, starting at 9 p.m. EST on truTV/TNT. With the Final Four set, both games are single elimination matchups. With the Finals scheduled for Dec. 9, which teams will move onto the final round? Here you will find the NBA betting odds, lines, schedule, and predictions for the NBA In-Season Tournament Semifinals.

NBA In-Season Tournament Schedule​

Semifinals: Thursday, Dec. 7​

  • ESPN, 5 p.m. ET: Indiana Pacers (+170) vs. Milwaukee Bucks (-205) (-5): O/U 257.5
  • TruTV/TNT, 9 p.m. ET: New Orleans Pelicans (+110) vs. Los Angeles Lakers (-2) (-130): O/U 231

Championship Game: Saturday, Dec. 9​

  • ABC, 8:30 p.m. ET: TBD

NBA In-Season Tournament Championship Odds​

  • Milwaukee Bucks: +170
  • Los Angeles Lakers: +240
  • New Orleans Pelicans: +360
  • Indiana Pacers: +425

*Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook

NBA Eastern Conference: Indiana Pacers vs. Milwaukee Bucks​

The Indiana Pacers (11-8, 4-3 away) will face the Milwaukee Bucks (15-6, 10-1 home) at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. After knocking the Boston Celtics out of the first round, the Pacers have earned their first trip to the NBA In-Season Tournament final four. Undefeated in the tournament, Indiana continues to knock off teams left and right with the lowest payroll in the NBA. With slightly over $126 million on the books for 2023, Indiana caught the Celtics sleeping in the quarterfinals. Having original odds of +3800 to win the tournament, the Pacers now have the fourth best odds at +425 to win it all.

The Indiana Pacers stun the Boston Celtics and advance to the Semifinals​

Monday evening, Indiana stunned the Boston Celtics, cruising to a 122-112 victory, followed by a Buddy Hield three-pointer at the end of regulation. As I've mentioned before in several articles, the emergence and stardom of Tyrese Haliburton, along with several role players, makes them one of the prime teams in the Eastern Conference. As expected, Indiana, led by head coach Rick Carlisle, leads the NBA in offensive efficiency and pace per game. Shooting over 50 percent from the field and long range, Indiana held Boston to just 29.3 percent. Furthermore, their pace of play disrupted the Celtics defense, not allowing them to adjust, specifically in transition.

While Boston dominated on the boards, especially second chance points, the Pacers forced 17 turnovers on the Celtics, which led to 14 total fast break points. Playing with high momentum and pace, the Pacers had 7 players finish with points in double figures. With his first ever career triple double, Tyrese Haliburton finished with 26 points, 13 assists, and 10 rebounds, on 55.6 % field goal and 45.5 three-point shooting. After 16 lead changes, the Pacers mainly kept a lead from the middle of the third quarter until the end of regulation. Buddy Hield finished with 21 points and 2 steals, while Obi Toppin, Myles Turner, Bruce Brown, Aaron Nesmith, and Bennedict Mathurin combined for 72 points, 4 steals, 26 rebounds, and 9 assists.

The Pacers play at a high pace, and it's disrupting the opposing defenses​

It's no secret the Pacers are balling out this year, hitting the over on totals 16 times, and rank third in three-point percentage. The Celtics, who have an elite defense from the top down, couldn't top Haliburton anywhere on the court, for that matter. In fact, if I didn't watch the NBA, I would've thought this was game 7 of the NBA Finals. Not letting off the gas pedal for 48 minutes, the Pacers played fast, and stayed aggresive.

When it comes to defending past pace, it often doesn't give teams ample of time to set up reads and plays defensively. For the Pacers, at any given moment, they could be up half court and have a shot off within two to the seconds. This is one of the most dangerous aspects of this team, and they are simply fun and exciting to watch. While Haliburton is rising to stardom in front of our eyes, the Pacers have a ton of role players who couldn't find their fit with their old teams. With Aaron Nesmith and Obi Toppin finding the right opportunities, this Pacers team is filled with talent and depth. Tonight, I don't expect the pace to change against the Milwaukee Bucks, who also play at a higher speed.

The Pacers have the lowest payroll in the NBA​

Indiana may not be the favorites to outright win the tournament at +450, however, they have the most passion and determination out of all the teams left. With a payroll just over $126 million for this season, not one person was sitting during the final minutes of their last matchup against the Celtics. Having felt like a true playoff atmosphere, the Pacers, along with the fans are looking forward to this opportunity, especially since the organization has never won an NBA Championship. And this is why I love the tournament, it gives younger teams a chance to compete, even on a small scale. Their last victory over Boston was a monumental statement, and they should bring that same energy into tonight's game.

While Haliburton has broken into the MVP conversation, the guard is averaging a career high 26.9, and an incredible 11.9 assists per game. While tonight won't be an easy task, it's hard to full fade Haliburton and what the Pacers are doing right now. In fact, Indiana defeated the Bucks 126-124 back on Nov 9, expect a great matchup out of these two teams.


Jalen Smith, F: OUT

Pat Connaughton, G: OUT

Season Statistics & Betting Trends​

*ATS-Against the Spread

Indiana Pacers​

  • Indiana Pacers: 3-2 in their last 5 games.
  • 5-5 in their last 10 games.
  • ATS Record: 11-8-0
  • O/U Record: 16-3-0
  • 3-2 ATS in their last 5 games.
  • 5-5 ATS in their last 10 games.
  • O/U is 3-2 in the last 5 games.
  • O/U: 9-2 in the last 10 games.
  • 1st in Offensive Rating (123.6)
  • 28th in Defensive Rating (120.2)
  • 1st in Points Per Game (128.8)
  • 1st in Pace: 104.05
  • Opponent Points Per Game: 125.2 (29th)
  • Three-Point Percentage: 38.8 % (3rd)
  • Rebounds Per Game: 39.5 (31st)
  • Indiana ATS won last 10 games: Philadelphia 76ers (+6.5), Atlanta Hawks (+3.5), Detroit Pistons (-9.5), Miami Heat (+4.5), Boston Celtics (+4.5)

The Bucks had their best offensive game of the year​

Similarly, to Indiana, the Milwaukee Bucks are undefeated in the NBA In-Season Tournament and will head to Vegas to play the Pacers. Having put up 125.5 points per game in group play, followed by Eastern Conference best +11.5-point differential, the Bucks will have their biggest test this evening. With the fourth most salary cap in the NBA ($185 M), Milwaukee is 10-2 in their last ten games, after a rough 6-4 start. With the addition of star guard Damian Lillard, the Bucks are the No.2 seed team in the East and put up nearly 122 points per game. Although they haven't been as sharp defensively, the Bucks are a serious threat to win the Tournament and NBA Championship this season.

On Thursday evening, Milwaukee faced the New York Knicks, who were a wild card team, along with the Phoenix Suns. Blowing out New York 146-122, Giannis Antetokounmpo finished a double-double, and him and Lillard combined for 63 points. With six players finishing with points in double-figures, the Bucks shot over 60 percent from the field and beyond the arc. In fact, outrebounding the Knicks led to 22 second chance points, and the Bucks finished with 12 steals, forcing the Knicks to turnover the ball 16 times. By the way, all of those shooting statistics are season highs for the Bucks.

Milwaukee certainly put their talents on full display against the Knicks, it was arguably one of their best games of the year offensively. While it's been the story of the duo in Lillard and Giannis, Malik Beasley put on a show for 18 points. With the Knicks known as one of the best defensive teams in the league, the Bucks were able to dominate and then some.

Tonight's matchup total is the highest since 1991​

Considering tonight is a prime matchup with the two highest scoring offenses, the total of 257.7 is the highest of any total since 1991. With that said, with a trophy and cash on the line, that's a heck of a total. While it may or may not be a high scoring affair, Giannis has been playing incredible. Averaging 30.2 points, 10.7, 5.2 assists, 1.3 blocks, and 1.3 steals, Antetokounmpo is playing at an elite level. Coming off four straight double-doubles, Giannis now enters the final four, averaging 27.4 points, 2 steals, 8.6 rebounds, and 6.6 assists in the tournament. Tonight, he faces the Pacers with a career average of 22.5 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 4.8 assists, in 36 total matchups.

Given the Milwaukee Bucks and Indiana Pacers average a combined 250.6 points per game, bettors are looking at pace and defensive numbers as factors as well. While the Bucks have been a complete powerhouse on offense, if the Celtics couldn't stop Haliburton and the Pacers, who can?

Lillard and Giannis are starting to gel​

Prior to the start of the season, both Giannis and Lillard stated the chemistry was going to take time. Able to trust the process, Milwaukee have figured out how to balance the two superstars, which the help of their role players. Although the two haven't run the pick and roll nearly as much as expected, Milwaukee is 8-2 in their last ten games, and 5-1 in their last six. While Giannis is putting up career numbers in some respects, Lillard averaged 25.6 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 6.9 assists in 19 games played. In fact, Lillard is averaging 41.6 % from three, 26.8 points, and 8.1 assists in the last ten games.

Milwaukee Bucks​

  • Milwaukee Bucks: 4-1 in their last 5 games.
  • 8-2 in their last 10 games.
  • ATS Record: 9-11-1
  • O/U Record: 14-7-0
  • 3-2 ATS in their last 5 games.
  • 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games.
  • O/U is 4-1 in the last 5 games.
  • O/U: 7-3 in the last 10 games.
  • 3rd in Offensive Rating (119.2)
  • 22nd in Defensive Rating (115.3)
  • 3rd in Points Per Game (122.3)
  • 5th in Pace: 102.63
  • Opponent Points Per Game: 118.3 (24th)
  • Three-Point Percentage: 38.4 %
  • Rebounds Per Game: 43.5 (20th)
  • Milwaukee ATS won last 10 games: Charlotte Hornets (-8), Dallas Mavericks (-2), Washington Wizards (-9.5), Boston (+6), Miami Heat (-4.5), Atlanta Hawks (-6.5), New York Knicks (-4.5)


Giannis Antetokounmpo double-double
Tyrese Haliburton 25+ points

NBA Western Conference: New Orleans Pelicans vs. Los Angeles Lakers​

The New Orleans Pelicans (12-10) will play the Los Angeles Lakers (13-9) tonight, starting at 9 p.m. ET. Finishing 3-1 in group play, New Orleans went on to defeat the Sacramento Kings 127-117 in the NBA In-Season Tournament quarterfinals. Riddled by injuries, the Pelicans finally have a healthy squad, which poses a threat to the Los Angeles Lakers tonight.

Let me guess, you bet over Zion Williamson points last game, I did too. Only putting up 10 points, 3 steals, and 6 rebounds in 28 minutes, Williamson had enormous help from his teammates. With Brandon Ingram leading the way with 30 points and 6 assists, all five starters finished with points in double figures. With Trey Murphy III back healthy off the bench, both him and C.J. McCollum combined for 33 points alone. With their offensive on display, the Pelicans finished the night shooting 54 percent from the field, and 45.2 percent from three. Crashing the rebounds and dominating in the paint was key for the Pelicans against the Kings.

The Pelicans are a sleeper team in the Western Conference​

I've said this before, New Orleans was one of the top teams in the Western Conference, before losing Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram to injuries last season. With the Pelicans holding a majority of the lead against the Kings since the 2nd quarter, second chance points mattered. Middle of the road in terms of offensive and defensive efficiency, the Pelicans will face the Lakers, who have the 9th best defense.

The story of this year continues to be the elevation and dominance of forward Brandon Ingram. Averaging 23.7 point this season, the Pelicans forward is putting up big numbers during the tournament. Averaging 27.4 points, 6 rebounds, and 6.2 assists, Ingram will once against face his former team on one of the biggest stages tonight.

In group play, the Pelicans finished with a +8.3-point differential, limiting opponents to 107.5 points per game, which was third best in the west. With heavy hitters in their starting lineups, the return of Trey Murphy III gives New Orleans a deep bench, along with José Alvarado and Jordan Hawkins. While Ingram has risen as a star for the Pelicans, they have tons of talent around them to beat this Lakers team tonight.


Matt Ryan, F: OUT


Jarred Vanderbilt, F: GTD
LeBron James, F: GTD
Anthony Davis, F: GTD
Gabe Vincent, G: OUT

Season Statistics & Betting Trends​

*ATS-Against the Spread

New Orleans Pelicans​

  • New Orleans Pelicans: 3-2 in their last 5 games.
  • 6-4 in their last 10 games.
  • ATS Record: 13-8-1
  • O/U Record: 10-12-0
  • 3-2 ATS in their last 5 games.
  • 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games.
  • O/U is 3-2 in the last 5 games.
  • O/U: 4-6-0 in the last 10 games.
  • 14th in Offensive Rating (114.2)
  • 14th in Defensive Rating (112.8)
  • 12th in Points Per Game (114.6)
  • 12th in Pace: 100.41
  • Opponent Points Per Game: 113.4 (17th)
  • Three-Point Percentage: 35.7 (19th)
  • Rebounds Per Game: 44.1 (T-14th)
  • New Orleans ATS won last 10 games: Minnesota Timberwolves (+7.5), Sacramento Kings (+2, +1.5, +3), Los Angeles Clippers (+5.5), Philadelphia 76ers (-2.5), San Antonio Spurs (-12.5).

Los Angeles Lakers​

  • Los Angeles Lakers: 3-2 in their last 5 games.
  • 7-3 in their last 10 games.
  • ATS Record: 10-12-0
  • O/U Record: 9-13-0
  • 3-2 ATS in their last 5 games.
  • 6-4-0 ATS in their last 10 games.
  • O/U is 3-2 in the last 5 games.
  • O/U: 4-6-0 in the last 10 games.
  • 24th in Offensive Rating (110.6)
  • 9th in Defensive Rating (111.4)
  • 20th in Points Per Game (112.2)
  • 11th in Pace: 100.48
  • Opponent Points Per Game: 113 (16th)
  • Three-Point Percentage: 29.5 (29th)
  • Rebounds Per Game: 44.1 (14th)
  • Los Angeles ATS won last 10 games: Portland Trail Blazers (-9.5), Utah Jazz (-7.5), Cleveland Cavaliers (+4.5), Detroit Pistons (-7.5), Houston Rockets (-4.5, Phoenix Suns (-1.5)
While the Lakers season started off a bit rocky, Darvin Ham's plan failed when it comes to limiting LeBron James minutes. while LeBron and Anthony Davis have proven their value to the organization, the story has been about trusting the bench and the role players. In a thrilling matchup on Tuesday evening, the Lakers defeated the shorthanded Phoenix Suns 106-103 in dramatic fashion. While James and Davis combined for 58 points, it was Austin Reaves who came up clutch off the bench with 20 points.

The Lakers bench has been inconsistent and hurt​

While the Lakers season has been widely inconsistent, it's proven that LeBron and Davis have to play, and play a good volume of minutes in order to win matchups. While LeBron wants to trust a majority of his teammates, Russell, Reddish, Prince, and Hachimura combined for just 24 points. For a player that's in his 21st season at 38 years old, that sort of production is not going to cut it for the Lakers. Davis, who's averaging 23 points and 12.6 rebounds per game, is coming off his 10th straight double-double, including 15 rebounds against Phoenix. His play tonight will be imperative against Valanciunas and Williamson.

While still undefeated in the NBA In-Season Tournament, the Lakers had a league best +18.5-point differential in group play, while averaging 123.5 points, and allowing 105 points per game. Tonight, they get a chance under a big stage, in front of national television, family, friends, and fans.

While the Lakers expressed their confidence in Reaves and various role players, it will be a tough matchup tonight against the Pelicans. With Reaves making the go ahead three with 15 seconds left, can he do it again tonight? Below are my predictions:


Pelicans +2
Anthony Davis- Double-Double
Brandon Ingram 20 + points
C.J McCollum O 3.5 assists

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Sara Jane Gamelli is a full-time Sportswriter at Ballislife, and Sports Content Creator on Twitch and TikTok. She has a focus on the NBA, WNBA, NCAA Basketball, and the NFL. Sara Jane currently resides in Connecticut/NYC area with her Cat and Dog. SJ has her undergraduate degree from the University of Connecticut in Economics, with a minor in business administration.