Updated NBA Playoff Picture & Play-In Tournament Format

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Tatum, Edwards Lead NBA Conference Finals MVP Odds

The 2024 NBA playoff picture is becoming somewhat clearer as the season winds down, but there remains plenty of jostling for position with about 15 games to go.

Will an up-and-coming squad like Oklahoma City shock the league? Or does the NBA still belong to veterans such as Nikola Jokic and Giannis Antetokounmpo? Check out below for the current playoff picture, regular season standings, NBA championship odds, and play-in tournament information.

Current NBA playoff picture

The matchups for the top two seeds are not yet clear, as there are six combinations that could result from the play-in tournament for those looking at how to bet on the NBA playoffs.

NBA Eastern Conference playoff

NBA Western Conference playoff

Updated NBA playoff positioning

The middle of the pack in both conferences is extremely tight, and the consequences are immense. Teams will continue to fight for first-round home court advantage via the fourth seed, as well as a guaranteed playoff spot via the sixth seed.

Eastern Conference standings

  1. Boston Celtics (55-14; 0 Games Back)
  2. Milwaukee Bucks (45-25; 10.5 GB)
  3. Cleveland Cavaliers (43-26; 12 GB)
  4. Orlando Magic (42-28; 13.5 GB)
  5. NewYork Knicks (41-28; 14 GB)
  6. Indiana Pacers (39-31; 16.5 GB)
  7. Miami Heat (38-31; 17 GB)
  8. Philadelphia 76ers (38-31; 17 GB)
  9. Chicago Bulls (34-36; 21.5 GB)
  10. Atlanta Hawks (30-39; 25 GB)
  11. Brooklyn Nets (26-44; 29.5 GB)
  12. Toronto Raptors (23-46; 32 GB)
  13. Charlotte Hornets (17-52; 38 GB)
  14. Detroit Pistons (12-57; 43 GB)
  15. Washington Wizards (12-58; 43.5 GB)

Western Conference standings

  1. Oklahoma City Thunder (48-20; 0 Games Back)
  2. Denver Nuggets (49-21; 0 GB)
  3. Minnesota Timberwolves (47-22; 1.5 GB)
  4. Los Angeles Clippers (43-25; 5 GB)
  5. New Orleans Pelicans (42-27; 6.5 GB)
  6. Dallas Mavericks (41-29; 8 GB)
  7. Phoenix Suns (41-29; 8 GB)
  8. Sacramento Kings (40-29; 8.5 GB)
  9. Los Angeles Lakers (37-32; 11.5 GB)
  10. Golden State Warriors (36-32; 12 GB)
  11. Houston Rockets (34-35; 14.5 GB)
  12. Utah Jazz (29-41; 20 GB)
  13. Memphis Grizzlies (23-47; 26 GB)
  14. Portland Trail Blazers (19-50; 29.5 GB)
  15. San Antonio Spurs (15-54; 33.5 GB)

Odds to win the NBA Finals

The Boston Celtics and Denver Nuggets sit in their own tier on top of the league when it comes to the odds boards at the major basketball sportsbooks. It’s more surprising to see the Los Angeles Clippers maintaining a grasp on the third shortest odds, though, given the fact that they rank 17th in net rating since Feb. 1. Meanwhile, Minnesota and Philadelphia have plummeted due to key injuries, although their stars may return in time for the first round of the playoffs. 

NBA play-in tournament schedule, dates, and information

The regular season ends on April 14, and the play-in tournament will take place between April 16 and April 19. Playoff basketball begins on April 20 and extends until early June. 

NBA commissioner Adam Silver implemented the play-in tournament during the 2021 season, and it has been a success ever since. Immediately after the regular season’s conclusion, the seventh and eighth seeds play one game, with the winner moving onto the playoffs as the solidified seventh seed. Next, the loser of this contest faces the victor of the win-or-go-home game between the ninth and 10th seeds. Finally, the subsequent winner claims the final playoff spot as the eighth seed. Home court advantage in each game goes to the superior regular season seed. 

It’s worth noting that the Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers were play-in teams last season before reaching the NBA Finals and conference finals, respectively. Anything is possible come playoff time.