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April 15th, 2023

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The Race for the NBA Playoffs 2023 is On

This NBA season has been quite entertaining, as we had blockbuster trades, surprises, disappointments, and the closest MVP race in the last couple of years. April is on the doorstep, which only means one thing: NBA playoffs. This article will highlight everything you need to know about the NBA playoffs in 2023.

NBA Playoffs 2023 odds

Sixteen teams have managed to qualify for the NBA playoffs, whether through the play-in tournament or as a 6th seed. As previously mentioned, this season has been unpredictable and full of surprises. Odds for the NBA Champion reflect these events. While a few favorites are emerging, all is still pretty much to play for.

Here are the odds for the NBA Finals champion for the sixteen teams in the running. You can also check the full odds on the best sports betting sites:

Western Conference

The Western Conference has been exciting to follow this season, as there have been many surprises. Denver Nuggets are leading the conference. The Sacramento Kings ended their 16-year absence from the playoffs and have secured at least a 3-seed in the West. Last year's champions, Golden State Warriors, had injury issues throughout the season, but have still managed to hang on to 6th place, which allowed them to avoid the play-in tournament.

Play-in Race

Another reason why the West is so fun to follow is how uncertain the race for playoffs positions has been for many teams. No less than 8 teams have fought until the end to try and secure their ticket for the playoffs. In the end, it is the Los Angeles Lakers, the Minnesota Timberwolves, the New Orleans Pelicans, and the Oklahoma City Thunder who haven’t been able to directly secure their spots in the playoffs, and who, as a result, will have to compete in the play-in tournament, a mini tournament in which the teams ranked from 7th to 10th in each conference face one another for a chance to qualify.

By winning their match 108-102 against the Minnesota Timberwolves in the first duel of the Western Conference play-in tournament, the Lakers have managed to directly qualify for the playoffs. In the other clash, the Oklahoma City Thunder have gotten the better of the New Orleans Pelicans (123-118). In this Western Conference play-in “final”, Minnesota Timberwolves have beaten Oklahoma City (120-95) and have won their ticket for the playoffs.

Tanking race

There was also an interesting race at the bottom of the standings. While Detroit had already separated itself as the worst team in the league a couple matchdays away from the end of the regular season, San Antonio Spurs and Houston Rockets were still fighting hard at the bottom of the West. The teams with the lowest win percentages have a high chance of landing the first pick in the draft this summer.  With the prized Victor Wembanyama being projected as the best draft recruit, this race might shape the league's future.

Eastern Conference

Compared to its Western counterpart, the East has perhaps not been as dramatic in the seeding races. The three teams expected to be at the top of the East (Boston, Philadelphia, and Milwaukee) are the first three seeds. At the same time, the Cleveland Cavaliers proved to be a pleasant surprise and secured the 4th spot. The primary thing that changed the landscape was the Brooklyn Nets trading away Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, basically eliminating their chances of a championship this season. 

Battle for the 6th seed

The Nets and the Heat fought until the very end for the 6th and final guaranteed playoff spot. The Brooklyn Nets eventually prevailed by securing one more victory than their rivals. The Nets will thus have a few very important days to prepare for the playoffs.

The Eastern Conference play-in

As a result, the players from Miami have had to make do with a ticket for the play-in. Unfortunately for them, they suffered a logical defeat at the hands of the Atlanta Hawks (105-116) in their first match, which allowed Atlanta to directly qualify for the playoffs. In the other match, the Chicago Bulls got the upper hand on Toronto (109-115), and in doing so, qualified for the “other” final of the play-in against Miami. In this make-or-break match, Miami Heat have beaten Chicago Bulls  (102-91) and have secured the last qualifying spot for the playoffs.


In conclusion, the NBA playoffs 2023 are shaping up to be exciting and unpredictable. With several surprises and disappointments throughout the regular season, the playoff odds are constantly shifting. Regardless of the outcomes, the NBA playoffs will surely provide thrilling games and unexpected results.