Judging by the aura in the air, it must be time for the NBA playoff play-ins!
This is the first stage of the playoff season, and it kicks off this week with some gnarly matchups.
The 7th through 10th seeds are going to be in the spotlight for this week, and each of the remaining eight teams fighting for four spots, are going to be implementing their best strategies in order to qualify for the big dance.
With the season on the line, a game or two can decide your fate.
Those who have already secured a spot in the playoffs will be watching on with a grin, and enjoy some diehard basketball.
Stake.com/sports has all your matchups covered, take your knowledge to the next level and bet now!
Game 1 - (8) Cleveland Cavaliers versus (7) Brooklyn Nets - Tuesday April 12, 2022
There is not a lot of optimism heading into the play-in for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Having ended the season on a morbid note, the team is dealing with both a shaky form and some key injuries to the roster.
Cleveland spent most of the season with time in the top five standings of the league, and that has slowly faded away week by week.
Talent is not short on this team, but without Colin Sexton and possible others, the game plan can only go so far.
Cleveland plays tough defense, but scoring will be a whole different problem come time to play versus the Brooklyn Nets.
This game does not look great for them, but they are not out of it completely if they lose, a positive to take from.
Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving are two of the game’s biggest stars, and they have the Brooklyn Nets rolling.
After James Harden’s departure from the squad, the team has regained form and realized their potential for bigger and brighter lights in the playoffs.
Although not the best seeding, Brooklyn will have utmost confidence in their leading players to take them to the promised land.
Cleveland is not a team that they will be necessarily fearful of, but this team knows better than to overlook opponents after last season.
Conclusion - Brooklyn Nets Moneyline, the star-power and raw experience will be huge for the Nets and should topple a fairly new Cleveland roster.
Game 2 - (8) Los Angeles Clippers versus (7) Minnesota Timberwolves - Tuesday, April 12, 2022
LA is in a weird spot, knowing that its favorite team, the Lakers, are going to be out of the playoffs in 2022.
The Clippers have a chance to make some noise, but again, with a key player out during the whole year. Kawhi Leonard is not going to get a chance to play this season and was out for most of the postseason last year as well.
However, the return of Paul George and solid role players will make them very tough to beat no matter the circumstance.
Look for the Clippers to possibly upset teams if they get into the playoffs and make every game competitive.
Minnesota has been a pleasant surprise for many this season, and their future looks brighter than ever.
Karl Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards are the duo of stars set up to take over the league in the Western Conference, and this game will be a huge test for them.
The relative inexperience of most players on this team will be a factor, but the talent may just take them over the top.
Conclusion - Minnesota Money line, the home court advantage and chemistry will be too much for the still-meshing Clippers.
Game 3 - (10) Charlotte Hornets versus (9) Atlanta Hawks Wednesday April 13th, 2022
Hornet land in Charlotte will be delighted to see the team has made improvements to finally have a chance to make the playoffs in 2022.
In a survival and advance scenario, they will have to play their best basketball for two games in a row in order to make the playoffs.
Lamelo Ball and his crew are some of the most entertaining basketball players in the world, but how will they do against the top teams? Only time will tell.
After making the Eastern Conference Finals last season, Atlanta finds itself as the ninth seed, and having to play-in to qualify for the playoffs.
Injuries have taken a toll on this team this season, and because of this, they have received mediocre results.
Ending the season on a positive note has been a relief for many Hawks fans, and they will be keen on making the playoffs in 2022.
Trae Young and John Collins will lead this team from last year and know what it takes to go far in the tournament.
Conclusion - Atlanta Hawks Money line, the team is too talented and polished to lose in a play-in game.
Game 4 - (10) San Antonio Spurs versus (9) New Orleans Pelicans Wednesday April 13th, 2022
Greg Popovich has his Spurs in a position to dance in May, and he will be preparing them for a huge opportunity as his career draws to a close.
One of the best and most winningest coaches in the world, he has this Spurs team playing good basketball at the most crucial point of the season.
Young stars and veteran leadership are a great combination, and the Spurs are dangerous in spurts.
NOLA will be cheering on their team of mostly youngsters, as they vie for the playoffs for the first time in multiple years.
Brandon Ingram has played at an all-star level, and the team has shooters that can be lights out when it counts.
Beating out the Lakers in a few games this season, the Pelicans have swagger that can carry them far if they are in the right mindset.
Conclusion - San Antonio Spurs Money line, an away team winning? Has to happen.