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Do any of the play-in tournament teams have a shot at the NBA title?

There are six teams who will get a chance to make the postseason via a play-in tournament once the season restarts.

New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson in action against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center. Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA got its plan for a return to basketball approved by the Board of Governors on Thursday. So we know that the idea is for 22 teams to go to Orlando and finish out the season. With this, we have the 16 teams in current playoff seeding and then six additional teams will play out regular season games until the No. 8 seeds in the conferences are decided. So this new wrinkle has created some interesting lines on DraftKings Sportsbook. Let’s take a look at title odds for those six teams.

NBA Title Odds for Play-In Tournament Teams

New Orleans Pelicans: +12500
Portland Trail Blazers: +17000
San Antonio Spurs: +25000
Phoenix Suns: +30000
Sacramento Kings: +30000
Washington Wizards: +30000

So both the Pelicans and Trail Blazers have better title odds than the Memphis Grizzlies, who are currently +20000 despite having a better record than both those teams. It’s clear there’s some bias in the rosters with the Pels sporting a few studs in Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram, while Portland has Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum. Both the Pelicans and Blazers are interesting darkhorse, sleeper candidates to make a playoff run. I believe the playing field is a lot closer after the break with teams fully healthy. It could be anybody’s game.

The Blazers seem like the most logical darkhorse bet if any. Portland went to the Western Conference Finals last season and has a similar roster now that we can expect Jusuf Nurkic to return from injury. The big man was expected to be back soon after the coronavirus pandemic hit. The Pelicans are a completely different team with a healthy Zion and Co. They’ll be dangerous in this format and the odds reflect that. Right before the break and in May, the Pelicans title odds were at +20000.

While the Wizards, Kings and Suns all seem like long-shots, we can count out Gregg Popovich and the Spurs, right? If there were ever a time for Pop and the Spurs to come out of nowhere and surprise everyone, it’s now. San Antonio will have an outside shot at sneaking into the playoffs. If that’s the case, it could be anyone’s game in the postseason. San Antonio isn’t lacking talent in DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge.

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