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LeBron James, Bucks among favorites as NBA's wildly successful In-Season tourney concludes

Dec 6, 2023; Las Vegas, NV, USA; The NBA In-Season Tournament trophy during practice day prior to the In-Season Tournament semi-finals at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 6, 2023; Las Vegas, NV, USA; The NBA In-Season Tournament trophy during practice day prior to the In-Season Tournament semi-finals at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports

The first semi-final stage of the NBA In-Season Tournament has been determined. The Los Angeles Lakers will face off against the New Orleans Pelicans in the West semifinal game, while the Milwaukee Bucks will take on the Indiana Pacers in the East semifinal on Thursday in Las Vegas. The winner of each semi-final matchup will advance to the final, which will be held on Saturday, Dec. 9, in Las Vegas.

According to the Sports Business Journal and CBS Sports' Brad Botkin, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver is pleased with the outcome of the inaugural NBA In-Season Tournament so far, noting fan interest, and player and coach engagement. Silver is said to be particularly proud of the early-season ratings the tournament has garnered and how the NBA is showcasing its best efforts while negotiating a new media rights deal. Forbes recently showed ratings are working in the NBA's favor.

Botkin stated, "The crowds are enthusiastic, and the players are fully committed, given the 500k payout per player that comes with it." The tournament winners will receive the first NBA In-Season Tournament trophy and a prize of $500,000 allocated to each player on the team.

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In-Season Tournament MVP odds

Along with a new NBA In-Season Tournament trophy that has been introduced, a Most Valuable Player trophy will also be awarded to a player on the overall winning team who delivered the best performance in both Group Play and the Knockout Rounds. Here are the current odds according to BetMGM of who could win the first In-Season Tournament MVP award.

  • LeBron James, +400

  • Damian Lillard, +400

  • Giannis Antetokounmpo, +425

  • Brandon Ingram, +425

  • Tyrese Haliburton, +425

As for winning team, the Bucks are favorites to take it all (+165) with the Lakers just behind (+225).

Indiana Pacers vs. Milwaukee Bucks lines, betting odds

The Bucks are favorites to defeat the Pacers, according to the BetMGM NBA odds.

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  • Spread favorite: Bucks (-5.5)

  • Moneyline: Bucks (-200); Pacers (+165)

  • Total: 257.5 points

NBA: Indiana Pacers vs. Milwaukee Bucks odds, picks and predictions

New Orleans Pelicans vs. Los Angeles Lakers lines, betting odds

The Lakers are favorites to defeat the Pelicans, according to the BetMGM NBA odds.

Looking to wager? Check out the best mobile sports betting apps.

  • Spread favorite: Lakers (-2.5)

  • Moneyline: Lakers (-130); Pelicans (+105)

  • Total: 231.5 points

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How to watch the NBA In-Season Tournament Semifinals

The East Semifinal game between the Indiana Pacers and Milwaukee Bucks will start at 5:00 p.m. ET on ESPN. The game will be played at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Similarly, the West Semifinal game between the New Orleans Pelicans and the Los Angeles Lakers will begin at 9:00 p.m. ET on TNT. The game will also be played at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: NBA In-Season Tournament Final Four: LeBron, Bucks among favorites