Inaugural NBA In-Season Tournament is a slam dunk with bettors

December 13, 2023 / Kambi

Knock-out stage games of the In-Season Tournament saw approximately three-times more pre-game bets than a non-tournament regular season matchup

13 December 2023 – For the first time ever, the NBA hosted an In-Season Tournament in an effort to generate more interest in the NBA during a crowded sporting calendar. With a $500k cash prize for each player on the line, the tournament created an exciting, playoff-like event in the heart of the season and saw LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers take down a promising young Indiana Pacers team to win the first ever In-Season Tournament title.  

The teams on the court weren’t the only ones playing for keeps, as the popularity of an average In-Season Tournament knock-out stage game saw approximately three-times the number of bets of an average non-tournament regular season game. Additionally, the knockout stages of the In-Season Tournament provided six of the top-10 most bet on games of the NBA season so far on the Kambi network.  

When broken down even further, the seven knock-out stage games saw an average increase of about 191% more pre-game bets and 164% more in-game betting than regular season games, proving that the competitiveness of a tournament-style event generated more interest in the NBA during a time of year where football dominates the US sporting calendar. 

“After the resounding success of the Play-In Tournament, the NBA struck gold again with its inaugural In-Season Tournament. The ‘cup’ feeling and the knockout nature from the Quarter Finals onward, completely elevated the stakes of these games. This captured the attention of NBA fans around the world and has meant a significant increase in betting engagement.”

Stefanos Moysidis

Head of NBA, Kambi

In-Season Tournament Kambi network insights (by number of bets):


        Top games (IST only) 

        1. 1. Los Angeles Lakers vs. Phoenix Suns (quarterfinal)
        2. 2. Los Angeles Lakers vs. Indiana Pacers (final) 
        3. 3. Milwaukee Bucks vs. New York Knicks (quarterfinal) 
        4. 4. Indiana Pacers vs. Boston Celtics (quarterfinal)
        5. 5. Sacramento Kings vs. New Orleans Pelicans (quarterfinal)

        Top teams – outright winner 

        1. 1. Boston Celtics
        2. 2. Milwaukee Bucks 
        3. 3. Los Angeles Lakers
        4. 4. Sacramento Kings
        5. 5. Phoenix Suns

        Top players – MVP 

        1. 1. LeBron James
        2. 2. Tyrese Haliburton 
        3. 3. Giannis Antetokounmpo 
        4. 4. Anthony Davis 
        5. 5. Jayson Tatum