NBA playoffs 2021: Start times, schedule and odds

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NBA playoffs 2021: Start times, schedule and odds originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

The 2021 NBA Play-In Tournament was a nice prelude to playoff basketball.

The No. 9 seed Memphis Grizzlies closed out the tournament with a thrilling overtime win over the No. 8 seed Golden State Warriors on Friday to claim the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

It was the second of two crushing play-in losses for the now-eliminated Dubs after they failed to beat the Los Angeles Lakers for the seventh seed on Wednesday.

In the East, the Boston Celtics and Washington Wizards made it out of the play-in as the No. 7 and No. 8 seeds, respectively, the same spots they finished the regular season in.

Now with the Play-In Tournament over, the 2021 NBA playoffs are finally here.

From series schedules to NBA Finals odds, here’s everything you need to know before the first round gets underway.

When do the 2021 NBA playoffs start?

The first round of the playoffs begins on Saturday, May 22, the day after the Play-In Tournament ends. In a rematch from last year’s playoffs, Giannis Antetokounmpo’s third-seeded Milwaukee Bucks host Jimmy Butler’s sixth-seeded Miami Heat to kick off a four-game slate on Saturday. The Bucks will be out for revenge after being upset by the eventual Eastern Conference-champion Heat in 2020.

The postseason will run as late as July 22, which is when Game 7 of the NBA Finals is scheduled for. The Finals start on July 8.

Will the 2021 NBA playoffs be in a bubble?

Unlike last year, when the entire postseason was played at Disney World in Orlando, the 2021 playoffs won’t be held in a bubble. Teams will host playoff games at their respective home arenas just as they did throughout the 2020-21 regular season.

What is the 2021 NBA playoff schedule?

Here is the updated playoff bracket and full first-round series schedule:

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No. 1 Philadelphia 76ers vs. No. 8 Washington Wizards

Game 1: Sunday, May 23, Washington at Philadelphia, 1 p.m. ET, NBCSP/NBCSW/TNT

Game 2: Wednesday, May 26, Washington at Philadelphia, 7 p.m., NBCSP/NBCSW/NBA TV

Game 3: Saturday, May 29, Philadelphia at Washington, 7 p.m., NBCSP/NBCSW/ESPN

Game 4: Monday, May 31, Philadelphia at Washington, 7 p.m., NBCSP/NBCSW/TNT

Game 5: Wednesday, June 2, Washington at Philadelphia, TBD, TBD (if necessary)

Game 6: Friday, June 4, Philadelphia at Washington, TBD, TBD (if necessary)

Game 7: Sunday, June 6, Washington at Philadelphia, TBD, TBD (if necessary)

No. 4 New York Knicks vs. No. 5 Atlanta Hawks

Game 1: Sunday, May 23, Atlanta at New York, 7 p.m. ET, TNT

Game 2: Wednesday, May 26, Atlanta at New York, 7:30 p.m., TNT

Game 3: Friday, May 28, New York at Atlanta, 7 p.m., ESPN

Game 4: Sunday, May 30, New York at Atlanta, 1 p.m., ABC

Game 5: Wednesday, June 2, Atlanta at New York, TBD, TBD (if necessary)

Game 6: Friday, June 4, New York at Atlanta, TBD, TBD (if necessary)

Game 7: Sunday, June 6, Atlanta at New York, TBD, TBD (if necessary)

No. 3 Milwaukee Bucks vs. No. 6 Miami Heat

Game 1: Saturday, May 22, Miami at Milwaukee, 2 p.m. ET, ESPN

Game 2: Monday, May 24, Miami at Milwaukee, 7:30 p.m., TNT

Game 3: Thursday, May 27, Milwaukee at Miami, 7:30 p.m., TNT

Game 4: Saturday, May 29, Milwaukee at Miami, 1:30 p.m., TNT

Game 5: Tuesday, June 1, Miami at Milwaukee, TBD, TBD (if necessary)

Game 6: Thursday, June 3, Milwaukee at Miami, TBD, TBD (if necessary)

Game 7: Saturday, June 5, Miami at Milwaukee, TBD, TBD (if necessary)

No. 2 Brooklyn Nets vs. No. 7 Boston Celtics

Game 1: Saturday, May 22, Boston at Brooklyn, 8 p.m. ET, ABC

Game 2: Tuesday, May 25, Boston at Brooklyn, 7:30 p.m., NBCSB/TNT

Game 3: Friday, May 28, Brooklyn at Boston, 8:30 p.m., NBCSB/ABC

Game 4: Sunday, May 30, Brooklyn at Boston, 7 p.m., NBCSB/TNT

Game 5: Tuesday, June 1, Boston at Brooklyn, TBD, TBD (if necessary)

Game 6: Thursday, June 3, Brooklyn at Boston, TBD, TBD (if necessary)

Game 7: Saturday, June 5,  Boston at Brooklyn, TBD, TBD (if necessary)

No. 1 Utah Jazz vs. No. 8 Memphis Grizzlies

Game 1: Sunday, May 23, Memphis at Utah, 9:30 p.m. ET, TNT

Game 2: Wednesday, May 26, Memphis at Utah, 10 p.m., TNT

Game 3: Saturday, May 29, Utah at Memphis, 9:30 p.m., ESPN

Game 4: Monday, May 31, Utah at Memphis, 9:30 p.m., TNT

Game 5: Wednesday, June 2, Memphis at Utah, TBD, TBD (if necessary)

Game 6: Friday, June 4, Utah at Memphis, TBD, TBD (if necessary)

Game 7: Sunday, June 6, Memphis at Utah, TBD, TBD (if necessary)

No. 4 Los Angeles Clippers vs. No. 5 Dallas Mavericks

Game 1: Saturday, May 22, Dallas at L.A. Clippers, 4:30 p.m. ET, ESPN

Game 2: Tuesday, May 25, Dallas at L.A. Clippers, 10:30 p.m., NBA TV

Game 3: Friday, May 28, L.A. Clippers at Dallas, 9:30 p.m., ESPN

Game 4: Sunday, May 30, L.A. Clippers at Dallas, 9:30 p.m., TNT

Game 5: Wednesday, June 2, Dallas at L.A. Clippers, TBD, TBD (if necessary)

Game 6: Friday, June 4, L.A. Clippers at Dallas, TBD, TBD (if necessary)

Game 7: Sunday, June 6, Dallas at L.A. Clippers, TBD, TBD (if necessary)

No. 3 Denver Nuggets vs. No. 6 Portland Trail Blazers

Game 1: Saturday, May 22, Portland at Denver, 10:30 p.m. ET, NBCSNW/ESPN

Game 2: Monday, May 24, Portland at Denver, 10 p.m., NBCSNW/TNT

Game 3: Thursday, May 27, Denver at Portland, 10:30 p.m., NBCSNW/NBA TV

Game 4: Saturday, May 29, Denver at Portland, 4 p.m., NBCSNW/TNT

Game 5: Tuesday, June 1, Portland at Denver, TBD, TBD (if necessary)

Game 6: Thursday, June 3, Denver at Portland, TBD, TBD (if necessary)

Game 7: Saturday, June 5, Portland at Denver, TBD, TBD (if necessary)

No. 2 Phoenix Suns vs. No. 7 Los Angeles Lakers 

Game 1: Sunday, May 23, L.A. Lakers at Phoenix, 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC

Game 2: Tuesday, May 25, L.A. Lakers at Phoenix, 10 p.m., TNT

Game 3: Thursday, May 27, Phoenix at L.A. Lakers, 10 p.m., TNT

Game 4: Sunday, May 30, Phoenix at L.A. Lakers, 3:30 p.m., ABC

Game 5: Tuesday, June 1, L.A. Lakers at Phoenix, TBD, TBD (if necessary)

Game 6: Thursday, June 3, Phoenix at L.A. Lakers, TBD, TBD (if necessary)

Game 7: Saturday, June 5, L.A. Lakers at Phoenix, TBD, TBD (if necessary)

Who is favored to win the 2021 NBA Finals?

The Brooklyn Nets enter the playoffs as the NBA Finals favorites at +225. The defending-champion Lakers have the second-best odds at +400 followed by the Los Angeles Clippers at +550, the Utah Jazz at +700, the Sixers at +750 and the Bucks at +800.

Here’s a full look at the 2021 NBA championship odds, per PointsBet:

Brooklyn Nets, +225

Los Angeles Lakers, +400

Los Angeles Clippers, +550

Utah Jazz, +700

Philadelphia 76ers, +750

Milwaukee Bucks, +800

Phoenix Suns, +2500

Denver Nuggets, +3300

Miami Heat, +3300

Dallas Mavericks, +5000

Portland Trail Blazers, +5000

Atlanta Hawks, +10000

New York Knicks, +10000

Boston Celtics, +10000

Washington Wizards, +25000

Memphis Grizzlies, +25000

Editor's note: All odds are provided by our partner, PointsBet. PointsBet is our Official Sports Betting Partner and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking our links