NBA - Indiana Pacers vs. Toronto Raptors

Updated NBA Odds To Win The Eastern Conference – Don’t Trust Indiana

All season long the Indiana Pacers have been the biggest potential threat to the reigning champions, but in my updated 2014 NBA Playoff odds to win the Eastern Conference, I’m turning my back on the prodigal sons. Indiana is still the second favorite at +380 for obvious reasons, but they don’t look like they’ll even survive their first round matchup against Atlanta. In the course of just one weekend, the Heat have dropped to -200 as the clear cut favorite out east.

Updated NBA Playoff Series Prices

Memphis Grizzlies +550
Oklahoma City Thunder -800

Golden State Warriors +150
Los Angeles Clippers -170

Atlanta Hawks +160
Indiana Pacers -185

Brooklyn Nets -300
Toronto Raptors +250

Washington Wizards -157
Chicago Bulls +137

Charlotte Bobcats +1750
Miami Heat +3000

Dallas Mavericks +850
San Antonio Spurs -1300

Portland Trailblazers -145
Houston Rockets +125

What happened to Indiana is fairly simple. Imagine a basketball team as a car. You fill up the gas tank at the beginning of the season, and then embark down the long road to the championship round. The problem is that there are zero pit stops along the way. The more talent you have, the larger your gas tank will be, but it’s up to the driver to keep the pace in check so that you don’t burn through all your fuel too quickly.

Instead of preserving precious energy, Indiana slammed on the gas pedal and burned out their starting five over the 82-game schedule of the regular season. You can see it in how lifeless Indiana seems these days – they just seem flat out exhausted. There’s no hop in their step, and no snap in their punches. There is zero reason that these Atlanta Hawks should be giving them any problems. Not when the team has prided themselves on disciplined two-way play. It’s why it comes as no surprise that the updated NBA odds to win the Eastern Conference are shading Indiana.

The irony isn’t just that a team named the “Pacers” couldn’t pace themselves; it’s more so that Frank Vogel shouldn’t have done this to his squad.  He’s supposed to be much smarter than this, especially since he’s directly responsible for turning Hibbert, George and Lance in to three of the NBA’s best players. I know a lot of this seems over-reactionary to a Game 1 loss, but Indiana has looked shoddy for the last month. Even if they manage to right the ship against Atlanta and win the series, you can’t like their chances against stronger teams in the conference.

The road to the finals just got a lot easier for Miami, who have tons of problems of their own but seem like the most logical take when you scan the updated NBA odds to win the Eastern Conference. Considering that they have the most playoff experience as a whole unit, and the best player in the universe, it’s hard to hedge against them.

But if you like longshots, then I suppose any team is worth taking a shot at. Brooklyn is a 6-to-1 third favorite, while Toronto has dropped all the way to +5000. Chicago is now +2000 while the upstart Wizards are definitely worth a look at +2500. Actually, if any team is worth taking a reach on in the updated NBA odds to win the Eastern Conference, it’s Washington at +2500. And no, I’m not kidding.

Posted in NBA