Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 4/3/13
It’s easy to look past any team in the NBA’s Eastern Conference not named the Miami Heat. Just ask the NBA betting community. That’s just how it goes when the reigning champions are also the franchise with the sport’s incumbent MVP, and the team that went on a 27-game win streak less than two weeks ago. All the hype surrounding South Beach, however, has allowed the Indiana Pacers to lay low with some of the most intriguing NBA odds available. With one of the game’s brightest, longest and most defensively gifted young stars leading the show in Paul George, the Pacers have 18-1 odds of winning the NBA championship. Their title bid, however, goes deeper than that. Joining George both in franchise-defining spirit and the points column is veteran big man David West. The power forward has raised his game in 2012-13 to the point where the Pacers are no longer just a team to look out for on the money line. They’re also an outright championship threat. This Friday, the Pacers will get the opportunity to test their mettle against the top team in the Western Conference. While the Oklahoma City Thunder may be neck-and-neck with the San Antonio Spurs in the win column, there’s a reason the flashy young Thunder are the only alternative option at the top of Bovada’s NBA futures. Expect big things out of the deepest team the East has to offer when George and West are joined by ex-Spur George Hill and 7-foot-2 force Roy Hibbert. If their names aren’t familiar yet, that’s about to change. Although no doubt the beneficiaries of some luck after Derrick Rose was deemed unable to suit up for the reigning Central Division champion Chicago Bulls, the Pacers have been proving themselves since the beginning of the season. What’s more, they’ve been a playoff — or close to playoff — team every year since 1990. Is this the year the Pacers prove to the NBA betting world that they’re more than a fringe postseason bracket-filler? Bet on the NBA at Bovada.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Tyler Eifert says he will never play in the Pro Bowl again

Australian athletes evacuate the Olympic village after fire

Russian weightlifting team banned from Rio

Wade says Riley did not push him out of Miami

Nationals among multiple teams inquiring on Mark Melancon

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

McClain does not show up for Cowboys’ training camp

Andre Johnson agrees to two-year deal with Titans

Redskins GM injures hand punching wall in frustration

Report: Aldon Smith checks into rehab

McCarthy discusses 'urgency’ to win another title with Rodgers

Report: Lions extend CB Darius Slay with $50 million deal

Storyline from 'Ballers' plays out in Cowboys preseason camp

Texas A&M creates a very sexist version of their fight song for women

Brown, Marshall are apparently serious about their car bet

Lacy, Starks could split carries to start season

Cyborg Santos post-surgery skull photos are eerie

Dr. Phil calls out the Patriots for their cheating ways

Hockey team unveils Clinton, Trump bobbleheads

Bennett compares chemistry with Pats QBs to his love life

Crowell still making amends for controversial Instagram post

Report: LeBron urged Justin Bieber not to perform at RNC

Luck refutes Matt Hasselbeck’s assertion he never showers

Newspaper editor explains use of Jordan meme for MJ article

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Dr. Phil calls out the Patriots for their cheating ways

Everything that's already gone wrong at the Rio Olympics

Amar'e Stoudemire's presence (and absence) changed the NBA

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker