It was a long, trying, and losing month for the Indiana Pacers, who wrapped up a woeful March at 8-10, setting off interior frustrations among other bad vibes. From talking heads to fans, everyone seemed to take note of Indiana's struggles, and they weren't able to escape Las Vegas odds makers, with the Pacers seeing longer odds in their championship line from 5/2 odds to 9/2 odds according to Bovada.lv, who offer up various odds as the 2013-14 NBA regular season nears its end.
The Pacers aren't the only team who saw their odds change with the month of March. The odds on favorites Miami Heat went from 11/5 odds on March 4 to sit at 9/4 currently. Oklahoma City Thunder (9/2) and Houston Rockets (18/1) also saw dips from a month ago, but the Portland Trail Blazers have seen their odds move from 20/1 to 40/1 in the past month. Not all teams stumbled with the San Antonio Spurs moving from 11/1 odds to 7/2 and Brooklyn Nets moving from 66/1 to 33/1.
Despite Brooklyn's run of success in the calendar year, the Eastern Conference is still seen as a two team race between the Pacers and Heat, with the Heat still playing favorites at 5/7, while the Pacers sit at 13/10. Brooklyn is a distant third at 14/1 and the Chicago Bulls are a distant fourth at 25/1. The New York Knicks, who may not even make the playoffs, are given the fifth best odds at 40/1 of coming out of the Eastern Conference, same with Toronto Raptors (40/1) and ahead of Washington Wizards (66/1) and Charlotte Bobcats (100/1).
The San Antonio Spurs are the favorites out West at 7/4, but Oklahoma City (2/1), Los Angeles Clippers (9/2), Houston (8/1), and Golden State Warriors (11/1) are all seen as having better chances to emerge from the West than Brooklyn does of unseating Indiana and Miami. The final spots in both conferences are down to five teams (though the Cleveland Cavaliers are a dark horse at two games out with six to play).
The Atlanta Hawks are seen as 1/5 favorites over New York to emerge as the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference. Despite New York's rise and Atlanta's continuous collapse, New York has a difficult schedule remaining, playing all six games against playoff teams while Atlanta plays just four playoff teams in their final eight games. Not only does Atlanta feature an easier schedule, but they also hold the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Knicks, putting extra weight on New York's end of year schedule.
Out West, two spots remaining between the Phoenix Suns, Memphis Grizzlies, and Dallas Mavericks, with all three teams sitting at 44-31. The danger each of these teams pose will make it an unfortunate circumstance when one of them has to sit out the postseason, but Bovada likes Memphis (1/6) and Dallas (1/2) to come away with the final two spots, putting Phoenix at slightly longer 5/6 odds.
Assuming all three teams stay on target heading into the final games, they'll be able to decide the playoff spots between the three of them, as Phoenix, Memphis, and Dallas all play each other in the final week of the regular season. Suffice to say, while complaints about an Eastern Conference team ten games below .500 reaching the postseason over a team guaranteed to finish with no less than 44 wins, they all control their own destiny heading down the stretch, so the odd team out will have wasted a perfect opportunity regardless of the NBA's seeding process.
As far as seeding goes, there is question between the Heat and Pacers as who comes out on top. Miami is currently seen as the 2/5 favorites after having finally catching the Pacers (and going up a game in the loss column). Indiana comes in at 7/4 odds, but will have another crack at the Heat when the two teams meet in Miami on April 11.
Check out the championship, conference, and various playoff odds below, as well as what odds Andrew Wiggins has as the potential top pick of the 2014 NBA Draft.
Odds to win 2014 NBA Championship
Odds on 3/4/14 Current Odds
San Antonio Spurs 11/1
Oklahoma City Thunder 15/4
Los Angeles Clippers 12/1
Houston Rockets 16/1
Golden State Warriors 20/1
Brooklyn Nets 66/1
Portland Trailblazers 20/1
Memphis Grizzlies 66/1
Toronto Raptors 66/1
New York Knicks 250/1
Washington Wizards 100/1
Charlotte Bobcats 500/1
Odds to win 2014 NBA Eastern Conference
Brooklyn Nets 14/1
New York Knicks 40/1
Toronto Raptors 40/1
Washington Wizards 66/1
Charlotte Bobcats 100/1
Odds to win 2014 NBA Western Conference
San Antonio Spurs 7/4
Oklahoma City Thunder 2/1
Los Angeles Clippers 9/2
Houston Rockets 8/1
Golden State Warriors 11/1
Portland Trailblazers 20/1
Memphis Grizzlies 28/1
Odds to win 2014 NBA Atlantic Division
Toronto Raptors 1/2
Brooklyn Nets 3/2
Odds to win first seed in Eastern Conference
Will the New York Knicks make the playoffs?
Will the Atlanta Hawks make the playoffs?
Will the Memphis Grizzlies make the playoffs?
Will the Dallas Mavericks make the playoffs?
Will the Phoenix Suns make the playoffs?
NBA Draft Odds
Andrew Wiggins - Will he be selected #1 overall in the 2014 NBA Draft?
Yes -400 (1/4)
No +250 (5/2)