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Pacers among NBA's best championship odds, still play underdogs against East's elite

The Pacers are currently set at 10/1 odds for the 2014 NBA Championship, but still aren't favored to win the Central Division.

Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

The return of Derrick Rose in Chicago has reshaped the outlook of the Eastern Conference, with the Bulls becoming the favorite to regain their spot atop the Central Division and the team most equipped to bring Miami's championship reign to an end according to many experts. This certainly doesn't change when it comes to betting, and the folks at Bovada offer up a similar view on Rose's return.

It is pretty remarkable the respect betters give Rose, and it proves that "what have you done for me lately?" isn't the only way to look at sports. The Indiana Pacers, despite coming a win short of winning the Eastern Conference this past June, find themselves underdogs to Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls. That's not to discount the Pacers' own championship odds; sitting at 10/1, they're behind just four teams, even becoming a hot pick that dropped their odds from 12/1. But Chicago's own 8/1 odds put them second in the NBA behind only the Miami Heat, who are a big 2/1 pick.

Indiana's own journey towards a championship begins in the Central Division where they'll be trading blows with the Bulls for 82 games. If Indiana hopes to realize their goal of landing the Eastern Conference's top seed, they'll have to better Chicago within the division first. Within the Central Division, only the Bulls and Pacers are seen as contenders, with Chicago posting 2/3 odds against Indiana's 7/5. Cleveland and Detroit each have long 16/1 odds with Milwaukee at 66/1.

Odds to win 2014 NBA Central Division           

Chicago Bulls                          2/3

Indiana Pacers                         7/5

Cleveland Cavaliers 16/1

Detroit Pistons 16/1

Milwaukee Bucks 66/1

The Eastern Conference odds have the Pacers at third at 5/1, trailing Miami (1/1) and Chicago (4/1) while edging out Brooklyn (11/2). New York finds themselves at 9/1, but after that, the teams expected to contend plummets all the way to 40/1 with Cleveland and Detroit each.

Odds to win 2014 NBA Eastern Conference     

Miami Heat                           1/1

Chicago Bulls                          4/1

Indiana Pacers                         5/1

Brooklyn Nets 11/2

New York Knicks 9/1

Cleveland Cavaliers                   40/1

Detroit Pistons                        40/1

Washington Wizards 50/1

Atlanta Hawks 66/1

Boston Celtics 66/1

Toronto Raptors 66/1

Milwaukee Bucks                       100/1

Philadelphia 76ers 150/1

Charlotte Bobcats 250/1

Orlando Magic 250/1

It's no surprise Miami remains the heavy favorite even when looking at the NBA Championship odds, where Indiana sits in fifth at 10/1, along with Houston and Brooklyn. Oklahoma City (8/1) and Los Angeles Clippers (9/1) join Miami (2/1) and Chicago (8/1) in front of Indiana. While it's easy to look at the odds as a sort of disrespect against the Pacers, especially against the Bulls, it's no secret that Indiana has been a hot commodity as far as potential NBA Champions go. The real surprise, according to Sports Book Manager Kevin Bradley is San Antonio, who notes that despite the Spurs dropping, they're still not getting much action as an NBA title contender. Huh.

Odds to win 2014 NBA Championship 

Miami Heat                           2/1

Chicago Bulls                          8/1

Oklahoma City Thunder 8/1

Los Angeles Clippers                9/1

Houston Rockets 10/1

Indiana Pacers                         10/1

Brooklyn Nets                           10/1

San Antonio Spurs 12/1

Golden State Warriors 16/1

New York Knicks                       22/1

Memphis Grizzlies 28/1

Los Angeles Lakers 33/1

Dallas Mavericks 50/1

Denver Nuggets 50/1

Cleveland Cavaliers                   66/1

Detroit Pistons                        75/1

Minnesota Timberwolves 100/1

New Orleans Pelicans 100/1

Washington Wizards                  100/1

Atlanta Hawks                          150/1

Boston Celtics                        150/1

Portland Trailblazers                  150/1

Toronto Raptors                        150/1

Utah Jazz 150/1

Milwaukee Bucks                       250/1

Philadelphia 76ers                     300/1

Phoenix Suns 300/1

Sacramento Kings 300/1

Charlotte Bobcats                     500/1

Orlando Magic                          500/1

The seemingly toss up favoritism towards Chicago creates an exciting angle to the 2013-14 NBA season that should make things for Pacers fans a little more rewarding should the Pacers prevail against their Central Division rivals. In the meantime, check out the odds for the rest of the NBA, including Miami's ridiculous division odds.

Odds to win 2014 NBA Atlantic Division          

Brooklyn Nets                           1/2

New York Knicks                       7/4

Toronto Raptors                        14/1

Boston Celtics                          33/1

Philadelphia 76ers                     66/1

Odds to win 2014 NBA Southeast Division      

Miami Heat                              1/100

Washington Wizards                  12/1

Atlanta Hawks                          14/1

Charlotte Bobcats                     200/1

Orlando Magic                          200/1

Odds to win 2014 NBA Northwest Division      

Oklahoma City Thunder              1/4

Denver Nuggets                        11/2

Minnesota Timberwolves            10/1

Portland Trailblazers                  18/1

Utah Jazz                                 18/1

Odds to win 2014 NBA Pacific Division           

Los Angeles Clippers                2/5

Golden State Warriors               9/5

Los Angeles Lakers                   10/1

Sacramento Kings                     100/1

Phoenix Suns                           200/1

Odds to win 2014 NBA Southwest Division      

Houston Rockets                      13/10

San Antonio Spurs                    7/5

Memphis Grizzlies                     4/1

Dallas Mavericks                      16/1

New Orleans Pelicans                25/1

Odds to win 2014 NBA Western Conference     

Los Angeles Clippers                7/2

Oklahoma City Thunder              7/2

Houston Rockets                      4/1

San Antonio Spurs                    11/2

Golden State Warriors               7/1

Memphis Grizzlies                     10/1

Los Angeles Lakers                   16/1

Denver Nuggets                        18/1

Dallas Mavericks                      25/1

Minnesota Timberwolves            50/1

New Orleans Pelicans                50/1

Portland Trailblazers                  66/1

Utah Jazz                                 75/1

Sacramento Kings                     100/1

Phoenix Suns                           150/1