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NBA futures figure Pacers to take a step back in the East

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Oddsmakers don’t feel good about the Pacers in 2021 despite a strong regular season finish in 2020.

Indiana Pacers v Miami Heat - Game Four Photo by Ashley Landis-Pool/Getty Images

The Pacers finished in fourth place in the Eastern Conference once the loonnngg 2019-20 NBA regular season ended in the Orlando bubble.

Despite the strong showing which outpaced expectations and no roster changes (so far), oddsmakers predicting what will now be the 2021 season, don’t think the Pacers can repeat their success.

According to BetOnline, the Pacers have 100 to 1 to win the NBA championship next year and are listed at 33 to 1 to win the East. Some things never change, as the Lakers and Clippers are the top picks to win the title.

In the East, the Bucks (7/2) are the top pick followed very closely by the Celtics (15/4) and Nets (15/4). Apparently, the Heat isn’t impressing Vegas so if you want some value they are listed at 6 to 1 to win the East (see full Eastern Conference odds below).

But at 33/1 the Pacers are trailing far behind and with the same odds as the Wizards and Bulls which would have the three teams fighting for the last two playoff spots. That’s a pretty big step back for the Pacers even considering the Nets are now a major player in the mix.

The Pacers weren’t happy with their fourth place finish and first-round exit in the playoffs. Kevin Pritchard and friends are trying to improve the team, starting with hiring a new coach to adjust their playing style. Other roster changes are likely in store but for those betting on the Pacers process, they obviously expect the results to goin in the wrong direction.

Fortunately, the Pacers have outperformed their odds several times in the past. In fact, this seems like an annual tradition now. But the odds and regular season win totals have no bearing on the folks at the Fieldhouse. It is all about competing in the postseason. I’m sure they’d take a seventh place spot in the East, if the team could win a first-round playoff series. But, alas that formula is a much tougher road to a deep playoff run.

These odds will adjust before the new season tips off in January? (February? Sometime, please!). It will be interesting to see how they react to the coaching hire and any roster changes. But for now, the oddsmakers are not impressed with what the Pacers are doing.

Odds to Win the Eastern Conference