NBA Playoffs 2014: Current Championship Odds and Updated Bracket Picks

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NBA Playoffs 2014: Current Championship Odds and Updated Bracket Picks
Michael Conroy/Associated Press

Unfortunately, we'll have to wait until Saturday to take in some more adrenaline-filled NBA playoff action.

While that may not be ideal for diehard basketball fans, it sure leaves us plenty of time to speculate on what's to come.

We've already seen a roller-coaster start to the East's series, as the Indiana Pacers and Miami Heat are tied at one game each.

It's a completely different story in the West, as the San Antonio Spurs have put the Oklahoma City Thunder in a devastating two-game hole.

As each of these four teams continues to vie for a spot in the NBA Finals, let's take a look at the updated championship odds for each team and determine the potential outcome for each conference finals series.

 

Updated Championship Odds

2014 NBA Championship Odds
Team Odds
San Antonio Spurs 10-13
Miami Heat 7-5
Indiana Pacers 13-1
Oklahoma City Thunder 20-1

Vegas Insider

Championship odds courtesy of Vegas Insider.

 

Conference Finals Predictions

Indiana Pacers vs. Miami Heat

This series is a tale of two polar-opposite teams.

The Pacers have found success due to a deep starting roster. In both Game 1 and Game 2 of this series, each of Indiana's starters earned double-digit points.

ESPN Stats & Info tweeted a telling statistic midway through Game 2:

Despite this fact, the Pacers have been wildly inconsistent.

In Game 1, the Heat didn't have an answer for Paul George. He connected on seven of his 13 attempts from the field for 24 points. Game 2 brought about a completely different story, as George only hit four of his 16 attempts for 14 points.

The most consistent player for the Pacers thus far has been Roy Hibbert. He continues to be a thorn in Miami's side, compiling a total of 31 points and 24 rebounds over two games.

On the Heat's side, it's all LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.

Through two games against the Pacers, they have been the only two starters to earn double-digit points in either contest.

NBA on ESPN tweeted the pair's statistics from the final minutes of Game 2:

Heat point guard Norris Cole spoke of the duo's efforts with the Associated Press, via ESPN.com, after their Game 2 win.

"That's why they're the hundred million dollar guys," Cole said. "They're unstoppable. They make the game easy for everyone else when they're in attack mode."

Even though the Pacers had the lead for most of the evening against the Heat in Game 2, their inconsistent finish doesn't bode well for the team going forward.

After a poor finish to the regular season and rocky start to the playoffs, the Pacers seem to have found their footing against Miami.

Still, consistency is needed for this team to overtake the Heat. Until we see that change, this series will continue to be Miami's to lose.

Heat in six

 

San Antonio Spurs vs. Oklahoma City Thunder

It doesn't look good for Kevin Durant and Co. right now.

Before the series began, there was plenty of talk regarding the Thunder's inability to defend without Serge Ibaka in the lineup.

During Game 1, the Spurs took heavy advantage of the big man's absence, scoring in the paint at will.

Oklahoma City was expected to make some crucial adjustments heading into Game 2 in an effort to avoid further domination by Tim Duncan.

It didn't completely work out, according to an in-game tweet from ESPN Stats & Info:

Well, on the plus side, Duncan was held to just five-of-12 shooting for 14 points. Unfortunately, it was defending the perimeter that became a problem in addition for the Thunder.

Danny Green was simply on fire for the Spurs, bucketing seven threes on his way to a 21-point performance.

Not only did the well-rounded Spurs dominate on the offensive end, but they held the high-octane Thunder to just 77 points on 39.3 percent shooting from the field.

This tweet from ESPN Stats & Info really sums up the first two games:

Veteran Tony Parker put things simply after the Game 2 win during a press conference with the Associated Press, via ESPN.com. He said, "We just did our job. We won our first two games at home and I'm sure they're going to go back and say we have to do our job and win two games at home."

Playing the next two games at home is possibly the lone bright spot for the Thunder right now.

Oklahoma City was dominated in every aspect of the game in San Antonio, and perhaps a couple games in front of the home crowd will give the boost necessary to get back into this series.

After all, the Thunder've been in this position before, according to a tweet from ESPN Stats & Info:

That's wishful thinking.

Not only does Oklahoma City not have the defensive prowess to stop San Antonio, but the team is now struggling to get points on the board.

Against such an experienced Spurs team, that's not a good omen.

Spurs in five

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