Bubble time has ended.
NBA teams will open the 2020-21 season this month in their own arenas.
Including the Indiana Pacers. The team recently announced its first-half schedule and initial plan for allowing fans in the stands.
Indiana Pacers will open arena to fans in January
The Pacers will tip off the upcoming season two days before Christmas, on Dec. 23 in Indianapolis against the New York Knicks.
The team’s first away game will follow on Dec. 26 in Chicago versus the Bulls.
Following the unprecedented 2019-2020 season – which ended in the Orlando bubble – the NBA scheduled a 72-game season for each team. Typical seasons include 82 regular-season games.
This means the Pacers will play each Eastern Conference opponent three times and each Western Conference team twice.
The recent schedule release, meanwhile, sets dates for 38 games and runs through March 4.
The second-half schedule will be released at a later, unknown date.
Importantly, the team announced it will welcome fans back to Bankers Life Fieldhouse in January.
The Pacers, however, did not provide a specific date for allowing in-person crowds.
“As we continue to train our staff and partners to ensure the safest possible environment for our guests and players, out of an abundance of caution we have decided that we will not have public ticket sales for the beginning of the regular season. We look forward to having fans back to Bankers Life Fieldhouse in January, and we will provide updates in the near future.”
What odds are available for Pacers?
Pre-season futures bets are abundant for Pacers bettors.
DraftKings has the Pacers at +10000 to win it all, equal to the Atlanta Hawks. The team is situated at +4000 to win the Eastern Conference.
More realistic, if still unlikely, are the Pacers’ chances of winning the conference’s Central Division.
Indiana is listed as the second-most likely division winner, at +1200.
The Pacers enter the season with mildly high hopes, sporting a healthy back-court of Victor Oladipo and Malcolm Brogdon. Joining them in the starting lineup will be:
- TJ Warren
- Myles Turner
- Domantas Sabonis
Milwaukee is the current favorite to win the division, at -5000.
The Pacers’ team win percentage over/under is 54.5, with the over currently at -120. New coach Nate Bjorkgen is +3300 to win Coach of the Year.
A bevy of other player futures exist as well – including Rookie of the Year, Most Improved Player, 6th Man of the Year, and Defensive Player of the Year – for anyone eager to start early on NBA betting.