Bookmaker experiences substantial growth in wagers
By staff
Online betting operator reported that it has seen a striking growth in wagers placed on Eastern Conference outcome. The punters reacted immediately. As the announcement of the Pacers' suspensions was released, bets increased ten-fold. Since Sunday they have taken more than 1,200 bets, ranging from $5 to $10,000, on the Heat to win the East.

So far, three of the Pacers' star performers are out for significant parts of the season. It seems gamblers have lost faith in a team that was a strong favourite to win the Eastern Conference and to advance to the NBA finals. The punters didnít change their mind even after the NBA players' union decision to file grievances on behalf of Ron Artest, Stephen Jackson and Jermaine O'Neal.

In the wake of the suspensions, Miami has replaced Indiana as the favourite, alongside Detroit, to win the conference title and compete in the NBA Finals. has also posted short odds of 3 to 2 (-150) that Artest will not be a Pacer next season. Odds that he will not play in NBA next season have been placed at 8 to 1.

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