How the Indiana Pacers can still use the underdog card even as a favorite

The Indiana Pacers are now the betting favorite over the Milwaukee Bucks. They can still use the underdog card for this series though.
Jan 1, 2024; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Indiana Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton (0) brings the ball
Jan 1, 2024; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Indiana Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton (0) brings the ball / Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

The Indiana Pacers are favored to beat the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round of the NBA playoffs. It didn't start out that way. Once Giannis Antetokounmpo's availability to start the series was in question, things started to flip towards Indiana in terms of them being the favorite.

Even if Giannis was going to play to start the series, the Pacers still felt confident they could win the series. Indiana dominated the Bucks in the regular season and they feel like their offense can't be stopped by their defense. They are also still using the underdog card despite being the favorites.

They are doing that because even if some pundits think the Pacers will win the early games in the series, some are picking the Bucks to win it after that. Giannis is still one of the three best players in the world. If he is 80% healthy, that's still scary for the Pacers.

The Indiana Pacers feel confident they can go beyond the first round of the playoffs

The Pacers have one of the best transition offenses in the league. In fact, their offense was the fourth-best offense in the history of the NBA this season. No one was able to consistently stop them. They don't think a Bucks team that has struggled with transition defense this season can either.

Indiana isn't just confident that they can beat the Bucks. They are confident that they can continue to win and keep advancing in the playoffs. Even if they eventually meet up with Boston, they beat them multiple times. This young Pacers team isn't afraid of anyone.


It's going to be a fun playoff run no matter how long it lasts for the Pacers. They are a young team that needs some playoff experience. That's what this postseason run is going to be about; learning how to win at the highest level.