The Chicago Bulls are obviously overwhelming favorites against the Indiana Pacers in the first round of the 2011 NBA Playoffs. But based on a log5 analysis of the series matchup, using regular season point differential (historically the best indicator of postseason performance) as the foundation, this series could get ugly quickly.
That's right: log5 says the Bulls have a 96 percent probability of winning the series, and better than a 70 percent probability of winning it in four or five games. No series in the first round is this likely to end in a sweep or 4-1 decision based on the log5 method.
Consider it another way: according to the method, the Bulls are seven times as likely to sweep Indiana than the Pacers are to win the series period. The Bulls are almost twice as likely to sweep the Pacers as the Pacers are likely to win just two games.
These are long, long odds.