Indiana has always maintained a steadfast affection for the game of basketball. From Larry Bird to Hoosiers, the state’s residents have never wavered in their commitment to hoops. So, what good fortune it is that Indianans can now place wagers on their favorite game, both online and retail.
Full-service sports betting is alive and well in the Hoosier State. Since August 2019, there have been multiple sportsbook options available across the state.
These sportsbooks are not fly-by-night organizations, either. Companies like DraftKings, MGM, and FanDuel call Indiana home. So, Indianans who want to place a bet on the University of Indiana or Notre Dame basketball teams have plenty of ways to do so now. As it turns out, they don’t even need to get off the couch to do it.
Indiana’s online sportsbooks and sports betting apps feature all the same NBA betting options, account management functions, and most of the same deposit and cashout options as the retail sportsbooks.
Legal Indiana sports betting (as licensed by the Indiana Gaming Commission) launched on Sept. 1, 2019, and allows for single-game NBA wagering and betting on NBA futures markets and prop bets.
Anyone at least 21 years of age and older and inside the borders of Indiana can now:
All Indiana online and mobile sports betting operators must employ age verification and geolocation technology to comply with state requirements.
Note: You don’t need to be a resident of Indiana to bet on the NBA in Indiana. You only need to be within state borders to place a real-money bet.
Betting on the NBA online versus in-person at a retail sportsbook will require you to sign up for an online account.
Fortunately, this is a simple process. Online sportsbooks don’t ask for more than a login and minimal personal information, usually no more than the last four digits of your Social Security number.
This process is how Indiana sports betting sites ensure you’re at least 21 years old. Once you have your account set up, you’re free to make bets via your computer or the sports betting app from anywhere in Indiana, 24/7.
If you’ve only made your bets at a retail sportsbook before, using an online sportsbook will be a revelation. The interface is incredibly user-friendly and you can navigate through different sports and betting lines at a glance.
You can search through dozens of NBA betting options, play around with total payouts for your bets before you finalize your bet and you never spend time waiting in line at a betting window.
Indiana sports betting sites and mobile apps allow you to take full advantage of all the bets you can, especially in-play NBA betting in real-time.
Once the sports betting site verifies your age and location, it’s only a matter of getting money on the site for betting. Indiana sports betting websites and apps make this an easy process as well.
Most accept a wide variety of deposit and withdrawal methods, including:
If you prefer to deal in cash, you can head to the cage at your local sportsbook and make your deposit there.
Indiana sports betting websites and mobile apps are all affiliated with local casinos, racetracks and OTB parlors. You can deposit cash into your online wagering account at these locations.
Third-party payment processors, like PayNearMe, are great; you can walk into a 7-Eleven or CVS Pharmacy and deposit cash into your account as well.
NBA futures are just what they sound like: NBA bets involving something where the outcome will be determined in the future.
That means betting on who will win a Division, Conference or NBA Finals with an Indiana sportsbook before or during the NBA season. You can also bet the over/under on how many wins a team will have at the season’s end.
Indiana sportsbooks will adjust the odds on teams who are still in contention as the season rolls along. That means the earlier it is, the better the odds you’ll get on genuine contenders, while some teams will emerge as major long shots as the season progresses.
The IGC also allows sportsbooks to take bets on NBA awards and the NBA draft. Ultimately, that means Indiana sportsbooks will take futures bets on all kinds of things, including:
After the Toronto Raptors shocked the NBA with their first-ever championship in 2018/19 the betting landscape shifted dramatically over the summer when Kawhi Leonard jumped ship for the LA Clippers.
Anthony Davis joined the Lakers, Russell Westbrook is now on the Rockets, Jimmy Butler is on the Heat, Chris Paul is on the Thunder … it’s a whole new ballgame out there for almost every NBA favorite this year.
Here’s how the NBA finals futures odds look at DraftKings Sportsbook as of Mar. 3, 2020:
Most NBA teams represent a city. The Indiana Pacers represent an entire state.
The Pacers are an old ABA team, established in 1967, which joined the NBA when the two leagues merged in 1976. Now the team plays in the Eastern Conference Central Division.
The Indiana Pacers play home games at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in downtown Indianapolis and have called the arena home since 1999.
The Pacers have won three titles, but they were all in the ABA. Since the team joined the NBA, they have made the NBA Finals only once, winning the Eastern Conference title in 2000. The Western Conference champion, Los Angeles Lakers, beat the Pacers 4 games to 2 in the Finals.
Guard Reggie Miller led the team to the 2000 NBA Finals and played his entire 18-year Hall-of-Fame NBA career with the Pacers. He remains the team’s all-time leading scorer and his No. 31 jersey was retired on March 30, 2006.
The Pacers wrapped up the 2018-19 NBA regular season with a 48-34 record. They made the playoffs despite star Oladipo suffering a season-ending knee injury in January. The Boston Celtics swept the Pacers out of the first round.
They currently sit sixth of 15 Eastern Conference teams in the NBA Power Rankings. Key additions to the roster over the offseason include:
According to the power rankings, Brogdon makes them a better team; however, big questions coming into the season include:
Check our complete guide to betting on the Indiana Pacers here:
Chicago’s proximity to Indiana makes the Chicago Bulls one of the state’s favorite NBA teams. Of course, the Bulls are one of the most successful franchises in NBA history, making them a favorite across the country, too.
The Bulls compete alongside the Pacers in the Eastern Conference Central Division. The team plays home games at the United Center in Chicago.
The Bulls won six NBA championships between 1991-98, including winning three consecutive championships twice. All six championship teams were led by Hall-of-Fame players Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen and Hall-of-Fame coach Phil Jackson. Jordan is widely considered the best NBA player of all time.
The Bulls finished the 2018-19 NBA regular season with a 22-60 record and missed the playoffs. The team added Thaddeus Young, Tomas Satoransky, and draft pick Coby White in the offseason while Robin Lopez said goodbye.
The NBA Power Rankings currently have the Bulls 11th in the East and likely to miss the playoffs again. They will depend on Zach Lavine, Otto Porter, Lauri Markkanen and Wendell Carter Jr. to lead the team this year.
It’s a big four that isn’t likely to scare anyone until they prove they can win consistently in the NBA. Check our guide to betting on the Bulls this year here:
Indiana’s proximity to Cleveland, Ohio, also makes the Cleveland Cavaliers an Indiana favorite. The Cavs have grown into one of the most popular franchises in the NBA in the 2000s thanks to the presence of NBA superstar LeBron James.
Cleveland took James with the first pick in the 2003 draft. James led the team to its first NBA Finals appearance in 2007. The Cavaliers lost and, after falling short of a second finals appearance for the next three years, James signed with the Miami Heat.
James returned in 2014 and led the Cavaliers to four straight NBA Finals. In 2016, he helped the team win its first NBA Championship. James has since moved on to the Los Angeles Lakers.
The team competes alongside the Pacers and Bulls in the Eastern Conference Central Division. The Cavs play home games at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland.
Reeling from the loss of James in the offseason, the Cavs 2018-19 NBA regular season resulted in a lowly 19-63 record.
The team made no significant moves in the offseason and currently sit 15th of 15 teams in the NBA Eastern Conference Power Rankings.
The only real question is if the Cavs can find anyone to take veterans like J.R. Smith and Kevin Love off of their hands this year. The Cavs is the Eastern Conference team that is voted most likely to be in the lottery again this season. The only question is how many ping-pong balls they’ll have in the draw.
NBA.com releases the NBA Power Rankings every Monday during the NBA season. Plus, it releases a midsummer power rankings at the end of July after most top-tier free agents have signed.
The following basic, single-game wagers are available in Indiana:
Moneylines: Pick any team to win using odds set by an Indiana sportsbook.
Spreads: Pick the favorite NBA team to win a game by a set number of points or line, or the underdog to lose by fewer points than the spread.
Totals: Pick whether the total score of the game will be over or under a line set by Indiana sportsbooks.
The IGC also allows in play betting. Also known as live betting, this means you can place any of the basic bets during a game as the odds adjust throughout the game.
The NBA futures market in Indiana lets you bet on a team to win the:
You can also wager on how many wins a specific team will wind up with at the end of the season. Indiana sportsbooks set odds on these futures markets prior to the start of the NBA season and adjust the odds as the season continues.
Also, the IGC allows betting on individual NBA awards and the NBA draft.
Moneyline bets pay according to what Indiana sportsbooks consider a team’s probability of winning. Making a moneyline bet means picking an outright winner. Indiana sportsbooks post the odds on each team as either a negative (-) or positive (+) number.
If it’s negative, that team is the favorite. The number represents how much you must bet to win $100, plus your bet back. If it’s positive, then that team is the underdog. The number represents how much each $100 you bet will pay.
The Indiana Pacers may be at -120 to beat the Chicago Bulls.
If you bet on the Indiana Pacers to win, you’ll have to bet $120 to win $100 plus your $120 back. At the same time, the Bulls line might be at +115. If you pick the Bulls, you’ll win $115 for every $100 you bet, plus each $100 back.
An NBA spread is the number of points Indiana sportsbooks think the favorites in a particular game will win by.
In most NBA games, the home team is a standard 1.5-point favorite. Check the line and then try to make the correct prediction of who will win the game with that line factored in.
Taking the home favorite means you’ll need to subtract the line from the team’s final score to determine a betting winner. If the Pacers are 1.5-point favorites over the Bulls and you take the Pacers, you will when they win by 2 points or more.
Bets on the underdog Bulls win when the Bulls win the game outright, or the Pacers win by just a single point.
Indiana sportsbooks book NBA spread bets at posted moneyline odds.
NBA totals ask you to pick whether the total score in a game will land over or under a line set by Indiana sportsbooks. Indiana sportsbooks also book NBA spread bets at posted moneyline odds.
A Pacers-Bulls totals line might be 200 points. If the Pacers beat the Bulls 102-100, over bets will pay. If it’s 100-98, under bets pay.
Put together two or more of basic NBA bets into one, and you’re betting an NBA parlay. Parlays pay much better than individual bets. The more bets that are part of your parlay, the higher it will pay. However, you must win all the legs of the parlay for it to pay anything at all.
Indiana sports betting law allows for live betting (in play betting) on NBA games. This type of betting means you can make basic NBA wagers at odds that change as the action does in a game.
It’s an excellent option for those that watch games and have a sports betting app handy on their phone. With the odds continually changing, it’s kind of hard to get in-game bets down at retail sportsbooks where you must line up at a window.
It’s pretty straightforward to learn the basic NBA bets you can make at an Indiana online sportsbook. The hard part, of course, is picking winners.
The most successful bettors follow proven betting strategies, manage their betting bankroll effectively to limit exposure and slowly grind out a profit.
Finding value in the daily NBA lines posted at Indiana sportsbooks is steady work. With just a little bit of practice and dedication, you can find some great betting spots.
The following tips might help you develop a solid NBA betting strategy and find the value you seek:
Get a good price on favorites
The best team almost always wins in the NBA, especially when they are at home. Shop around for the best price on home favorites and you may find some value.
Superstars = Wins
The NBA is a player’s league, and superstars lead their teams to victory. Read box scores to see who is hot and injury reports to see who is in the lineup before you start picking sides.
Look for big spreads
Most NBA games are close; in fact, just a single basket decides many. If you see a big spread on a game with an underdog that usually plays close games, jump on it. Oddsmakers are not above overvaluing a team’s edge.
Bet on local knowledge
You should bet on teams you know. Sports betting is a war of information. You’ll almost always have more information about local teams and the ones you follow daily simply because it’s available. Use it to gain an edge when betting.
Dig into details
Assess the situation. Look at things like whether a team is coming off a long road trip or playing the back end of back-to-back games, so they may not play their best. Coaching and roster changes can be big motivators as well. Look at the various situation a team might be in before deciding whether to bet on them or not.
There are a few errors to avoid when betting on the NBA:
Betting on Home Team, Always: We know you love the Pacers, but you can’t will them to win 82 games in the regular season and the NBA title. Instead of just betting on teams that you have an undying belief in, find stats and data to back up your choices. In other words, bet with your head, not your heart.
Chase Losses: Losing streaks happen but going for big wins to recoup losses is a fast way to go broke. Keep your bets the same affordable size, ride out a losing streak, and ensure you’re still in the game when a winning streak comes around.
Always Bet on Home Favorites: Home teams win a lot, as we mentioned, but always betting the hometown favorite to win is a mistake. There are times when every team is set up to lose. Look for those weak spots and either avoid betting the game or pick a road underdog primed to upset the home team occasionally.
You can also bet on the WNBA women’s pro basketball league and the local Indiana Fever WNBA franchise at Indiana sportsbooks.
The Indiana Fever joined the WNBA as an expansion franchise for the 2000 season. In 2009, the Fever made it to the WNBA Finals for the first time but lost to the Phoenix Mercury. The Fever won its first WNBA Championship in 2012.
The team has fallen on hard times lately finishing with a 13–21 record and out of the playoffs in 2019. The Fever will move to Butler University Hinkle Fieldhouse for 2020, 2021 and part of the 2022 season with renovations moving forward at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
The WNBA season runs from the end of May to early October and can be attractive to sports bettors because most of the season takes place during an otherwise slow time in sports.
Sharp sports bettors also like the WNBA because there’s not enough casual public betting on games to move lines. That means line movement is often an indication of sharp betting and easy to follow.
With far less media coverage than the NBA, following the WNBA requires a bit more effort. That means it’s more difficult for oddsmakers to set lines, and sports bettors that do their WNBA homework might find an edge.
Yes, it certainly is. At least 16 licensed retail sportsbooks have already been approved and the first two online sportsbooks (DraftKings and BetRivers) are already live.
The Indiana Gaming Commission has approved even more online and mobile sports betting apps for retail sportsbook partners and those will be live in the near future.
The NBA Playoffs traditionally start in mid-April and go through to Mid-June. The 2019/20 NBA regular season wraps up on April 16, 2020 and the 2020 NBA Playoffs will start three days later, on April 19. The 2020 NBA Finals are scheduled to begin on June 5, 2020.
Like all 30 NBA teams, the Indiana Pacers will play 82 regular season games, half on the road and half at home. The playoffs are all best-of seven series and a team needs to win three series to make the NBA Finals.
Home court advantage is probably the most important factor in NBA betting, considering NBA home teams historically win nearly 60% of all games, giving them the biggest home-court advantage of any major pro sport. That number jumps up close to 80% in the playoffs.
Spreads in the NBA work much the same as they do in other sports.
When the Pacers are the favorite in a game against the Bulls, the Pacers point spread line is posted with a minus sign (-) in front of it. This tells you the Pacers must win by more than that number for spread bets on the Pacers to pay.
On the other hand, the Bulls point spread line will be posted with a plus sign (+) in front of it. This tells you the Bulls must win outright or lose by less than this number for spread bets on the Bulls to pay.
Betting against the spread is just another way of saying you’re betting on the underdog in a particular NBA game.
Betting NBA totals, otherwise known as the over/under, is about picking whether the two teams in a game will combine to score more points than the line set by oddsmakers.
The best way to predict whether a game will land on the over or the under is to study up on the recent history of the teams involved. Check how many points were scored in a previous matchup between the two. Then look at each team’s current scoring average, do a little math, and you should have a good idea of what’s likely to happen in that game.
The NBA’s Draft Lottery to decide the order of picks in the NBA Draft is held annually in May. The 2020 NBA Draft Lottery is scheduled for May 19, 2020, in Chicago.
The NBA Draft is held annually in June. The 2020 NBA Draft is scheduled for June 25, 2020 in New York City.