Soccer bettors in and around Indiana received a long-awaited treat on Monday morning.
Betting on the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) is now an option for Indiana sportsbook operators. It couldn’t come at a better time.
The NWSL will be the first North American contact sports league to resume play since the COVID-19 pandemic began. At least three Indiana sports betting apps have already confirmed they will offer action on the league’s upcoming tournament.
Debut of NWSL betting in Indiana
Starting June 27 in Herriman, Utah, all nine NWSL clubs will participate in the NWSL Challenge Cup tournament. The league released match times on Tuesday morning. Furthermore, individual players have the option to skip the tournament.
Despite those outstanding uncertainties, BetRivers, DraftKings and PointsBet have confirmed they will post online markets on the tourney in Indiana. The odds will be live as the tournament’s opening date gets closer, according to IN sportsbooks. Other sports betting apps in IN may follow suit.
CBS and CBS Sports will televise the entire tournament, with the opening-round matches and the championship match slated for national coverage.
While there isn’t an NWSL club in Indiana, the Chicago Red Stars play their home matches right across the Illinois border. Additionally, the league has announced an expansion club for Louisville.
Anyone familiar with the US Women’s National Team for soccer will recognize a great number of players for various NWSL clubs. In Chicago, this includes Morgan Brian, Tierna Davidson, Julie Ertz and Alyssa Naeher.
For the NWSL, the exposure of being the first live games on the continent since March is significant. So is the added visibility that legal wagering on its matches brings.
If the NWSL can successfully complete its scheduled tournament, it could be a great sign for sports betting in the future. Also, the league’s protocols could provide a road map for other sports leagues to follow.
All eyes watching NWSL in July
The top-level of men’s club soccer in North America, MLS, also has announced plans to hold a tournament for its clubs starting July 8. The “MLS is Back” tourney will take place in Orlando, FL, next month.
Similarly, Indiana sportsbooks have yet to post markets for that event. The planning stages are much more preliminary, however, as the MLS has yet to announce dates for the matches.
Other sports leagues will likely be keeping a close eye on how things play out for the MLS and the NWSL.
The NBA and the NHL have merely announced formats for concluding previously suspended seasons and haven’t announced dates or venues yet. They could replicate those protocols as best practices for keeping team personnel safe.
Speaking of the NHL, that was also the subject of one of the additions the IGC made Monday morning. IN sportsbooks are now free to take bets on the NHL Draft Lottery.
The IGC’s other additions and alterations were:
- Adding Germany’s top level of basketball.
- Adding World Team Tennis (WTT).
- Consolidating global club soccer leagues into a more condensed and easier format for sportsbook operators.
The NWSL is helping to bring sports back to North America and the IGC has made sure IN bettors can wager on the action.