Most popular sports to bet in Indiana
Generally speaking, football is America’s favorite sport. In viewership and betting dollars, no other sport outstrips the gridiron game.
Even though Indiana has a reputation for a love of basketball, the Hoosier State cannot deny its affection for football. As a result, the interests in Indiana are decidedly split.
According to Google Trends, the northern half of the state is more interested in betting on Indianapolis Colts football than anything else. Obviously, the presence of Indianapolis in that area plays a significant role, but no other sport overtakes the team in white and blue, with one glaring exception.
Naturally, the area around South Bend is most interested in Notre Dame football. College’s most-storied football program inspires quite a bit of pride in the area.
However, in the southern half of Indiana, there is a clear winner for people’s favorite sports team. The Indiana University Hoosiers men’s basketball team draws the most attention in those regions, so college basketball betting is big business.
Overall, Indianans pay attention to the Colts more than anyone else. Due to the state’s proximity to the Windy City, there is also quite a bit of attention paid to betting on the Chicago Bears, too. With many in the Chicago-area living minutes away from the Indiana state line or in an Indiana suburb, that is not a surprise. The same can be said for the Bengals, Ohio state, and Cincinnati-area bettors.
Breakdown of Indiana teams by urban area and popularity according to Google Trends.
|City||Notre Dame Football||Indianapolis Colts||Indiana Pacers||Hoosier's Basketball||Chicago Bears
|Terre Haute IN||4%||40%||18%||28%||
|Ft. Wayne IN||14%||35%||9%||24%||18%
|South Bend-Elkhart IN||49%||21%||4%||11%||15%
Frankly, the love of basketball does not hold up as one might think. The Indianapolis Pacers aren’t even in the same league in terms of hometown affection, but they still draw lots of first-time NBA bettors.
How sports betting works in Indiana
Legal sports betting was an activity confined to Nevada until June 2018. So, it may be something of an oddity to newcomers, especially with so many terms and jargon to learn.
However, sports betting is not nearly as complicated as it seems. Most of the learning curve is around the typical types of bets at most sportsbooks.
Here are the types of bets players are most likely to encounter.
Point spreads are perhaps the most common type of sports bet.
Even casual observers have heard discussions about “the spread” on a game.
A point spread is the margin of victory that the sportsbook has estimated a particular contest will have. The sportsbook determines which team it expects to win, and estimates by how many points, runs or goals will separate the two teams.
Bettors, then, can wager one of two ways. They can either bet that the team expected to win, or favorite, will exceed the estimated margin of victory. If the team can do so, it is said to have “beaten the spread.”
Conversely, the bettor can also choose to wager that the team expected to lose, or underdog, will lose by fewer points than the given margin. A team that does this is said to have “covered the spread.”
An underdog also covers the spread if it manages to win the game outright. However, all that matters is that the team’s margin of loss is less than the spread.
Sportsbooks often set the spreads (and other benchmarks) in half-point increments. That way, there is no chance that a tie will result.
Moneylines are also a common betting type.
At first glance, they appear quite complicated. However, a moneyline bet is nothing more than a wager on which team will win the contest.
The margin of victory is unimportant for moneyline wagers. So, in a sense, they are more straightforward than point spreads.
However, the trick with moneylines comes into play with the three-digit number that appears next to each team’s name. That number determines the payout for a winning bet, and therein lies the odds on the game.
A positive (+ sign) moneyline means that the team next to it is the underdog. The given number is the amount of payout promised for a winning $100 bet.
So, a bettor who wagers $100 on a team at +200 and wins would receive a payout of $300, which is $200 in winnings plus their original bet amount. However, teams are underdogs because the sportsbook has estimated their chances of winning to be lower than average, so bear that in mind.
Conversely, a negative (– sign) moneyline means that the team next to it is the favorite. The given number is the amount a bettor must wager to win $100.
Obviously, the given moneyline is a proportional number. The sportsbook will adjust the payout based upon the amount that the bettor bets.
A totals bet may not sound familiar, but that’s because it’s often referred to by another name. Any discussion about the “over/under” means that the talk is about a totals bet.
In a totals bet, the bettor does not actually care which team prevails in the contest. Rather, the totals bet focuses on the number of points that both teams scored by the end of the game.
The sportsbook will establish the combined total of points in much the same way that it does for point spreads. This estimate, called the over/under, is usually expressed in half-points for the same reason as point spreads, to avoid ties with the player.
Once the sportsbook publishes the over/under, bettors can then choose whether they believe the two teams in the contest will combine for more or fewer points than the given number.
A bettor who thinks they will score more is said to have “taken the over.” A player who bets on the other side of the estimate has “taken the under.”
A futures bet may seem like a bit of a misnomer. After all, every wager is a guess on a future event.
However, a futures wager is about an event well into the future. Futures bets are wagers on circumstances that will occur at the end of a particular sports season.
Examples of futures bets include wagers on which team will prevail in the league championship, or which player will emerge as the most valuable player. Single bets that require input from multiple contests throughout the season tend to be futures wagers.
Proposition wagers are far more common than one might expect. A proposition bet, or prop bet, is a catch-all term for any wager on events auxiliary to the outcome of a game or match.
Prop bets show up in sportsbooks as combination bets much of the time. A single wager that has two conditions for success might be considered a proposition.
Props are also the kinds of wagers that make good gambling stories. Tales of side bets where someone has to complete an athletic feat or lose a certain amount of weight involves a prop bet.
One of the most prominent new features in American sports betting is also entirely comprised of prop bets.
Even though live betting is a subset of proposition wagering, it deserves its own section. Live betting, or in-game wagering, is quickly becoming a must-have for online sportsbooks in the US.
A live bet is a wager on a contest or game already in progress. Live betting options tend to fall into one of two categories.
The first category is a wager about statistics at the end of various periods during the game. So a live bet could be, e.g., the score at the end of a period, or how many points a player will score by halftime.
The other type of live bet most commonly available has to do with statistical milestones within the context of gameplay.
For instance, if a player has scored 20 points by halftime, a live bet might be whether he will reach 30 points by the end of the third quarter. More broadly, a team that has captured two interceptions might be the subject of wagers on how many interceptions they will have at the end of the game.
Obviously, bettors can fuse these two categories.
Live bets about how many interceptions a team will have in the fourth quarter alone can occur.
Live betting has grown in popularity in the US because it dramatically expands the number of bets that each contest can offer. Instead of a retail sportsbook’s straight bets, which could only be five wagers or so, a live betting system provides dozens of wagers on a single contest.
A sportsbook likes to offer as much action as it can since more wagers mean more opportunities to collect a portion of the bet, known as vigorish or vig.
However, players like live betting, too, because it allows taking advantage of developments during the game or hedge against their pregame bets.
The types of bets just discussed involve single, discreet wagers. Parlays, on the other hand, combine to form entire lineups of bets.
So, for instance, a player might want to bet on the outcome of three different games occurring on the same day. Rather than bet each one individually, he or she can choose to lump them together in a single parlay bet.
Each contest on a parlay is known as a leg.
The catch is that all the legs on the wager have to win for the bettor to get paid. Consequently, the house edge on parlay bets is far higher than on regular sports wagers.
However, the flip side of parlay betting — and the reason that a player might choose a parlay — is that the payout for a successful wager is much higher than a group of straight bets. Depending on the odds of each leg, a winning parlay can payout at odds hundreds of times more than a typical sports bet.
So, despite their riskiness, parlays remain a popular option, especially for the casual sports bettor. A successful long-shot parlay could be worth life-changing money.
Teasers and pleasers
Teasers and pleasers are two variants of parlays that might pop up at a sportsbook from time to time.
Both could potentially make the wager more attractive to potential bettors, though for a variety of reasons.
A teaser is a parlay in which the sportsbook adjusts the overall spreads, lines or other betting measures in the player’s favor. So, a player’s selections in a teaser have a much better chance of success than a typical parlay.
However, players must pay a premium for this opportunity. The sportsbook will also adjust the payout for the successful teaser to be less than the payout of a parlay.
Conversely, a pleaser is a parlay in which the sportsbook adjusts the betting lines in its favor. A pleaser is much more challenging to win than a typical parlay.
However, as a counterpoint to teasers, pleasers will payout at a much higher rate than a typical parlay. So, a player might prefer a pleaser if he or she believes that the teams involved will still cover, and the player wants a higher payout amount.
Finally, a round robin is the next exponential step in sports betting from parlays. If a parlay is a collection of single wagers gathered into the same bet, a round robin is a collection of parlays gathered into the same bet.
Needless to say, it is challenging to win a round robin. There are far too many variables at work.
However, the beautiful thing about a round robin is the player does not have to win every part to win some of it. A single parlay in a round robin can lose, but the rest can stay intact.