You’ll Never Guess Which Team Indiana Bettors Wager on the Most

On Wednesday, February 25, BetMGM became the fifth online sportsbook to launch in Indiana. With other states in the Midwest still waiting for sports betting to go live, the Hoosier State is waiting for no one. RotoGrinders recently surveyed Hoosiers about their sports gambling experience in Indiana. Their answers shed light on some interesting trends.

DraftKings, King of Indiana?

Gov. Eric Holcomb placed the first sports bets in the Hoosier State on Sunday, September 1, 2019.  Since then, Indiana residents and visitors have placed over $600 million worth of bets, according to the Indiana Gaming Commission. $170.8 million of that came in January, the biggest month of sports betting in the Hoosier State yet. In fact, with more online sportsbooks launching and more television ads running, the state’s sports betting handle has grown each month. 

One sportsbook, in particular, is making its presence known in Indiana.

Over 60 percent of our survey participants say they use DraftKings online sportsbook the most. FanDuel came in second with 35 percent of users preferring DraftKings’ long-time rival.

BetRivers and BetIndiana lag significantly behind, with only four percent of survey participants preferring either alternative. 

Question 2

These numbers are consistent with the Indiana Gaming Commission’s monthly reports. In January, DraftKings made up $66 million and Fanduel $49.5 million of the $123.3 million handle generated by the state’s four online/mobile sportsbooks. 

DraftKings’ and Fanduel’s popularity doesn’t come as a surprise. The two major hegemons in the daily fantasy sports industry entered Indiana’s legal betting market with a leg up on their competitors.

Because of the companies’ previous success, both DraftKings and FanDuel launched their sports betting apps with a dependable customer base ready to place bets. For those in Indiana already playing DFS at DraftKings or Fanduel, the transition to sports betting is as simple as a click. 

Indiana Bettors Say, “Show me the money!

The DFS sites turned-online sportsbooks also lead the way in terms of best bonuses and promotions, according to RotoGrinders’ survey. 

Question 3

FanDuel currently offers a $500 bet for all new users, while DraftKings provides the same thing plus a deposit match up to another $500. BetRivers isn’t bad, either. Still looking to make a name for itself, the lesser-known sportsbook will match all deposits up to $250. 

The award for most creative betting promo unanimously goes to FanDuel.

Knowing Indiana loves college hoops (more on that later), FanDuel took advantage of the high-profile Big Ten conference matchup between the Indiana Hoosiers and Michigan State on January 23.  

While Sparty was favored by 4.5 points at most US sportsbooks, FanDuel (Indiana) said they would move the spread 1 point for every 250 bets made on the Hoosiers.

By tip-off, Indiana bettors were getting the lock of a lifetime: Hoosiers +100.5. 

As it turned out, the Hoosiers didn’t need the points. They upset Tom Izzo and Michigan State 67-63.

Of course, FanDuel didn’t let users bet any amount on Indiana +100.5. They capped the bets at $50 and lost well over $1 million on the promotion. But it couldn’t have come at a better time with the Super Bowl right around the corner. 

Mobile Apps Matter, Too

Bettors are mixed as to what is most important when it comes to picking a sportsbook.

With Indiana sports wagering still in its infancy, over 28 percent of bettors are looking for the best bonuses and promotions. But just under 25 percent say a user-friendly mobile app is their number one priority. 

Question 7

Lucky for Indiana, the government successfully fought Rep. Ben Smaltz’ opposition to mobile wagering during the legislative process.

Despite launching a month after sports betting first took place inside the state’s brick-and-mortar casinos, online/mobile wagering has accounted for over 60 percent of Indiana’s sports betting handle. That percentage is likely to grow as February’s numbers come in.

Leaving Money on the Table

Surprisingly, bettors are not taking advantage of their options. Though 19 percent of survey respondents say their priority is finding the best odds, nearly 60 percent of bettors haven’t made a habit of shopping for the best betting lines across available Indiana sportsbooks.

Question 4

“Sports betting is a more casual fan base than daily fantasy sports players, who will put in hours on end researching and constructing DFS lineups for real money,” said Cameron MacMillan, RotoGrinders’ Chief Marketing Officer.

“Hearing someone doesn’t shop lines might be surprising to DFS players, or hardcore sports betting audience, but I think we’re seeing legal sports betting really tap into the casual sports bettor. Casual bettors are more motivated by sharing bets with their friends, or for casual entertainment when out at a bar or going to a game.”

Question 8

MacMillan appears to be right. Those who took the survey said their most common bet size is between $10-50, and the second-most common bet is less than $10. Only 13 percent said their average bet was between $51-100, 5 percent said between $100-500 and less than 1 percent said they bet more than $500 on average. 

JD McNamara, a content marketer who works with Better Collective Tennessee, believes bettors are underrating the importance and value of shopping for lines between different sportsbooks.

“The other part of it is given how young the US industry is, tech components like reliable legal sportsbook odds feeds have been hard to come by,” McNamara said.

Perhaps recreational bettors also think line shopping is too time-intensive. After all, logging in to each site, comparing lines and depositing money is a process. The task is even more challenging if you’re betting on your phone.

“Luckily, that’s changing. RotoGrinders already has a robust odds comparison page and widget, and we plan on building out more useful tools for sports betting in the near future.”

In the short term, consumers are likely to prioritize the best bonuses and promotions for as long as new online sportsbooks continue to launch. Once the market settles, consumers’ priorities are likely to shift towards brands that have earned trust/loyalty and those sportsbooks with the best odds and lines.

Sportsbooks Limiting Some Bettors

Interestingly, more bettors say they’ve been limited by a sportsbook than bet more than $100 on average.

Question 9

One of the major complaints from pro bettors in the early states of legalized sports betting is that US sportsbooks are particularly conservative and risk-averse when it comes to accepting wagers.

Who are Hoosiers Betting?

Back in September, Gov. Holcomb kicked off sports betting by placing wagers on the Indianapolis Colts to win Super Bowl 54 and the Indiana Pacers to win their the 2020 NBA Finals. Holcomb also lost a WNBA bet on the Indiana Fever. 

Though the governer’s public betting record is 0-2, he’s not the only one holding out hope for the Indiana Pacers. 39 percent of bettors in the state said they bet on the Pacers more than any other sports team. So much for the “Hoosier” State?

The Indiana Hoosiers did register as the second most wagered-on team in the state (28 percent), followed closely by the Indianapolis Colts (23%). The Notre Dame Fighting Irish (6 percent) and the Purdue Boilermakers (4%) rounded out our listed options.

Question 10

The Pacers are 33-24 and currently hold on to the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference. More importantly, at least for gamblers, is the Pacers’ 29-26-2 record against the spread. Not too shabby.

Though bets on the Pacers are cashing at a 52.7% clip, which is good enough to churn a profit, the governor’s NBA futures bet is still a longshot. 

So where are the best futures prices in Indiana? According to our survey, DraftKings.

Question 5

The Pacers are currently +10000 (100-to-1) to win the NBA Finals. You’ll find the same price tag at DraftKings, FanDuel and BetRivers. If you want to bet on the Pacers to win the East Conference, FanDuel is your best shop (+2700).

It is worth noting that DraftKings does have more college basket futures markets available to peruse. Unlike FanDuel and BetRivers, DraftKings customers can bet teams’ odds to reach the Final Four, conference winners, the number of tournament teams specific conference and much more.

Additionally, DraftKings comes out ahead as the online sportsbook that has the best prop markets.

Question 6

Indiana March Madness Betting Odds

Speaking of college hoops in the Hoosier State, Bob Knight made his long-awaited return to Assembly Hall earlier this month. What could make the college basketball season even sweeter for the Hoosier faithful?

Once considered a blue blood, the Hoosiers aren’t asking for a Final Four appearance. They just want to end a three-year March Madness drought. And they might get their wish.

ESPN’s latest bracketology projects IU to be a No. 10 seed. Might we see an Indiana-Butler showdown in the first round of the NCAA Tournament?

Joe Lunardi thinks so. The Hoosiers are trending in the right direction with a recent 68-60 win over No. 9 Penn State, but there’s still work left to do. 

In fact, two other Indiana colleges have better odds to win the 2020 NCAA Tournament than the Hoosiers, according to oddsmakers:

  • Indiana Hoosiers +10000 (BetRivers)
  • Purdue Boilermakers +8500 (Fanduel)
  • Butler Bulldogs +4500 (DraftKings)

With March Madness heating up, there are three potential NCAA Tournament teams from the Hoosier State alone. It will be more important than ever for bettors in Indiana to use all of the sportsbooks at their disposal. 

What’s Next for IN Betting? 

It will be interesting to see what Indiana’s sports betting handle looks like when February’s numbers come out, and whether the sports betting handle will continue to grow month-to-month during March Madness.

One thing is for sure, Indiana sportsbooks are rooting for the Hoosiers to make the NCAA Tournament. If that happens, they should be just fine.

In terms of competition among Indiana sportsbooks, expect DraftKings and FanDuel to continue to lead the pack. But BetMGM, which has a partnership with Buffalo Wild Wings, and others will try to make a splash this March.

Our suggestion? Their app needs to be good, and their bonuses better be great.

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