Indiana Bettors Wager On MLB, NBA Futures Despite Uncertain Seasons

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Some Hoosiers are optimistic that there will be Major League Baseball and National Basketball Association games going forward in 2020 despite the ongoing public health crisis.

They are even willing to put their money where there mouths are, though if they are wrong they will be refunded so it’s not really a huge gamble in that sense. Still, their money is tied up.

According to figures released this week by the Indiana Gaming Commission, the state’s licensed online/mobile sportsbooks took about $10,000 in basketball wagers in April, along with roughly $5,000 in baseball bets. Combined, it was far less than 1% of the total sports betting handle of more than $26 million during the month, but it at least shows some people are optimistic about the return of major pro sports.

The NBA suspended its season indefinitely in March, while MLB, which hasn’t played a game yet this year, is still working on potentially having a season starting mid-summer.

Sportsbooks are still taking futures bets, despite the seasons being in limbo.

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For baseball, the Dodgers and the Yankees are co-favorites at +380 at FanDuel to win a potential 2020 World Series. Mike Trout (+140) and Mookie Betts (+600) are the favorites for MVP in their respective leagues. At least 75 games must be played for the MVP bets to pay out.

FanDuel is also offering futures on the Cy Young Award and season stat leaders.

MLB is considering realigning the league so that teams don’t travel as much or as far, so it’s unclear how that will impact the MVP markets. In other words, the teams comprising the American League and National League could be scrambled.

Basketball futures

Indiana’s regulated sportsbooks are also taking bets on a potential restart of the NBA season, along with the draft slated for late June.

The Milwaukee Bucks (+240) are the favorites to win the title if there is one in 2020, followed closely by the Los Angeles Lakers at +270.

As for the draft, Anthony Edwards from the University of Georgia is the +100 favorite to go No. 1.

In addition to the NBA, books are offering bets on the WNBA season, if there is one. The league announced in April that it would postpone its originally scheduled May 15 start. At FanDuel, the Las Vegas Aces and the Washington Mystics are co-favorites at +300.

Books did take action on the April 17 WNBA draft, so some of the $10,000 in Indiana basketball handle from April was on the event. It’s unclear whether the WNBA draft generated more betting handle than NBA futures during the month.

Women’s basketball is always underappreciated from the sports world. At least one top commentator at ESPN forgot about the draft.

It’s also worth noting that Indiana books are already accepting futures bets on the 2021 men’s college basketball tournament, if there is one.

Gonzaga is +900 at FanDuel.

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Brian Pempus

Brian served as a senior reporter and online content manager for Card Player Magazine for nearly a decade before joining USBets in October 2018. He is currently focused on legal and regulated sports betting and online gaming. He's an avid jiu-jitsu practitioner in his free time.

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