Indiana Sportsbooks Dreaming Of Purdue Glory In March Madness
The US legal sports betting industry now has over two years under its belt. In that time, analysts have been able to accumulate enough data to identify trends. One trend that has become clear is that sports bettors lean heavily towards teams in their home states. That should not surprise anyone.
Of course, the quantity and quality of teams varies greatly from state to state. The sports betting revenue in states without competitive local colleges or pro franchises tends to be lower per capita. Successful home town favorites typically generate a lot of action.
In states like New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Michigan and Pennsylvania almost every major sport has representation. Obviously the fortunes of the legal sportsbooks don’t completely rely on the homegrown success factor. But when a local team goes on a run it does drive betting revenue up.
In the state of Indiana, college basketball is more of a religion than a sport. The fan support given to college basketball teams like the Butler Bulldogs, Indiana Hoosiers, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, and Purdue Boilermakers is hard to match. As a result, the betting support these teams receive is a huge boost to local sportsbooks.
Most NCAA basketball seasons, at least one of Indiana’s top men’s basketball teams will earn national prominence. It’s unusual to not see a Hoosier State team in the Top 10 of the rankings and in position to make a big run in the March Madness basketball tournament. This year, it’s the Purdue Boilermakers that are getting the attention of Indiana sports bettors.
None of this is to diminish a quality team like the Indiana Hoosiers. With a record of 14-5, they look like a solid team under the leadership of first-year Head Coach Mike Woodson. In fact, the Hoosiers recently the #4 ranked Boilermakers 68-65 at Indiana. The problem with the Hoosiers is their strong record has been built from a schedule that has been heavily slanted towards home games. In fact, four of the team’s five losses have been on the road. This has led to legitimate questions about just how good this team really is at this point.
Spotlight On Purdue
With Butler and Notre Dame struggling this year, that shines the Indiana basketball spotlight on the Boilermakers. So far, so good. More than halfway through the season, they have a record of 16-3. That was good enough to claim the #4 ranking in the AP Coaches’ Poll. Strangely, all three losses have come in Big Ten Conference play. In non-conference play, they have already recorded quality wins over the Villanova Wildcats and North Carolina Tar Heels.
As Indiana’s best hope for a National Championship, Indiana sportsbooks are looking for the Boilermakers to keep the ship sailing in the right direction. With a deep run in the tournament, Indiana’s sports bettors are sure to flood the betting apps with support for the Boilermakers. The question is, how far can this team go?
The real strength of Purdue lies in its offense. While currently ranked #25 in the nation in scoring out of 350+ Division I teams, Purdue has one of the most efficient offenses in recent Indiana basketball history. They currently rank #5 in the nation in FG percentage at 50% and 6th in the nation in 3-point percentage at 40%. These are strong numbers that indicate Purdue has the ability to score from anywhere on the court. Simply put, this is a free-scoring basketball team.
For any Indiana sports bettor who believes the Boilermakers have the goods to go all the way, most Indiana sportsbooks are holding Purdue at around +900 to go all the way. While there is still a lot of basketball to be played, that’s a pretty interesting number that figures to only go lower if the Boilermakers end up winning the Big Ten title and securing a Top 8 seed in the March Madness Tournament.
Indiana basketball awaits the next chapter in its glorious history.