3 Mar

Professional Sports Teams of Indiana

Hometown Heroes: Betting on Indiana Pro Sports Teams

Hometown Heroes – Betting on Indiana Pro Sports TeamsIt’s not uncommon for local betting enthusiasts to back their hometown heroes. I don’t’ necessarily advise it, though. Strategically speaking, showing bias for your favorite team is never a good idea. However, the professional sports teams of Indiana aren’t exactly a bad choice. As the old saying goes, “It’s all relative.

When the lines come out, the Indianapolis Colts might be expected to struggle against the New Orleans Saints or Green Bay Packers, but have a significant advantage against the New York Jets. And let’s not forget the insightful impact of point spreads, specifically designed to level the playing field in any match-up.

Long story short – any team can be worth your wagering dollars when the price is right. With that in mind, we’ll teach you a little about each of Indiana’s major and minor pro squads, including a few you might not even be aware of.

Betting on Indiana Pro Sports Teams

Indiana is home to ten professional sports teams – three majors and seven minor / international leagues. You’ve probably heard of the first three on our list, but if you’re interested in betting outside the box, The Hoosier State’s got everything from minor league Hockey, to pro Frisbee, to a non-fiction Quidditch team.

Select any team from the list below to learn more about it, or continue scrolling to read about each of them.

Indianapolis Colts – National Football League

Indianapolis ColtsThe Indianapolis Colts are perhaps the most famous of all sports teams in Indiana. They are one of the earlier professional American football teams, established in 1953, when just twelve teams made up the total Eastern and Western Conferences. At that time, they were playing in Baltimore, led by gridiron legends QB Johnny Unitas and DB Don Shula. It wasn’t until 1984 that the Baltimore Colts relocated to Indianapolis, where they now play on their home field at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Throughout their history, the team has won five NFL Championships, including two Super Bowl titles (1971, 2007). The drafting of Peyton Manning in 1998 was a momentous occasion, bringing the Colts back into the limelight after years of defeat. Manning led the team to 10 playoff runs in a 12 year span, winning Super Bowl XLI against the Chicago Bears in 2007.

Their performance in the AFC South Division hasn’t been nearly so spectacular since the 5-time MVP left the squad, but they had a turn-around year in 2020 after picking up 8-time Pro Bowl Quarterback Philip Rivers. He led the Colts to an 11-5 season that year. Many hoped Rivers would wear white and blue for another season, but he officially announced his retirement in January 2021. Since then, the Colts’ future has been up in the air.

Indiana Pacers – National Basketball Association

Indiana PacersThe Indiana Pacers have been among America’s top competing basketball teams for more than half a century. Despite being the home court of some of the league’s most legendary players – Reggie Miller, Chris Mullin, Mel Daniels, and George McGinnis, just to name a few – the Pacers have never won an NBA Final.

Established in 1967, the Pacers spent their early years in the American Basketball Association, winning 3 ABA Championships before they were invited to join the NBA in 1976. For the next decade, they struggled to compete in the top-tier league. Reggie Miller changed all that, turning the Pacers into the team to watch from 1987 to 2005. Under his profound expertise, the Pacers dominated the NBA’s Central Division, and brought them as close to an NBA Championship trophy as they’ve ever been. He led the Pacers to a dramatic victory in the Eastern Conference Title game in 2000, only to be defeated by the Los Angeles Lakers 4 games to 2 in the Finals.

In their 53rd season (2019-2020), the Indiana Pacers finished 4th in the Eastern Conference with a record of 45-28. They made the playoffs, but were swept 4-0 by the Miami Heat in the first round. They began 2020-21 season as a middle-ground contender, exhibiting more potential than success.

Indiana Fever – Women’s National Basketball Association

Indiana FeverBased in Indianapolis, the Indiana Fever are one of 12 teams competing in the WNBA, established as an expansion team in 2000. Although they won their very first game, they ended their debut season in dead-last with a record of 9-23. They bounced back in 2002, reaching the playoffs with ease, thanks to Rookie of the Year Tamika Catchings, but lost in the first round. Since then, the Indiana Fever have made it to the Eastern Conference Finals on three occasions, and the WNBA Finals twice. The team won their first championship in 2012, defeating the Minnesota Lynx 3 games to 1.

The 2020 season wasn’t a great one for the Indiana Fever. They finished in 11th place, winning just 6 of 22 games under a brand new first-year head coach, Marianne Stanley. Prospects are high for 2021 and beyond as guards Kelsey Mitchell and Tiffany Mitchell (no relation) return as the team’s top scorers.

Indianapolis Indians – International AAA Baseball

Indianapolis IndiansThe Indianapolis Indians are The Hoosier State’s oldest pro sports team, established more than 100 years ago in 1902. They are a minor league baseball team with the International League, and the AAA affiliate of the MLB’s Pittsburgh Pirates. Their home games are played at Victory Field in downtown Indianapolis. The Indianapolis Indians are the second-oldest Minor League Baseball team in the country, behind the Rochester Red Wings (1889 est.)

In the 2019 season, the Indians finished 2nd place in the West Division, but with a losing record overall (66-74). Following the cancellation of the 2020 season, there’s no telling what the future holds for this century-old team.

Indy Eleven – United Soccer League Championship

Indy ElevenFounded in 2013, the Indy Eleven is a professional soccer team based out of Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. The Eleven were members of the North American Soccer League (NASL) from 2014-17, where they won their first title – the 2016 Spring Season Championship – following an undefeated record up to that point. The Indy Eleven almost won the NASL Championship that year, but fell to the New York Cosmos in a 4-2 penalty shoot-out following a scoreless 90 minutes of regulation.

Following that sensational season, the Indy Eleven were considered a top-contender for joining Major League Soccer as an expansion team in 2017, but it was not meant to be. The following year, they joined the USL – the second highest division in the United States. They played strong in the 2019 season, finishing 19-9 to end the year in 4th place.

Indianapolis Enforcers – American Arena League

Indianapolis EnforcersThe Indianapolis Enforcers are an indoor football team competing in the professional American Arena League (AAL). Founded in 2010, the team joined the Continental Indoor Football League (CIFL) as an expansion team in 2011, and were relaunched into the Midwest Professional Indoor Football (MPIF) league in 2018. The following year, an affiliation between the two leagues saw the AAL raise several MPIF teams into its Midwest Division, including the Indianapolis Enforcers, Michigan Ironmen and Chicago Aztecs.

Their first year in the Arena League, the Enforcers went 3 and 3, finishing 2nd in the Midwest only to lose the Division Final 0-71 to West Michigan.

F.C. Indiana Lions – Premier Arena Soccer League

FC Indiana LionsF.C. Indiana is a professional men’s soccer team that plays for the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) in the summer, and the Premier Arena Soccer League (PASL) in the winter. Based in Lafayette, Indiana, the team played its first PASL season in 2006, and its first NPSL season in 2007. After taking a year off, they played exclusively indoor for five years, then returned to the NPSL in 2015.

F.C. Indiana has never recorded a winning season in the NPSL, but they’ve had some success in the arena soccer league. No championship seasons yet, though.

Indiana Fuel – East Coast Hockey League

Indy FuelThe Indiana Fuel – or Indy Fuel, as they’re commonly known – is a professional, minor league ice hockey team competing in the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL). Based in Indianapolis, they play in the Indiana Farmers Coliseum, and are the minor league affiliate team of the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks, as well as the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs.

Fuel got their start in the ECHL’s Central Division in the 2014-15 season. They earned their first playoff birth following a 36-30 run in the 2017-18 season, but were swept in the semifinals by the Tolledo Walleye.

Indianapolis AlleyCats – American Ultimate Disc League

Indy AlleyCatsThe Indy AlleyCats joined the Central Division of the America Ultimate Disc League in 2012, competing at the Grand Park Events Center in Westfield, Indiana. Their very first year was an exciting one, landing them in the league championship where they lost to the Philadelphia Spinners. The AlleyCats finished the 2019 season tied for first in the Midwest, but far from the league-best New York Empire, who finished undefeated at 15-0. Who new Frisbee could be so exciting?

Indianapolis Intensity – Major League Quidditch

Indianapolis IntensityLast but not least, Indiana is home to one of just 15 North American, professional “Quidditch” teams. Yes – Quidditch – the premier sport of best-selling author J. K. Rowling’s fictitious Harry Potter series. As we all know, quidditch is meant to be played by two teams of magical broom-riding wizards, some of which are tasked with chasing after an enchanted ball, while the rest attempt to score goals by throwing a “quaffle” (ball) through one of three hoops on their opposing team’s end of the pitch.

Major League Quidditch (MLQ) is a real-life variation of the game, minus the flying and other magical connotations (although they are still required to remain seated upon a broomstick the whole time). The Indianapolis Intensity are part of the MLQ North Division, and were among the very first teams to join the league in its inaugural 2015 season. Intensity has won the North Division four times already (2015, 2016, 2017, 2019), earning a spot in one MLQ Championship – a.k.a. The Benepe Cup – in 2017, which they lost to the Austin Outlaws.


Legal Indiana Sports Betting in 2021

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