Sooner or later the NTT IndyCar Series will announce a partnership with a sportsbook or maybe even two. The betting world has taken off in states where it has been legalized with billions of dollars rolling in for the books while the likes of FanDuel, Bet MGM, Points Bet and DraftKings spends millions in advertising their product. IndyCar doesn’t need to limit themselves to an exclusive partner, the Pacers have FanDuel and Points Bet, while the Colts officially partnered with Wynn Bet, Caesars and FanDuel. Although IndyCar betting might not be as popular as other sports, a market is certainly out there and it would benefit IndyCar greatly to capitalize on it.
The front runner seems to be Points Bet. They are the official sports betting partner of NBC, which as you know covers the entire IndyCar schedule. Despite currently having odds for the 2022 “Verizon” IndyCar Season, this seems like the easiest fit. They have former athletes like Drew Brees and Allen Iverson promoting their site, so why not have Danica Patrick on commercials telling you to live your “Bet Life”. NBC’s predictor app is offering your chance to win by correctly picking certain outcomes of Sunday’s race.
Every sportsbook is currently offering odds on the season long championship as well as this weekend's season opening race in St. Pete. DraftKings is offering bets on finishing inside the top 3. If an official partner is brought in, I think we see more in depth betting per race. Head to head driver matchups, tier betting, top 3 and top 5 could be added if a book focused just a little more on IndyCar. What a great time it would be for the sportsbook to hop on as well with a video game on the horizon and one of the most talented fields from top to bottom of the 21st century.
The next biggest question that gets asked, what about sports betting kiosks at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. We all cut out the 33 starters from the cover of the Indy Star and put them in a hat, it’s as much of a tradition for some as sitting in the same seats for 30 straight races. In my opinion, that could be something IndyCar offers up as an incentive. I would be reluctant to allow fans to cash in their bets at the track as keeping lines minimal would be key to success.
IndyCar is a bit behind the ball on this as NASCAR has capitalized greatly off sponsorships. I am not exactly sure what the hesitation is to get a deal together either. If IndyCar doesn’t lock this down soon, we might see some of these teams go after sportsbook sponsorship themselves. Barstool Sportsbook gained attention last year with it’s concert in Indy for the launch around the Indianapolis 500, however, I don’t think there was any affiliation directly with the series or the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Let’s hope by May we can bet in depth on the Indy 500. All types from over under age of the winning driver, how many laps the winner of the race will lead, to head to head matchups throughout the grid. IndyCar, it’s time to live your “Bet Life” or whichever slogan the sportsbook partner wants to use.
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