What Sports Can I Bet On In Michigan

Michigan bettors will soon enjoy access to legal online sportsbooks. Retail and online sports betting became legal with the passage of the Lawful Sports Betting Act just last year.

Both tribal and commercial casinos in Michigan will operate legal online sportsbooks in the state. These retail properties will offer mobile sports betting in partnership with approved and licensed sportsbook brands.

Online sportsbooks could go live in Michigan by the end of 2020. Major domestic professional and college sports will be open for wagering, as well as numerous international sports.

Online Sportsbook Operators Coming To Michigan

Commercial Casino Partnerships

Tribal Casino Partnerships

What Will I Be Able To Bet On In Michigan?

Michigan bettors will enjoy open access to virtually every domestic and international sport. 

Michigan’s online sportsbooks will include US major sports leagues like the NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, MLS, PGA, and more. Boxing, MMA, tennis, and unrestricted betting on NCAA sports are coming to Michigan as well.

International sports betting opportunities include major soccer leagues like the English Premier League. International leagues in baseball, basketball, cricket, Aussie Rules Football, rugby, and motorsports add even more options when Michigan’s online sportsbooks go live.

Niche sports, like table tennis, darts, and chess will be on the menu as well.

Michigan’s Professional Sports Teams

Detroit Lions

Detroit’s professional football franchise joined the NFL in 1930. Originally playing in Portsmouth, Ohio, the team moved to Detroit in 1934 as the rechristened Detroit Lions.

The Lions’ history incudes four NFL championships, but long-suffering Detroit football fans still await the team’s first Super Bowl championship. All of the franchise’s championships came before the Super Bowl era, with the Lions last hoisting the NFL championship trophy in 1957.

FanDuel Sportsbook put the Detroit Lions’ odds of winning Super Bowl 55 (to be played in February 2021) at +6600. Those odds make the Lions one of the longest shots to win the championship out of the 32 NFL franchises.

Barry Sanders, who played in Detroit from 1989-1998, is universally considered one of the greatest NFL running backs of all time. Lions’ fans hope that rookie cornerback Jeff Okudah, drafted No. 3 overall in the 2020 NFL Draft, becomes the next Lions legend.

The Lions play their home games at Ford Field in downtown Detroit. Major rivalries include NFC North foes like the Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers, and Minnesota Vikings.

If the Detroit Lions do make it to the Super Bowl in future seasons, Michigan bettors will enjoy the opportunity to legally wager on the championship game from in-state sportsbooks.

Detroit Red Wings

NHL fans know Detroit as “Hockeytown” thanks to the rich tradition of championship hockey played by the Detroit Red Wings. The Red Wings lead all US-based NHL franchises in Stanley Cup wins, with 11 championships.

The team last made the Stanley Cup playoffs in 2015-16. While recent years haven’t been successful by Red Wings standards, the franchise still sits at the heart of Detroit’s sports tradition.

Detroit Red Wings history includes a roster of past players that could function as a standalone NHL Hall of Fame. NHL legends like Gordie Howe, Steve Yzerman, Sergei Fedorov, Nicklas Lidstrom, and Ted Lindsay all wore the iconic Red Wings uniform.

The Detroit Red Wings joined the NHL in 1926, as one of the “Original Six” NHL franchises. The team currently plays home games at Little Caesars Arena in Midtown Detroit.

The Red Wings’ fiercest rivals include the Chicago Blackhawks, Colorado Avalanche, Toronto Maple Leafs, and St. Louis Blues.

A return to the Stanley Cup Playoffs will certainly happen someday for the Red Wings. When it does, Michigan bettors can wager on all postseason games.

Detroit Tigers

The Detroit Tigers’ history goes back almost as far as the sport of baseball itself. The franchise started playing baseball in 1894.

The Tigers joined Major League Baseball as one of the American League’s original eight teams in 1901. The team stands as the oldest AL team to play with the same city and team name for its entire existence in the league.

The franchise holds four World Series championship wins and 11 AL pennants. The Tigers are a longshot to win the 2020 World Series, however, with BetMGM listing Detroit at +50000 to win the championship this season.

The future could be bright for the Tigers, however. The franchise held the No. 1 pick in the 2020 MLB Draft and used it to select highly touted prospect Spencer Torkelson.

The Tigers played at Tiger Stadium from 1912-1999, before moving to its current home stadium, Comerica Park, in 2000. The franchise plays in the AL Central, with division rivals including the Cleveland Indians, Kansas City Royals, and Minnesota Twins.

Detroit last made the MLB postseason in 2014. A return to the playoffs would give Michigan bettors the chance to bet on the Tigers all the way through the World Series.

The Tigers announced a multi-year partnership with PointsBet in July 2020. The agreement makes PointsBet the official gaming partner of the Detroit Tigers. The partnership is the first of its kind for an MLB franchise.

Detroit Pistons

The Detroit Pistons joined the NBL (a predecessor to the NBA) in 1941. The franchise played in Fort Wayne, Indiana, until moving to Detroit in 1957.

The Pistons hold three NBA championships, with two of those titles coming in the “Bad Boys” era of the late 1980s. The “Bad Boys” of those teams included players like Isiah Thomas, Bill Laimbeer, Dennis Rodman, and Joe Dumars, all of which endure as Detroit sports legends to this day.

The Pistons last made the NBA playoffs in 2018-19. The team used its 2019 first-round draft pick to select Sekou Doumbouya from France.

The franchise played home games at the Palace of Auburn Hills, in the suburbs of Detroit, from 1988-2017. The team currently plays at Little Caesars Arena in downtown Detroit.

The Pistons’ fiercest rivalries over the years include the Chicago Bulls, Indiana Pacers, Los Angeles Lakers, and Boston Celtics.

The last NBA championship banner put up by the Pistons came in 2004. When the Pistons return to the NBA playoffs, bettors in Michigan will have the opportunity to bet on the beloved franchise in every round of the postseason.

College Sports Betting In Michigan

Lawmakers legalized sports betting in Michigan with the passage of the Lawful Sports Betting Act in December 2019.

Some US states place restrictions on betting on college sports. In New Jersey, for example, sports betting on New Jersey-based college teams and sporting events is outlawed.

Michigan’s sports betting laws, however, allow wagering on college sports with no restrictions. The loyal fanbases of programs like the Michigan State Spartans and Michigan Wolverines can bet on those teams at Michigan’s upcoming online sportsbooks.

The Lawful Sports Betting Act allows for betting on college football and basketball, as well as several other sports.

College sports loyalty in Michigan largely divide between two programs. The University of Michigan and Michigan State University compete against each other across numerous sports.

Michigan Wolverines

The University of Michigan Wolverines stand as one of the most iconic programs in NCAA football. Known for their signature “Maize and Blue” color scheme, the Wolverines hold the record for most all-time wins in college football history.

The Michigan Wolverines started playing football in 1879, with 11 national championships won by the program since its inception.

The Wolverines play in the Big Ten Conference, and games against conference rivals produce some of the biggest annual sporting events in the state. Major football rivals include the Ohio State Buckeyes and Michigan State Spartans.

Following a 9-4 season in 2019-20, Michigan’s odds to win the 2021 NCAA FBS National Championship are set at +7000 according to FOX Bet. Michigan’s upcoming online sportsbooks enable betting on all Wolverines’ games, including bowl games and College Football Playoff contests.

Wolverines Basketball

Conference rivalries carry over to college basketball as well. Michigan’s Big Ten basketball rivals also include the Indiana Hoosiers, Wisconsin Badgers, and Purdue Boilermakers.

From 2013-2019, the Michigan men’s basketball program’s NCAA tournament (aka March Madness) resume includes two Sweet Sixteen appearances, an Elite Eight run, and two appearances in the National Championship game.

The Wolverines loom as a March Madness mainstay, and Michigan’s state-regulated online sportsbooks will allow betting on all rounds of the NCAA tournament.

Michigan State Spartans

The Michigan State University Spartans represent one of the state’s most respected college sports programs, particularly in football and basketball. The Spartans’ powerhouse status in both sports makes the Michigan State-Michigan rivalry one of the most intense in the NCAA.

Like the rival Wolverines, the Spartans play in the Big Ten Conference in most sports. The football program boasts six national championships and made it to the College Football Playoff in 2016.

In addition to the Wolverines, other big football rivals include the Penn State Nittany Lions and Ohio State Buckeyes. The Spartans’ annual matchups against these rivals make up some of the state’s biggest sports contests.

FOX Bet puts +15000 odds on the Spartans winning the NCAA FBS National Championship in 2021. Bettors in Michigan can bet on all regular-season contests, bowl games, and College Football Playoff games involving the Spartans.

Spartans Basketball

Michigan State’s men’s basketball program enjoys a reputation as one of the sport’s top teams. The Spartans hold two national championships in basketball.

Michigan State’s biggest rivals on the hardwood include Michigan, Ohio State, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Purdue.

Under current head coach Tom Izzo, the Spartans have appeared in the NCAA Tournament in 22 consecutive years. Michigan’s online sports betting platforms will allow wagering on the Spartans in all regular season and March Madness games.

Other US Sports

NASCAR

The NASCAR circuit allows bettors to wager on races in one of the most popular sports in the US. Major races include the Daytona 500, Brickyard 400, and Coca-Cola 600.

Michigan International Speedway annually hosts the FireKeepers Casino 400 and Consumers Energy 400. All NASCAR Cup races, including these in-state events, will be open for betting at Michigan’s legal online sportsbooks.

PGA Golf

The PGA Tour schedule includes nearly 50 annual events, which gives bettors the chance to wager on golf events throughout the calendar year.

The biggest events on the PGA schedule include major tournaments like the Masters, US Open, and PGA Championship. Michigan’s online sports betting sites open up the opportunity to bet on big names like Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson, Justin Thomas, and other PGA stars.

Tennis

The ATP and WTA tours produce some of the most-watched sports events in the world. These organizations bring the biggest stars of men’s and women’s tennis to the US for several tour stops annually.

The biggest domestic tennis event, the US Open, takes place each August from Flushing Meadows, New York.

UFC And Boxing

Major events in the realms of MMA and boxing generate excitement unparalleled by any other sport. The US plays host to multiple big cards in UFC and other MMA organizations annually.

Boxing title fights, like the Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury heavyweight battle in February 2020, produce some of the biggest wagering interest of any US-based athletic event.

International Sports Betting In Michigan

International Soccer

The world’s most popular sport will be included on the betting menu of Michigan’s legal online sportsbooks.

Michigan bettors will enjoy open access to the biggest international soccer leagues in the world. The English Premier League, German Bundesliga, and Spanish La Liga represent the world’s most prestigious leagues and offer an abundance of wagering opportunities for Michigan bettors.

Other major soccer leagues and events include the UEFA Champions League and World Cup. A host of other international leagues will also be open for betting when Michigan’s online sportsbooks go live.

The Olympics

The entire world watches when the Olympic Games take place. This one-of-a-kind event emanates every two years, alternating between the Summer and Winter Olympics. The Olympics bringing together the world’s best athletes across virtually every imaginable sport.

The COVID-19 pandemic forced the 2020 Summer Olympics to postpone, with the rescheduled games expected to begin in July 2021. The Winter Olympics, slated for February 2022, will offer even more betting opportunities.

Other International Sports

Michigan’s mobile sportsbooks will offer numerous other international betting opportunities as well.

International leagues and events open for wagering will include sports like rugby, cricket, Aussie Rules Football, baseball, basketball, motorsports, and others.

Niche sports, like darts, table tennis, and chess, present event more ways to wager.

Esports Betting In Michigan

The esports industry brings competitive video gaming to the mainstream. Major contests involve games like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, League of Legends, Fortnite, Rocket League, and Call of Duty.

The popularity of these events gives esports a following that rivals major traditional sports. With that rise in popularity comes a surge in interest in betting markets around esports events.

Michigan’s sports betting laws don’t explicitly outline a stance on esports betting. Betting on esports, however, could eventually be included at Michigan’s mobile sports betting platforms.

Kinds Of Sports Bets Available In Michigan

Point Spread

The most popular type of sports bet sets a point spread on a given contest. Bettors can choose the underdog plus points, or the favorite minus points.

An example point spread bet could put the Detroit Lions at -3 against the Chicago Bears. Bettors could either choose the favored Lions minus three points, or the underdog Bears plus three points.

In this example, Lions bettors win if Detroit wins the game by four points or more. A three-point win by the Lions results in a push, and the original wager amount is returned to the bettor.

Moneyline

Moneyline bets simply task the bettor with choosing the straight-up winner of a game. No point spreads are involved, but underdog bets pay off at better odds than favorites.

Totals

A totals wager tasks the bettor with choosing whether the combined points scored by both teams will go over or under a number set by the sportsbook.

Parlays

Parlays allow bettors to place multiple bets on the same ticket, with the parlay winning if all bets on the ticket win. The odds on a parlay can reach astronomical proportions, resulting in a potentially massive payoff.

Prop Bets

Prop bets allow for wagering on aspects of a sport apart from winning and losing. Super Bowl prop bets, for instance, set odds on what player will score the game’s first touchdown, and who will win the Super Bowl MVP.

Futures

Futures bets are a kind of prop bet that allows the bettor to predict what team will win a championship, or what player will win an award or accolade.

The Detroit Lions, for example, have +6600 odds to win the 2021 Super Bowl according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

In-Play

In-play betting allows wagering throughout a game, after a contest has started. Odds and lines change every few seconds, depending on what’s happening in the game.

Michigan Sports Betting Restrictions

Some states with legal sports betting put restrictions on wagering on certain teams and events. In New Jersey, for example, bettors cannot legally wager on games involving in-state college programs, or bet on any athletic event that takes place in New Jersey.

Michigan’s sports betting laws, however, put no such restrictions on college sports betting.

Teams like the Michigan Wolverines and Michigan State Spartans will be on the betting menu in multiple sports when Michigan’s online sportsbooks go live. College sports events taking place in Michigan will be available for legal wagering as well.

Michigan law restricts betting on events involving athletes under the age of 18. This makes betting on high school sports and any contest in which a participating athlete is under 18 illegal under Michigan betting laws.

The state’s official stance on esports betting is unknown for now. The Lawful Sports Betting Act doesn’t explicitly contain any language about esports betting.

Michigan Legal Sports Betting FAQ

Is online sports betting legal in Michigan?

Yes. Both retail and online sports betting were legalized in Michigan in December 2019. Online sportsbooks have yet to launch in the state but could go live by the end of 2020.

Online sportsbooks will operate as licensed partners to Michigan’s retail casinos. Both tribal and commercial casinos are slated to offer legal mobile sports betting.

Can I bet on college sports in Michigan?

Yes. Michigan’s Lawful Sports Betting Act allows for unrestricted betting on in-state college teams and events.

College programs like the Michigan Wolverines and Michigan State Spartans will be available to wager on when the state’s online sportsbooks go live.

Can I bet on high school sports in Michigan?

No. Sports contests involving athletes under the age of 18 are not legal for betting in Michigan.

Can I bet on esports in Michigan?

The Lawful Sports Betting Act doesn’t contain any language explicitly outlining a stance on esports betting. The significant popularity of esports could prompt a change in that approach in the future, however.

Can I bet on the Olympics in Michigan?

Yes. The upcoming Summer Olympics begin in July 2021, and the 2022 Winter Olympics are set for February 2022.

Michigan’s legal online sportsbooks will offer numerous ways to bet on the Olympics. Bettors can look forward to a plethora of sports to bet on in both the summer and winter games.

Who regulates online sportsbooks in Michigan?

Both tribal and commercial casinos will launch legal online sportsbooks in Michigan.

The state’s 23 tribal casinos fall under the jurisdiction of the National Indian Gaming Commission, which will regulate online sportsbooks offered by tribal casinos.

Michigan’s three commercial casinos are regulated by the Michigan Gaming Control Board.

About the Author

Geoffrey Fisk

Geoff Fisk is a San Diego-based freelance writer, specializing in the poker and gambling industries. He’s written for numerous platforms and has traveled the globe as a live poker tournament reporter. Geoff’s interests include the legal online poker industry in the U.S. and abroad.