Florida Sports Betting
FL Legal Online Sports Betting Updates 2021
Last updated: November 29, 2021
Online sports betting in Florida has come to a halt after just three weeks after a judge ruled that the compact forged between the state and the Seminole Tribe was illegal on Nov. 22, 2021. The Seminole Tribe and Hard Rock Sportsbook launched online sports betting without much notice on Nov. 1. Florida residents were able to create and deposit into accounts with the Hard Rock Sportsbook app and place sports bets. However, the app has been cut off until further notice.
Florida Sports Betting Key Takeaways
Is online sports betting in Florida legal?
No, for now. On Nov. 22, 2021, a federal judge ruled that the Seminole Tribe (partnered with Hard Rock) offering mobile sports betting to people when they are not on tribal land violates the provisions of the Indian Gaming Regulation Act.
|What are the eligibility requirements for mobile betting?||
You must be 21 years of age and physically in Florida (verifiable by your mobile device's geolocation tech, or a downloadable desktop plugin) to place bets.
|What online sportsbooks are available now?||Hard Rock Sportsbook|
What sports will I be able to bet on?
Florida bettors can bet on all the major league sports (NFL, NBA, MLB, MLS, NHL) and more such as European basketball leagues, cricket and rugby.
Florida Sports Betting Background
Online sports wagering in Florida has ended after it was open for a three-week window in November.
In a decision rendered Nov. 22, 2021, federal judge Dabney Friedrich agreed with plaintiff West Flagler Associates, which owns casinos in the state, that the decision to allow the Seminole Tribe (partnered with Hard Rock) to offer mobile sports betting to people when they are not on tribal land violates the provisions of the Indian Gaming Regulation Act.
Sports betting lawyer Dan Wallach said the decision was a no brainer and was surprised that agreement put together with the blessing of the U.S. Department of Interior was allowed to be forged to begin with.
“It’s obvious to any law school student, if you divorce the political realities going on here, that 100 out of 100 times, they’d call what was done illegal,” Wallach said.
Florida officials and the Seminole Tribe of Florida on Nov. 1, 2021, announced a groundbreaking deal that would open the door to online and retail sports betting in the state. There are multiple legal and logistical hurdles before wagering can begin, but the most significant single obstacle has been cleared.
The state's Hard Rock Sportsbook made a big move to start November, announcing that it launched online betting through its mobile app Nov. 1. Hard Rock Sportsbook will be the only shop operating to start. Florida does not require in-person sign ups. The tribe’s new sports betting app can be downloaded on iPhones and Android phones.
Hard Rock is owned by the Seminole Tribe, which has a monopoly on sports betting in Florida. The launch came several days before a federal hearing that looks to block sports betting in the state.
After the Nov. 22 decision, an appeal is expected from the Department of the Interior with the Seminole Tribe. Wallach expects that Florida won’t be able to have online sports gambling until a referendum is passed by a 60 percent vote.
Florida's Legalization Timeline
It's still in the process of getting sports betting to the goal line. We'll bet you care more about the sports of it all than the legal history, but here are some of the important events along the way:
Florida sports betting compact with Seminoles struck down. On Nov. 22, 2021, federal judge Dabney Friedrich agreed with plaintiff West Flagler Associates, which owns casinos in the state, that the decision to allow the Seminole Tribe (partnered with Hard Rock) to offer mobile sports betting to people when they are not on tribal land violates the provisions of the Indian Gaming Regulation Act. An appeal from the Department of the Interior with the Seminole Tribe is expected to follow. [FL Online Sports Betting Halted, Nov. 23]
Florida online sports betting goes live with surprise Hard Rock Sportsbook launch. Hard Rock Sportsbook made a big move to start November, announcing that it launched online betting through its mobile app. Hard Rock Sportsbook — which is also stationed in New Jersey and Iowa — will be the only shop operating to start. Florida does not require in-person sign ups. [Hard Rock Sportsbook Launches, Nov. 1]
Gov. DeSantis and the Seminole Tribe both filed briefs in support of Florida’s gaming compact. They filed briefs in both Florida and in Washington D.C., arguing that the opponents of the measure didn’t have the law on their side. [Sept. 1]
Owner of Magic City Casino and the Bonita Springs Poker file another lawsuit. This one is filed in the US District Court in DC, which is home to the Department of Interior. The lawsuit argues that Deb Haaland exceeded her authority when she approved the compact. [Dockets and Filings, Aug. 12]
The United States Department of the Interior approves of the compact. Or rather, because they’ve taken no action to approve or disapprove the Compact before the Aug. 5 deadline, the Compact is considered approved. [US DOI, Aug. 6]
Owner of Magic City Casino and the Bonita Springs Poker Room files a federal lawsuit challenging the Florida gaming compact. The lawsuit argues that the compact authorizing sports betting outside of tribal lands violates the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. The big question is whether a bet is deemed to be placed on tribal land solely because of the location of the server. [Dockets and Filings, July 2]
DraftKings and FanDuel create the Florida Education Champions. This coalition is formed with the goal of gathering the needed signatures for their initiative to legalize sports betting to land on the 2022 ballot in front of Florida voters. [Florida Education Champions Site, June 23]
Not everyone is happy about the compact. Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber writes a letter to the Secretary of Interior asking her to reject the compact. Since the compact involves tribal issues, it has to be approved by the Department of Interior. [Mayor Gelber Letter, June 3]
Gov. DeSantis signs the Compact. The compact that was approved by the Florida legislature body is signed by the Governor; the compact will provide Florida with a minimum of $2.5 billion in new revenue over five years.
The Florida House approves the agreement. Just one day after the Senate approved the sports betting agreement, the Florida House of Representatives does the same. [SB 2-A, May 19]
The Florida Senate votes to approve the agreement. In a 38-1 vote, the Senate approves the agreement between the state government and the Seminole Tribe. [SB 2-A, May 18]
The special session to consider the legal sports betting bill opens. This bill would incorporate the provisions of the Gaming Compact reached with the Seminole Tribe. [May 17]
The draft of the sports betting bill is introduced. The draft is introduced just ahead of the start of the Senate’s special session scheduled for May 17. [SB 2-A, May 14]
Agreement reached with Seminole Tribe. Gov. DeSantis announces the details of a much-anticipated agreement between the state and the Seminole Tribe that helps pave the way for legal sports wagering. [Gaming Compact, April 23]
Gov. Ron DeSantis announces that they’re “getting close” to an agreement with the Seminole Tribe. Government officials have been in closed door discussions with the tribe over a gaming deal that would expand the industry and legalize sports betting. They hope to reach an agreement before the end of the legislative session ends on April 30. [Miami Herald, March 18]
The 2020 legislative session ended without a new sports wagering law. Lawmakers did get to the table with the Seminole Tribe to negotiate but that didn’t happen until 10 days before the session was due to end. [Sun Sentinel, March 13]
Florida Sportsbook Offers
Florida Sports Betting Overview
Florida Sports Betting Law Details to Know as a Bettor
Florida has laid the groundwork to be a major, bettor-friendly sports betting state. Unfortunately, it is not yet known whether or not betting on college sports teams (including in-state college teams like the University of Florida, Florida State or Miami).
What can I bet on?
Legal Bet Types in Florida — Sports fans can bet a full range of bet types, including:
- Point Spreads. Spread betting is a bet on the margin of victory in a game, or the point "differential." (See: Our Guide to Point Spread Betting)
- Moneylines. Moneyline betting is when you pick the winner of the game or event, either one team or another. (More detail here: Moneylines)
- First Half & Second Half. Halves let a bettor treat the first half and the second half as separate matches. (Additional insights: Half Bets)
- Totals. A total, also known as an over/under, is a bet on the number of points both teams will combine to score in a game. (See: Understanding Totals in Sports Betting)
- Futures. Future bets are a bet on an event that will be decided in the future (e.g., end-of-season results). (More: Longer-term Betting: Futures)
- Player Props. A "prop" bet, short for a proposition, is a wager that is not directly tied to the final score or outcome. (See: Everything to Know About Prop Bets)
Available Sports — You can take advantage of the different bet types to wager on these sports legally:
- Football: NFL & CFL
- Basketball: NBA, WNBA, European/international baseball league
- Baseball: MLB
- Hockey: NHL, international hockey leagues
- Soccer: MLS, English Premier League, UEFA Champions League
- Golf: PGA Tour, LPGA Tour, PGA Tour Champions, PGA European
- Auto Racing: IndyCar, NASCAR, Formula One
Additional market choices like boxing, tennis, rugby and more will also be offered at Florida's Hard Rock Sports Book.
How Florida Compares: The FL Sports Betting Report Card
We've graded Florida on its sports betting bill and experience relative to other states on crucial categories that set the market's tone: the number of operators, tax rates, mobile offerings and more. We're still learning more about the local market and will revise this scorecard as details unfold.
Florida will have mobile apps, but just a few, and they likely won't be the market-leaders because Hard Rock has a monopoly over online betting in the state. It's possible Hard Rock develops into a strong tech platform, but it's not there yet.
Floridians can sign up, deposit and cash out online, which is a huge advantage over other states that require in-person registrations or deposits.
Because Hard Rock has a monopoly, it's unlikely the pricing will be favorable. That doesn't mean it will be egregious or any different from market-leaders DraftKings and FanDuel, but there won't be any innovative operators entering the space with better prices.
Monopolies on online betting have failed so far — just look at Washington D.C. We'll see if Hard Rock is different, but it's discouraging for bettors to not have at least a few options to find the best prices on whatever they want to bet.
How to Place a Sports Bet in FL
Sports fans with a mobile phone in Florida are able to place their first legal bets. Here's how:
Step 1: Choose a Legal Sportsbook - for now, Hard Rock
In sports betting, it's best practice to have accounts at multiple sportsbooks to get the best price on every game you bet on. This is known as "line shopping," and covered on our YouTube channel here. But in Florida, the only option is Hard Rock Sportsbook. Check them out here and scan the QR code to download the app.
Step 2: Sign Up & Verify
Fill out all the required fields for a new sports bettor in the state: full legal name, email address, home address, phone number and date of birth. Hard Rock may ask you for a driver’s license or social security number to verify your identity. These questions and details are all standard measures sportsbooks take to protect you.
Step 3: Deposit with Preferred Payment
The Hard Rock will take you to the deposit screen once you’ve put in your personal information. Select your payment method, then click deposit.
Our preference is direct deposit via a bank account for speed. This way when you cash out, the money will be accessible in your checking account right away instead of being credited back to a card in a few days.
Step 4: Place an Online Bet
Here’s how to place your first wager. Remember — the app or website will geo-locate you to confirm you’re actually in Florida before you’re able to bet.
- Navigate to your desired sport
- Head to your bet slip
- Select your bet type
- Enter your bet amount
That's it! You’ve just placed your first legal sports bet.
Florida Sports Betting Tips
Sports Betting for Beginners
If you're new to sports betting in Florida, you likely have questions: Where should you be betting on the Miami win totals? How do you find the best odds for a Panthers game?
Our betting education hub can help you make savvier decisions come game time.
Sports Betting Glossary
Sports betting comes with its own language and terminology. It can all be a bit overwhelming and intimidating for newer betting enthusiasts, so be sure to consult our sports betting glossary for detailed definitions of all the main terms.
Sports Betting Mistakes for Floridians to Avoid
Sports betting isn't easy whether you're betting on Miami Heat game totals or Jacksonville Jaguars futures.
If you stay true to our betting mistakes to avoid, your sports betting experience will be a much more enjoyable one.
Florida Sports Betting Agreement With Seminoles Struck Down
Online sports betting in Florida has ended after it was live for three weeks in November. A federal judge ruled that the compact between the state and the Seminole Tribe was illegal. The Department of the Interior with the Seminole Tribe will likely appeal this decision.
Florida Online Sports Betting Goes Live
Florida‘s Hard Rock Sportsbook launched online betting through its mobile app on Nov. 1. Hard Rock Sportsbook, which is owned by the Seminole Tribe, is the only mobile operator in the state to start.
Florida’s Sports Betting Compact Clears First Legal Hurdle
The lawsuit filed by West Flagler Associates on July 2nd was struck down today by a federal judge. While this is a positive sign for proponents of the sports betting compact, it still faces challenges moving forward. The October 15th target date has came and went, with no bets placed. Court hearings for the remaining lawsuits will continue November 5th.
Lawsuits Serve as a Roadblock to Florida’s Sports Betting Legislation
Three lawsuits have been presented to the state of Florida and federal courts in an attempt to halt sports betting legislation. Two of these lawsuits have been filed by the West Flagler Associates, a group of card room operators. They want a more commercial-friendly sports betting bill. The third lawsuit is brought forth by the “No Casinos” group. They claim that the compact violates amendment 3 of Florida’s Constitution. This amendment gives Florida citizens the right to vote on gambling issues within the state.
Florida Sports Betting, Gaming Compact Signed Into Law as More Challenges Await
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed legislation enacting his state’s groundbreaking gaming compact with the Seminole Tribe, a perfunctory step that advances the massive deal toward an uncertain federal approval and likely legal challenges. The compact, as written currently, will allow statewide mobile wagering and retail sportsbooks to begin on Oct. 15. The Seminoles can also offer craps and roulette at their seven casinos and can also open up to three more gaming facilities on tribal lands in South Florida.
Florida Legislature Begins Amended Compact, Sports Betting Approval
Florida’s sweeping gaming compact will not permit online gaming and will prohibit legal sports betting until at least Oct. 15, lawmakers announced. Addressing the full House Monday, Speaker Chris Sprowls said policymakers and the Seminole Tribe of Florida had amended the agreement to alleviate lawmakers’ concerns about statewide mobile casino gaming authorization within the sweeping compact.
Florida Sports Betting Begins Long Uncertain Journey
Friday’s announced gaming compact agreement between Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Seminole Tribe of Florida cleared the most important political hurdle to legal sports betting in the state. Many logistical and legal obstacles remain.
Florida Online, Retail Sports Betting Approved in Groundbreaking Gaming Deal
Florida officials announced a sweeping gaming deal on Friday, April 23, that legalizes statewide mobile sports betting and some of the nation’s first in-stadium sportsbooks while facing multiple logistical and possibly legal challenges before implementation.
Florida 'Close' to Gaming Deal with Seminole Tribe
Gov. Ron DeSantis, Senate President Wilton Simpson and House Speaker Chris Sprowls have been in discussions with the Seminole Tribe over a gaming deal that would expand the industry and legalize sports betting in the state of Florida. DeSantis and Simpson have said an agreement is "getting close."
Trump's Doral Resort Floated as Potential Gaming Target
While discussions trudge on between the Florida legislature and Seminole Tribe, potential gaming destinations have begun to surface. Eric Trump, son of former President Donald Trump, has been outspoken about this, saying the family's Doral golf resort would be 'unmatched from a gaming perspective.'
Florida Teams to Bet on
NFL Betting in Florida
The oldest professional sports franchise in Florida, the Miami Dolphins joined the American Football League (AFL) as an expansion team in 1966. The franchise moved to the NFL as part of the 1970 merger and instantly became a powerhouse in the league. After losing in Super Bowl VI, the Dolphins responded with a perfect season — the only team to ever accomplish this feat — en route to its first-ever Super Bowl in 1972. They would win back-to-back championships a year later under Hall of Fame head coach Don Shula.
Miami has appeared in two championships since 1973, losing both games. They have made the playoffs on 23 separate occasions and rank second in the AFC East with 13 division titles. The franchise has made the playoffs just once in the last decade, falling just short last season despite a 10-6 record. The Dolphins play their home games at Hard Rock Stadium and are coached by Brian Flores, entering his third year at the helm.
Week 13 Odds: New York Giants vs. Miami Dolphins
New York Giants
Over 42.5 (-105)
Under 42.5 (-115)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers joined the NFL as an expansion team in 1976 and struggled to find their footing early. An inaugural winless season was met with just three .500 seasons or better in 21 years. The Bucs would secure their first playoff berth in 15 years in 1997 and return to the postseason in five of six years. The franchise won its first-ever Super Bowl in 2002, a 48-21 thrashing of the Oakland Raiders. The championship became known as the 'Gruden Bowl' because Oakland traded head coach Jon Gruden to Tampa Bay ahead of that 2002 season.
Despite having the NFL's lowest winning percentage (.397), the Buccaneers are currently defending Super Bowl champions. The franchise brought in longtime quarterback Tom Brady and, alongside a dominant defense, defeated the Kansas City Chiefs, 31-9, to win its second championship. The Bucs play their home games at Raymond James Stadium and are coached by Bruce Arians.
Week 13 Odds: Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Atlanta Falcons
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Over 50.5 (-110)
Under 50.5 (-110)
The third youngest franchise in the NFL, the Jacksonville Jaguars joined as an expansion team in 1995. The Jags would make the playoffs in four of their first five seasons, including a conference championship run in 1996. Since then, however, success has come few and far between. Jacksonville has made just one playoff appearance in the last decade, an AFC South crown in 2017.
The Jaguars' future does seem to be bright. They have the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft and are projected to take superstar and franchise quarterback Trevor Lawrence. They play home games at TIAA Bank Field and are coached by newly hired Urban Meyer.
Week 13 Odds: Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Los Angeles Rams
Over 47.5 (-115)
Los Angeles Rams
Under 47.5 (-105)
A recommended resource to help you bet on football in Florida with skill:
- How to Bet on Football Guide
- Check our Expert NFL Picks
- Bettors can keep an eye on betting activity and distribution with our NFL Public Betting data.
NBA Betting in Florida
The Miami Heat joined the NBA as an expansion team in 1988, rising to relevance under head coach Pat Riley in under a decade. Though they'd never win a championship under Riley, his promotion to president of the franchise would lead to its first championship in 2006. The Heat have made the NBA playoffs in 63 percent of its seasons to the tune of six Eastern Conference titles and three NBA championships. They are known for forming the "Big Three," signing LeBron James and Chris Bosh in the 2010 offseason to pair with Dwyane Wade. That trio would make the finals four times, winning back-to-back from 2012-1. Five-time All-Star Jimmy Butler now leads Miamiler. The Heat did make an NBA Finals run in the 2020 playoff bubble after the season was suspended and later resumed due to COVID-19, but they would fall to the Los Angeles Lakers. The Heat competes in the Southeast Division of the Eastern Conference and is coached by Erik Spoelstra. They play home games at American Airlines Arena.
The Orlando Magic joined the NBA as an expansion team in 1989, one season after its in-state counterpart Miami Heat. The franchise struggled in its first few seasons, but that would all change in 1992. The Magic won the lottery and drafted highly-touted center Shaquille O'Neal. They would draft Anfernee "Penny" Hardaway a year later, forming one of the NBA's most iconic duo/ However, it was a short-lived tenure, as the team would make three consecutive playoff appearances, including an NBA Finals run.
O'Neal would leave the team for Los Angeles in 1996 and the Magic would struggle severely. They wouldn't make it out of the first round of the playoffs until 2007 under the guidance of superstar center Dwight Howard. The Magic compete in the Southeast Division of the Eastern Conference where they have won six division titles and two conference titles. They have yet to win an NBA championship. Orlando is currently coached by Steve Clifford and plays its home games at the Amway Center.
Recommended resource to help you bet with extra 'magic' on basketball in Florida:
MLB Betting in Florida
Tampa Bay Rays
The Tampa Bay Rays are MLB's youngest team, joining as the most recent expansion team in 1998 — as the Devil Rays — alongside the Arizona Diamondbacks. Success did not come easy for the Rays, finishing dead last in the American League East in all but one of their first 10 seasons. The franchise changed ownership in 2007, rebranding itself as the Rays.
Tampa Bay won its first-ever division title and made a World Series run the following year, in 2008. The Rays have made the playoffs five more times since, adding a pair of division titles and one more American League pennant. Tampa Bay returned to the World Series in 2020 amid a COVID-shortened season, falling to the Los Angeles Dodgers in six games. The franchise is known for its analytics approach and is led by manager Kevin Cash. The Rays play home games at Tropicana Field.
The Marlins joined MLB as an expansion team in the 1993 season as the Florida Marlins. They are one of two teams to never win a National League East division title and have just three playoff appearances in their near-30-year existence. But of those postseason appearances, the Marlins have won the World Series twice. The first came in 1997, five years after its inaugural season, a seven-game series win over the Cleveland Indians. The Marlins returned six years later, in 2003, and defeated the New York Yankees.
The Marlins moved to Marlins Park in 2012 and rebranded itself as the Miami Marlins the same year. They would return to the playoffs for the first time since that 2003 World Series run in 2020, in a COVID-shortened season. The Marlins would lose first round, its first-ever postseason appearance without a World Series. They are led by manager Don Mattingly and recently hired Kim Ng as their general manager, the first female to serve that role for a North American men's sports team.
Recommended resource to help you bet smartly on baseball in Florida:
NHL Betting in Florida
The Florida Panthers were established in 1993 as part of an NHL expansion. They have been to the playoffs six times in its near-30-year existence including a Stanley Cup Finals run in 1995. The Panthers have not won a playoff series since that eventual sweep by the Colorado Avalanche.
The Panthers seem to have turned a corner in 2021 and are currently battling for The Presidents' Trophy, awarded to the team with the most points at season's end. They normally compete in the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference, but a division realignment amid the COVID-19 pandemic has placed them in the Central Division. Florida plays its home games at BB&T Center and is coached by Joel Quenneville.
Tampa Bay Lightning
The Tampa Bay Lightning joined the NHL as an expansion team one year before its in-state counterpart, in 1992. The franchise would struggle to find sustained success early, making the playoffs just once in 10 seasons. But the hire of John Tortorella as head coach would turn Tampa Bay around. The Lightning would win its first-ever division championship in 2003 and the Stanley Cup a year later.
The Lightning have won four Atlantic Division championships and three Eastern Conference titles. They are the defending Stanley Cup champions after making a run in the NHL bubble amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Tampa Bay has continued its dominance in 2021 and currently competes atop the newly-realigned Central Division. The team plays its home games in Amalie Arena and is coached by Jon Cooper.
Recommended resource to help you bet on hockey in Florida:
MLS Betting in Florida
Orlando City SC
Joining as an expansion team in 2015, Orlando City has qualified for the playoffs just once in six seasons. It came this past year during 2020's MLS is Back Tournament. Orlando City made a run to the championship where they would eventually fall to the Portland Timbers, 2-1. The franchise plays its home games at Exploria Stadium and is coached by Óscar Pareja.
Inter Miami CF
Inter Miami joined the MLS as an expansion team, holding its inaugural season in 2020. They would play 23 games in a shortened season amid the COVID-19 pandemic, finishing 7-13-3. Inter Miami competes in the Eastern Conference and plays home games at Inter Miami CF Stadium. The franchise is coached by Phil Neville and co-owned by legendary English soccer player David Beckham.
College Sports Teams
There are 13 colleges in Florida that field Division I athletic programs, but only seven have both football and men's basketball teams.
NCAA Division I Football & Basketball
|Florida State Seminoles|
|South Florida Bulls|
|Florida Atlantic Owls|
|Florida A&M Rattlers|
NCAA Division I Basketball Only
|Florida Gulf Coast Eagles|
|North Florida Ospreys|
College Football Betting in Florida
Florida Gators Football
At the height of the program in the 2000s, the Florida Gators were among college football's most dominant. Under head coach Urban Meyer, the Gators won two National Championships — in 2006 and 2008 — both double-digit victories over its opponents. The Gators also won a National Championship in 1996 and have eight total conference championships since its inaugural season in 1906. Florida has appeared in 66 bowl games and has produced the sixth-most NFL first-rounders (54) in college football.
In its long-storied history, the Gators produced three Heisman winners, their latest being Tim Tebow in 2007. He would finish as a finalist both years after, one to Oklahoma's Sam Bradford who Tebow would defeat in that 2008 title game. Florida competes in the Southeastern Conference (SEC) and is coached by Dan Mullen. The Gators play their home games at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium with a current capacity of 88,548 on campus in Gainesville.
Florida State Seminoles Football
Like its in-state counterpart, Florida State football claims three National Championships and has produced three Heisman winners. The Seminoles rose to dominance in the late 1980s under Hall of Fame head coach Bobby Bowden, finishing inside the Top 10 rankings for 14 consecutive years starting in 1987. Bowden led the Seminoles to two National Championship wins, its latest coming in the 1999-2000 season. FSU would cap off an undefeated season with a 46-29 win over Virginia Tech.
Florida State currently competes in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) where they joined as part of the conference's expansion ahead of the 1992 season. The Seminoles have won 15 conference championships since — including nine straight starting in that first year as part of the ACC — and have 18 overall since its inaugural season in 1902. Florida State is coached by Mike Norvell and plays its home games at Doak Campbell Stadium with a current capacity of 79,560.
Miami Hurricanes Football
Miami Hurricanes football remains the most storied and successful in the state of Florida, having claimed five National Championships and produced two Heisman winners. The Hurricanes currently hold the record for most first-rounders (6) and consecutive seasons with a first-rounder (14). Miami rose to prominence in the 1980s and would remain among college football's best for nearly three decades.
Commonly referred to as "The U," the program's quick rise stemmed from its players that exuded swagger on the field through trash-talking, big hits and constant dance celebrations. They changed college football so much that ESPN produced two documentaries encapsulating the events that took place and how the Hurricanes became the "Bad Boys" of the NCAA.
Miami competes in the Atlantic Coast Conference, transitioning over from the Big East in 2004. The Hurricanes are coached by Manny Diaz and play their home games at Hard Rock Stadium.
UCF Knights Football
Despite joining Division I's FBS level in 1996, UCF has quickly established itself as one of the best college football programs that doesn't compete in a Power 5 conference. Since joining the American Athletic Conference in 2013, the Knights has won four conference championships. They claim one national championship — 2017 — despite not being selected for the College Football Playoff after a 13-0 season. UCF would go on to beat Auburn in the Peach Bowl, 34-27, subsequently naming itself champions.
UCF has been to five straight bowl games, including eight of the last nine seasons. The Knights play their home games at the Bounce House and are led by former Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn, who will enter his first year at the helm in 2021.
USF Bulls Football
The USF Bulls football program was established in 1997 and has been a part of the American Athletic Conference since 2013. The Bulls have never won a conference championship but are 6-4 over 10 bowl appearances. They are coached by Jeff Scott and play home games at Raymond James Stadium, which they share with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Florida International (FIU) Panthers Football
Established in 2002, FIU football competed for two years at the Division I-AA level before transitioning to the FBS two years later. The Panthers are the newest Division I football program in the state of Florida and currently compete in Conference USA, where they have been since 2013. FIU has competed in five bowl games and took home a Sun Belt Conference title in 2010 before it transitioned to C-USA. The Panthers are coached by Butch Davis and play home games at Riccardo Silva Stadium on campus in Miami.
Florida Atlantic (FAU) Owls Football
Created one year before its in-state rival FIU, Florida Atlantic took a similar trajectory. After competing in Division I-AA, the Owls would move up to the FBS level as an independent in 2004. They would join the Sun Belt a year later before moving to Conference USA at the start of the 2013 season. FAU has won three conference championships and is 4-1 in bowl games. The program is led by former Florida State head coach Willie Taggart and plays home games at FAU Stadium.
Recommended resources to help you bet smartly on college football in Florida:
College Basketball Betting in Florida
Florida Gators Men's Basketball
The Florida Gators men's basketball program struggled to find its footing for the better part of seven decades. It wasn't until Billy Donovan took over in 1996 that the program would undergo a complete 180 and become a powerhouse in the Southeastern Conference (SEC). Under Donovan, Florida made 14 of its 22 NCAA Tournament appearances, won seven regular-season conference championships, and was crowned back-to-back NCAA Tournament champions in 2006 and 2007. Players on that infamous Florida team include longtime NBA players Joakim Noah, Al Horford and Corey Brewer.
The Gators have made five Final Fours — four of which under Donovan — and have yet to return since his departure for the NBA. He was replaced by current head coach Mike White who just finished his sixth season at the helm. Florida's 2021 season came to an end in the Round of 32, falling at the hands of No. 15 seed Oral Roberts. The Gators play their home games at the Exactech Arena inside the Stephen C. O'Connell Center.
Florida State Seminoles Men's Basketball
Largely overshadowed by the success of its football program, Florida State men's basketball has never won a championship despite 18 NCAA Tournament appearances. The Seminoles have made one Final Four, an eventual 1972 championship loss, and remain rather unsuccessful in postseason play.
Florida State currently competes in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Seminoles have made four straight NCAA Tournament appearances and are led by Leonard Hamilton, now in his 19th season at the helm. They have been ranked inside the Top 25 in each of the last five seasons, slowly turning around the program that so often struggled. After falling just shy of its second straight ACC tournament championship in 2020-21, Florida State made a Sweet 16 run in the NCAA Tournament. The Seminoles play their home games at Donald L. Tucker Center.
Miami Hurricanes Men's Basketball
Like its longtime rival Florida State, the Miami men's basketball program has largely struggled in comparison to its football team. The Hurricanes have made 10 NCAA Tournament appearances, never making it past the Sweet 16 in three attempts. Its last postseason run came in 2016, knocking off Buffalo and Wichita State before falling to eventual champion Villanova.
The Hurricanes currently compete in the Atlantic Coast Conference where they have won one conference tournament (2013). The team is coached by Jim Larranaga and plays home games at the Watsco Center on campus in Coral Gables.
UCF Knights Men's Basketball
UCF competes in the American Athletic Conference, just like its other sports. The Knights have been a part of six conferences — as well as being an independent — since its move up to the Division I level in 1984, combining for five NCAA Tournament appearances.
The program's last postseason run came in 2019, receiving an at-large bid and knocking out VCU in the Round of 64. UCF would fall to Zion Williamson and No. 1 Duke, 77-76, after two attempts around the rim in the waning seconds fell short. The Knights are coached by Johnny Dawkins and play its home games at Addition Financial Arena on campus in Orlando.
USF Bulls Men's Basketball
USF has largely struggled since its move to the American Athletic Conference in 2013, finishing above .500 just once. The Bulls have won their conference once and have three NCAA Tournament appearances, most recently in 2012. USF would win its play-in game and upset No. 5 seed Temple, its only two postseason wins in program history. The Bulls play their home games at the Yuengling Center and are coached by Brian Gregory.
Florida Gulf Coast Eagles Men's Basketball
The youngest Division I program in Florida, the Eagles have also arguably become the most notable mid-major program in the state. Since its transition took effect in 2011, Florida Gulf Coast has won three Atlantic Sun conference championships en route to three NCAA Tournament appearances, none more notable than 2013.
The Eagles made a Sweet 16 run as a No. 15 seed, upsetting Georgetown by double digits. FGCU wouldn't stop there, knocking off San Diego State by 10 and becoming the first 15 seed to ever make the Sweet 16. The Cinderella Story would end there in a loss to Florida, but the school referred to as "Dunk City" had already made history. FGCU is now coached by Michael Fly and plays its home games at Alico Arena.
Florida Atlantic (FAU) Owls Men's Basketball
The Owls compete in Conference USA, which they have never won. They did win a conference championship while part of the Atlantic Sun back in 2002, the only NCAA Tournament appearance in program history. Since Dusty May took over as head coach in 2018, FAU has finished three consecutive seasons above. 500, the first time in program history. The Owls play home games at FAU Arena on campus in Boca Raton.
Florida International (FIU) Panthers Men's Basketball
FIU joined Division I as an independent in 1987 and has largely struggled to find its footing. The Panthers made the NCAA Tournament after a Cinderella run in the Trans America Athletic Conference — later rebranded as Atlantic Sun. They were the worst-seeded team in the conference tournament but would pull off three upsets en route to its first and only postseason appearance. FIU is coached by Jeremy Ballard and plays its home games at Ocean Bank Convocation Center.
North Florida Ospreys Men's Basketball
North Florida made the official transition into Division I in 2009 and have won three regular-season Atlantic Sun Conference championships since. The Ospreys haven't found the same success in postseason play, winning just one conference tournament, in 2015. They would lose in the first four of the NCAA Tournament to Robert Morris shortly after. North Florida is coached by Matthew Driscoll and plays home games at UNF Arena.
Jacksonville Dolphins Men's Basketball
The success of Jacksonville basketball can be traced back to its early days as an independent. The Dolphins have five NCAA Tournament appearances including a run to the 1970 National Championship. They would fall to UCLA and have lost all four postseason appearances since. Jacksonville has not returned to the NCAA Tournament in the last 35 years despite back-to-back Atlantic Sun regular-season championships in 2009-10. The Dolphins are coached by Tony Jasick and play home games at Swisher Gymnasium on campus.
Bethune-Cookman Wildcats Men's Basketball
Bethune-Cookman joined Division I in 1980 as part of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference's first expansion. Despite winning two regular-season conference championships in 2011 and 2018, Bethune-Cookman has never reached the NCAA Tournament. The Wildcats did not compete in 2021 as the college decided to shut down all spring sports due to the COVID pandemic. They are coached by Ryan Ridder and play their home games at Moore Gymnasium.
Florida A&M Rattlers Men's Basketball
Joining Division I alongside Bethune-Cookman as part of the MEAC's expansion — they began play in 1979, one year earlier — Florida A&M basketball has found more postseason success than its in-state HBCU counterpart. The Rattlers have won four conference tournaments and made three NCAA Tournament appearances, their latest in 2007. They are 1-3 in postseason play, their lone win a First Four game against Lehigh. Florida A&M is coached by Robert McCullum and plays home games at the Alfred Lawson Jr. Multipurpose Center.
Stetson Hatters Men's Basketball
Stetson has long struggled since its move to Division I in 1971-72, failing to make the NCAA Tournament in 50 years. The Hatters compete in the Atlantic Sun Conference where their last season above .500 came in 2000. Stetson is currently coached by Donnie Jones and plays its home games at the Edmunds Center.
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Other Sporting Events in Florida
Florida has a few notable events that extend beyond its in-state teams for sports fans and bettors alike to enjoy. They host eight NCAA bowl games and multiple events for the PGA, ATP and NASCAR.
Football Events in Florida
The Orange Bowl is an NCAA-certified college football game that has been held annually since 1935. It is the second-oldest bowl game in the country and is part of the New Year's Six. It is sponsored by Capital One and is held at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami. Every three years the Orange Bowl also serves as a semifinal for the College Football Playoffs. When not part of the CFP, the bowl game includes the ACC's champion — or runner-up if said champion is in the playoffs — and the highest-ranked team among the SEC, Big Ten and Notre Dame. Texas A&M is the defending champion after a 41-27 win over North Carolina.
Held annually since 1946, the Gator Bowl is played at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville. This is the sixth-oldest bowl game in college football history and is sponsored by TaxSlayer.com. The Gator Bowl includes at least one team from either the ACC or Big 10 each season. Kentucky is the defending champion in this bowl game, defeating North Carolina State, 23-21, this past season.
The Citrus Bowl is an NCAA-certified college football game that has been held annually since 1947. It is operated by Florida Citrus Sports, sponsored by Vrbo and held at Camping World Stadium in Orlando each year. The Citrus Bowl features an SEC-Big 10 matchup and is typically held on New Year's Day. Northwestern won the most recent Citrus Bowl, 35-19, over Auburn.
Held annually since 1986, the Outback Bowl features a team from the SEC and Big 10 conferences. This bowl game is sponsored by Outback Steakhouse and is played at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay. Ole Miss is the defending Outback Bowl champions after a 26-20 win over Indiana.
Like the Citrus Bowl, this is an NCAA-certified college football game operated by Florida Citrus Sports and held at Camping World Stadium in Orlando. The Cheez-It Bowl has been held annually since 1990 and features a team in the ACC and Big 12 conferences. Oklahoma State won the most recent event, a 37-34 win over Miami (FL).
Held annually since 2008, the Gasparilla Bowl doesn't have a specific tie-in, rather it can include two random teams across eight conferences, Army or BYU. The Gasparilla Bowl is sponsored by Union Home Mortgage and is held at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay. The 2020 Gasparilla Bowl was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving UCF as defending champions after a 48-25 win over Marshall.
Boca Raton Bowl
The Boca Raton Bowl is an NCAA-certified college football game that has been held annually since 2014. It is played at FAU Stadium and is sponsored by RoofClaim.com. There are no affiliated conferences in this bowl game, but the American, Conference USA and the MAC have all previously competed. BYU is the defending Boca Raton Bowl champion after a 49-23 drubbing of UCF.
Established in 2015, the Cure Bowl is held annually at Camping World Stadium in Orlando. The event is sponsored by FBC Mortgage and features a team from the Sun Belt Conference. The Liberty Flames are back-to-back Cure Bowl champions after defeating Coastal Carolina, 37-34, in overtime.
Golf Events in Florida
Arnold Palmer Invitational
Held annually since 1966, the Arnold Palmer Invitational is currently played at Bay Hill Club and Lodge. The course is privately owned by legendary golfer Arnold Palmer himself and stretches across 7,454 yards. It has a Par of 72 and includes a prize fund of $9.3 million. Bryson Dechambeau is the defending champion after edging out Lee Westwood by a stroke in 2021.
The Players Championship
Established in 1974, The Players Championship is an annual golf tournament held at the stadium course at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach. Though not a major, it carries the highest prize fund in golf at $15 million. The course stretches across 7,189 yards with a Par of 72. It includes one of the most iconic holes in golf, the par-3 on 17. Justin Thomas is the defending champ, shooting 14-under par to beat Lee Westwood by one stroke.
The Honda Classic is an annual event held at PGA National Resort and Spa's Champion course in Palm Beach Gardens. It was established in 1972 and has been sponsored by the American Honda Motor Company since 1982. The course is 7,140 yards with a Par of 70. The event, won this past year by Matt Jones, includes a prize fund of $7 million.
The Valspar Championship, held annually since 2000, is played at Copperhead Course in Palm Harbor. The event is sponsored by Valspar Corporation and includes a prize fund of $6.7 million. The course stretches across 7,340 yards with a Par of 71. The 2020 event was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving Paul Casey as the defending champion. He has won the last two Valspar Championships, both by a stroke.
The QBE Shootout is a post-season PGA Tour event, played at Tiburón Golf Club in Naples, Florida. The tournament is hosted by PGA Tour Professional Greg Norman, and is one of the few tournaments that utilizes a team-based format. The tournament's length is 54 holes and consists of various scoring formats such as scramble, greensome, and best ball. The duo of Harris English and Matt Kuchar are the reigning champions, both raking in $447,500 for their efforts in 2020.
NASCAR Events in FL
Part of the NASCAR Cup Series, the Daytona 500 is widely regarded as the biggest race of the year. Held annually at the Daytona International Speedway, which stretches 500 miles and 200 laps, this is the season-opening race of the Cup series. Michael McDowell is the defending champion after winning the 2021 Daytona 500.
Dixie Vodka 400
Held annually since 1999 and part of the NASCAR Cup Series, the Dixie Vodka 400 is played at the Homestead-Miami Speedway. The race is sponsored by Dixie Vodka and is now held in March. William Byron won the 2021 Dixie Vodka 400 in a race that stretches 400.5 miles and 267 laps.
Coke Zero Sugar 400
This NASCAR stock car race is hosted at the Daytona International Speedway. Sponsored by The Coca-Cola Company, this race totals 400 miles in length and 160 laps. The 2021 race is set for Aug. 28 as William Byron will look to defend his crown.
Tennis Events in FL
Delray Beach Open
Part of the ATP World Tour 250 series, the Delray Beach Open is a men's tournament held annually on hard courts. The event was established in 1993 and relocated to the Delray Beach Tennis Center in 1999. Hubert Hurkacz won the 2021 Delray Beach Open in straight sets over Sebastian Korda.
Held annually since 1985 and part of the ATP Tour Masters 1000 Circuit, the Miami Open is played at Hard Rock Stadium. The event is on a hard court and is sponsored by Itaú, an international bank. Hubert Hurkacz won the 2021 Miami Open in straight sets over Jannik Sinner.
Seminole Classic Casino Hollywood
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Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa
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Seminole Brighton Casino
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Seminole Casino Coconut Creek
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Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood
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Seminole Casino Immokalee
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