Florida Sports Betting
Florida Sportsbook Offers
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.'
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Florida Sports Betting Timeline
Sen. Jeff Brandes filed a bill to authorize the Florida Lottery to regulate sports betting without the tribe, but it didn't get far.
Gov. Ron DeSantis refused to sign off on a deal that would have allowed Tribal casinos to offer sports betting, with a cut of the revenues paid to the Seminoles.
The Seminole took control of any changes to gambling in the state by supporting the passage of Amendment 3 in November's election. It prohibits the legislature from authorizing new casino gambling without other approval.
Florida Sports Betting
Florida Sports Betting Background
Florida officials and the Seminole Tribe of Florida have 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 biggest single obstacle has been cleared. The timeline for online betting remains up in the air.
Retail books at the Seminole casinos are expected to open Oct. 15. A Hard Rock Digital statewide mobile app is facing multiple lawsuits that could postpone or prevent its launch.
Notably, Miami-based sports betting legislation expert Daniel Wallach said a 2018 constitutional amendment that prohibits lawmakers from passing gaming legislation without a voter referendum would not necessarily stop the legislature from authorizing sports gambling. Federal regulations could still be a major legal stumbling block.
Another option could be a DraftKings and FanDuel-backed ballot measure that could allow voters to approve statewide mobile wagering in 2022. It remains to be seen if this will make the ballot — or earn the 60% threshold for such a measure — but it could be another avenue for legal betting in the Sunshine State.
Florida Sports Betting Grading Card:
We're waiting for further legislative progress to grade Florida's sports betting market.
Mobile Betting Options: TBD
Along with the rest of sports betting, mobile betting is not yet live in Florida.
We'll have to see how deposits are set as the FL sports betting market takes shape.
Fair Pricing: TBD
Fair pricing evaluation is still pending overall legalization progress in Florida.
Sport Offerings: TBD
We don’t know exactly what sports will be offered as betting options in Florida yet, so we're waiting to grade.
Florida Sports Betting Positives
More information on Florida's sports betting legislation positives coming.
Florida Sports Betting Negatives
More information on Florida's sports betting legislation negatives coming.
Florida's Legalization Timeline
It's still in process to get 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:
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 DC, arguing that the opponents of the measure didn’t have the law on their side. [September 1st]
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, August 12th]
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 August 5th deadline, the Compact is considered approved. [US DOI, August 6th]
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 2nd]
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 23rd]
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 3rd]
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 5 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 19th]
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 18th]
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 17th]
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 17th. [SB 2-A, May 14th]
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 23rd]
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 30th. [Miami Herald, March 18th]
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 13th]
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
Whether you’re betting on Miami Heat game totals or Jacksonville Jaguars futures, sports betting isn't easy.
If you stay true to our nine mistakes to avoid, your sports betting experience will be a much more enjoyable one.
Florida Teams to Bet on
Pro Sports Teams
NFL Betting in Florida
The oldest professional sports franchise in the state of 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 currently coached by Brian Flores, entering his third year at the helm.
Miami Dolphins Rivalry #1: vs. Buffalo Bills. Since joining as a charter team in the AFL, the Dolphins have been division rivals with the Bills. It began lopsided with Shula and Miami all 20 matchups in the 1970s. Buffalo would get its revenge in the late 1980s to mid-1990s, including a 1992 AFC Championship win. After dying down in the 2000s, the rivalry seems primed for a resurgence. Both teams had double-digit win totals in the 2020-21 season with Buffalo edging out Miami for the AFC East crown. In 110 games, the Dolphins lead the all-time series, 61-52-1.
Miami Dolphins Rivalry #2: vs. New York Jets. Unlike other division rivalries that were one-sided affairs for a decade or two, the Jets and Dolphins have had nothing short of competitive affairs. These two have been AFC East rivals since the 1970 merger and the all-time series is tied at 55-55-1. The Dolphins did win the only postseason matchup, a 14-0 win in the 1982 AFC Championship.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers joined the NFL as an expansion team in 1976 and struggled to find their footing early. A winless inaugural 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 would return to the postseason in five of six years. The franchise won its first-ever Super Bowl in 2002, a 48-21 drubbing 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.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Rivalry #1: vs. New Orleans Saints. Though they first met in 1977, it was the 2002 NFL division realignment that sparked this rivalry. The two have combined for 10 division titles and three Super Bowls since the NFC South was created. Tampa Bay took home the most recent bout, a 30-20 win in the Divisional Round of the NFL playoffs en route to its second Super Bowl. New Orleans leads the all-time series.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Rivalry #2: vs. Carolina Panthers. Similar to its rivalry with New Orleans, it wasn't until the division realignment in 2002 that the Panthers and Bucs became rivals. Competing two times a year since, the two have never met in the playoffs. Carolina holds a slight all-time lead, 24-17, despite Tampa Bay sweeping the 2021 series.
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.
Jacksonville Jaguars Rivalry #1: vs. Tennessee Titans. In the Jaguars' first-ever game as an expansion franchise, it was the Titans — then the Houston Oilers — that handed them a loss. Both teams found success in the late 1990s and early 2000s, prior to the division realignment put both teams in the AFC South in 2002. The two teams have played once in the postseason in 2000, as the Titans blanked the Jaguars in the second half en route to a 33-14 win. These two franchises play one another twice a season with Tennessee holding the all-time lead and a three-game win streak over Jacksonville. No team has played the Jaguars more than the Titans.
Jacksonville Jaguars Rivalry #2: vs. Indianapolis Colts. Another rivalry that was jump-started because of the 2002 division realignment, the Colts are Jacksonville's second-most played opponent. Indianapolis does hold a double-digit lead in the all-time series over Jacksonville but the two split the 2021 series. It was the Jaguars' only win the entire season.
Recommended resource to help you bet smartly on football in Florida:
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, it was his promotion to president of the franchise that would lead to the franchise's 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 2012-13.
Miami is now led by five-time All-Star Jimmy Butler. 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 compete in the Southeast Division of the Eastern Conference and are coached by Erik Spoelstra. They play home games at American Airlines Arena.
Miami Heat Rivalry #1: vs. New York Knicks. While this rivalry has cooled off in recent years, at its height it was among the most notable in NBA history. From 1997-2000 the two franchises met four years in a row, all ending with a winner-take-all bout. Then-Heat head coach Pat Riley had stepped down from the same position with the Knicks in 1995, only adding fuel to the fire when the two met in 1997. A brawl would break out in Game 5 and the Knicks would receive five one-game suspensions — stretching over the next two games — and be left shorthanded as the Heat would win out. It would be the only series Miami won in these four years. The two have met in the postseason once since, but the intensity at the height of this rivalry will never be forgotten. The Heat lead the all-time series.
Miami Heat Rivalry #2: vs. Orlando Magic. This rivalry does not carry a similar fierceness as the Heat-Knicks, but the in-state rivalry still carries notoriety. Both teams joined as expansion teams in the same season and not even a decade later they would meet in the 1997 playoffs, a winner-take-all Game 5 in which Miami would win. The rivalry would remain relevant over the next 15 years, slowly dissipating after superstar center Dwight Howard left Orlando in 2012. The Heat own a double-digit series lead over Orlando.
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 duos. It was a short-lived tenure, however, 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.
Orlando Magic Rivalry: vs. Miami Heat. The Sunshine State rivalry has been fueled by proximity, but there have been plenty of heated moments outside of their 1997 playoff series. The most notable came in 2010 after LeBron James and Chris Bosh signed with Miami to form the "Big Three." Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy commented on the extra media coverage the Heat received and referred to Bosh as Dwyane Wade's lapdog. Dwight Howard would add fuel to the fire by saying the Magic are "trying to take their heads off." Howard left the Magic two years later and James would return to Cleveland shortly thereafter as the rivalry would cool off.
Recommended resource to help you bet smartly 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.
Tampa Bay Rays Rivalry #1: vs. Boston Red Sox. There have been multiple benches-clearing brawls between the Rays and Red Sox, the first coming in 2000 between Gerald Williams and Pedro Martinez. Over the next decade, the teams took turns throwing at one another with brawls and suspensions following suit. The height of the rivalry came in 2008 when the Rays knocked off the Red Sox in the ALCS en route to its first-ever World Series appearance. Earlier that year, Coco Crisp was hit by a pitch in retaliation for a hard slide at second base. He charged the mound and attacked Rays starter, James Shields, as the benches cleared. Despite the Rays being the newest expansion team a little over 20 years ago, this rivalry has been nothing short of intense.
Tampa Bay Rays Rivalry #2: vs. New York Yankees. These division rivals have been among the top teams in the American League East in recent years. This doesn't carry the same intensity that Boston and New York share, but the rivalry has quickly established itself among the most notable in 2021. During the 60-game season, Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman fired a fastball over the head of Mike Brosseau as the benches cleared. Fast forward roughly a month later and in a 10-pitch at-bat, Brosseau ended the Yankees season in walk-off fashion. He hit a home run off Chapman himself to advance to the ALCS. This rivalry will surely remain fierce over the next few years as both teams should remain in contention for the division crown.
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.
Miami Marlins Rivalry #1: vs. New York Mets. These rivals are not close in proximity but are fueled through being National League East division rivals. Arguably the most intense this rivalry has gotten came in a two-year span from 2007-08. The Marlins completed the Mets' collapse by knocking them out of the playoffs in Game 162 that first season. The following year, in the Mets' final game at Shea Stadium, the Marlins would hand them yet another loss, devastating the players and fans alike. These teams play one another 19 times a season because of their NL East ties with the Mets holding the all-time series lead.
Miami Marlins Rivalry #2: vs. Atlanta Braves. The closest division rival proximity-wise to Miami, the Braves and Marlins both made the playoffs in 2020. Tempers flared in that shortened season with Ronald Acuña Jr. getting hit by a pitch the at-bat after hitting a home run. He later tweeted out, "They have to hit me, because they don't get me out." The Braves have a stronghold on the all-time series and edged out Miami in the COVID-shortened season, 4-6.
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.
Florida Panthers Rivalry: vs. Tampa Bay Lightning. Both these franchises joined the NHL within a year of each other as proximity and division placement helped initiate this rivalry. Competing for the Governor's Cup each season, Florida dominated in the beginning before Tampa Bay took control over the last decade. The Panthers lead the all-time series and barely edge out the Lightning in total Governor's Cup wins (13 to 12).
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.
Tampa Bay Lightning Rivalry: vs. Florida Panthers. No team has played Tampa Bay more than its in-state counterpart. The two division rivals have slowly found themselves atop the NHL in 2021, competing against one another for The Presidents' Trophy. Though struggling to find its footing early, the Lightning have won seven of the last nine Governor's Cups. The two franchises have never met in the postseason.
Recommended resource to help you bet smartly 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. The state also has 11 professional sports franchises with the majority coming in the Orlando, Tampa Bay and Miami regions.
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 Gators Rivalry #1: vs. Georgia Bulldogs. This series has been held annually since 1926, only missing one year — 1943 — due to World War II. Commonly referred to as the 'World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party,' this rivalry remains one of the most prominent in college football. Each year the game is held at a neutral site in Jacksonville, Florida, drawing in a large tailgating crowd. These Eastern Division rivals in the SEC have played one another nearly 100 times with Georgia holding the all-time series lead. The Gators won 2020's matchup, 44-28.
Florida Gators Rivalry #2: vs. Florida State Seminoles. This in-state rivalry often referred to as the Sunshine Showdown has been held annually since the inaugural matchup in 1958. Despite competing in different conferences, both programs manage to fit the game in nonconference play. This rivalry has not been fueled because of its Florida ties, but both teams are often ranked inside the Top 25 yearly. The Gators lead the all-time series 36-26-2 and are on a two-game win streak; 2020's matchup was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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.
Florida State Seminoles Rivalry #1: vs. Miami Hurricanes. This historic rivalry saw its peak come in the 1980s and would continue for the better part of three decades. It became appointment television and quickly became one of college football's most iconic rivalries. The winner of this matchup often found itself in the National Championship, as the two programs combined for 14 National Championship appearances in 19 years from 1983 to 2002. From late-game comeback drives falling short due to missed field goals to constant trash-talking between players, this in-state rivalry had it all in its 65 bouts.
Florida State Seminoles Rivalry #2: vs. Florida Gators. At its height, this in-state rivalry consisted of two Top 25 teams that carried National Championship implications. In the 1990s, on six separate occasions, the winner of the Sunshine Showdown went on to compete in the title game. Since 2000, each program has won 10 games apiece with 2021's matchup being canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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.
Miami Hurricanes Rivalry: vs. Florida State Seminoles. These two teams constantly battled for the recognition of being Florida's best program throughout the 1980s up through the early 2000s. This is Miami's longest series of all time and is definitely the most heated. Simply put, these two teams and fanbases hate one another. Both teams continue to compete annually in the ACC where Miami holds the all-time advantage, 35-30. The Hurricanes are on a four-game win streak after a 52-10 beatdown over the Seminoles in 2020.
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.
UCF Knights Rivalry: vs. USF Bulls. Starting in 2005 and becoming an annual matchup after both teams became American Athletic Conference rivals in 2013, UCF and USF play during Thanksgiving weekend. The in-state rivalry would be branded as the 'War on I-4' in 2016. The all-time series is tied but UCF has been in control recently, riding a four-game win streak over the Bulls.
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.
USF Bulls Rivalry: vs. UCF Knights. Just 96 miles separate these two rivals that have faced off 12 times since its inaugural matchup in 2005. It started as a four-year, home-and-away series that the Bulls dominated, winning the first four by an average margin of 20.75 points. It has since become a consistent rivalry and will continue into the foreseeable future, as both teams are current members of the American Athletic Conference.
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.
FIU Panthers Rivalry: vs. FAU Owls. Nicknamed the Shula Bowl, this matchup has occurred annually since FIU's inaugural season in 2002. Both teams joined the FBS together and have been conference rivals — across both the Sun Belt and Conference USA — since FAU joined the former in 2005. The winner of this rivalry is awarded the Don Shula Award, which FAU has won over the last four years.
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.
FAU Owls Rivalry: vs. FIU Panthers. These in-state rivals compete for the Don Shula Award when they meet each season in Conference USA play. FAU has long dominated the series between the two programs, having won 14 of the 18 matchups. The Owls won the 2020 matchup, 38-19.
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 Gators Rivalry: vs. Florida State Seminoles. Despite competing in different conferences, this in-state rivalry began in 1951 and has been held annually since 1978. Though more heated in football, the two programs have met 72 times on the hardwood, with Florida holding the all-time series lead. The Sunshine Showdown is a home-and-home series and 2021's matchup will be held in Gainesville. Both teams are often ranked inside the Top 25 teams, making this matchup a valuable one when building a formidable NCAA Tournament resume.
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.
Florida State Seminoles Rivalry: vs. Florida Gators. The Sunshine Showdown extends past the gridiron as both teams met on the hardwood in 1951 and have played nearly every year since. While Florida dominated the early part of the rivalry and holds the all-time lead, it's been the Seminoles that have been red hot of late. Florida State has won seven straight including 2020's bout, 83-71.
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.
Miami Hurricanes Rivalry: vs. Florida State Seminoles. This rivalry that dates back to 1950 is not nearly as heated as it is in football, but Miami and Florida State still play one another twice a season in a home-and-home series as part of ACC play. While Florida State is on a seven-game win streak and holds a sizable all-time series lead, the Hurricanes are 28-16 when defending their home court.
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.
UCF Knights Rivalry: vs. USF Bulls. The 'War on I-4' began on the hardwood in 1972 and had been dominated by USF early on. But since the two programs joined the American Athletic Conference ahead of the 2014 season, the series has been controlled by UCF. Now competing twice a year, the Knights have won 12 of 16 conference bouts including nine straight from 2016-20.
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 Gulf Coast Eagles Rivalry: vs. North Florida Ospreys. The longest-tenured rivalry for Florida Gulf Coast comes against their in-state rival. FGCU and North Florida play at least twice a season during conference play and it's the Eagles with the all-time series lead. The two did not face off in 2021 due to the COVID pandemic.
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.
USF Bulls Rivalry: vs. UCF Knights. Less than 100 miles separate these in-state rivals that compete twice a season. South Florida has struggled since moving to the American but remains in control of the all-time series. The programs have never met in the conference tournament and have split both this and last year's two-game series.
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.
FAU Owls Rivalry: vs. FIU Panthers. Like in football, the Panthers are top rivals with Florida Atlantic. The two programs' rivalry in basketball took a step up in 2007 when FAU left the Atlantic Sun for the Sun Belt Conference. Both would move to Conference USA together in 2013. Since becoming division rivals, FAU and FIU have competed twice a season in a home-and-home series. The Owls swept 2021's series in what was a down year for the Panthers.
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.
FIU Panthers Rivalry: vs. FAU Owls. Less than 60 miles separate these Conference USA rivals that play each other twice a season. While FAU swept the 2021 series, FIU holds the all-time lead, 28-21.
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.
North Florida Ospreys Rivalry: vs. Jacksonville Dolphins. These Atlantic Sun conference rivals compete in the River City Rumble every year, which is a competition between all sports at both programs. These two teams are not even 10 miles from one another and play twice a season on the hardwood. The Ospreys have not played an opponent more than Jacksonville and hold the all-time series lead.
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.
Jacksonville Dolphins Rivalry: vs. North Florida Ospreys. This in-state rivalry is fueled by proximity as only 10 miles separate these campuses. Though being a relatively new program, North Florida and Jacksonville have established an annual athletics-wide competition every year. The Ospreys have an upper hand all time but the programs did split 2021's two-game matchup.
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.
Bethune-Cookman Wildcats Rivalry: vs. Florida A&M Rattlers. The lone two HBCUs in the state of Florida, no team has played Bethune-Cookman more than the Rattlers. Over 91 games, the Wildcats hold a one-game lead. Competing in the MEAC, the two programs compete twice a season. They did not play in 2021 because Bethune-Cookman canceled its season.
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.
Florida A&M Rattlers Rivalry: vs. Bethune-Cookman Wildcats. The most-played rivalry in program history, these division rivals face one another twice a season. While the Wildcats hold the all-time series lead by a game, Florida A&M and Bethune-Cookman have split the last two annual series.
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.
Stetson Hatters Rivalry: vs. Jacksonville Dolphins. Stetson doesn't have a clear-cut rival, but relative to proximity and conference ties, Jacksonville sits atop the list. This is Stetson's second most-played rivalry as the Hatters control the series with a double-digit lead. These teams play twice each season in the Atlantic Sun play and have met nearly 70 times with Stetson holding a double-digit edge all-time.
Recommended resources to help you bet smartly on college basketball in Florida:
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|
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.
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.
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