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Now Live: The Latest in Michigan Sports Betting 2021
PokerStars Launches Michigan Online PokerJan. 29, 2021
PokerStars became the first legal real-money online poker operator in Michigan on Jan. 29, bringing the world’s largest online poker site to one of the most anticipated markets in America. PokerStars’ launch marks the fifth state to go live with peer-to-peer online poker.
Michigan Online Sports Betting Goes LiveJan. 22, 2021
Ten online sportsbooks went live Jan. 22 , opening one of the most exciting digital sports betting markets in the country.
Michigan Approves 15 Sportsbooks for Early 2021 LaunchDec. 11, 2020
Michigan officials conditionally approved 15 separate companies to launch online sportsbooks, nearly all of which also earned approval for online casino gaming.
Michigan Commercial Sportsbooks Shut Down as Online Betting StallsNov. 19, 2020
A Michigan legislative committee waived the customary waiting period to approve rules. The rules now go back to the Michigan Gaming Control Board, which will have to complete a few final steps, including filing paperwork and granting final approval for the individual online sportsbook operators. We're expecting a January launch for most major books.
Michigan Online Sports Betting Clears Latest HurdleOct. 12, 2020
State regulators advanced a final draft of online sports betting rules last week to a committee of Michigan lawmakers. If this panel takes no further action, the rules can then go to the secretary of state’s office and pass into law.
Michigan Sports Betting Launches as Three Casinos Officially Begin Accepting BetsMarch 11, 2020
Sports betting is officially legal and launched in the state of Michigan! Detroit casinos MGM Grand, Greektown and Motor City Casino all began allowing sports bets onsite. Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed sports betting into law with the passing of H4311 and S4916 on Dec. 20, 2019. Online betting is expected to be available by the end of 2020.
DraftKings, a former daily fantasy sports platform, is already one of the premier sportsbook operators in the U.S. They have one of the biggest userbases, and they've since massive growth over the last two years thanks to their sleek app and tech, along with fair odds and good user experience. They operate in the most states among sportsbooks and will certainly be a big player in the Michigan market when it launches online betting.
They've partnered with Bay Mills Resort & Casino to offer online betting in Michigan. In fact, they're already starting to accept registrations for accounts, and they're giving away $100 to any user who signs up ahead of the launch date.
From DraftKings' press release about launching in Michigan:
“Through a commitment to provide customers with a premier sports betting experience, DraftKings is happy to partner with Bay Mills Resort & Casino,” said Ezra Kucharz, DraftKings’ Chief Business Officer. “The Great Lakes State presents several gaming opportunities and we look forward to collaborating with Bay Mills to provide residents with the best-in-class experience DraftKings is known for.”
PointsBet, one of our top-rated sportsbooks, is geared up to launch in Michigan. PointsBet has partnered with the Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians, known as the LVD. They'll work together to offer online and mobile sports wagering services via LVD's online licenses. They're in it for the long haul, too — the initial term of the agreement is 20 years.
PointsBet is one of sports betting's early successes in the U.S. market, as they've quickly gained market share thanks to their sleek app and innovative offerings for bettors. One example is their "pointsbetting" product, which allows bettors to multiply their winnings on a bet based on how much it wins by. For example, if a bettor wagered $10 on an over/under of 200 and the game finished at 220, that bettor would win $200 based on that multiplier. It's a unique product only offered at PointsBet and allows bettors to diversify their options and bets.
Commenting on the partnership, PointsBet CEO Sam Swanell said:
"PointsBet is pleased to have reached an agreement for both online sportsbook and online casino operations with such a forward-thinking Tribe, and we look forward to many years of great success working together in Michigan."
For more, you can reference PointsBet's press release here.
The Stars Group, which includes sportsbook FOX Bet, announced that it entered into an agreement with the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians Gaming Authority. This enables FOX Bet online betting and gaming market access in the state of Michigan.
FOX Bet, part of Flutter Entertainment, one of the biggest gaming companies in the world, is making a name for itself thanks to big media deals and media influencers like Colin Cowherd, Cousin Sal, Clay Travis and others. They also offer very enticing prices and have shown some independence at times in setting odds, which allows bettors to find value rather than all competitors having the exact same numbers.
Robin Chhabra, Chief Executive Officer of FOX Bet, said about the partnership:
"We are excited to announce this agreement with the Odawa tribe, which further strengthens our market access as we work to continue to build our FOX Bet business into one of the leaders in the emerging U.S. online betting and gaming market."
For more detail on FOX Bet's presence in Michigan, reference the FOX Bet press release.
William Hill Sportsbook Michigan and the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians (known as the "GTB”), announced their partnering to provide online sports betting in Michigan, with plans to open a retail William Hill Sports Book at Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel this year, pending approvals.
William Hill, which was just bought by Caesars in September, will certainly be one of the biggest players for years to come. They offer some of the best new-user promotions and have been aggressive in getting into new states. We expect they'll launch in Tennessee within the next couple of months right around the same time as Michigan.
Joe Asher, CEO of William Hill US, commented on the partnership:
“We are pleased to have found a great partner in the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians and look forward to working with the Tribe to bring leading retail and online sports betting experience to sports fans in Michigan...Michigan will be a key state in William Hill’s U.S. expansion due to its large population and deep-rooted-sports culture with so many popular college and pro sports teams.”
For more details, see William Hill's site.
FanDuel Sportsbook Michigan and Detroit's commercial Motorcity Casino announced a partnership in Match 2020. FanDuel will run all core services affecting betting for the Sportsbook.
FanDuel, like rival DraftKings, was originally started years ago as a daily fantasy sports platform and has since expanded into the sports betting and casino business following the PASPA strike-down in 2018 by the U.S. Supreme Court. As a result of starting with DFS, they already have a massive userbase built up and are one of the biggest books in the nation.
They have also started accepting registrations for their Michigan book, which will launch as soon as regulators give the go-ahead. And they're even giving away free bets if you sign up ahead of time.
Matt King, Chief Executive Officer of FanDuel Group commented on the partnership:
“Detroit is an incredible sports town – the ‘City of Champions’. As we look to expand our national footprint and bring America’s top sportsbook to more customers across the country, this was a perfect fit... It has everything we look for – from the industry-leading casino operation to the proud and passionate Midwest fanbase. Exciting things are happening in Detroit, and we couldn’t be more excited about this move to the Motor City.”
For more, reference the FanDuel press release on the topic.
BetMGM Sportsbook Michigan will launch at its parent casino brand. As part of ROAR Digital, the gaming branch of the overall parent umbrella, BetMGM has been aggressive in getting into U.S. markets since the legalization of sports betting in 2018. They now operate in six states: Colorado, Indiana, Nevada, New Jersey, Tennessee and West Virginia. Michigan will be their seventh in December 2020 or early 2021.
BetMGM is one of the best books for users given its platform, promotions and features for users. For example, they're the only major online book in the U.S. that pays out in full on ties in golf betting. That might seem like a minor feature, but it can matter a whole lot to bettors who like to make weekly wagers on PGA Tour events.
Scott Butera, President of Interactive Gaming for MGM Resorts, commented on the partnership:
"Michigan is home to some of the nation's most enthusiastic sports fans. MGM Resorts and Roar Digital are excited to be opening BetMGM Sports Lounge at MGM Grand Detroit in time for college basketball's tournament season... We worked with the most creative design talent to create a world-class sports book and lounge with amenities that will give our guests an exciting sports viewing experience."
For more, read the MGM press release.
BetRivers Sportsbook will launch in Michigan thanks to its partnership with Little River Casino Resort in Manistee, Michigan.
BetRivers may not have the household name like some of its competitors, but they have launched in several states already, including Illinois, Pennsylvania, Colorado and Indiana. They have been one of the biggest players in the Illinois market in 2020 and will certainly hope to gain market share in Michigan in 2021.
From BetRivers' press release regarding their upcomin g Michigan launch:
"The Little River Band of Ottawa Indians has built an outstanding reputation and we are thrilled they have chosen RSI to be a part of that tradition," said Richard Schwartz, president of Rush Street Interactive. "Being only a lakeshore away in Chicago, the Rush Street Interactive team views this partnership as an opportunity to help bring a property-wide lift to Little Rivers Casino Resort — from slots to tables to restaurants — thanks to the tremendous and growing popularity of sports wagering.
How Michigan Sports Betting Compares
Whether you're a Lansing local, an Ann Arbor transplant, or just visiting Detroit for a sports-filled weekend, there are pros and cons to Michigan's online sports betting bill. Here's how it lines up versus other U.S. states:
Mobile Betting Options: A-
Mobile betting went live nearly a year after it was technically legalized. Most big books have already started taking bets and Michigan is primed for plenty of sportsbook apps within a competitive online, mobile market. Each of the state's three commercial casinos and roughly two-dozen Native American tribes will be able to offer online sports bets. It will take a while for all these books to go online, and even at its peak, Michigan's mobile sports betting options will be less than in other states such as Colorado and New Jersey. Still, all top national sports betting brands are lined up to enter the market, including at least 10 that launched in the first few weeks or months of the go-live date, meaning there are plenty of wagering options for Michigan bettors.
Michigan sports betting payment options include debit cards, prepaid cards, PayPal and other digital payment options. Credit cards and even cryptocurrencies may be available as well. Given the legislation, we have no reason to expect Michigan will be any different from any of the other major states with legal online betting, and that means most forms of payment should be available to bettors.
Fair Pricing: A
Fair pricing evaluation is still pending in MI, but the competitive market with most leading brands essentially guarantees market-standard prices. Expect most if not all sportsbooks to routinely post fair, competitive lines that match up to market averages in most other states. As mentioned above, the legislation in Michigan is very strong compared to other legal states. The tax rate of 8.4% and fair hold rate means that it's a very enticing state for operators to get into, and that competition plus the bills means solid prices for the consumers.
Michigan’s law has few limitations on eligible bet typoes. In addition to all major American professional sports leagues including the NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL, Michiganders can wager on in-state college teams such as Michigan State and Michigan. Most sportsbooks also offer dozens if not hundreds of foreign leagues and sports. Right now, the only states with online betting that don't allow wagering on in-state college teams are Illinois and New Jersey.
Michigan Sports Betting Background
Michigan retail sports betting went live in 2020, with online betting following in January 2021.
Any of the state's 26 commercial and tribal casinos can apply for a license. They will partner with an existing online operator, or leverage their own sports betting brand (like MGM Grand in Detroit using BetMGM). In addition to BetMGM, FanDuel, DraftKings, William Hill, FanDuel, BetRivers, Golden Nugget, TwinSpires and Wynn made up the first wave of live online sportsbooks. A few others have also joined the party as of February, including FOX Bet and PointsBet, and even more will likely be accepting bets in 2021, including GAN, Kambi, Parx, and Scientific Games.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed the sports betting bill into law in December 2019, and in-person sportsbooks launched in March 2020 just before American sports went on pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Michigan's commercial casinos closed for several months after sports betting began then closed again in November as the virus continued to spread.
Michigan's stop-start sports betting market comes after years of trying to legalize wagering and other types of gaming. Backers in the legislature appeared they would pass one of the nation's first online gaming bills in December 2018, only to see it unexpectedly vetoed by outgoing Gov. Rick Snyder in one of his last days in office.
Starting over in 2019, elected officials in the Republican-controlled legislature worked with new Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on an even bigger gaming packing, which included sports betting, daily fantasy, online poker and casino gaming. After assuaging Whitmer's concerns that the new gaming forms would cannibalize the lucrative state lottery, which generates billions of dollars for education funding, the bills were signed into law in December 2019.
Michigan took a methodical approach to all these new game types, but stakeholders are optimistic that all the aforementioned offerings will be available in 2021. Once live, Michigan will be the first state with commercial casinos, Native American casinos, retail and online sportsbooks, online poker, regulated daily fantasy and online casino gaming.
Unlike their colleagues in Indiana and Iowa, Michigan regulators have taken a more methodical approach as they seek to launch what is projected to be one of the most lucrative sports betting markets in the country. Officials in Michigan’s Midwestern neighbors expedited the rules-making process, allowing bets to be accepted just a few months after their respective sports betting laws were signed into law.
Michigan retail betting came (relatively) quickly, but it took over a year from when Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed sports betting into law until Michigan sports bettors could place their first legal wager.
Michigan will allow statewide mobile wagering, the most critical component of an effective market. Online betting makes up between 80-98% of mature sports betting markets with both options.
The state also allows any eligible user to sign up for any licensed sportsbook from anywhere within state lines. There is no in-person sign-up requirement, meaning bettors can register, deposit and bet for all sportsbooks without having to leave home.
There also should be roughly two-dozen online sportsbooks, plenty for a competitive market. All major brands such as DraftKings, FanDuel, MGM, PointsBet, Penn National, William Hill and many more are poised to accept players in Michigan.
The reason for the competition is that like Colorado, a recent state that legalized in 2020, the Michigan sports betting bill is a very solid one. The tax rate is just 8.4%, lower than the standard 10% we've seen in a variety of states. Some are even up at 20% or beyond, which can hurt both the availability of operators to enter the market and also how aggressive they are with promos and odds.
That problem won't exist with Michigan: Because of the solid legislation and huge market — the state has an estimated 10 million people as of 2020 — there will be no sportsbook that won't want to be live as soon as they can. And because costs will be lower compared to other states, they'll be able to be aggressive with odds and promos, which directly benefits the consumer. That will be especially true in the early months of Michigan sports betting as operators rush out of the gate to acquire users and gain market share before the market matures.
Michigan's biggest problem is that its promising market has taken so long to go live.
It will be at least a year from when sports betting was technically legalized to when Michiganders can their first legal online bet. Though retail betting opened in March 2020, only a handful of retail sportsbooks were able to go live before both the state's three commercial casinos as well as roughly two-dozen tribal casinos closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In November, the three commercial casinos were forced to close again. Tribal casinos, which aren't subject to the laws, intended to remain open, but most are in remote regions inconvenient to most bettors. Without online options, legal wagering was effectively illegal again.
This year-long delay as Michigan officials finalize online betting regulations and licenses will cost operators millions of dollars in revenues and the state millions in lost sports betting taxes. Once live, Michigan promises to be one of the marquee sports betting markets in the nation, but until then, it's an afterthought.
There is light at the end of the tunnel, although it's tough to say when it will come. The legislation surround online sports betting is now with the Michigan Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR), who can give the go-ahead at any time. Even if they don't explicity do that, it will pass after 15 session days — that would be mid-December if no days are canceled due to COVID-19. Once that 15-session-day timeline has been fulfilled and the rules are passed, regulators will grant each sportsbook final approval to go live, which will take a couple weeks.
If that all happens as expected, we would expect sportsbook to go live early January 2021. What could push things back even more, though, is whether any session days are canceled due to COVID-19. They have to get in 15 during the rest of 2020 or else that timeline resets in 2021, which could push the launch of online betting to potentially February. With the Super Bowl on Feb. 7, it's tough to imagine legislators and regulators won't want live online betting by then, but we will have to see how COVID-19 affects meeting times. We'll keep this page updated on what happens and when we expect the launch of sports betting in Michigan.
Michigan Sports Betting FAQ
Is it legal to bet on sports in Michigan?
It is! The Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) authorized onsite sports betting at the Detroit casinos on March 11, 2020. Sports betting is legal at three commercial casinos, and as of Friday, Jan. 22, bettors can do everything online -- including registration, depositing and betting.
Who can operate online sports betting and internet gaming?
Which casinos have sports betting?
Does the MGCB regulate any part of tribal online betting?
What tax rate is paid by the Detroit casinos and tribes for onsite sports betting?
How old do you have to be to bet in Michigan?
You must be at least 21 years old to place a bet in Michigan. That's in line with other states.
When will online sports betting be legal in Michigan?
An official launch date has finally been announced: Friday, Jan. 22. At that time, adults in Michigan will be able to sign up, deposit and bet all online.
Will it be legal to bet on college sports in Michigan?
Yes, Michigan bettors will be allowed to bet on all college sports games. There are some legal U.S. states like New Jersey and Illinois that allow college sports betting for all games except those that include in-state teams (for example, a bettor in Illinois couldn't bet on a Northwestern game), but Michigan will have no such restrictions.
Will I need to be a Michigan resident to bet online in the state?
No, you do not have to be a resident of Michigan to make a bet in the state. You just have to have an account and be located within state lines at the time you place your bet.
Will I need to be a Michigan resident to deposit and withdraw funds at a sportsbook?
No. In order to place a bet with a Michigan online sportsbook, you must have an account and be located within the state lines. And to deposit and withdraw funds, even that is not a requirement. You can move money in and out of your account from anywhere with an internet access.
Which sportsbooks will be available in Michigan?
Given the solid legislation in Michigan plus the huge market -- the estimated population in 2020 is 10 million people -- we expect pretty much every major book to be live on Day 1 or soon thereafter. That includes DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, William Hill, PointsBet, FOX Bet, Barstool Sportsbook and way more.
Will I be able to bet on my phone in Michigan?
Yes, as of Friday, Jan. 22, you can bet anywhere in Michigan with an internet access. That means users will be able to create accounts, deposit and bet all with any internet-capable device. Most sportsbooks, if not all, will have dedicated mobile apps as well.
Will Bovada be legal in Michigan?
No, Bovada is an illegal, offshore sportsbook that is not legal in any U.S. state, including Michigan.
Sports Betting for Beginners
New to sports betting? Check out our 11 sports betting tips for beginners so you can get started placing bets, whether you want to bet on the Detroit Lions or the Detroit Pistons.
Sports Betting Glossary
The sports betting lexicon is extensive and can be a lot to take in, especially to new bettors. Check out our sports betting glossary to get up to speed with every term you might need to know.
Sports Betting Mistakes to Avoid
Betting on your favorite teams like Detroit Tigers might seem like a no-brainer, but you need to be responsible if you're going to stay up in the sports betting world.
Here are nine mistakes to avoid.
Michigan Sports Betting Timeline
Michigan Teams to Bet on
Pro Sports Teams
Michigan has five professional sports teams, each with their own rabid fan base. While it isn't a requirement to have a pro team in-state for a strong sport-specific betting market, it certainly helps momentum. All of Michigan's pro teams play in the Detroit metropolitan area:
NFL Betting in Michigan
Technically, the Detroit Lions have won four NFL championships. But the most recent one was in 1957, so Detroit has never won the Super Bowl. In fact, the Lions are one of only four NFL teams that have never even played in a Super Bowl, and the only one in the NFC. The Lions currently have the second-longest championship drought in the NFL. They've made the playoffs only three times this century.
Detroit fans hope the future is brighter than the past — it can hardly be much darker, after all. They'll pin their hopes on a new franchise quarterback, Jared Goff. Detroit plays in the NFC North and hosts a Thanksgiving game every season, a tradition that began in 1934. The Lions play their home games at Ford Field in Detroit and are coached by Dan Campbell.
Detroit Lions Rivalry #1: vs. Green Bay Packers. These teams have been division rivals for almost a century, since 1933, and play twice every season, making this the longest continuous rivalry in the NFL. The Packers lead the all-time series, but not by as much as you might think thanks to Detroit's strong history from long ago. Green Bay has won both postseason meetings.
Detroit Lions Rivalry #2: vs. Chicago Bears. Detroit and Chicago are regional rivals across every professional sport, and the Lions and Bears have been division rivals since 1933 and play twice a season. These teams played in the NFL's first ever playoff game in 1932, with Chicago winning the championship. They also met in the first every Thanksgiving game in 1934 and have played 18 times on Thanksgiving. The Bears lead the all-time rivalry series.
Recommended resource to help you bet smart on football in Michigan:
NBA Betting in Michigan
The Detroit Pistons are three-time NBA champions. The Bad Boy Pistons won back-to-back championships in 1989 and 1990 with Isiah Thomas, Joe Dumars, Dennis Rodman and Bill Laimbeer setting the tone. The Pistons won it again in 2004 with another team effort built around Chauncey Billups, Richard Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince, Rasheed Wallace and Ben Wallace. Like their home town, the Pistons tend to be a blue-collar team that works hard, plays together, and sees a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.
The Pistons originally started out in Fort Wayne, Indiana, in 1941 and moved to Detroit in 1957. The Pistons compete in the Central Division in the NBA's Eastern Conference and play their home games at Little Caesars Arena in Midtown Detroit, which they share with the Detroit Red Wings (NHL). Detroit is coached by Dwane Casey and built around star forward, Blake Griffin.
Detroit Pistons Rivalry #1: vs. Chicago Bulls. These teams have been longtime division foes, but the rivalry really blossomed in the late 80s as the Bad Boy Pistons fought off the rise of Michael Jordan. The Pistons were successful holding off MJ during their 1989 and 1990 championship runs, but Jordan and the Bulls won in 1991 before the first of three straight championships of their own. Together, the teams won eight of 10 titles at one point and are still heated rivals today.
Detroit Pistons Rivalry #2: vs. Boston Celtics. This is another rivalry that rose to prominence in the 80s. The Celtics were three-time champions in the 80s with Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, and Robert Parish, and Boston was the Eastern Conference foe in Detroit's path as the Bad Boys rose to power. Detroit played Boston five times in the playoffs between 1985 and 1991. The Celtics won the first two times but the Pistons won the final three, making the Finals in 1988, 1989, and 1990 and effectively ending the Celtics dynasty.
Recommended resource to help you bet smart on basketball in Michigan:
MLB Betting in Michigan
The Detroit Tigers began play in the American League in 1901 as one of eight charter franchises and have played with that team city and name longer than any other AL team. The Tigers are four-time World Series champions, with world championships in 1935, 1945, 1968, and 1984. Detroit has played in 11 World Series, most recently in 2012. The Tigers play in the AL Central division and were in the midst of four consecutive division titles when they made that 2012 World Series and were swept by the San Francisco Giants.
The Tigers have hit a rough stretch in recent years but have a number of exciting prospects and look like they're finally beginning to emerge from their long rebuilding process. The Tigers play their home games at Comerica Park in downtown Detroit. They are managed by A.J. Hinch.
Detroit Tigers Rivalry #1: vs. Cleveland Indians. Michigan and Ohio are rivals in other sports (and college), so it's only natural that these AL Central foes are rivals too. The Indians were charter AL members along with the Tigers, so the teams have played for over a century and are almost dead even over in over 2,000 games, with Detroit holding the slightest edge. Even with all those games, the Tigers and Indians have never met in the playoffs... at least not yet.
Detroit Tigers Rivalry #2: vs. Chicago White Sox. The White Sox and Tigers were charter AL members together, but the teams haven't always played in the same division until Detroit moved to the AL Central. Chicago and Detroit are natural rivals in pretty much any sport, and the teams often seem to end up in a similar spot in the division standings. Now, with both teams on the rise with young talent, perhaps the rivalry will be on the rise too.
Recommended resource to help you bet smart on baseball in Michigan:
NHL Betting in Michigan
Detroit Red Wings
The Detroit Red Wings are the best and most popular team in the NHL, at least in the U.S. The Red Wings have won the Stanley Cup 11 different times, most recently in 2008. That's the most of any U.S.-based NHL franchise and third most overall, behind Montreal and Toronto. That's why Detroit is called Hockeytown, USA, after all. The team is loaded with traditions, from octopus throwing to "Don't Stop Believin'."
For 52 years, the Red Wings played their home games at Joe Louis Arena before moving to Little Caesars Arena for the start of the 2017-18 season, an arena they share with the NBA's Detroit Pistons. The Red Wings made the playoffs 25 consecutive seasons from 1991 through 2016, the third longest streak in NHL history. They won four Stanley Cups during that stretch, three of them with Red Wings legend and current general manager, Steve Yzerman. Detroit is coached by Jeff Blashill.
Detroit Red Wings Rivalry #1: vs. Chicago Blackhawks. Like every other sport, Detroit and Chicago are huge rivals on the ice too. Both clubs began play in the 1926-27 season and have been rivals ever since, facing each other more than any teams in NHL history other than the Boston-Montreal rivalry. In the 60s, Gordie Howe led the Red Wings against Bobby Hull's Blackhawks in a matchup of all-time greats, as the teams met in the playoffs five times in six years.
The rivals have met 16 times in the playoffs over the years, with Chicago winning nine of the series. The Blackhawks won the last series in 2013, and because Detroit moved to the Eastern Conference after that season, now the teams cannot meet again unless they play in the Stanley Cup Finals. And what a meeting that will be, when it finally happens.
Detroit Red Wings Rivalry #2: vs. Colorado Avalanche. The Avalanche upset the Red Wings in the Western Conference Finals en route to their first Stanley Cup, and Avalanche player Claude Lemieux checked Detroit's Kris Draper hard in the series finale, resulting in Draper undergoing facial reconstruction surgery and getting his jaw wired shut for over a month.
When the teams met the following season, the Brawl in Hockeytown resulted in nine fights, 39 penalties, and 148 penalty minutes, including a rare goalie fight. The Red Wings won in the WCF rematch and went on to lift the Stanley Cup. Detroit and Colorado played five times in the postseason between 1996 and 2002. The Avs won three of the five playoff meetings, but Detroit won three Stanley Cups in that stretch to Colorado's two. The rivalry is no longer quite as heated since Detroit moved to the NHL's Eastern Conference in 2013.
Recommended resource to help you bet smart on hockey in Michigan:
College Sports Teams
Michigan and Michigan State have fielded champion-level contenders in both football and basketball. Both universities compete in some longstanding rivalries and we expect big bets to be placed on these Michigan and Michigan State games in the near future.
Betting on Michigan College Football
Michigan Wolverines Football
Michigan football has the most wins in college football history. Everything about the university oozes with history, from the winged helmets to the iconic fight song and the annual rivalry game with Ohio State. Michigan plays its games at the Big House on campus in Ann Arbor. Michigan Stadium is the largest stadium in the U.S. with a current capacity of 107,601.
Michigan claims 11 national championships, most recently in 1997 when the university also won its third Heisman Trophy with Charles Woodson. The Wolverines play in the Big Ten and have won 42 conference titles and played in 48 bowl games. Michigan has finished top 10 in the AP poll 38 times since its inception in 1936. Every Michigan coach from 1900 through 1989 has been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. Most notable among them was Bo Schembechler, who won 13 Big Ten championships in 21 seasons with the team and ignited a fierce rivalry with Ohio State's Woody Hayes.
Michigan Wolverines Rivalry #1: vs. Ohio State Buckeyes. "The Game" is the greatest rivalry in college football and maybe all of the American sports. The two teams first played in 1897 and have met annually since 1918 on the final Saturday of the regular season, at Michigan in odd years and at OSU in evens, with The Game determining a Big Ten champion 49 times. The Wolverines lead the overall series 58-51-6, but the Buckeyes have picked up eight wins in a row, one away from tying the series' longest win streak (Michigan, 9, 1901-1909).
Michigan Wolverines Rivalry #2: vs. Michigan State Spartans. This state rivalry is the big one, so it's only appropriate that the teams play for the four-foot-tall Paul Buynan — Governor of Michigan Trophy statue every year. The Wolverine State rivals have met over 100 times with Michigan dominating the overall series, nearly doubling MSU in victories, though the series has had significant ebbs and flows over the years. Michigan had won three of the last four, but lost to the Spartans in upset fashion, 27-24, in the 2020 meeting.
Michigan Wolverines Rivalry #3: vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish. This is one of college football's great rivalries between two of its great programs. Michigan ranks No. 1 all-time in both win percentage and wins, but Notre Dame is close behind and always chasing the Wolverines. Unfortunately, the rivalry is currently on hiatus, but the teams are scheduled to meet again in 2033.
Eastern Michigan Eagles Football
Eastern Michigan football has seen the highest highs and the lowest lows. The team has finished the season undefeated five times and even held their opponents scoreless in 1943, but they've also completed eight seasons without a single win, most recently in 2009. EMU is one of the worst Division I schools historically, ranking among the lowest in football in both win percentage and scoring margin. The Eagles compete in the Mid-American Conference and play their home games at Rynearson Stadium in Ypsilanti. They are coached by Chris Creighton.
Eastern Michigan Eagles Rivalry: vs. Central Michigan Chippewas. The Eagles call both Directional Michigan schools rivals and compete with both of them for the Michigan MAC Trophy each season, but CMU is the bigger rival between the two. These rivals have played nearly 100 times since 1902. EMU dominated the rivalry early, but CMU leads the all-time series by a wide margin. The Eagles lost to CMU in their 2020 meeting, 31-23.
Michigan State Spartans Football
Michigan State may not have the prestige of Michigan football, but they claim six national championships, all the same, all of them between 1951 and 1966. The Spartans play in the Big Ten and have won 11 conference titles. They've played in 29 bowl games and played in the College Football Playoff for the first time in 2015.
The Spartans recently moved on from over a decade with Mark Dantonio and debut a new coach in 2020 with former Colorado coach, Mel Tucker. Michigan State plays its home games at Spartan Stadium on campus in East Lansing.
Michigan State Spartans Rivalry #1: vs. Michigan Wolverines. This state rivalry is the big one, so it's only appropriate that the teams play for the four-foot tall Paul Buynan -- Governor of Michigan Trophy statue each year. The rivals have met over 100 times with Michigan dominating the overall series, nearly doubling MSU in victories, though the series has had significant ebbs and flows over the years. Michigan State has won five of the last eight, including an upset win in Ann Arbor in 2020.
Michigan State Spartans Rivalry #2: vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish. This is a historic rivalry that peaked in the incredible 1966 matchup billed as "The Game of the Century," which many would call the greatest college football game ever played. The teams ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in the nation and finished in a 10-10 tie, with Notre Dame cowardly running out the clock at the end of the game to preserve their No. 1 ranking. Spartans fans have never forgiven them for it. Nowadays, the teams play for the Megaphone Trophy but the rivalry has gone dormant and will not be played again until 2026. Notre Dame leads the all-time series.
Western Michigan Broncos Football
Western Michigan football has played in the Mid-American Conference since 1948 and has won four conference titles. The Broncos have only played in 10 bowl games all-time with just one win, but they became the first MAC team to play in the Cotton Bowl in 2017 when they finished the regular season 13-0. There they played Wisconsin well but came up just short in a 24-16 loss to end the dream season. The Broncos play at Waldo Stadium in Kalamazoo. They are coached by Tim Lester.
Western Michigan Broncos Rivalry: vs. Central Michigan Chippewas. WMU calls both Directional Michigan schools rivals and plays for the Michigan MAC trophy between them each year, but CMU is the higher rival. Western and Central play for the Victory Cannon each season, and the Broncos lead the all-time rivalry. Western beat Central in 2020 by a final score of 52-44.
Central Michigan Chippewas Football
The Chippewas have the best football program of the three Directional Michigan schools. The Chippewas won a national championship in 1974, back when they were still a Division II team. They joined the Mid-American Conference in Division I the following season and have played in the MAC ever since, with 16 conference titles at all levels. CMU has played in 12 bowl games, all in the last three decades, winning three of them. The Chippewas play at Kelly/Shorts Stadium in Mount Pleasant. They are coached by Jim McElwain.
Central Michigan Chippewas Rivalry: vs. Western Michigan Broncos. These in-state rivals play for the Victory Cannon trophy when they meet each season in the MAC. Western Michigan leads the all-time series since it began in 1907, but CMU leads the rivalry since both teams moved to Division I in 1975. The Chips lost the 2020 matchup, 52-44.
Recommended resources to help you bet smartly on college football in Michigan:
Betting on College Basketball
Michigan Wolverines Men's Basketball
Michigan basketball considers itself one of the best programs in the nation, and the program was all the rage in the late 80s and early 90s in particular. In 1989, the Wolverines won their lone national championship with an all-time NCAA tournament run from Glen Rice. A few years later, the Fab Five captured the attention of a nation when they played in back-to-back national championship games in 1992 and 1993, coming up short each time but leaving a long-lasting cultural impact on the sport.
The Wolverines play in the Big Ten and have won 13 regular-season conference championships and three conference tournaments. Michigan was NIT champions in 1984, 1997, and 2004. The Maize and Blue have played in eight Final Fours, most recently in 2018. Michigan plays its home games at the Crisler Center on campus in Ann Arbor. The Wolverines are coached by Juwan Howard, one of those Fab Five legends from the 90s.
Michigan Wolverines Rivalry #1: vs. Michigan State Spartans. These in-state rivals fight in recruiting battles year after year and then take their battle to the hardwood court at least twice a season in the Big Ten. This rivalry has been very even over the years. The all-time program numbers stack up pretty evenly and Michigan has a narrow edge in the all-time series rivalry after a decade of hotly contested matchups.
Michigan Wolverines Rivalry #2: vs. Ohio State Buckeyes. Michigan and Ohio State hate each other, but the basketball rivalry is certainly nowhere near as intense as the one on the football field. Still, a rivalry is a rivalry and these teams love to beat each other in any sport at any time. These programs are matched pretty well historically, but Ohio State leads the all-time series by a sizable margin thanks mostly to dominating from the 1940s through the 70s. The teams play at least twice a season in the Big Ten.
Michigan State Spartans Men's Basketball
Michigan State basketball has only two national championships, but boy are they memorable. The first came in 1979, when Magic Johnson and the Spartans defeated the previously unbeaten Indiana State Sycamores featuring Larry Bird in the national championship game, still the most-watched college basketball game in history. The other title came 21 years later and was led by Flint, Michigan's own Mateen Cleaves in 2000 against Florida.
That championship team was led by Hall of Fame Coach Tom Izzo, and Izzo is still in East Lansing leading the way. Nearly every four-year senior at Michigan State has made the Final Four under Izzo, and Sparty has made 10 Final Fours overall, sixth most of any program, and has appeared in the past 22 NCAA tournaments under Izzo, the fourth-longest streak in NCAA history. Michigan State plays in the Big Ten and has won 16 conference championships. They play their home games at the Breslin Center on campus in East Lansing.
Michigan State Spartans Rivalry #1: vs. Michigan Wolverines. This hasn't always been Sparty's number one rival on the basketball court, but the rivalry has been top-notch ever since John Beilein came to coach Michigan. Now it's a real rivalry and more than MSU just beating up on baby brother, though Michigan has a narrow edge in the all-time series rivalry. These teams play at least twice a season in the Big Ten and have met in any number of great games over the past decade.
Michigan State Spartans Rivalry #2: vs. Wisconsin Badgers. To many diehard Spartan fans, Wisconsin is their "real" rival. That was the case on the football field before division realignment separated the schools, but there's no such problem in basketball where the rivals meet every season. Michigan State has played Wisconsin more than any team in history and leads the all-time series.
Michigan State Spartans Rivalry #3: vs. Purdue Boilermakers. This rivalry has been heating up more and more in recent years, with these teams often vying for conference supremacy at the top of the Big Ten. Purdue fans have thrown themselves into this rivalry and always seem to go nuts at home games in Mackey Arena, which has become a Spartan kryptonite in recent years. Purdue leads the all-time series.
Central Michigan Chippewas Men's Basketball
The Chippewas play in the Mid-American Conference, which they've won seven times. Central Michigan has made the NCAA tournament four times, most recently in 2003 when they upset Creighton in the first round as an 11-seed. The Chips are 3-4 all-time in the tournament. They play their home games at McGuirk Arena on campus in Mount Pleasant and are coached by Keno Davis.
Central Michigan Chippewas Rivalry: vs. Western Michigan Broncos. All three Directional Michigan schools are rivals, but CMU has always called WMU its closest rival. They're only 136 miles apart and fight for the same recruits, and they play at least twice every season in the MAC. Western Michigan leads the all-time series.
Eastern Michigan Eagles Men's Basketball
Eastern Michigan hoops doesn't have a ton of success, but they make it count when they do. In 1972, the Eagles reached the Division II Final Four in their only D-II tournament appearance, led by Hall of Fame legend George Gervin. Since moving to Division I, the Eagles have appeared in the NCAA tournament four times, none since 1998. Their most recent tournament win came in 1996 when they beat the great Duke University in the first round. The Eagles also made a Cinderella run to the Sweet Sixteen as a 12-seed in 1991. EMU plays at the EMU Convocation Center in Ypsilanti and are coached by Rob Murphy.
Eastern Michigan Eagles Rivalry: vs. Central Michigan Chippewas. Like in football (and every other sport), the Eagles are top rivals with both Central and Western Michigan. And like in those other sports, CMU is the top rival. These teams play at least twice each year in the MAC and have met almost 200 times over the years, with Central Michigan holding the slight edge.
Western Michigan Broncos Men's Basketball
Western Michigan competes in the Mid-American Conference in basketball, just like its other sports. The Broncos have won their conference six times and played in the NCAA tournament four times, most recently in 2014. Western Michigan has two NCAA tournament wins, their last one an upset over Clemson in 1998 as an 11-seed. The Broncos play at University Arena in Kalamazoo and are coached by Clayton Bates.
Western Michigan Broncos Rivalry: vs. Central Michigan Chippewas. The three Directional Michigan schools are all rivals and play at least twice against each other opponent every year in the MAC. Western and Central have always been the closest rivals, though. They're only 136 miles apart and often fight for the same recruits, and the rivalry can get pretty heated at times. Western Michigan leads the all-time series.
Recommended resources to help you bet smartly on college basketball in Michigan:
Betting on College Hockey
Michigan Wolverines Men's Hockey
The Michigan Wolverines are the greatest collegiate hockey program in the nation. Michigan has won nine national championships, more than any other program. Seven of those titles came between 1948 and 1964, and the most recent championship was in 1998. The Wolverines have competed in the Big Ten since it began sponsoring hockey in 2013. The Wolverines also hold the record for number of consecutive and overall tournament appearances. Michigan has played in 25 Frozen Fours. The Wolverines play at Yost Ice Arena on campus in Ann Arbor.
Michigan Wolverines Rivalry: vs. Michigan State Spartans. Yes, this in-state rivalry extends to hockey too, and it's the most-played rivalry in college hockey. Both teams compete in the Big Ten and play at least four times every season. They memorably met in two outdoor games, the Cold War in 2001 in East Lansing and the Big Chill at the Big House in 2010 in Ann Arbor. The teams have played over 300 times, with Michigan leading the all-time series. Once a year, the teams play at neutral Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, and the winner of that one receives the Iron D Trophy. That rivalry game moved to Little Caesars Arena in Detroit in 2017 and is one of the most attended college hockey games every season.
Michigan State Spartans Men's Hockey
The Spartans have won three national championship in men's hockey in 1966, 1986, and 2007, so they're about due for a fourth now. Michigan State has played in 11 Frozen Fours and appeared in the NCAA tournament 23 times. The Spartans boast NHL stars like Duncan Keith and Ryan Miller. They play their home games at the Munn Ice Arena on campus in East Lansing. They are coached by Danton Cole.
Michigan State Spartans Rivalry: vs. Michigan Wolverines. Yes, this in-state rivalry extends to hockey, and it's the most-played rivalry in college hockey. Both teams compete in the Big Ten and play at least four times every season. They memorably met in two outdoor games, the Cold War in 2001 in East Lansing and the Big Chill in 2010 in Ann Arbor. The teams have played over 300 times, with Michigan leading the all-time series. Once a year, the teams play at neutral Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, and the winner of that one receives the Iron D Trophy. That rivalry game moved to Little Caesars Arena in Detroit in 2017 and is one of the most attended college hockey games every season.
Recommended resources to help you bet smartly on college hockey in Michigan:
NCAA DI Football & Basketball Teams
NCAA DI Basketball Teams
Pro Sports Teams
Michigan has a few notable events for sports fans and bettors alike to enjoy, including:
The Quick Lane Bowl
This is an NCAA-certified college football game that is played every year postseason. The Quick Lane Bowl is sponsored by the Detroit Lions, and played at Ford Field, with Ford Motors as a noted sponsor. 2020's game featured the Eastern Michigan Eagles from the Mid-American Conference (MAC) and the Pittsburgh Panthers from the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). Unfortunately for Eastern Michigan sports fans, the Eagles lost to the Panthers, 34-30. The 2021 Quick Lane Bowl was canceled due to COVID-19.
The Consumers Energy 400
The NASCAR Consumers Energy 400 is hosted at the Michigan International Speedway (MIS) in Brooklyn, in southeastern Michigan. This annual NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race is known as one of the fastest tracks in the circuit, covering 156 laps, 312 miles, and average speeds of more than 140 miles per hour.
More Reading on Michigan
Three relevant sports bills in Michigan:
The following were signed into law in December 2019, opening the door for retail and mobile sports betting as well as regulated daily fantasy sports.
The Lawful Internet Gaming Act () allows the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) to issue licenses for online & mobile games to be offered by licensed Detroit or Tribal casinos if criteria are met. HB4311 allows for all current casino games to be offered online or on mobile.
The Lawful Sports Betting Act () legalizes sports betting in casinos, online and through mobile devices. This bill specifies that an internet sports betting wager received by a sports betting operator or its internet sports betting platform provider would be considered gambling or gaming that was conducted in the sports betting operator’s casino located in Michigan.
The Fantasy Contests Consumer Protection Act (establishes alegal framework to regulate fantasy sports. It allows for both paid commercial level contests and private ones that meet Michigan's specified criteria.
Michigan's Sports Betting Authority. Michigan Gaming Control Board oversees the licensing, regulation, and control of casino gaming operations in the state. They provide official FAQ materials, have available internet sports betting draft rules, and regulatory impact statements that compare Michigan with other legal betting states.