Sports betting is not yet legal in Ohio, but there's reason to believe 2021 could be the year for the Buckeye State. Four of the five states bordering Ohio — West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Indiana and Michigan — already have legal online sports betting. State legislators in the House and Senate will look to agree on a bill as soon as they can in 2021.
Ohio Sports Betting Bill Continues to Tread Water After Latest Hearing
Ohio lawmakers took no action on a much-discussed sports betting bill after more gaming entities and sports organizations testified during another gaming committee hearing. Sports betting proponents hope the latest Senate Select Committee on Gaming hearing — the 12th this year — will continue shaping the bill, but license eligibility and other key issues continue to divide would-be stakeholders.
After 2020 Failures, Ohio Looks to 2021 for Sports Betting
Backers in the legislature will start up the 2021 session still hopeful they can pass the long-discussed sports betting legislation , but they must do so with many of the same challenges that sidelined the proposal in 2020 and without three of its leading supporters in office.
Amended Sports Betting Bill Could Be Ohio’s Final 2020 Chance For Legalization
Ohio lawmakers adopted an amended sports betting bill during a hearing Tuesday that would curtail the number of online sports betting licenses, the latest effort to pass the long-stalled legalization legislation before the 2020 session ends later this month.
Ohio’s Legal Sports Betting Bills Remain in Holding Pattern
The latest hearing on Ohio’s long-stalled sports betting legislation reaffirmed lawmakers’ commitment to legal wagering in the Buckeye State but did little to advance a bill that has lingered in Columbus for more than a year.
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Ohio Sports Betting Timeline
The Ohio House passes its sports betting bill that directly conflicts with the Senate version when it comes to a regulatory body, tax rate and more.
Eklund and O’Brien sponsor a new sports betting bill, this time with robust details. It has still not received a vote as of June 2020.
State Sens. John Eklund and Sean O’Brien sponsor a sports betting bill that features very few details to be used as a “placeholder.”
The Supreme Court overturns PASPA, allowing states to legalize sports betting on their own terms.
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Ohio Sports Betting
How Ohio Sports Betting Compares
There's a lot still to be determined in the Ohio sports betting landscape. In most states, the two issues that hold up bills in the House and Senate are 1) whether sports betting will be regulated by the casino business or the state-run lottery and 2) how many skins each casino will have.
Further complicating things in Ohio, though, is the fact that several supporters of sports betting legislation in 2020 are no longer in office following the November elections. There's still momentum in 2021 certainly, but it will require new legislators to take up and push forward bills, which could take some time, especially during a time where COVID-19 and its health and economic impacts are priority No. 1 for every state.
It remains to be seen where Ohio will fall in those two issues — lottery vs. casino and number of skins — but we definitely expect to see movement on this front in 2021, and likely early in the year.
Ohio Sports Betting Grading Card:
We'll evaluate Ohio's sports betting bills as details become available. Sports betting bill analysis TBD.
Ohio Sports Betting Tips
Sports Betting for Potential Bettors
Sports betting isn't currently legal in Ohio but is the idea is currently under consideration by the legislature. Want to get ahead of the curve? Check out our 11 sports betting tips for beginners so you can get started, whether you want to bet on the Ohio State Buckeyes or the Cincinnati Bengals.
Sports Betting Glossary
The sports betting lexicon is vast and sometimes confusing, especially to new bettors. Check out our sports betting glossary to get up to speed with every term you might need to know before a parlay or prop bet.
Sports Betting Mistakes to Avoid
Betting on your favorite teams like the Cleveland Cavaliers might seem like a no-brainer, but you need to be careful if you’re going to stay healthy all around in the sports betting world.
Here are nine mistakes to avoid.
Ohio Teams to Bet On
Pro Sports Teams
NFL Betting in Ohio
The Cleveland Browns ended their run as one of the laughingstocks of the NFL with a playoff appearance in 2020. Not only did they qualify for the playoffs, but they also put a beating on their arch-rival Pittsburgh Steelers and took the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs down to the wire in the divisional round. With a young core built around former No. 1-overall picks Baker Mayfield and Myles Garrett, the Browns are looking to become perennial contenders. To prime yourself to bet on the Browns, you can check out our ongoing NFL insights and analysis to bet smart.
The Cincinnati Bengals were regular playoff participants during their run under former coach Marvin Lewis, and are hoping to get back to that level and beyond with 2020 No. 1 draft pick Joe Burrow at the helm at quarterback. The Bengals haven't made the playoffs since 2015, but are in the beginnings of building a team they hope can snap that streak sooner rather than later. To prime yourself to bet on the Browns, you can check out our ongoing NFL insights and analysis to bet smart.
NBA Betting in Ohio
The Cleveland Cavaliers' history is headlined, of course, by LeBron James, who spent 11 seasons with his hometown team across two different stints, and brought the city its long-awaited NBA title in 2016. The post-James Cavaliers are loading up on young talent, led by their talented but volatile backcourt of Collin Sexton and Darius Garland. For more on the Cavaliers and the rest of the NBA, check out our insights and analysis to bet smart once you can in the state.
MLB Betting in Ohio
The 2020 Cincinnati Reds snapped a playoff drought that stretched back to 2013, but it's now been more than 30 years since the Reds made it to the Fall Classic, which last occurred when they won it all in 1990. Cincinnati became a free-agent spender for one memorable offseason before being swept away by the Braves in the Wild Card Round and even featured a Cy Young winner in Trevor Bauer. What comes next for the up-and-down franchise is anyone's guess. For more on the Reds and the rest of MLB, check out our insights and analysis to bet smart once you can in the state.
The longest World Series drought in Major League Baseball belongs to Cleveland, which announced after the 2020 season that it was dropping its nickname. The Cleveland baseball team last won the World Series in 1948 and has come oh, so close in recent years, never closer than in 2016 when they went to extra innings in Game 7 of the World Series against the Chicago Cubs. Cleveland traded its star, Francisco Lindor, in the offseason ahead of the 2021 season, signaling a long rebuild. It seems the fans on the shores of Erie will have to wait even longer for the World Series drought to end. For more on Cleveland and the rest of MLB, check out our insights and analysis to bet smart once you can in the state.
MLS Betting in Ohio
FC Cincinnati is one of the newest teams in MLS, having been founded in 2018 and beginning play for the 2019 season. As is to be expected with expansion teams, it's been a slow start for FC Cincinnati. In 2019, they finished 12th in their conference and 24th overall, and in 2020 finished 14th in their conference and 26th overall.
The Columbus Crew, on the other hand, is one of MLS's oldest teams, having been around since the league's inaugural season in 1996. In the club's storied history, they have two MLS Cup titles, having won in 2008 and the most recent iteration in 2020. The 2020 victory came after an eight-year playoff drought during which the club's ownership flirted with a relocation to Austin, Texas. That being unsuccessful, the club is now thriving and under new ownership.
College Sports Teams
The Buckeyes predictably dominate the state of Ohio, but there are plenty of other universities that compete in Division I in either football, basketball or both.
College Football Betting in Ohio
Ohio State Buckeyes Football
The Buckeyes have been the kings of the Big Ten for the better part of this century, having won the conference five of the last seven years and 12 times since 2002. That includes a national championship in 2014 and additional College Football Playoff appearances in 2016, 2019, and 2020.
Cincinnati Bearcats Football
After spending 25 years as an Independent, the Bearcats have jumped recently from Conference USA to the Big East to the AAC, in which they've competed since 2013. The Bearcats have remained competitive for the better part of the last two decades, only missing out on a bowl game four times since 2000. In 2020, the team found unprecedented success, going 9-0 and earning a berth in the Peach Bowl, where they lost to Georgia.
Akron Zips Football
The Akron football team has competed in the MAC since 1992 and has one conference title, which came in 2005. The Zips have fallen on hard times of late, going a combined 0-14 in the 2019 and 2020 seasons. The Zips have played in three bowl games in the program's history, going 1-2. Their last appearance was in 2017 when they lost to Florida Atlantic in the Boca Raton Bowl.
Bowling Green State Falcons Football
One of the most successful teams in the MAC, the Falcons have the second most conference championships in league history with 10, trailing only Miami (Ohio). The last decade has been last successful, as their last bowl appearance came in 2015, and that doubles as the last time they won the MAC.
Dayton Flyers Football
Well known for its basketball program, Dayton's football team competes in Division I FCS and has since 1993. The Flyers competes in the Pioneer Football League and has won 11 conference titles, with the most recent coming in 2010.
Kent State Golden Flashes Football
A MAC member dating back to 1951, Kent State hasn't had a large share of success in its program history. The Golden Flashes have one conference title, which came back in 1972. Their last MAC East title came in 2012, and they lost in double overtime to Northern Illinois in the conference title game.
Miami RedHawks Football
Just a few of the prominent football coaches who once worked at Miami include Woody Hayes, Bo Schembechler, Jim Tressel and Weeb Ewbank. The success is such that the RedHawks call it their "cradle of coaches." The RedHawks have won 22 conference titles in program history and 15 since joining the MAC. Their most recent came in 2019.
Ohio Bobcats Football
The Ohio football program dates back to 1864 and includes 581 all-time victories. Even with all that history, much of their success has occurred since 2005 when Frank Solich took over as head coach. Since then, the Bobcats have had 11 bowl game appearances, five bowl game victories, and four MAC East titles.
Toledo Rockets Football
The Rockets have won 14 conference titles, with 11 coming since they joined the MAC. Their most recent conference title came in 2017 when they went 11-2, and that snapped a 13-year drought. Toledo has played in a bowl game every year since 2010 except in 2013 and 2019.
Youngstown State Penguins Football
The Penguins have long been one of the most successful programs in Division I FCS, with 13 playoff appearances and four national titles. All four of those titles came under Jim Tressel, who plied his trade in Youngstown before moving on to Ohio State. They won it all in 1991, 1993, 1994, and 1997.
Recommended resource to help you bet smartly on college football in Ohio:
College Basketball Betting in Ohio
Ohio State Buckeyes Men's Basketball
The men's basketball team has played in 10 Final Fours and last won the national championship in 1964. The last Final Four appearance came in 2006-07 when a team led by Thad Matta and featuring Greg Oden and Mike Conley finished as the national runners-up. The current team, led by Chris Holtmann, has made two straight NCAA Tournament appearances (excluding the canceled 2020 version).
Cincinnati Bearcats Men's Basketball
A program that counts the great Oscar Robertson among its notable players has maintained consistent success dating back to the 1960s. From the back-to-back national titles in 1961-62 through the Bob Huggins era to Mick Cronin and not John Brannen, the Bearcats are regular conference contenders and NCAA Tournament participants, although they haven't reached as far as the Sweet 16 since 2012.
Xavier Musketeers Men's Basketball
The Musketeers have been something of a breeding ground for Division I coaches, employing the likes of Thad Matta, Sean Miller and Chris Mack before they moved on to other jobs. That type of coaching expertise has led to prolonged success, as the Musketeers have made the NCAA Tournament 16 times this century, have advanced to the Sweet 16 seven times and made the Elite Eight three times. Xavier is still chasing its elusive first Final Four berth.
Akron Zips Men's Basketball
The Zips' men's basketball team, on the other hand, is a regular MAC contender, having taken home regular-season conference titles five times since 2012, including in 2020. The Zips have made the NCAA Tournament four times in their history, going 0-4. Their most recent appearance came in 2013 when, as a 12-seed, they lost to VCU.
Bowling Green State Falcons Men's Basketball
The Falcons' men's basketball program doesn't have a similar history of success. The team hasn't won the MAC regular-season title since 2009 and has an NCAA Tournament drought that dates back to 1968.
Cleveland State Vikings Men's Basketball
The most famous moment in Cleveland State men's basketball history was in 1986 when, as a 14-seed, the Vikings upset Bobby Knight's Indiana Hoosiers in the first round and ultimately made it to the Sweet 16. Just one NCAA Tournament appearance has taken place since then, in 2009. The team's last Horizon League title came in 2011.
Dayton Flyers Men's Basketball
The Flyers have become one of the most dominant "small school" programs in the country over the last 20 years, with eight NCAA Tournament appearances, including a magical run to the Elite Eight as an 11-seed back in 2014. The 2019-20 team was maybe the school's best, going 29-2 and 18-0 in Atlantic 10 play before the remainder of the season was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kent State Men's Basketball
The basketball program has found regular success in the 21st century, making NCAA Tournament appearances five times and six going back to 1999. The Golden Flashes' last conference title came in 2015 but they have finished .500 or better in every season since 1997-98.
Miami RedHawks Men's Basketball
The RedHawks have an NCAA Tournament drought that dates back to 2007, and they haven't won a MAC regular-season title since 2005. Their most notable accomplishment in recent years came back in 1999 when, as a 10-seed, the RedHawks advanced to the Sweet 16.
Ohio Bobcats Men's Basketball
The 2012 Bobcats team was the most famous in recent history. As a 13-seed, they upset Michigan in the opening round and South Florida in the Round of 32 before dropping an overtime game to North Carolina in the Sweet 16. Unfortunately for the Bobcats, that was their last NCAA Tournament appearance.
Toledo Rockets Men's Basketball
The Rockets' NCAA Tournament drought stretches back to 1980, and they last won an NCAA Tournament game in 1979 against Iowa. The Rockets have won a few MAC titles during that span, including in 2007 and most recently in 2014, but have not been able to break through with a tourney appearance.
Wright State Raiders Men's Basketball
The Raiders have seen the national spotlight several times since moving to Division 1 in 1979. They made the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 1993 and have done so on two other occasions, 2007 and 2018. In 2019, they finished first in the Horizon League for the first time since 2007, but lost in the conference tournament and were relegated to an NIT berth.
Youngstown State Penguins Men's Basketball
The Penguins have competed in the Horizon League since 2001 and are still chasing their first NCAA Tournament appearance. they have two winning seasons since joining the conference, with a CIT appearance in 2013 qualifying as their most successful season.
Recommended resource to help you bet smartly on college basketball in Ohio:
NCAA Division I Football & Basketball
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|Bowling Green Falcons|
|Kent State Golden Flashes|
NCAA Division I Basketball Only
|Cleveland State Vikings|
|Wright State Raiders|
- The Buckeye State hosts a PGA Tour event every year: The Memorial Tournament played at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio. It's one of the most popular events of the year, mostly due to the course, which was designed by golf legend Jack Nicklaus, a native of Columbus, Ohio.
- Ohio also hosts every year the Cincinnati Masters (now branded the Western & Southern Open), an ATP World Tour tennis tournament. It's the longest-running event in the U.S. still held in its original location: It's been hosting the tournament since 1899.
- There are numerous minor league sports teams in the state, including baseball, football, hockey, soccer and softball.
- Ohio also regularly hosts games for March Madness, college basketball's end-of-season tournament every year.