Tennessee Sports Betting

Tennessee sports betting is finally here! The Volunteer State officially launched sports wagering fully online on Sunday, November 1, 2020. Four sportsbooks -- DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, and Action 247 -- are live and offering odds for a variety of sports.

Here's what you should know about Tennessee Sports Betting.

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Now Legal: Tennessee's Latest Sports Betting Highlights

November 4, 2020

FanDuel Sportsbook & Memphis Grizzlies Announce Partnership

FanDuel Sportsbook announced a partnership with the Memphis Grizzlies. This deal is the Grizzlies' first partnership with a sports betting operator and FanDuel's first such partnership with an NBA team.

Sports Betting Goes Online in Tennessee with Four Sportsbooks

Sports betting is finally here in the Volunteer State! Tennessee officially launched sports wagering in the state at midnight on November 1 with four mobile sportsbooks launching on Day 1: BetMGM, DraftKings, FanDuel, and Action247. 

Tennessee Titans Announce Sports Betting Partnership with BetMGM

The Tennessee Titans became the state's first professional sports team to enter into a sports betting partnership by agreeing to a deal with sportsbook operator BetMGM.  

Tennessee's Sportsbooks: All-in Online & Mobile
Mobile-focused and exclusively online (i.e., no physical sportsbooks), Tennessee’s sports betting set up is the opposite of what many states have passed in the newly-legalizing United States market. But Tennessee has imposed a mandatory 10% hold, meaning bettors will be paying more juice on every bet than they would with an offshore sportsbook. The hold structure creates a problem: existing bettors may continue wagering illegally and new bettors may be less drawn into sports betting with reduced payouts. State officials have reserved the right to revisit these rules after one year of operating. So the market could become more consumer-friendly before the 2021 football season, but there’s no guarantee. With the economic downturn from COVID-19, however, the state may be more likely to revise its sports betting policy to generate more revenue and expedite its recovery. Four operators are live and approved by the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation, which is responsible for oversight of online sports gambling in the state. One is a locally owned operator, known as Tennessee Action 24/7, and then three major sportsbooks:
DraftKings Sportsbook (Crown TN Gaming, LLC)

DraftKings has been among the sports betting leaders in the U.S. thanks to its existing brand power, DFS user base, and massive marketing budget. The Boston-based company has been among the first books in every state, and Tennessee is no different.

App Highlights:

DraftKings has a great selection of NFL player props, is the first book in most U.S. states to post-college football lines for the following week, and has among the best mobile apps in the market.

BetMGM Sportsbook (BetMGM, LLC)

MGM is a major casino brand across the country and in Las Vegas, and its BetMGM sports betting brand has started to make waves as a major player in the larger U.S. market.

App Highlights:

MGM offers a straight-forward app, competitive sign-up offers and some niche-but-favorable betting rules like ties paid in full for golf finishing position bets. They're the only U.S. book to offer that.

FanDuel Sportsbook (Betfair Interactive US, LLC)

Like its DFS counterpart, FanDuel got out to an early lead in the U.S. and has been building upon it. FanDuel recently combined its wallets so you can use the same money for DFS and sports betting.

 

App Highlights:

FanDuel offers one of the easiest start-to-finish registration and deposit experiences in the sportsbook market. Its biggest downsides are that it can be difficult to find smaller markets like props because they're buried so far in each game.

Whether you're a Knoxville local, a Chattanooga transplant, or just visiting Nashville for the weekend, there's good and bad to Tennessee's online sports betting bill. Here's how it lines up versus other U.S. states:

Overall Tennessee Sports Betting Bill & Rules: B

Tennessee got two major points right with its bill — fully online betting and depositing — but limited the benefits of both with mandatory hold pricing. Local bettors should look into line shopping to help even things out across several books.

Some who bet offshore pre-legalization may still consider local, under-the-table TN bookies and offshore websites offering more favorable odds. Additionally, some in-state sports fans may travel to bordering bettor-friendly states instead: tracks or casinos in neighboring West Memphis, Arkansas, and Tunica, Mississippi, where sportsbooks offer higher payout rates.

Tennessee may unnecessarily lose money to legal and illegal options alike until the hold is addressed. In the meantime, however, there's still plenty of fun and money for sports bettors to get in on.

Mobile Betting Options: A

Tennessee is officially live with online sports betting

That's great, as online betting is the only way for states to generate meaningful sports wagering revenue, particularly in the current pandemic, and it’s the preferred method for bettors.

More than 80% of the betting handle in New Jersey is generated online. Further, NJ has amassed $62.6 million in tax revenue over the last 24 months. It’s nice to see a state with such loyal college fans have the option to bet on their teams.

Deposit: A

With no in-person casinos, Tennessee bettors should be able to register and deposit online with ease. Eliminating in-person sign-ups and deposits is a huge benefit to operators and bettors, who may be more willing to use multiple sportsbooks because of increased convenience--and they would be wise to. 

Local bettors can sign up from a local sports bar in Memphis in real-time during a game and another from the comfort of their couch at home in Chattanooga.

Fair Pricing: TBD

The 10% mandatory hold could force operators to pass costs onto the consumer. For example, Instead of betting an NFL point spread on the Titans at -110, you’ll be betting at -120 or worse. This could force would-be legal bettors from the legal market back to offshore sites or unlicensed bookmakers, defeating the point of legal wagering.

Legal operators have not had to adjust their lines so far, but it's something that could be a major handicap to the market going forward. 

Sport Offerings: B

Bettors can wager on college teams in the state such as the Tennessee Volunteers’ Football team or the Vanderbilt baseball team. In some other states, wagering on college teams in the state is prohibited entirely.

Tennessee won’t have live betting on college teams, which is unfortunate. Additionally, the requirement for a TN sportsbook to buy official league data to offer any live betting may limit what’s available in the Tennessee sports betting market due to cost and availability.

The 10% Hold, Explained

Tennessee’s sports betting rules and regulations are tough for both bettors and sportsbooks. The state is mandating books generate at least a 10% hold and cap payouts at 90% of a bettor’s wager, meaning bettors in Tennessee are required to pay a much steeper cut to operators than what you see in other states legally, and certainly steeper than risky, illegal options. 

So what is a hold? It’s the percentage of money the sportsbook holds onto after all bets have been settled, or simply gross revenue divided by dollars wagered. Nevada and New Jersey, the two most developed sports betting markets in the country, have been between 5-7%. A 10% hold implies -120 or -125 on each side of a standard bet with two outcomes, as opposed to the -110 you see most places. So a typical NFL bet might look like this: 

  • Tennessee Titans +6.5 (-120) 
  • New England Patriots -6.5 (-125) 

So instead of wagering $110 to win $100 on an NFL point spread, Tennessee bettors will have to wager $125 to win $100. That’s a notable disadvantage. Again: For every $100 you bet, you’re going to be paying the sportsbook an extra $10 or $15. 

Sportsbooks may get to 10% differently, and choose to bury holds into bet types where it’s more difficult to calculate the hold with the naked eye. Here are some other downstream effects you might see at a Tennessee online sportsbook.

  • Caps on parlay and futures payouts so sportsbooks can limit their exposure. If the Memphis Grizzlies are 100-1 to win the NBA title at most books, you could be capped at 50-1 in Tennessee. If you bet a 2-team parlay, you may get paid 2-1 instead of 2.6-1.
  • Even worse odds than -125 to balance risk
  • Unfair one-way markets

With all these downsides, why would Tennessee opt for this plan? As a method to secure tax revenue. Evan Davis, Managing Director at SeventySixCapital Sports Advisory, explains:   

"The state imposes a 20% tax on sportsbook operators’ gross gaming revenues, meaning that if a sportsbook operator doesn’t make money on the bets that it takes, neither does the state." 

This way, sportsbooks are required to achieve a minimum return on bets.

The revenue generated from Tennessee's gaming revenue tax is to be allocated as follows: 40% for general appropriations by the general assembly; 30% to local colleges; and 30% to each local government for their school system and infrastructure projects. While these allocations have direct community benefits, some disagreement within the Tennessee Lottery itself about whether or not a mandatory hold is the right policy move emerged. 

Tennessee Lottery President and CEO Rebecca Hargrove said the cap would guarantee taxable revenue for the state, and create an equal playing field for smaller players so that bigger books can’t operate at a loss to scoop up market share (which they’ve been doing in other legal states). 

The Lottery’s Sports Betting Director at the time, Jennifer Roberts, wanted no cap so the state can be “fully competitive with the illegal market.” At the end of June 2020, Jennifer Roberts left TN’s Lottery with less than one year of tenure. 

The departure of a highly qualified gambling executive brought on to launch sports betting isn’t exactly a vote of confidence in the state’s plan. 

THE GOOD
The Good: A Tennessee Betting Success

Tennessee going with full online sports betting is great news. That’s step one for success. 

It’s somewhat surprising to see a southern state with no existing gambling presence go straight to online betting. But it’s definitely a good sign, and could lay the blueprint for Georgia or Alabama, which have no existing casinos or gambling.

It also avoided a few disastrous proposals, including:

  • No betting on Sundays from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. or on holidays

  • No betting on an “occurrence determinable by one person or one play” which would have prevented betting on golf, tennis, NASCAR and much more, plus betting on all player props. Yikes.

We’re hoping the anticipated 2021 revisions help clean some of this up for sports fans in the state.

THE BAD
The Bad: What Tennessee’s Bill Got Wrong

We can’t hammer it home enough: the mandatory 10% hold is unfair to bettors.

It will prevent the state from generating maximum revenue because a share of bettors will return to illegal markets. You’ll be betting almost everything at -120 or worse. 

Research firm Eilers & Krejcik projected that a 15% hold proposed initially would cut the number of operators in half and cost the state more than $10M per year in tax revenue. 

It also detailed how France, which has a similar minimum hold to Tennessee, has failed to generate “meaningful consumer participation” and revenue like some of its European counterparts. 

The high barrier to entry for operators ($750,000 yearly fee, 20% tax rate -- more here) raises concerns that many from local businesses will not enter the market because of the steep price tag. During committee hearings, this was an area House bill critics were most vocal about. 

If operators do enter the market and can't pay, the consequences are open-ended:

“The Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation’s Board of Directors reserves the right to determine the consequences of the failure of an Operator to meet this requirement, within the confines of the Rules, Regulations and Standards and the governing legislation,”

Dave Smith, Director of Communications for the Tennessee Lottery, said in an email to The Action Network.

Lastly, the requirement for operators to buy official league data to provide live betting is a disappointment because it will restrict the breadth of market offerings. In official partnership with services like Sportsradar, the leagues have been pushing for this as new states come online. In Tennessee, unfortunately, for local bettors, they succeeded.

A study on the “Economic Impact of Legalized Sports Betting” projected nearly 300 million dollars in gaming revenue potential annually for Tennessee in a mature market -- but only if it made betting accessible with bettor-friendly offerings. The high hold and other restrictions may mean fewer legal sports bets are placed for the state to profit from, falling short of its achievable upside.

Is online sports betting legal in Tennessee?

Yes, online sports gambling is now legal in Tennessee. Bettors will need to be inside state borders to place bets with mobile sportsbook apps.

Can I use DraftKings Sportsbook in Tennessee?

Bettors can use DraftKings Sportsbook in Tennessee. It went live on November 1 as the state went online with sports betting.

Is Bovada legal In Tennessee?

Bovada is not legal in Tennessee. However, it isn't necessary for sports bettors in the Volunteer State--it’s an illegal offshore sportsbook that isn’t regulated by any governing body. This puts a greater risk on bettors.

How old do I have to be to bet?

You must be 21 years old to bet on sports in Tennessee, and can’t be associated with a professional or college sports team in any way.

Where can I bet on sports in Tennessee?

Anywhere, as long as you’re inside the state border and have an Internet connection. Tennessee is the first state to go online-only since it doesn’t have any casinos.

Who can apply for a Tennessee sports betting license?

Anyone willing to pay the $750,000 per-year licensing fee can apply. There is no limit on licenses in the state.

Are any sports off-limits to bet in Tennessee?

You can’t live bet on college football and college basketball, nor college player props, but that’s the extent of the limitations relative to other legal U.S. markets. So while you can bet on a Tennessee Volunteers point spread before a game, you can’t bet on them live, or on player props.

What types of bets can I place in Tennessee?

Collegiate prop bets are banned, but not much else. These popular bet types are available in Tennessee:

  • Moneylines: A moneyline in American odds is centered around winning or wagering $100 on a given bet. Here's a guide on how to place moneyline bets
  • Parlays: A parlay is a wager type in which several bets are linked together with a greater potential payout. Here's a 101 on parlay betting and a calculator.
  • Props: A prop bet is a wager that is not directly tied to the final score or final outcome of a game. It’s short for “proposition bet.” Check out our guide on prop betting. 
  • Futures: A futures bet is a bet on an event that will be decided in the future. Want to learn more? Check out our educational guide.
  • Spreads: A point spread is a bet on the margin of victory in a given game, favoring the stronger team. Here are the details on spread betting. 
  • Totals: A total, also referred to as an over/under, is a bet on the number of points both teams will combine to score in a game. Learn more. 

Do I need to be a Tennessee resident to bet?

Nope, you just need to be within the state border. So if you’re coming from Georgia, you can cross state lines, place a bet, and drive back.

Conversely, Tennessee residents who are out of the state cannot bet during that time, unless they’re in another state with legal betting.

Tennessee Sports Betting Tips

Sports Betting for Beginners

New to sports betting? Check out our educational resource hub so you can get started placing informed bets, whether you want to bet on the Tennessee Titans or Nashville Predators.

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.

Sports Betting Mistakes to Avoid

Betting on your favorite teams like the Tennessee Titans or Memphis Grizzlies might seem like a no-brainer, but you need to be responsible if you're going to sustain in the sports betting world.

Here are nine mistakes to avoid.

Tennessee Sports Betting Timeline

November 2020

·
Sports betting has officially launched in Tennessee! Betting went live online at midnight on November 1 with DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, and Action 247 all launching on Day 1.

September 2020

·
The Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation approved three firms -- FanDuel, DraftKings, and BetMGM -- to launch online on November 1.

August 2020

·
A lack of approved operators looks to delay the expected September launch of sports betting.

July 2020

·
Although it was expected to launch with the return of sports, sports betting did not go live in July.
Tennessee Sports Betting Locations
Tennessee is one of the few states in the United States without any casinos. The closest thing to an in-person sportsbook environment will be a sports bar with your smart phone. Not a bad combination if you ask us! We compiled a list of popular sports bars from Nashville Guru and Knox News. Contact information is available below so you can confirm that the bar of your choice is open and the game is on.
Double Dogs
Double Dogs has locations in Hillsboro Village and Sylvan Heights, and another two in Knoxville. It features plenty of TVs, and each table has an individual audio selector so you can listen to the sound on any game you want.
Beyond the Edge
Beyond the Edge is a East Nashville spot with 25 TVs and more than 125 beers on tap. It’s about 1.5 miles from Nissan Stadium, home of the Tennessee Titans.
Acme Feed and Seed
Looking to watch sports and bet on Broadway, the biggest tourist attraction in Nashville? The second floor of Acme Feed and Seed has plenty of TVs. Acme is on the corner of Broadway and 1st Avenue, right across the Cumberland River from Nissan Stadium.
The Mainstay
Bailey's is a lively, trendy, and casual sports bar. They've got plenty of TVs to catch a Titan's game, and have great cocktails.
Cool Beans Bar and Grill
The hottest sports bar in Knoxville and campus headquarters for University of Tennessee fans, Cool Beans Bar and Grill provides food, drinks -- featuring a daily happy hour between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. -- and fun, including beer pong, darts and pool.
Fieldhouse Social
Fieldhouse Social offers American craft food, beers and cocktails along with the largest TV in the Southland to watch all the biggest sporting events, including University of Tennessee Volunteers college football and basketball games.
Bearden Hill Fieldhouse
The self-proclaimed best sports bar in Bearden, Bearden Hill Fieldhouse offers a popular happy hour six days a week (11 a.m. to 7 p.m.) and food favorites like buffalo and boneless wings among a full menu of appetizers, burgers and sandwiches.
Smoky Mountain Brewery
Smoky Mountain Brewery is the oldest craft brewery in East Tennessee and has grown to become a great place to have a beer, watch sports and enjoy quality food such as hand-tossed pizzas, wings, sandwiches and pasta.
Soccer Taco
Featuring three locations in Knoxville and serving up some of the best award-winning Mexican food in Tennessee, Soccer Taco is a great place to watch -- and bet on -- both futbol and football games among other sports.
Bucket Head Tavern
Bucket Head Tavern is a premier full-service sports bar with a daily happy hour and quality food options like award-winning wings that also gives patrons the chance to play an assortment of games themselves, including Golden Tee, cornhole and skee ball.

Tennessee’s orange-blooded Vols fans have a history of rivalries, some more notorious than others. We expect big college bets to be placed on these games now that sports betting is legal! Learn more about these high-stakes games and sporting traditions for Tennessee.

Betting on College Football in Tennessee

Tennessee Volunteers Football

It's been over two decades since the glory years of Peyton Manning and Tee Martin, and most of today's Vols were not even born yet when the team last won a national championship in 1998. That was also the last time Tennessee won its conference, the always competitive SEC. Still, the Volunteers have won 16 conference championships over the years, 13 in the SEC, and have a long, proud football history with 52 bowl appearances and 28 bowl victories, and both top-six all time.

But 1998 wasn't Tennessee's only national title. In fact, the Volunteers claim six national championships, with the others coming between 1938 and 1967. The orange and white seek a return to prominence under coach Jeremy Pruitt. The Vols play their home games at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, the nation's fifth-largest stadium. If you're able to bet and attend a game in person this year, be sure to check the latest conference COVID-19 safety guidelines to prepare.   

Tennessee Volunteers | Schedule | Roster    

  • Tennessee Volunteers Rivalry #1: vs. Alabama Crimson Tide. This annual SEC rivalry game is known by its iconic playing date: the "Third Saturday in October." This rivalry rose to prominence when legendary Alabama coach Paul "Bear" Bryant made it a huge priority to beat the neighbors to the north. Alabama had dominated recently and leads the all-time series.
  • Tennessee Volunteers Rivalry #2: vs. Florida Gators. These SEC foes have competed in the same conference since 1912 but met sparingly until 1992 when the SEC expanded and placed the Vols and Gators in the same division, making this an annual game. With both teams in the national title picture so often in the 90s, the rivalry quickly blossomed. Florida leads the all-time series.

Vanderbilt Commodores Football

The Commodores play in the Southeastern Conference (SEC), so it's an uphill battle each fall, but Vanderbilt is up to the task. The program is on its way up, with five of their nine bowl appearances coming in the past decade alone. Vanderbilt is 4-4-1 in its bowls and is coached by Derek Mason. The Dores do have two unclaimed national titles from a century ago in back-to-back unbeaten seasons in 1921-22.

Vanderbilt has played in a bowl game five times over the past decade, winning the Music City Bowl and the BBVA Compass Bowl. The Commodores play their home games at Vanderbilt Stadium in Nashville. However, for the 2020 season, in-person fan attendance at home games is not permitted during the pandemic.   

Vanderbilt Commodores | Schedule | Roster    

  • Vanderbilt Commodores Rivalry #1: vs. Tennessee Volunteers. These in-state SEC rivals first played way back in 1892. Vanderbilt dominated this series early, winning 19 of the first 24. Tennessee leads the overall series 75-32-5, but Vanderbilt has won five of the last eight. This year, they play on November 28 in Nashville.
  • Vanderbilt Commodores Rivalry #2: vs. Mississippi Rebels. These SEC founding members have battled on the gridiron since 1894, though Ole Miss did not beat Vandy until 1939. Yes, that makes 18 consecutive wins to start the rivalry. The Rebels are Vanderbilt's second-longest continuous rivalry. Ole Miss leads the all-time series.

Memphis Tigers Football

The Tigers play in the American Athletic Conference (AAC) and won the conference championship in 2019. That was Memphis's eighth conference title. The Tigers have appeared in 13 bowl games, winning five of them. Their greatest bowl appearance came in January 2020 when the Tigers faced Penn State in the Cotton Bowl, with Memphis coming up short in a 53-39 loss. Ryan Silverfield coaches Memphis. The Tigers play their home games at the Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in Memphis. 

Memphis Tigers | Schedule | Roster  

  • Memphis Tigers Rivalry #1: vs. Louisville Cardinals. These regional rivals have met 43 times on the football field, with Memphis winning 19 of them. Memphis and Louisville are big-time rivals across every sport. The Tigers dominated the rivalry in the early years but have not won against Louisville since 2003. The rivals have played only four times since because of conference realignment.
  • Memphis Tigers Rivalry #2: vs. Cincinnati Bearcats. These schools have played 36 times, with Memphis leading the all-time rivalry 23-13. They played twice in back-to-back weeks to conclude the 2019 season, with Memphis winning both times to secure its spot in the Cotton Bowl. These schools always seem to end up in the same conference. The AAC is the fifth conference the Tigers and Bearcats have played in together.

College Football Betting Resources

We've got a few recommended resources to help you bet on CFB in Tennessee:

Betting on College Basketball in Tennessee

Tennessee Volunteers Men's Basketball

The Volunteer basketball program has seen a rise to national prominence over the past couple of decades, first under coach Bruce Pearl and, since 2015, under Rick Barnes. In 2019, the Vols were a March Madness 2-seed for the third time in the past 15 years, but the program is still waiting for its first Final Four appearance in school history.

The Tennessee program has a long and storied history, featuring players like Bernard King and Allan Houston, and won its first SEC regular-season title in a decade in 2018. The Volunteers compete in the SEC, where they have the third most wins all time. The Volunteers play their home games at Thompson-Boling Arena on campus in Knoxville.

Tennessee Volunteers | Schedule | Roster      

  • Tennessee Volunteers Rivalry: vs. Kentucky Wildcats. Even though Kentucky has dominated this rivalry with Tennessee overall, the schools have played each other since 1910, and the Vols have more wins against the Wildcats than another team. The most notable matchup came in 1972 when Kentucky survived Tennessee on a late missed free throw to split the conference and still the Vols' NCAA tournament berth.

Vanderbilt Commodores Men's Basketball

Vanderbilt plays its home basketball games on the recognizable elevated stage of Memorial Gymnasium in Nashville. The Commodores have three SEC regular-season titles and two SEC Tournament championships, most recently in 2012. Vanderbilt has played in 15 NCAA tournaments with six Sweet Sixteen appearances but has yet to make it to the Final Four. Dores fans hope that will change soon under second-year head coach and former NBA star, Jerry Stackhouse.

Vanderbilt Commodores | Schedule | Roster     

  • Vanderbilt Commodores Rivalry #1: vs. Tennessee Volunteers. Tennessee remains Vanderbilt's biggest rival in every sport, though the Vols have dominated the men's basketball rivalry of late. Vanderbilt has played Tennessee more than any opponent.
  • Vanderbilt Commodores Rivalry #2: vs. Kentucky Wildcats. Vanderbilt's second most common opponent is Kentucky, though the Wildcats have dominated the rivalry from the start. Vanderbilt has lost to Kentucky over 100 times. They've only ever lost 50 times to three other opponents.

Memphis Tigers Men's Basketball

The Tigers have established themselves as one of the nation's marquee men's college basketball programs. Now playing in the American Athletic Conference (AAC), Memphis has played in 11 Sweet Sixteens and three Final Fours. Their most recent Final Four appearance came in 2008 when Derrick Rose led the team to the national championship game before falling in overtime. 

Tigers legend Penny Hardaway is the Memphis coach now and has already brought in some of the nation's elite recruits. The Tigers are so popular that the team typically doesn't even play its home games at the Elma Roane Fieldhouse on campus. Instead, they usually play at FedExForum, home of the Memphis Grizzlies.

Memphis Tigers | Schedule | Roster 

  • Memphis Tigers Rivalry #1: vs. Louisville Cardinals. These schools have played in four different conferences together, and Memphis has played Louisville more times than any other opponent. Louisville leads the all-time series, which began in 1949. They last met in December 2017 because of conference realignment.
  • Memphis Tigers Rivalry #2: vs. Cincinnati Bearcats. The Bearcats are Memphis's second most frequent opponent, having played 81 times over the years. The most notable meeting came in the Elite 8 in 1992, when Penny Hardaway came up short to Nick Van Exel's Bearcats for a spot in the Final Four, with Cincinnati blowing Memphis out by 31.
  • Memphis Tigers Rivalry #3: vs. Tennessee Volunteers. Though these regional rivals have met only 27 times, the fierce rivalry between the programs has only intensified in recent years with Memphis coach Penny Hardaway and Tennessee coach Rick Barnes ramping things up of late.

Belmont Bruins Men's Basketball

Belmont basketball has become synonymous with Cinderella over the past two decades. Belmont won its conference in 11 of the past 15 seasons, most of them under legendary head coach Rick Byrd. The Bruins secured their first-ever March Madness win in Byrd's final season before he retired. Casey Alexander is the new coach now, and Belmont plays in the Ohio Valley Conference (OVC). The Bruins have eight NCAA Tournament appearances this century.

Belmont Bruins | Schedule | Roster   

  • Belmont Bruins Rivalry: vs. Lipscomb Bisons. This rivalry is known as the Battle of the Boulevard, with Lipscomb just three miles down the road from Belmont in Nashville. The teams play a home-and-home each season in the OVC.

Tennessee Lady Volunteers Women's Basketball

The Lady Vols have long been one of the premier programs in women's college basketball. The late great Pate Summitt led Tennessee from 1974 through 2012; still, the all-time leader in women's college hoops with 1,098 career wins. The Lady Vols ranks second all-time with 18 Final Four appearances and eight national championships, all of them under Summitt.

Tennessee will forge forward under second-year coach Kellie Harper, a three-time champion for the Lady Vols in the 90s. Tennessee plays its home games at the Thompson-Boling Arena on campus in Knoxville, nicknamed "the Summitt" in honor of their legendary former coach.

Tennessee Lady Volunteers | Schedule | Roster    

  • Tennessee Lady Volunteers Rivalry: vs. Connecticut Huskies. This is the greatest rivalry in women's basketball, with these two titans dominating the ranks. Connecticut has pulled ahead of late with 20 Final Fours and 11 national championships. UConn leads the series 13-9 and has won all four national title meetings. The teams will next meet on January 21, 2021, at Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville. 

College Basketball Betting Resources

We've got a few recommended resources to help you bet wisely on College Basketball:

We expect to see these major rivalries draw sports bettor attention and significant handle in Tennessee.

Division I Football & Basketball

Tennessee Volunteers
Vanderbilt Commodores
Memphis Tigers
Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders

Division I Basketball Only

Austin Peay Governors
Belmont Bruins
Chattanooga Mocs
East Tennessee State Buccaneers
Lipscomb Bisons
Tennessee State Tigers
Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles
UT Martin Skyhawks

Pro Sports Teams

Memphis Grizzlies (NBA)
Nashville Predators (NHL)
Tennessee Titans (NFL)
Nashville SC (MLS)

Although states don't need their own professional team to have a strong sport-specific market, it certainly can help momentum and engagement! Because of legal mobile betting, Tennessee bettors can attend pro games and bet and monitor in real-time when watching their favorite teams.

Tennessee has three pro teams housed in the immediate downtown Nashville area that attracts sports bettor attention.

NFL Betting in Tennessee

Tennessee Titans

The Titans have finished 9-7 in four consecutive seasons and made a run to the AFC Championship Game in the 2020 playoffs, upsetting the Baltimore Ravens and New England Patriots along the way. The Titans have been successful under coach Mike Vrabel and quarterback Ryan Tannehill and look like playoff contenders again in 2020-21 with a perfect start for the first month. The team rides its workhorse running back Derrick Henry all the way.

The Titans call Nissan Stadium home, a modern stadium equipped with nearly 70,000 seats and even party suites. Tennessee's NFL Sports betting market is poised for a strong open. Need friends to bet with? The Titans have a highly engaged fan base. Join the discussion on the GoTitans forum. 

Read here about the state's first-ever sports betting partnership between the Titans and BetMGM that was announced on September 28, 2020.

Official Tennessee Titans Website | Roster | Schedule  

Recommended Resource: How to Bet on Football Guide

NBA Betting in Tennessee

Memphis Grizzlies

The Grizzlies are one of the most exciting young teams in the NBA. The Grizzlies are led by Rookie of the Year Ja Morant and fellow All-Rookie First Team Brandon Clarke, along with breakout big man Jaren Jackson Jr. Memphis overachieved in the 2019-20 season and made it all the way to the play-in game before falling to the Portland Trail Blazers.

The Grizzlies made the playoffs seven times last decade with their Grit and Grind style, advancing to the Western Conference Finals for the first time in 2013. They play at FedExForum in downtown Memphis in the heart of the city's Beale Street Entertainment District.

Official Memphis Grizzlies Website | Roster | Schedule  

Recommended Resource: How to Bet On Basketball Guide

NHL Betting in Tennessee

Nashville Predators

The Predators play downtown at Bridgestone Arena. The Preds were an expansion team in 1998. They made the playoffs for the first time in 2004 and advanced to their first Stanley Cup Finals in 2017 but lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins in six games. The following season, Nashville won its first Presidents' Trophy, given to the team with the best record in the regular season. The Predators have a rabid local fan base that loves to throw a catfish onto the home ice in support of the Preds.

Official Nashville Predators Website | Roster | Schedule  

Recommended Resource: How to Bet On Hockey Guide

MLS Betting in Tennessee

Nashville SC

Nashville SC are in their first-ever season in the MLS after moving over from the USL. As an expansion team, Nashville SC currently shares Nissan Stadium with the Tennsssee Titans (NFL). However, they have plans for an independent stadium come 2022 due to soccer's increasing popularity. 

Official Nashville SC Website | Roster | Schedule  

Recommended Resource: How to Bet On Soccer Guide 

Other Events

Other ‘Volunteer State’ Events

In addition to its traditional sporting events, Tennessee hosts races, tournaments, and more--attracting sports bettor attention. This list includes:

Bristol Motor Speedway hosts the 'Food City 500' each year. Food City is a growing grocery chain in the south, and the Food City 500 is a sponsored cornerstone event of NASCAR's Spring race weekend. It is also one of the most highly anticipated events on the annual Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule. Bristol is in the northeastern tip of Tennessee, about 300 miles from Nashville.

Bridgestone Arena, a downtown Nashville multipurpose venue, will host the SEC Tournament each year through 2030 except 2022 when it heads to Amalie Arena in Tampa, FL. Bridgestone and Nashville have the facilities and capacity to host additional marquee events when games, races, and more resume as COVID-19 settles.

More Reading on Tennessee

State TN Government Bills & Documentation. To dig deeper into the state legislation directly, you can check out the Tennessee House Bill (HB0001) or follow along chronologically in Tennessee’s Gaming Act Bill Timeline.  

Tennessee Lottery Betting Rules. Read more on the Tennessee Sports Betting Rules and Regulations from the Tennessee Lottery. 

Summary of Public Comments. TEL published a distilled version of the state's bill feedback in early 2020, highlighting common concerns, from advertising restrictions and licensing fees to bet classifications and the infamous hold %.

Local Coverage on Sports Betting. For a local perspective, check out this article from Michael Nelson for The Daily Memphian: “Nelson: Sports betting is (finally, probably) coming to Tennessee. Let’s hope sports do, too”  

Additional Local Sports News. To supplement Action, you can find local sports news coverage at The Tennessean, Knox News, & The Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Deeper Economic Analysis. To better understand the potential consequences of TN’s current sports betting bill, explore an Analysis of Tennessee’s Proposed Minimum Hold Requirement From Eilers & Krejcik Gaming, and this 2017 Oxford Economics Analysis on the “Economic Impact of Legalized Sports Betting“   

The Tennessee Bar Weighs in. An in-depth piece on the “Place Your Bets” Blog from the Tennessee Bar Association offers thorough coverage of Tennessee’s sports betting landscape's legal details & evolution.

Nashville Guru's Sports bars. We listed a few of the popular local sports bars mentioned by Nashville Guru--but there are plenty more! Check out their top 10 sports bars list for a place to watch the game and get in on the action in Nashville.

If you're interested in TN Fantasy Gaming regulation, you can reference materials from Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett. Fantasy was legalized in 2016, far in advance of sports betting, and is controlled by the Division of Charitable Solicitations and Gaming.

For more on U.S. Sportsbetting

You can check out the legal status of other states and learn more about legal sports betting here.

Steve Petrella is a senior editor for The Action Network covering college football, among other things. He's a Penn State grad now based in Atlanta who enjoys great punting, clock-killing drives and turnovers in the red zone.