Sports betting is legal in Michigan. Detroit’s commercial and tribal casinos are invited to apply for licenses to operate retail sportsbooks on the property and online. So far, a good amount of Americans who once bet illegally through offshore sportsbooks and shady, mobbed-up bookies can find their way into the legal sports betting market.
If you count yourself as one of these novice sports bettors, this page is for you. Below, you will find an easy-to-follow guide for how to start betting on sports. You will learn how to wager on the most popular games and sporting events in the country. Plus, we share easy-to-understand explanations of popular sports betting terms.
Read on because the information here can take you from first-timer to experienced sports handicapper.
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Betting on sports in Michigan
You can bet on sports in Michigan in two ways.
- The first is by visiting a Michigan sportsbook at one of Detroit’s three commercial casinos or one of 23 tribal casinos across the state.
- The second is online with your mobile device or computer through a legal Michigan sports betting app or website.
There’s no match for the convenience of betting with an online and mobile sportsbook. As long as you have internet access, you can bet anywhere from inside state lines.
If you want to bet online, the process requires simple steps:
- Sign up for an account.
- Make a deposit.
- Placing a bet.
Of course, the process varies between operators, but the basics are the same. We’ll walk you through each step below.
Sign up for an account
If you want to bet online, you have to sign up for an account with an online sportsbook. Fortunately, Michigan’s online and mobile sportsbooks make signing up a breeze. It’s usually a matter of finding the “Sign Up,” “Join,” or “Register” button on the operator’s homepage.
Then, you’ll need to fill out some personal account information, which usually includes:
- Date of birth
- Cell number
- Last four digits of your Social Security number
- Account name
There’s often a spot for you to enter a promo code, which will ensure you get the best new player bonus available. You can find promo codes for a variety of Michigan sportsbooks on this website.
Finally, you can complete the sign-up process by checking several boxes to accept the book’s terms and conditions, and then submit the information with one last click. All Michigan online sportsbooks will verify your age and location. Then you should be ready to take the next step toward placing bets.
Make a deposit
If you want to bet online, you are going to have to get some money into your sportsbook account first. Fortunately, online and mobile sportsbooks in Michigan make it easy to transfer money by offering a variety of deposit methods.
The first thing you’ll need to do is log in to your account using the same credentials you provided when you registered. Then, it’s usually a matter of finding the “Deposit” or “Cashier” button on the operator’s homepage or nested under the “My Account” menu.
Next, it’s about choosing your most convenient method of deposit. These usually include cash at various retail locations, credit and debit cards, and online payment processors. Be sure to follow the prompts before confirming your transaction, and the funds should be immediately available for sports betting.
Placing a bet
So, you’ve registered, deposited funds, and now you’re ready to bet online. Fortunately, most of the time, this is the simple five-step process:
- Login to your account.
- Browse through the betting markets.
- Click on a line you want to wager.
- A bet slip will generate automatically.
- Click to view alternative betting options or simply enter the amount you wish to bet on that line.
- Your potential payout will appear on the bet slip. Review the entire bet slip before you click the button to confirm and place the bet.
How to bet on football
A betting guide for first-timers should start with how to bet on football. Especially considering Americans traditionally bet more on football than any other sport. Michigan sportsbooks offer odds on college football and the NFL. You can bet on the Michigan Wolverines, the Detroit Lions and any other football team in the country right here in the Great Lakes State.
There are three simple ways to bet on football games, including:
- Point spreads
Moneyline bets are as basic as they come. All you have to do is pick the winner of the game. Moneyline bets pay according to a team’s chances of winning as set by the sportsbook. Looking at the odds for a typical NFL game, you’ll see the name of each team and either a positive or negative number beside each name.
A negative number means that the team is the favorite and represents how much you’ll need to bet to win $100 plus your bet back. A positive number is for the underdog and represents how much a $100 bet can win. Most Michigan sportsbooks will typically have the Green Bay Packers as moneyline favorites over the Detroit Lions.
Let’s say the posted moneyline odds for a typical Packers-Lions game is Packers -300 and Lions +350. That means a $300 bet on the Packers will win a total of $400, or $100 plus your $300 wager back if the Packers win. However, a $100 bet on the Lions will win a total of $450, or $350 plus your $100 wager back if the Lions win.
The easiest way to look at moneyline bets is that they are all about picking winners and accepting the odds set by sportsbooks for the side you think will win the game. Experienced bettors will pick the side they like to win, then compare the odds available at several sportsbooks, shopping around for the best price on the bet.
Football point spreads
NFL and college football point spread bets are almost as simple. These bets require you to pick the winner of the game with a line set by oddsmakers. That line is the number of points oddsmakers figure the favorite will win by. Using the same Packers-Lions game, Michigan sportsbooks will post the Packers (-7) as a 7-point favorite over the Lions (+7). This time, the positive and negative numbers reflect the total points the favorite must give away and the underdog receives.
In other words, you need to take this number and either deduct it from the favorite’s final score or add it to the underdog’s final score to determine the betting winner. In this game, that means if the Lions win, or the Packers win by 6 points or fewer, Lions’ point spread bets are winners. It also means if the Packers win by 8 points or more, Packers’ point spread bets are winners. Plus, all point spread bets booked at 7 points are a “push” if the Packers win by exactly 7 points. A push means all bets are refunded, and you’ll get your money back no matter which side you were on.
Most of the time, Michigan sportsbooks make betting on either side of a point spread bet like betting on a slight moneyline favorite. Point spreads are usually set with -110 odds, giving the sportsbook a slight house edge. These odds mean you need to bet $110 to win $100 on either side of the spread. It guarantees the sportsbook will make a small amount of money over the long haul on point spread bets.
Finally, the third basic football bet at Michigan sportsbooks is the over/under or totals. These bets simply ask you to choose whether the total points scored by both teams in the game will be “over” or “under” a number set by oddsmakers. Michigan sportsbooks will typically set the over/under at around 55 points for a Packers-Lions game, and you bet on whether it will land over or under that total.
Once again, over/under bets are usually set with -110 odds, giving the sportsbook that same slight house edge they get on point spread bets.
You can always combine two or more of the three basic bets listed above for any NFL or college football game into one wager, creating a parlay. Parlays pay much better than single-game wagers, but you have to win every part of it for it to pay.
The first step beyond the basic single-game and parlay football betting wagers are football futures. Michigan sportsbooks will typically offer futures odds on the NFL and theNCAA Division 1 FBS College Football Playoff National Championship. Futures allow you to bet on a team you think will win the NFC or AFC Championship games, the Super Bowl or the College Football Playoffs at any point during the season or offseason.
Michigan sportsbooks will adjust the odds on each team based on probability as the season continues. So, the earlier you bet on a team with a realistic chance of winning, the better the odds will be. Futures bets are booked at moneyline odds but usually are much bigger than most single-game moneyline odds.
Props probably represent the most advanced way to bet on a football game. Basically, props are bets on events within the game. Depending on interest in a game, Michigan sportsbooks might post odds for things like, “the team to score first” or “the player to score first.” They may also offer props based on individual player statistics, like passing yards or rushing yards.
Props are usually about betting on favorites or underdogs to achieve particular milestones, betting an over/under or total on a specific achievement or answering a “yes” or “no” question based on a team’s or individual’s performance. The odds look and work the same as typical moneyline odds. You’ll never see more props posted than during the lead up to the Super Bowl; there are even markets based on the coin toss before kickoff.
Betting on the Super Bowl
Michigan sportsbooks allow you to bet on the Super Bowl in a variety of ways. You can bet on the outcome of the game with all the basic bet types. Furthermore, there are traditionally more props available for the NFL Championship than any other sporting event.
How to bet on basketball
Between college basketball and the NBA, basketball is the second most popular sport to bet on in America.
Michigan sportsbooks offer odds on college basketball and the NBA, meaning you can bet on the Michigan Wolverines, Michigan State Spartans, the Detroit Pistons and any other basketball team in the country right here in the Great Lakes State.
The basketball betting basics are quite similar to football. Michigan sportsbooks offer a variety of basic bets on college basketball and NBA games, including:
You pick individual basketball game-winners and get paid based on odds set by sportsbooks if the team wins. Sportsbooks will post positive odds beside the underdog and a negative odds beside the favorite. The positive number indicates how much each $100 bet will earn if the underdog wins. The negative number indicates how much you’ll need to bet on the favorite to earn $100 plus your bet back.
See the football moneylines section above for a more detailed explanation.
You pick individual basketball game winners with a line set by sportsbooks factored into the final score. The spread is how many points you’ll have to either take away from the favorite’s final score or add to the underdog’s. Underdogs don’t need to win the game; they just need to lose by less than the spread. Favorites must cover the spread for spread bets on that team to win.
See the football point spreads section above for a more detailed explanation.
You pick whether the final score of a basketball game will be over or under a line set by sportsbooks. See the football over/unders section above for a more detailed explanation.
Michigan sportsbooks will also allow you to bet on basketball parlays, which are a combination of two or more basic basketball bets. Parlays pay better than individual bets. However, you must win every single bet, or leg, that is part of the parlay for the parlay to pay at all.
For the NBA, basketball futures are bets on a team still in contention to win its division, conference or the NBA Finals. Odds adjust as the season and the playoffs continue; they work based on the same principle as basic moneyline bets.
For college basketball, futures usually are bets on a single team to win the NCAA Tournament. Michigan sportsbooks will accept NCAA futures bets before the tournament starts and throughout, with odds continually adjusting on the teams that are still in it.
March Madness betting
The estimates Americans bet more than $10 billion on the NCAA Tournament every year, making March Madness the most significant betting event in sports. The traditional way most people bet on March Madness is through NCAA Tournament bracket sheets in office and bar pools.
You fill out a sheet picking winners in all 63 games and enter your bracket in a pool at the office or a local bar. Bracket sheets involve picking multiple games, but this is not a parlay. When you enter a bracket in a pool, you don’t need to get every game right. You simply need to pick more winners than anyone else in the pool. With parlays, you have to get every single bet correct.
Michigan sportsbooks may run their own March Madness pools. Plus, you can bet on individual games in the tourney, including futures on who will win the NCAA Tournament.
Depending on the amount of interest in a particular basketball game, Michigan sportsbooks may post game and player props that allow you to bet on a team or individual player milestones, achievements and statistical performances at moneyline odds.
Bet on the NBA playoffs
Michigan sportsbooks allow you to bet on the NBA playoffs in a variety of ways. You can bet on the outcome of each game and series. Plus, you can place futures bets on who will win each conference and ultimately, the NBA Championship at odds that adjust throughout the playoffs.
How to bet on baseball
Major League Baseball has the longest season of all US pro sports, which gives you plenty of opportunities to bet on baseball. Plus, the MLB season runs through the summer, during the NBA, NHL and NFL offseason so that you can focus strictly on baseball betting.
Michigan sportsbooks offer three ways you can bet on Detroit Tigers’ games and any other MLB action.
The three central baseball bet types available for each MLB game are:
- Run line
Moneyline bets in baseball are essentially the same as moneyline bets in other sports. Michigan sportsbooks post odds on each team to win based on that teams’ chances. You pick the team you think will win and lay down a bet. If that team wins, you get paid according to the moneyline odds posted by the sportsbook at the time you placed the bet.
See the football moneylines section above for a more detailed explanation of how basic moneyline odds work.
MLB run lines
Run lines in baseball are a lot like point spreads in football games. You have to factor the run line into a game’s final score to determine a betting winner. Baseball is a relatively low-scoring game. As a result, run lines are almost always set at 1.5. You can bet on the run line at basic moneyline odds. Michigan sportsbooks may also offer alternative run lines you can bet on at varying moneyline odds.
With a 1.5 run line, you’re ultimately betting that the favorite will win by two or more runs. Or that the underdog will win outright or lose by just a single run. See the football point spreads section above for a more detailed explanation of spread bets, which is essentially the same as run line betting.
MLB underdogs can become moneyline favorites, and vice versa, once you factor in the run line. Experts often use the run line bet to get a better price on heavy MLB moneyline favorites.
MLB totals are also similar to totals and over/under bets in other sports. You simply bet on whether the final run total in a baseball game will be over or under a number set by oddsmakers at various moneyline odds.
Michigan sportsbooks will also allow you to bet on baseball parlays, which are a combination of two or more basic bets. Parlays pay better than individual wager. However, you must win every single bet, or leg, for the parlay to pay at all.
MLB futures offer you a way to bet on who will win each division, league and, ultimately, the World Series at moneyline odds that adjust throughout the season. The odds fluctuate with each team’s increasing or decreasing chances.
How to bet on hockey
Michigan sportsbooks will also take bets on NHL games, allowing you to wager on the Detroit Red Wings or any other hockey team in the league. There are a variety of ways that fans of the NHL can bet on hockey games.
The basic NHL bets available at all Michigan sportsbooks include:
- Puck lines
As with most sports, moneyline wagers are one of the easiest ways to bet on hockey games. NHL moneyline bets pay according to a team’s probability of winning and are set by sportsbooks. All you have to do is pick the winner of the game and accept the odds posted when you bet.
Michigan sportsbooks express moneyline odds as either a positive or negative number. Negative numbers are for favorites. They represent the amount you’ll have to bet to win $100 plus your bet back. Positive numbers are for underdogs and show how much a $100 wager will earn.
See the football moneylines section above for more on moneyline odds work.
NHL puck lines
NHL point spread bets are also called puck lines. These are almost as easy to bet on as moneylines. Puck lines for NHL games are generally set at -1.5 for the favorite and +1.5 for the underdog. That’s because the average NHL game is decided by two goals or fewer.
Betting the puck line is simple: Make the correct prediction with the 1.5 puck line factored in, and you win. Basically, that means bets on the favorite win when the favorite wins by two goals or more, and bets on the underdog win when the underdog wins or loses by just a goal.
Puck line bets are booked at moneyline odds that vary based on the probability of a team covering.
See the football point spreads section above for a more detailed explanation of spread bets, which are virtually the same as puck line bets.
Totals bets in the NHL are almost exactly like the over/under bets on football games. Michigan sportsbooks set a line on the total number of goals both teams will combine to score. It’s up to you to decide if the actual total number of goals in the game will be over or under that number. Most Michigan betting sites will make the totals around five or six goals for most games, and odds are generally -110 for either side.
Bets on a team to win its division, its conference or the Stanley Cup are NHL futures. Odds move with each team’s chances.
Michigan sportsbooks will allow you to bet on hockey parlays that combine two or more basic hockey bets. Parlays pay better than individual bets, but you must win every single wager to win anything at all.
Bet on the NHL playoffs
Michigan sportsbooks allow you to bet on the NHL playoffs in a variety of ways. You can bet on the outcome of each game and series. Plus, you can place futures bets on who will win each conference and, ultimately, the Stanley Cup at odds that adjust throughout the playoffs.