What sports can you bet on in Ohio, and which sports are illegal to wager on in the Buckeye State? We reveal all.
Ohio online sports betting is finally legal in the state. As of January 1, 2023, eager bettors can finally throw down on their favorite teams that play in the state.
In the short time since operations went live, several sportsbooks have started to pick away at the 25 online sports betting licenses giving bettors many diverse virtual locations to play at.
Currently, there are eight major league sports teams in the state across every major sport. But outside of the state’s teams, there are many, many teams and leagues for those interested in sports betting to check out.
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What Sports Can You Bet On In Ohio?
- College Football
- College Basketball
- Ice Hockey
- Australian Rules Football
- MMA Fighting
- Horse Racing
These sports are some of the most widely bet on and popular sports on Ohio betting websites. Some of the popular leagues that bettors love are listed below.
Notable Leagues You Can Bet On
- FBS (College Football)
- Formula 1
- Big Bash League, ICC, Twenty20
- English Premier League Soccer
- Rugby Union & Rugby League
- IBF, WBA, WBO & WBC Boxing
More leagues exist on sportsbooks, but these are some of the most common that you will come across. Not every sport, game or league is legal, however. Bettors should keep in mind that if they see the following offered, they might be on a phony sportsbook.
Here’s what you cannot bet on legally in Ohio:
- High school sports
- Props on college athletes
- Elections (regardless of your political sway!)
Since Ohio residents have been betting in the state illegally for years by using international sportsbooks with offshore headquarters, there is a high probability that some of the offered apps you come across while seeking somewhere to bet could be nefarious.
Ohio Sports Team Betting
As previously mentioned, Ohio has many sports teams to bet on, all with rich histories.
The state itself played a central role in developing both baseball and football in the United States. The very first professional baseball team has its roots in Ohio with the Cincinnati Red Stockings being incorporated in 1869. It would later go on to be split into the Cincinnati Reds and the Boston Red Sox.
The National Football League’s roots can be traced to the Ohio League, an informal and loose association of clubs playing American Football in the first two decades of the 20th century. The NFL would go on to form on the foundation of the Ohio League and The Pro Football Hall of Fame resides in the state in the city of Canton.
Of the major sports teams of past and present, the state has amassed seven World Series, nine NFL Championships, one NBA Championship, and two MLS Cups.
Read on for a breakdown of some of the most prominent teams in the most popular leagues in Ohio…
NFL Sports Betting in Ohio
It’s a good time to be a fan of football in Ohio. Between the Cincinnati Bengals going all the way to the Super Bowl with second-year quarterback Joe Burrow and the Cleveland Browns being consistent contenders with Baker Mayfield under center.
Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale made headlines for placing a 4.5 million money-line on the Bengals to win the Super Bowl this past year. It was the largest bet ever placed at a legal sportsbook. You might not have that much to throw down on the defending conference champs, but the team remains a safe bet for those in Ohio looking to support one of their home teams.
The Brown’s last season showed signs of a cracked foundation, but the new season brings the promise of another post-season push by the once consistently underperforming franchise.
MLB Sports Betting in Ohio
The Reds have a rich history but have had little success in the current century. They did, however, claim a postseason berth in 2020 for the first time since 2013. Bettors can hope to see them build on that success in coming seasons.
Formally the Cleveland Indians, the club changed its name after years of controversy and, in 2020, became the Cleveland Guardians. Under Terry Franconia, the Pennant producing manager of the Boston Red Sox, the team went to the World Series in 2016, losing to the first-time winners Chicago Cubs. They won a record-breaking 22 consecutive games in 2017 and went on to win their division. They continue to be contenders for the World Series title each year.
Betting on the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets
An NHL expansion team dating back to 2000, the Blue Jackets struggled to win over 30 games before 2005-2006. In 2014, they won their first playoff game and in 2019 they did the impossible; they swept the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Tampa Bay Lightning in the first round.
Since then, the team has fallen from grace, placing last in their division in the 20-21 season. Bets placed on the team nowadays remain shaky as they continue to struggle.
Betting on the Cleveland Cavaliers
Oh, the Cavs. Made famous for their drafting of ‘King’ James, Lebron himself in 2003. They enjoyed success with Lebron and went to the finals in 2007, but didn’t return in the following three seasons leading the King to seek refuge in the Heat of Miami.
When James returned to the team in 2014, he led them to four consecutive NBA Finals appearances, winning them one in 2016.
But James has since gone to LA and now the team is back to the familiar position of not qualifying for the playoffs. Bets on them winning should be made with caution.
So, with all that in mind, and now that you know what sports you can bet on in Ohio, enjoy betting on your favorite Ohio franchise. And, most importantly, good luck!