NFL Betting Guide for Michigan

The NFL is the most popular American sport to bet on. With the easy-to-understand point spread, point totals, and moneyline options to bet on, and the uniqueness of the typical one-game-per-week format for each NFL team, enthusiasm is fueled among both pros and recreational sports bettors alike.. Betting on basketball, baseball, soccer, or even college football can be fun and profitable for many sports bettors, but betting the NFL remains king among all sports.

NFL season is typically the busiest time of the year for sportsbooks, oddsmakers, and sports bettors competing for a profitable endeavor. Michigan is no different in a state that features the Detroit Lions and home to many diehard NFL superfans.

Various betting apps and new technology are making for even better user experience as the industry continues to grow in Michigan and increase in popularity.

Whether it’s understanding the basics of betting on the NFL in Michigan or figuring out where to place your next wager, we will take a closer look at how sports gambling operates at the highest level of football.

How to bet on the NFL in Michigan

Sports betting in Michigan became legalized in late December 2019 with casinos taking their first wagers on March 11, 2020 — the exact date the NBA shut down when Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus. There is an ongoing push being made for Michigan to start taking mobile bets starting in October 2020.

Best NFL betting apps in Michigan

Tons of legal sports gambling will eventually be done through a mobile device because of its easy use and convenience to place a wager right from your phone. Whether Michigan has the rules and regulations finalized for mobile sports betting in 2020 or 2021, expect sports bettors from the state to have access to several of the major gambling apps.

Before you are allowed to place your first mobile wager, it’s smart to research which app you think will be best for you. Here is some information on some best betting apps for NFL:

  • DraftKings Sportsbook app: One of the leaders of the daily fantasy sports industry is becoming a power in the age of legalization of sports betting. The app is easy to use and involves creative promotions for users. DraftKings is offering a sign-up bonus of up to $1,000.
  • FanDuel Sportsbook app: Like DraftKings, FanDuel is a major player in daily fantasy sports and is branching out to be among the leaders of sports betting. FanDuel provides quick payouts and is offering a $500 risk free bet to new sportsbook customers only.
  • BetMGM Sportsbook app: BetMGM offers a solid variety of creative and recurring promotions for its users. New users receive a risk-free first bet up to $500.
  • BetRivers Sportsbook app: BetRivers offers a clean layout for users in states where it operates with plenty of sports gambling options for users to choose from.
  • Caesars Casino & Sportsbook app: One of the most popular sportsbooks released its app for its large volume of users. The app was revamped when Caesars added an online sportsbook to make the experience even better.

Is it legal to bet on the NFL in Michigan?

Yes, it is legal to bet on the NFL in Michigan, both in-person and a mobile device, though rules and regulations are still being sorted out for mobile betting, which is likely to be available soon. Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed the Lawful Sports Betting Act, which states sports betting includes, but is not limited to, single-game bets, teaser bets, parlays, over-under, moneyline, pools, exchange betting, in-game betting, proposition bets, and straight bets.

From an NFL perspective, this means gamblers in the state of Michigan are allowed to bet on the game’s three most popular categories with point spreads, over/under point totals, and the moneyline.

How to bet on NFL games

If you’re reading this article, you are probably interested in gambling on the NFL in some form or fashion. Here are the most popular ways to do it:

  • Point spread: Betting the point spread is typically the most popular way to bet on sports including the NFL. For example, let’s say the Detroit Lions are going up against the Minnesota Vikings. Detroit is expected to win as slight home favorites, so the Lions will be listed at -2.5, while the Vikings are listed at +2.5. If you are deciding to back the Lions, you are saying you predict the Lions to win by 2.5 points or more. If that outcome is correct by the end of the game, you have yourself a winning bet.
  • Over/Under point totals: Point totals betting does not factor in which team wins at all. Instead, the sports bettor is taking a shot at how many points will be scored. In an NFL game, the over/under may be set at 50.5. If you expect the offenses to play particularly well, you might decide to bet the over. If more than 50.5 points are scored, your bet is a winner.
  • Moneyline: The moneyline is a straight-up bet where you are strictly choosing which team will win the game. The amount of money paid out may be wildly different depending on which side you choose. Predicting a team to win when they’re expected to win by a significant margin will lead to a lesser payout than correctly picking the underdog.
  • Futures: NFL futures betting includes betting on an outcome that will happen in the future, rather than a single-game bet. For example, the Kansas City Chiefs may be the favorites to win the Super Bowl. If you decide to back the Chiefs before the season starts, you are rooting for that team all season long to win it all in the end. Oftentimes there are many options to choose from in futures betting, likely leading to a nice payout if you choose the outcome correctly.

NFL prop bets

Making proposition bets can be an entertaining way for sports bettors to stay in on the action. Instead of the final score or result, you are betting on particular items to occur during the game. Some prop bets can be skill-based, while others may be complete luck. This is especially the case during the Super Bowl, which is the king of prop bets.

Here are a few examples of types of prop bets that could be made:

  • Skill-based props: If you think a wide receiver will have a big game receiving and the over/under for receiving yards is set at 53.5, you would likely take the over and hope he can get past the defense to increase his yardage total. This is an example of more of a skill-based prop because you could analyze how the defense plays leading up to the game for more of an educated wager.
  • Luck-based props: Potential bets that would fit into this category would be fun bets to wager on like choosing the coin toss, how long the national anthem will last, and the color of Gatorade that will be dunked on the winning head coach.

NFL live betting

The concept and use of live betting is a strategy many sports bettors continue to deploy. Instead of locking in your wager before kickoff, a live bet occurs when you make a wager while the game is still going on. This can be especially profitable for bettors who understand how certain coaches make their adjustments throughout the game.

Live betting moves at a rapid pace with NFL betting lines, point spreads and point totals fluctuating play by play in a matter of seconds.

How the NFL works – Preseason, regular season and playoffs

Sports bettors have the option to bet preseason, regular season and playoff games in a variety of ways. Here’s a look at each of them:

NFL preseason

The NFL preseason is a way for players to get some live in-game reps before the start of the regular season. With no real meaning for the outcomes of the game, betting the preseason can be difficult with bettors not sure how much playing time the game’s top stars will see.

Each NFL team typically plays four preseason games, and two will play five if they are part of the Hall of Fame game, which is the first game of the preseason.

NFL regular season

The regular season is where the majority of NFL sports bets come in. During a 17-week regular season, each NFL team plays 16 games with one bye week. Each game is meaningful until the final few weeks of the season when teams could be vying for the No. 1 NFL Draft pick or resting starters in time for a playoff run.

As the sample size increases throughout the season, sportsbooks show their knowledge with tough point spreads and point totals that could go either way. They’re professionals and know what they’re doing, so it makes for a welcomed challenge for the sports bettor to make a profit.

There are 32 NFL teams with 16 teams in each conference. Both conferences feature four divisions.

NFL playoffs

After a 17-week regular season, the playoffs begin in the NFL. In the 2020-21 season, the playoffs will consist of 14 teams for the first time, increasing from 12 the year before. The win-or-go-home format allows for compelling, memorable matchups NFL fans remember for years.

The wild card round kicks off the playoffs featuring 12 teams, not including the top seed in each conference, which receives a bye to advance to the next round. The wild card matchups include the No. 2 seed playing No. 7, No. 3 against No. 6 and No. 4 against No. 5 in each conference.

Next is the divisional round where the top-seeded team in each conference plays the lowest remaining seed and the second-highest seed plays the second-lowest seed in each conference. In the conference championship, the remaining two teams in each conference play each other with the highest seed being the home team.

Finally, the NFL season finishes with the Super Bowl, which features both conference winners playing on a neutral field to decide the champion. The Super Bowl is the biggest gambling night of the sports calendar with plenty of options to choose from.

How to watch/stream NFL games in Michigan

With Sunday afternoon being the day of the week with the highest volume of NFL football, viewers will typically be given their games by their local CBS or FOX affiliate. Detroit Lions games will be featured across the state whenever they play. The only way to receive every NFL game to your TV is through DirecTV’s NFL Sunday Ticket.

Weekly national broadcasts include Sunday Night Football, Monday Night Football and Thursday Night Football. Sunday Night Football is featured on NBC, and Monday Night Football is shown on ESPN throughout the regular season. Thursday Night Football is shown on a variety of platforms including FOX, NFL Network, Amazon Prime, and NBC.

Detroit Lions history, rivals and more

Michigan’s lone NFL team is the Detroit Lions, a franchise that began in 1930. The Lions have yet to win or appear in a Super Bowl since its existence but were the winners of four championships before it was called the Super Bowl.

The Lions’ all-time passing leader is Matthew Stafford, their rushing leader is Barry Sanders and Calvin Johnson has the most receiving yards in team history.

Detroit’s main rivals include the other three members of the NFC North. Every team plays the teams in its division at home and away during the regular season. The Lions see the Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears, and Minnesota Vikings twice every year.

Detroit Lions football is synonymous with Thanksgiving as the Lions host a game on that day every season along with the Dallas Cowboys.

Top NFL players from Michigan

Plenty of NFL talent originated from the state of Michigan. Here are a few of the greats who went on to play in the NFL:

  • Jerome Bettis: Nicknamed The Bus, Jerome Bettis is from Detroit, Michigan and is a part of the 2015 Hall of Fame class, most known for his time as the powerful Pittsburgh Steelers running back. He made the Pro Bowl six times and won a Super Bowl in 2006 for the Steelers.
  • Antonio Gates: Antonio Gates is from Detroit, Michigan, and helped revolutionize the tight end position, playing all 16 of his NFL seasons for the San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers organization. He was named to the Pro Bowl eight times and was first-team All-Pro three times.
  • T. J. Lang: T. J. Lang was an offensive lineman from Ferndale, Michigan, and played eight of his 10 seasons for the Green Bay Packers before closing out his career with the Detroit Lions. He is a two-time Pro Bowler with one Super Bowl ring with the Packers.
  • George Teague: George Teague was safe from Oscoda, Michigan and signed with four teams including the Green Bay Packers, Atlanta Falcons, Dallas Cowboys and Miami Dolphins in nine seasons. He is most known for an incident when he was with the Cowboys. San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Terrell Owens scored a touchdown against Dallas and put the ball down on the Cowboys’ star at midfield for his celebration before Teague chased him down and knocked him over and was ejected from the game.
  • Jake Long: Jake Long was an offensive tackle from Lapeer, Michigan. He drafted No. 1 overall in the 2008 NFL Draft by the Miami Dolphins. He played nine seasons overall with four teams including the Dolphins, St. Louis Rams, Atlanta Falcons, and Minnesota Vikings. He is a four-time Pro Bowl and made first-team All-Pro in 2010.

NFL betting tips

No matter what the sport, bettors are looking to find the edge over the oddsmakers however they can do it. Some are successful when they find their niche and know what they’re looking for when analyzing the betting board.

Develop your own NFL betting strategy

Developing your betting strategy is complicated no matter the sport. If a specific trend is going one way, the oddsmakers could be quick to adjust their lines to make for a more even playing field. The most important and most basic strategy in sports betting is to simply do your research. Look at the numbers, analyze the stats, and identify the proper outcome.

One area to focus on is becoming an expert on a certain team or division. If you have a good feel for a small group of teams and how they perform against others, it may give you the edge over the sportsbooks.

Lastly, do not put all your eggs in one basket. You will win some bets and you’ll lose some bets. Some days the gambling gods will be on your side and some days, you get the short end of the stick.

NFL betting mistakes to avoid:

  • Chasing your bets: This is an important lesson for all bettors, especially beginners. Chasing your bets refers to a lost wager that leads to an immediate bet on another upcoming matchup made simply to try and make up for the loss. Once you lose a bet and start chasing, you could dig yourself into a deeper and deeper hole. With the number of time slots for NFL games on a given Sunday, the league lends itself to this type of behavior. You will predict outcomes wrong. Be sure to relax and make a sound decision on your next wager.
  • Betting too much: Sports betting is meant to be fun. Sure, there is some research and skill involved in it, but a large part of sports fandom is about trying to predict the outcomes of certain events. Whenever you decide to place a bet, try and imagine what your reaction might be if you lose it. If you ever think you could not fathom losing that amount of money, decrease your betting amount.
  • Focus too much on longshots: Sportsbooks and oddsmakers do well for themselves for a reason. They’re typically very good at their jobs and have a good handle for how particular outcomes will happen. If you routinely go after something highly unlikely to occur, you probably already lost a lot by the time you picked a longshot outcome correctly. Betting a longshot is fun every once in a while, but try not to make a habit of it because the NFL betting odds will not be in your favor.

NFL Betting FAQ

How many Detroit Lions players are in the NFL Hall of Fame?

Twenty-one former Detroit Lions players are currently in the NFL Hall of Fame. This list includes: Alex Karras, Alex Wojciechowicz, Barry Sanders, Bill Dudley, Bobby Layne, Charlie Sanders, Curley Culp, Dick LeBeau, Dick “Night Train” Lane, Dick Stanfel, Doak Walker, Earl “Dutch” Clark, Frank Gatski, Hugh McElhenny, Jack Christiansen, Joe Schmidt, John Henry Johnson, Lem Barney, Lou Creekmur, Ollie Matson, and Yale Lary.

How does the NFL regular season work?

Over 17 weeks, all 32 NFL teams play a 16-game schedule to determine who goes to the playoffs. Each team has one bye week during the season. Fourteen teams advance to the postseason, while 18 teams do not advance past the regular season.

When does the regular season start?

The 2020-21 regular season is scheduled to start on Thursday, Sept. 10 in a matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans.

How do playoffs work?

Seven teams make the playoffs from each conference for a total of 14 teams total. The top seed in each conference receives a bye in the wild card round where six games are played. In the divisional round, the top seed hosts the lowest remaining seed, while the second-highest seed hosts the second-lowest seed. In the conference championship games, the highest remaining seed hosts the lowest remaining seeds to get to the Super Bowl. The Super Bowl is played on a neutral field between the two conference winners.

When is the NFL draft?

The 2021 NFL Draft will be held April 29 to May 1 in Cleveland, Ohio.