Betting on the NFL Online in Michigan

In terms of general interest from the public and overall betting volume, the NFL is king. Each NFL game is an event in and of itself, and the viewership numbers and general chatter surrounding the league backs that up.

From a betting perspective, NFL season is the busiest time of the year at sportsbooks. Now that Michigan is on board with legal and regulated sports betting, folks in the Wolverine State can join right in and see what all of the fuss is about.

Betting on the NFL is much more than just picking winners and losers. There are numerous ways to get in the game, ranging from super simple bets to wagers that are a little more on the complex side.

In this complete guide to betting on the NFL, we’re going to cover everything you need to know. From where you can legally and safely place your bets in Michigan to the different bet types and all points in between, it’s right here. Let’s get to it.

Best NFL betting apps in Michigan

Our top choices for sports betting apps in Michigan are simple to use and easy to sign up for. All you need to do is click through on our links to begin the registration process. You’ll gain access to some excellent bonus offers by taking that step.

Creating an account is quick and painless. It requires just a few simple pieces of information, so you’ll be up and running in no time. Afterwards, download the mobile app for your device from the main site. Once you log in on mobile, you’ll have a legal sportsbook at your fingertips.

SportsbookLaunch Date
BetMGM SportsbookJanuary 2021
FanDuelJanuary 2021
PointsBetJanuary 2021
DraftKingsJanuary 2021
Golden NuggetJanuary 2021

How to bet on the NFL in Michigan

It’s legal to bet on the NFL in Michigan, but that wasn’t always the case. The Supreme Court of the United States decided it was a matter for states to decide for themselves back in 2018. It took some time for Michigan to get on the ball, but legislation was finally passed in 2019.

The official rollout took place the following year. Michigan is now serviced by a number of the top names in the industry. That means you’ll have access to everything you need to legally and safely place your bets.

To get started, you’ll want to have a good understanding at what you’re looking at when it comes time to place your bets. We’ll begin by taking a look at the odds board and understanding how to read it, what it’s telling us, and other tidbits we can use to our advantage.

NFL betting odds

The NFL is unique in comparison to other major pro sports in that teams only play one game per week. Odds are released well in advance of each slate of games, so there’s plenty of time for bettors to dissect the NFL betting lines and find the most appealing opportunities.

As such, the NFL betting odds will often move after the initial release based on betting action and other developments. Make a habit of paying attention to the moves, as this can help you to spot which way the winds are blowing in terms of betting action.

Also, you can engage in what’s known as line shopping. This simply means that you’re checking the numbers at different sportsbooks to find the best ones. It’s worth it to take the time to do it, as these small differences can actually add up to a lot.

NFL odds are generally among the featured listings at online and mobile sportsbooks. You can also find the NFL betting odds for the week by clicking on the NFL tab. Once you do so, the screen will be populated with all of the week’s games.

The default listing calls for the road team on top and home team on the bottom, but be aware that there are occasionally neutral site games. Next to each of the teams will be a series of numbers that looks something like this.

  • Detroit Lions +110                +1.5 (-110)                  O 47.5 (-110)
  • Chicago Bears -120                 -1.5 (-110)                   U 47.5 (-110)

In order, the numbers listed are odds for the following: moneyline, point spread, and totals. Here’s what you need to know about each.


The moneyline tells us which of the two teams the oddsmakers expect to win. The favored side will be designated with negative odds, while it’ll be positive on the side of the underdog.

  • Detroit Lions +110
  • Chicago Bears -120

Point Spread

The point spread is a very popular way to bet on the NFL. Oddsmakers will set a number that’s akin to a margin of victory for the game. You can bet on the favorite minus the points, or choose the underdog plus the points.

  • Detroit Lions +1.5 (-110)
  • Chicago Bears -1.5 (-110)


This is a wager which has to do with the total points scored in the game. The sportsbooks will set an estimated number, and bettors then get to pick if they think the points will be Over or Under at the end.

  • Over  47.5 (-110)
  • Under 47.5 (-110)

NFL bet types 

Each week of the season, you’ll have a number of choices to consider with the NFL. From which of the games you like the best to the type of NFL bets you want to place, there’s plenty to mull over. Here’s a look at the major wagering options, starting with a closer look at the most popular ways to get in the game.

NFL moneyline bets

This is one of the simplest bet types on the menu. All you need to do is make the call on which side you think will win. Moneyline is a great entry point for new NFL bettors, and a big area of focus for seasoned handicappers as well.

NFL point spread bets

The spread bet is a bit more challenging as you need to factor points into the equation. Sportsbooks set a spread for each game, which is essentially an estimated margin of victory.

Bettors can take the favorite minus the points or go with the underdog plus the points. In order to cover, the favorite need to win the game by an amount greater than the spread. Underdogs can cover by keeping it closer than the spread or by an outright victory.

NFL totals bets

For totals betting, you need to look into the crystal ball and try to figure out how many points will be scored in the game. The number set by oddsmakers serves as the guide, so you simply need to pick the Over or Under for the benchmark number.

Beyond the big three, there are several other NFL bet types for you to consider each week.

NFL prop bets

Prop bets are additional wagers you can place on multiple circumstances that could happen during the course of the game. Many NFL prop bets revolve around the performance of individual players, so fantasy sports enthusiasts could find an edge here.

  • How many TDs will Matthew Staffors throw for – Over/Under 2.5?
  • Who will have more rushing yards in the game – James Conner or Mark Ingram?
  • Will there be a defensive score in the game – Yes/No?

NFL parlays

For this wager, you include multiple outcomes on the same betting slip. The more choices you make, the higher the potential return for winners, but the risk goes up right along with it as the odds rise with each selection added. Total parlay odds are based on the odds for each outcome you include on the slip. You could place a parlay bet on three point spread outcomes, for example.

  • Detroit Lions +2.5 over Minnesota Vikings
  • Baltimore Ravens -1.5 over Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Buffalo Bills -3.5 over Cincinnati Bengals

NFL teaser bets

A teaser bet shares characteristics of both point spread and parlay wagers. Bettors can move – or tease – the spread on a series of games more to their liking. Generally, teasers revolve around key numbers such as 6, 6.5, or 7. As an example, if the Lions were 8-point favorites over the Panthers, you could tease the spread down to a single point.

NFL round robin bets

A round robin is also like a parlay in that you are including multiple selections on the same slip. However, the round robin allows you to make multiple combinations as opposed to just a single parlay. For example, you could include three teams and make three two-team combos instead of just a single three-game parlay.

When starting out, there’s no need to try to master each and every bet type. Instead, pick one or two you are interested in and develop your skills. You can experiment with others along the way, and also expand your betting focus as you gain more experience.

Live betting on the NFL

It wasn’t that long ago that bettors who didn’t have their bets in before kickoff were relegated to the sidelines. That’s no longer the case, and the advent of live betting is the reason why.

Live betting is a popular innovation which has evolved into a must-have option at online and mobile sportsbooks. These are wagers that you place in real time after a game has already started.

The odds and offerings move quickly, and they’ll be based on what’s happening on the field of play. Here’s a peek at some of the opportunities you might come across.

  • What will be the result of the Lions next drive – TD/FG/Punt/Downs/TO?
  • Who will throw for more yards in the first half – Matthew Stafford or Kirk Cousins?
  • Which side will have more rushing yards in the first quarter – Lions or Vikings?

Since the live betting markets move so quickly, a mobile app is the best way to take advantage of all that it has to offer. Most sportsbooks will have a direct link for current live betting opportunities, but you can also search by sport as needed.

Live betting can be tons of fun and really enhance the enjoyment of a game, but remember to bet with your head and never over it.

The NFL futures market

You can also go beyond betting on the games and week-to-week happenings in the NFL and wager with more of a long-term view. The NFL futures market makes that possible, and it remains active all year round.

Futures are wagers you can make on something that will happen down the road. There are a number of different markets to consider for the NFL, such as:

  • Super Bowl Winner
  • Division and Conference Winners
  • Teams to Make Playoffs
  • Team Regular Season Win Totals
  • Individual Award Winners
  • NFL Draft

Each of the markets receive plenty of betting action, but the winner of the next Super Bowl is perhaps the most popular of them all. Once the Big Game for the current season is in the books, sportsbooks will release odds for the winner of next year’s edition.

All of the teams in the league will have odds attached, ranging from the favorites all the way down to longshots. Here’s what the top of the board might look like.

  • Kansas City Chiefs +700
  • Baltimore Ravens +800
  • San Francisco 49ers +900

You can place your bets right after the odds are released and hold your ticket, or you can keep checking back all season long to find appealing opportunities. The odds will move based on betting action and other developments, so it’s certainly worth staying engaged.

How the NFL season works

Each of the league’s 32 teams play a 16-game regular season schedule. Here’s how the calendar breaks down.

  • Training Camp and Preseason: There are offseason activities throughout the year, but the main camp typically gets underway sometime in July. Preseason games follow in August, and there’s plenty of betting interest to be found in the proceedings.
  • Regular Season: It typically kicks with a Thursday night game in early September. The regular season stretches over 17 weeks with each team getting one week off as a bye. A typical slate of NFL games will see primetime matchups on Thursday, Sunday, and Monday night, while the remaining games will be played out on Sunday afternoon.
  • Postseason: Changes are afoot for the NFL postseason. In years past, just 12 teams have punched their tickets to the playoffs, but the number has been increased to 14. Seven teams will qualify from both the AFC and NFC moving forward: four division winners and three wild card squads from each conference.
  • Super Bowl: The winners of the AFC and NFC playoff brackets advance to the Super Bowl, which is the biggest sporting and betting event of the year. There will be tons of wagering opportunities surrounding the game. For example, many sportsbooks will offer hundreds of different prop bets for the public to consider.

Introduction to the Detroit Lions

When the Lions hit the field, a whole bunch of eyes across the state of Michigan will follow. Here are some of the key details you need to know about the home team.

  • Home Field: Ford Field in Detroit
  • Division: NFC North
  • Head Coach: Matt Patricia
  • Starting QB: Matthew Stafford
  • Key Contributors: WR Kenny Golladay, DE Trey Flowers
  • Biggest Rivals: Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings
  • Division Titles: 4 – 1935, 1983, 1991, 1993
  • Conference Titles: 4 – 1952, 1953, 1954, 1957
  • League Titles: 4 – 1935, 1952, 1953, 1957
  • Playoff Appearances: 17 – last in 2016

It has been awhile since the Lions reached the postseason, but the club has made some intriguing moves and built a solid foundation. Success may follow, but the competitive NFC North division will be a tough nut to crack.

NFL betting tips

One of the benefits to betting on the NFL is that you have a good deal of time for handicapping in between games. That means you can break down the matchups and try to figure out the most likely outcomes by doing so.

As an alternative, you can also rely on the NFL betting picks of sources that you trust. A note of caution on that front: be sure to review the track record before implementing any advice. On the handicapping side, here are some key NFL betting tips to consider adding to your repertoire.

  1. Study line movements: After the initial are released, bettors begin weighing in. Odds can move from this point as a result, so be on the lookout for that. If the NFL betting lines suddenly become real favorable on one side and less attractive on the other, then that’s a good indication that the betting money has been flowing towards the latter.
  2. Examine recent form: Overall team strength and performance is a big factor in the handicapping process, but it’s important to go further than that. Teams that have impressive records may not be playing that well lately, while squads with poor overall records could actually be turning it around. Be sure to see how the teams have fared over their last three or five games.
  3. Use power ratings: A power rating attempts to quantify a team into a single number. This can be an invaluable tool for handicapping the point spread, as comparing two teams and factoring in home field will give you a good ballpark for a fair spread. There are several free resources to use on the interwebs, including Team Rankings and Sagarin.


In a word, tradition. It all started back in 1934 when the Lions moved to Detroit from Portsmouth. They were matched up with the Chicago Bears on Thanksgiving Day, and the club has played a home game on the holiday ever since. The Dallas Cowboys also host an annual game on Thanksgiving, while a third game with a rotating home side has been introduced in recent years.


Yes, the Lions have had the top pick in the NFL Draft four times in franchise history. The last time it occurred was back in 2019 when the club selected QB Matthew Stafford out of Georgia. That proved to be a wise call as Stafford remains entrenched behind center.

The New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers are tied atop the all-time list with six Super Bowl wins apiece. The Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers are next up with five victories in the Big Game each.

Don Shula holds the all-time mark with 328 wins, which he racked up while serving as head coach of the Baltimore Colts and Miami Dolphins. George Halas is second with 318 victories, while Bill Belichick holds down third place with 273 wins.

Yes, the Big Game has been played in Michigan twice. For Super Bowl XVI, the Pontiac Silverdome played host as the San Francisco 49ers defeated the Cincinnati Bengals by a score of 26-21. In 2006, Ford Field was the venue for Super Bowl XL. The Pittsburgh Steelers came out on top of the Seattle Seahawks by a score of 21-10.