Michigan sports betting goes online today - here's what to expect

"A new era" will begin Friday when Michigan's sports betting goes live, months after it was legalized and days after the Michigan Gaming Control Board authorized gambling operators to accept wagers.

"Michigan residents love sports and, judging by inquiries we’ve received, eagerly anticipate using mobile devices to place bets through the commercial and tribal casinos," said Richard S. Kalm, executive director of the MGCB.

Prior to the industry moving online, Michigan residents could still place bets at some casinos. But with the past-time moving onto mobile devices, it's expected to increase accessibility for many across the state. 

Friday at 12 p.m., the proverbial switch will flip and online gambling in Michigan will begin. So far, nine gambling operators and their casino partners have been approved.

As a note, residents must be 21 years or older to gamble. 

In Detroit

  • MotorCity Casino - FanDuel
  • MGM Grand Detroit - BetMGM
  • Greektown Casino - Barstool Sportsbook

Outside Detroit

  • Bay Mills Indian Community - Draft Kings
  • Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians - William Hill
  • Hannahville Indian Community - TwinSpires
  • Keweenaw Bay Indian Community - Golden Nugget
  • Little River Band of Ottawa Indians - Rush Street
  • Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians - Wynn

To place bets with any of the casinos, all patrons will need to do is download the appropriate app from your phone's app store. If you're playing on your computer, head to the relevant website.

Learn the Lingo

It's not just a shiny new icon that will be appearing on your phone. There's a whole other world hiding behind the tap of a finger, so it may help to know what terminology you can use to guide you through the infinite competitions for placing a bet.

  • Action: Any kind of wager that's been placed
  • Book: The operation or establishment accepting bets and setting the spread of a match or competition to bet on
  • Cover: When a team has won against the point spread that's been set
  • Handle: The total amount of money that's been wagered at an establishment
  • Hedge: When a bettor bets on multiple outcomes of an event to help offset potential losses
  • Juice: The amount of money an establishment will make on a wager
  • Line: The spread or odds of an event
  • Opening Line: The original spread or odds for an event
  • Over: The amount a wager has to bet for it to be more than what the establishment has set as the total number of points that will be scored
  • Push: When a bet ends with a tie. 
  • Under: The amount a wager has to bet for it to be less than what the establishment has set as the total number of points that will be scored

Types of Bets

Along with all the nuances that have evolved from the sports betting world is the array of bets one can place. They include:

  • Straight Bet: When a single bet is made on a game or event that is decided by the point spread or money line
  • Parlay: When multiple results on different bets are combined into a single wager. A winner is crowned if the bettor doesn't lose any results, giving them a higher payout than if they made each of the bets separately
  • Futures: When someone makes a bet on a scheduled event where a point spread hasn't been established yet
  • Proposition Bets: Think of these as bets within bets, where wagers have to identify certain things that happen within a competition
  • Teaser: An adjusted parylay bet where the wager shifts their point spread in their favor. The likelihood of winning may go up, but the payout will also re-adjust

What is a Point Spread?

The point spread is the pre-established result set by an establishment that bettors often use to make their own bets. When someone places a bet using the point spread, they are wagering the outcome of an event will be above or below what the establishment has set.

A team or individual who is favorited to win a match is indicated by a (-) sign with the given number of points they are predicted to win by. The underdog, or the opponent not favorited, is indicated by a (+) and the number of points it will lose by.

For example; A casino establishes the point spread of a match of the Green Bay Packers vs. Detroit Lions at -7. In this scenario, the Packers are the favorites by 7 points. That means people can bet on the Packers winning by more than 7 or less than 7. If they're betting the Lions win, the wage falls under the second option.

If someone wages the Packers win by more than 7 and that happens, they win. If the Packers win by less than 7 (the Lions cover the spread), that person loses.