NBA Betting In Michigan

The Detroit Pistons are a Michigan sports institution. After all, the team has three NBA titles and a reputation as one of the toughest teams in basketball history.

Despite falling on some hard times lately, the team is as popular as ever in Michigan. That means when Michigan retail sportsbooks reopen, and Michigan sports betting goes online in late 2020 or early 2021, betting on the NBA should be as popular in the Great Lakes State as anywhere else in the country.

Here’s a complete look at how to bet on the NBA in Michigan, including where you can bet and what you can bet on. We also answer some of the biggest questions about NBA betting, NBA odds, and a few NBA betting tips as well.

How to bet on the NBA in Michigan

The NBA is one of the most fun, exciting, and easiest sports to bet on in Michigan. If you’re 21 and over you can bet on the NBA in person at retail sportsbooks across the state. Plus, as long as you’re inside state lines, you’ll soon be able to bet on the NBA statewide through Michigan online and mobile sportsbooks.

All Michigan sportsbooks allow you to book the following basic single-game wagers on all NBA games:

  • Moneylines: Pick a team to win and lock in the bet at posted odds. The odds will either be negative (favorite) or positive (underdog). Negative odds indicate how much you need to bet to win $100 plus your bet back. Positive odds indicate how much you stand to win, plus your bet back, for every $100 you bet.
  • Spreads: A spread bet factors in the difference in talent between two teams by determining a number of points a team must win or lose by. If the spread were Pistons -3, the Pistons would have to win by at least three points for your bet to cash.
  • Totals: Bet on whether the total combined score for both teams will be more or less than the line set by oddsmakers.

You can also book parlays, which allow you to combine two or more of the basic bets listed above into one. You will get paid better odds than individual bets, but there’s a catch. All the bets in the parlay must win for you to get paid.

NBA futures and props

Michigan sportsbooks also offer NBA futures markets where you can bet on various teams to win the NBA finals, their division, conference, or a portion of games throughout the season.

NBA futures are available all year long, although the odds are adjusted throughout the season.

You can also bet on NBA props at Michigan sportsbooks. NBA props are bets on various things within a game, including whether certain players or teams will reach specific statistical milestones.

Props and futures may also include bets on a player to win any one of the annual NBA awards, like the MVP or Defensive Player of the Year.

Futures may also include bets on a team to make the NBA Playoffs or win an NBA Playoffs series.

NBA live betting

Michigan gambling law allows for live betting on NBA games, which is betting in the middle of an NBA game on odds that change with the action.

The speed at which the action and the odds change make live betting better suited to online and mobile wagering, where you can bet faster than you might in a retail sportsbook environment.

Live betting presents a variety of unique betting opportunities for gamblers who watch NBA games. Live betting allows you to hedge bets that look like winners, pile on the winnings, or quickly make up for pre-game betting mistakes.

Where to bet on NBA games in Michigan

NBA betting was immediately available when the first Michigan retail sportsbooks opened in early March 2020. This included Detroit sportsbooks at:

The Michigan Gaming Control Board has also confirmed Michigan’s first online and mobile sportsbooks may open statewide as early as November 2020. In addition to the Detroit casinos, the state’s tribal casinos are allowed to offer licensed online and retail sports betting as well.

DraftKings Sportsbook, BetMGM, and FanDuel Sportsbook are sure to begin offering online and mobile NBA betting in Michigan at that time. These three operators have developed a reputation for offering the most comprehensive NBA betting options in other states and will bring that to Michigan as well. All three will offer a wide range of NBA betting options and competitive new player bonuses.

Plus, they are sure to offer a full slate of NBA in-game betting options to enhance your NBA game viewing and online and mobile NBA betting experience.

The NBA in Michigan

Detroit Pistons

The Detroit Pistons are Michigan’s only NBA team. Based in Detroit, the Pistons play in Little Caesars Arena in Midtown Detroit, which opened in 2017.

The Pistons have won three NBA titles, including the “Bad Boys” teams in 1989 and 1990, featuring stars Isiah Thomas, Dennis Rodman, and Bill Laimbeer, and the 2004 team led by Chauncey Billups, Richard Hamilton, and Rasheed Wallace.

The “Bad Boys” teams of the late 1980s and early 1990s cemented the Pistons’ reputation as one of the toughest teams in the NBA.

The 2019–20 NBA season

The 2019–20 NBA season began in October 2019, and the regular season was almost finished when it was suspended on March 11, 2020, due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.

In June 2020, the NBA announced a plan to resume the season on July 31, 2020, with just 22 teams playing eight regular-season games to finalize playoff seeding and a traditional 16-team NBA Playoffs at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.

The Pistons are not one of the 22 teams. They were 20–46 and out of playoff contention when the season was suspended. However, you will be able to bet on the remainder of the 2019–20 NBA season when Michigan sportsbooks reopen.

Pistons’ Rivals

Chicago Bulls

The Bulls are likely the Pistons’ greatest rivals. The Michael Jordan-era Bulls met the Bad Boys-era Pistons in the playoffs for four straight seasons from 1988 to 1991. Plus, Detroit and Chicago share a natural geographical rivalry.

The Bulls and Pistons both play in the Eastern Conference Central Division.

The Bulls play home games at the United Center in Chicago and have won six NBA championships, all between 1991 and 1998 with two three-peats led by Jordan, fellow Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen, and coach Phil Jackson.

Cleveland Cavaliers

The Cavs are perhaps the Pistons’ second-greatest rival. Teams made up mostly of players from the 2004 Pistons Championship team played the Lebron James-led Cavaliers in three playoff series between 2006 and 2009, including James’ first-ever playoff appearance.

The Cavaliers are also in the Eastern Conference Central Division and share a geographical rivalry with Detroit.

The team plays home games at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Downtown Cleveland and won their first and only NBA Championship in 2016.

Bet on WNBA in Michigan

You can also bet on the WNBA and WNBA games at Michigan legal sportsbooks.

Fewer teams and fewer games mean less parity in the WNBA, making it an attractive league for sports bettors.

The Detroit Shock was Michigan’s WNBA team from 1998 to 2009. The team was coached by Bad Boys-era Pistons legend Bill Laimbeer from 2002 to 2009 when it won three WNBA titles, in 2003, 2006, and 2008.

The Shock moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma in the 2010 season. In 2015, the Tulsa Shock moved to Dallas-Fort Worth and became the Dallas Wings.

The 2020 WNBA season was postponed in April 2020 because of the global COVID-19 pandemic. In June 2020, the league announced plans to hold a shortened 22-game regular season at Bradenton, Florida’s IMG Academy, without fans, beginning on July 24.

NBA betting strategy

The best NBA betting strategies are developed with real-life data put together by people who watch games and conduct exhaustive research. However, they always start with a clear understanding of how NBA betting lines are built.

NBA lines are set based on several factors, including:

  • Scheduling and location
  • Historical matchups
  • Lineups
  • Performance data

Oddsmaker often leans on a few fundamental principles as well, including the fact:

  • The best NBA team almost always wins
  • A home-court advantage exists
  • Only a few baskets decide most NBA games

You should also be considering all these factors when betting on the NBA because oddsmakers certainly are.

Line movement and line shopping

You should also shop around. The same line will be different at different sportsbooks, and there is no doubt there is some value to be found by shopping around for the best lines at Michigan sportsbooks.

If you can lay a lower price on favorites or get a better one on an underdog, you’ll be putting money in your pocket instead of the sportsbook. The launch of online and mobile betting in Michigan will make this infinitely easier.

You should also look for an NBA line movement. NBA betting lines only move because of injuries, or the betting action is one-sided.

It is understandable when a line moves because of an injury. Teams are forced to provide the lineup a half-hour before tipoff, and if a key player is missing, sportsbooks are right to adjust lines for the game.

It’s tougher to see why a line moves because of increased activity on one side. Essentially, sportsbooks are moving the NBA betting line to reduce their exposure.

This kind of movement is considered artificial. There’s no on-the-court reason for it, and it gives you the chance to take advantage of better prices. Oddsmakers are rarely wrong, so a bet on oddsmakers being right when they first set the line is always a good one.

Beginner NBA betting tips

The following five NBA betting tips for beginners are a great place to start when developing your own NBA betting strategy:

  1. Stars win: The best players in the NBA can sometimes win games all by themselves, but they can’t do much on the sidelines in a suit. Make sure to check injury reports to see who’s playing and who isn’t.
  2. Buzzer beaters: Most NBA games are decided by a single bucket. Find big spreads and take advantage of them by backing underdogs with a history of keeping games close.
  3. Few surprises: There simply aren’t that many upsets in the NBA. But as much as you can bet on the best team winning more often than not, there’s usually not much to choose from between the league’s upper echelon teams.
  4. There’s no place like home: The home-court advantage is real in the NBA. So, shop around for the best price you can find on home favorites and hammer away.
  5. Extra, extra: Read all about the NBA and watch as many games as you can before you bet. Become an expert on certain teams and bet on them exclusively to take advantage of the fact oddsmakers have to follow the entire NBA and can’t.

Most common betting mistakes you want to avoid

You should try to avoid chasing NBA betting losses. Increasing betting and bet sizing is just a quick way to go broke.

Avoid betting on home favorites exclusively. Every team loses sometimes. Finding the odd game where a road underdog is bound to upset the home team can provide the big boost your bankroll betting favorites can’t.

Finally, bet with your head, not your heart. Everyone in Michigan loves the Pistons, but the team on the court hasn’t exactly lived up to that love the past few seasons. Count on data and research to help you make picks instead.


When will the 2020 NBA Playoffs start?

The 2019-20 NBA season is tentatively scheduled to resume on July 31, 2020, in Orlando, Florida with the 13 Western Conference teams and nine Eastern Conference teams still in the hunt for the playoffs playing eight regular-season games to decide playoff seeding.

A best-of-two play-in series will also be held for the eighth seed in each conference if the ninth seed finishes within four games of the eighth spot.

Assuming all this will take about a month to complete, the 2020 NBA Playoffs should start at the end of August. The NBA has yet to announce a precise timeline, except to say The NBA Finals will end no later than Oct. 12.

Once the 16-team field is set, the NBA playoffs will proceed in a normal fashion with best-of-seven series in the First Round, Conference Semifinals, Conference Finals, and The Finals.



When will the 2020-21 NBA season start?

The resumption of the 2019-20 NBA season tentatively scheduled to begin on July 31, 2020, and end no later than Oct. 12 puts the normal late-October start of the 2020-21 NBA season in serious jeopardy.

If this plan goes ahead, the NBA says the start of the 2020-21 NBA regular season will likely be delayed until December 2020.


When is the NBA Draft Lottery and NBA Draft?

The temporary suspension of the 2019-20 NBA season changed things for the NBA Draft Lottery and NBA Draft.

The season is expected to start back up again on July 31, 2020. If that goes ahead as planned the NBA Draft Lottery will be held Aug. 25, 2020.

The 14 lottery teams will include the eight teams not participating in the restart and the six teams participating that do not make the playoffs.

The teams will be seeded in the lottery, according to their records through March 11, 2020.

The NBA Draft will go ahead on Oct. 15, 2020. The first 14 teams picked are based on the results of the lottery and the 16 playoff teams drafted in order of their records including restart games and the playoffs.


How do NBA spreads work?

NBA spreads generally work the same as other sports. Sportsbooks set a line on each game and that number is deducted from the favorite’s final score to determine betting winners.

Favorites need to win by these points or more to cover. Underdogs cover when they either win the game or lose by less than the points.

Since most NBA games are decided by one or two baskets, NBA spreads are generally low. However, you can also bet alternative spreads at adjusted odds at most Michigan sportsbooks.


How do NBA totals work?

NBA totals are over/under bets on a line combining the score of both teams. If the total combined score hits the line exactly, all bets push and are returned. A half-point is often added to totals lines.

Overtime counts, unless the sportsbook specifies, which is why anyone betting the over is usually smiling when teams are tied at the end of regulation. An additional five minutes of play almost guarantees the over.

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