Unlike Ohio, College Prop Bets Are Legal In MI For March Madness

Written By Corey Sharp on March 18, 2024 - Last Updated on March 20, 2024

Michigan is one of five states that offers college basketball player prop bets. However, those bets are either banned or limited in the two states bordering Michigan to the south.

Ohio is one of the most recent markets to ban those forms of wagers. And, while Indiana does allow them, they only allow them in advance of games. Live college prop betting is not allowed.

However, hoops fans living in the Buckeye and Hoosier states can cross the Michigan border to bet on live props during March Madness.

March Madness betting in Michigan will be in full effect this week.

And Michigan online sportsbooks would be glad to welcome bettors from other states during March Madness. 

Cities in Ohio and Indiana close to Michigan border

Some cities in Ohio and Indiana are an easy drive away from Michigan.

Ohio sports bettors are likely to be feeling left out the most as the Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC) banned prop betting on college athletes last month. 

Toledo, OH is the largest city bordering the Michigan state line. A drive from downtown Toledo to the Ohio-Michigan border is only a seven-mile commute

There are several other smaller cities in Ohio that are not far from the border, either. Those cities include:

  • Swanton: 11 miles
  • Delta: 11 miles
  • Wauseon: 12 miles
  • Arch Bold: 13 miles
  • West Unity: 9 miles

It is a 20-minute drive, at most, into Michigan from any of the above cities. 

Indiana also borders Michigan and has a couple of cities that are within driving distance of the border. Fort Wayne is roughly 50 miles from Michigan.

Unfortunately, Notre Dame did not qualify for the NCAA Tournament. However, South Bend is nearly a seven-mile drive into Michigan. Fighting Irish fans who are interested in prop betting teams that did make it into the tourney, don’t have to travel too far at all.

Michigan schools competing in 2024 NCAA Tournament 

This year’s March Madness features double the number of Michigan teams from last year.

Michigan State was the only Great Lakes State representative in the tournament in 2023. The Spartans are going back this year, and will be joined by Oakland.

The Golden Grizzlies earned an automatic bid by winning the Horizon League tournament.

Michigan State, a perennial tournament team, received an at-large bid from the NCAA Tournament Committee. 

Both state schools are in action on Thursday. Oakland is a No. 14 seed, facing Kentucky at 7:10 p.m. in Pittsburgh. The Spartans, a No. 9 seed, are traveling to Charlotte to take on Mississippi State at 12:15 p.m. 

Live player prop bets particularly popular during March Madness

The EKG Line, a newsletter written by Eilers and Krejcik, reported that it expects the “first basket” props to be much more popular during March Madness than the regular season. It is also projecting that 40% of total March Madness handle will be live-bet. The newsletter said:

“Basketball attracts more live wagering than the NFL, for example, because it is more flowing and each score is less impactful to the final outcome, so operators can afford to keep lines up for longer without being ‘picked off.’”

March Madness fans can begin traveling to Michigan starting with First Four games on Tuesday and Wednesday. The full slate of first round games begin on Thursday.

March Madness games being held in Detroit

Also, March Madness fans can travel to Detroit to see some of the games live.

Little Caesars Arena will play host to a slate of Sweet 16 and Elite Eight games from March 29-31.

Detroit will also play host to the 2027 Final Four to be held at Ford Field.

Photo by Carlos Osorio / AP Photo
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Corey Sharp

Corey Sharp joined Catena Media in 2022 and is the go-to expert for Michigan gambling. Born and raised in Philadelphia, PA, he previously worked for the Philadelphia Inquirer and NBC Sports Philadelphia as a sports journalist and content producer. In Corey’s role as Lead Writer for PlayMichigan, he works alongside a talented team of expert journalists and analysts to bring you the most comprehensive and accurate coverage of gambling news in Michigan. Corey’s contacts around the industry makes him a trusted source. Corey produces daily stories and features about the gambling space. Corey graduated from Holy Family University in Philadelphia with a bachelor’s degree in sports management.

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