How to Bet on Sports in Tennessee
Tennessee, land of music and unbeatable BBQ (don’t tweet @ us, Texans) is home to a collection of sports betting platforms to enjoy. Online sports betting is growing in popularity all over the US, and with Tennessee added to the list of states with legal, regulated online betting, there’s a lot to learn and participate in. It may seem daunting for the novice bettor, but this guide and a bit of practice will give you an edge when you start making your first legal sports bets.
Best Tennessee Sports Betting Apps
Getting Started with a Legal Online Sportsbook
Getting started with any legal, online sportsbooks in Tennessee will require you to provide a bit of personal information and in some cases, download an app or plugin to your computer or smartphone. Once you’ve secured the apps, get an idea of how the platform feels, and then make your first deposit, making sure to take advantage of any promotions that might be available– these are a sports bettor’s bread and butter.
First off, let’s discuss the process of getting access to a legal, regulated online sportsbook in Tennessee.
- If you’ll be playing from your desktop computer, when you create your account, you will need to download the location plugin and be connected to WiFi.
- If you’ll be playing from iOS devices, in most cases you can find the mobile sportsbook apps directly on the App Store. Enable location sharing whenever wagering with iOS online sportsbooks.
- Users playing on Android should expect to download the APK installer files from their preferred sportsbook’s website and install them manually, making sure to enable “installations from unknown sources”. Don’t worry, all of the apps recommended below are safe to install. Again, as with iOS and dekstop, you must share your location whenever wagering with an Android-based mobile sportsbook.
So you’ve gotten on your preferred mobile or desktop version and you’re ready to sign up for your preferred online sportsbook. The process is always going to be a little bit different, but expect the following:
- Online sportsbooks will ask you to choose an email to associate with the account in addition to a preferred password.
- You’ll have to share certain personal details in order to legally wager with the service, including the last four digits of your SSN, your birthdate, phone number and your legal name. Some services also require you to share your address.
- Lastly, you’ll be required to agree to the terms and conditions, including confirming that you are 21 and older. At this point, you’ll often be prompted to enter any promo codes if you have them.
Funding your Online Sports Betting Account
When you’re ready to make your first deposit and start placing sports bets, you’ll have to do that through one of several available deposit methods. These differ from site to site, so it’s always a good idea to check your preferred sportsbook’s banking page to see a list of methods specific to that platform.
Here’s a list of common ways you can make deposits to your Tennessee online sports betting account (subject to change between sportsbooks):
- Online bank transfer
- ACH/eCheck (sometimes through VIP Preferred)
Whenever making your first deposit, don’t forget to check on your preferred sportsbook’s promotions page– there are often deposit-specific promotions and bonuses that can net you some extra betting cash or cut back on your initial risk, but they only trigger with your first deposit.
Legal Sports to Bet on in Tennessee
Here’s a list of sports that are available for wagering in Tennessee:
- Football (including NCAA and NFL)
- Basketball (including NCAA, NBA, and WNBA)
- Soccer (including MLS, FIFA, and more)
- Motorsport (NASCAR, Formula One)
- Aussie Rules Football
Of course, this is an incomplete list that is subject-to-change: sportsbooks don’t all offer the same sports, so check with your preferred sports betting provider for a better idea of what’s available for wagering. Additionally, unlike some other states, Tennessee has restrictions on collegiate prop bets and restrictions on bets on injuries, so you won’t be able bet on player props for the Vols games or on some player’s swollen ACL to go boom.
Six months of America’s true favorite sport await you in September. (Baseball might be “as American as apple pie”, but football takes the cake in terms of viewership and betting handle.) Tennessee-based bettors, whether they live there or are just visiting, will be able to bet on all kinds of preseason, regular-season games, the playoffs, and the Super Bowl. Sports betting in America is football first, others second, so expect to find live and pregame bets on everything from the the first TD scorer through to if the game will need extra time. Of course, betting on the Titans will absolutely be available to bettors in TN.
The NBA is a spread bettor’s paradise, and it’s no wonder that online sportsbooks worth their salt will want to offer bets on all kinds of NBA games from October to March. With Tennessee online sportsbooks, you’ll be able to bet on the Grizzlies in addition to a whole host of pre-season and in-season games, all the way through to game 7 of the finals.
The Nashville Predators are alive and well on Tennessee sports betting sites. NHL betting is available all season, from October to June, including playoff games and the NHL championship. Bettors in TN will be happy to jump on puckline bets in addition to a whole host of available in-play bets, prop bets and more.
College Sports Betting
You can bet that there will be no shortage of NCAA action to bet on in Tennessee, including everyone’s favorite early spring showdown, March Madness, the College Football Playoffs, and everything in between including pregame and live, in-play bets. Collegiate player props aren’t available to bettors in TN, but other than this small absence, a pretty full menu of NCAA bets is being offered.
Bets on hometown favorites like the Volunteers or the Calipari-led Wildcats are readily available on Tennessee sports betting websites, so you’ll be able to place bets on all your favorite in-season and playoff games, in addition to the aforementioned national championships. It’s a good idea to check the promotions page for NCAA-specific boosts and other bonuses throughout the year, too.
Popular Bet Types
When you’ve decided what you want to bet on, now the trick is deciding how to bet. Your standard moneyline bet is always a good choice for a beginner, but what about the more experienced sports bettor looking to play with risk and reward? Here’s a breakdown of some of the bet types available with Tennessee online sportsbooks:
These bets are also known as “straight-up” bets — simply look at the odds and pick your favorite to win. For example, if your underdog is slated at +400 to win, a $100 bet on that team would net you $400.
The spread refers to the anticipated difference between the scores of the two teams. For example, if a team is favored by 10 points, that team will have to “cover” the spread by over 10 points in order for a bettor to make a profit. If that team, favored at +10, wins but only by 10 points, that bet is refunded (and is referred to as a push).
Also referred to as the over/under, you’re going to be betting on the total number of points scored, hence the name totals. This is also called the over/under because your choices are to bet over or under a set number of predicted total points scored by both teams. For example, if you expect a match to be competitive but high-scoring, an “over” bet can be a good choice.
Parlays are your first entrée to the world of multiples, wherein you combine more than one wager into a combined bet. If all of your parlayed bets hit their marks, you’ll win, but if just one of your legs falls out from under you, the bet will be counted as a loss. A parlay bet will also affect the overall odds of your given bets: hitting all two, three, five, or more legs will be less likely than hitting just one single bet leading to a higher potential payout.
Teasers are essentially parlays that let the user adjust the spreads by a few points, usually 5.5 to 7.5. For example, if you’ve got the Buccs to win at a spread of +10 but you expect the point spread to be closer to 8, you can adjust the entire set of bets by -5.5. Of course, this means that both legs of your teaser get bumped up 5.5 points and will result is less adventageous odds, so make sure you think that your favored team will cover the spread.
Props are bets on things that do not affect the outcome of the game. This can be specific to the sport, like “first to make a 40+ yard return” or specific to players, like “Gronk makes three receptions before halftime”. In some cases, prop bets have nothing to do with the sport and are bets on random events, like “color of the Gatorade dumped on the coach” or “mascot slips on the bleachers”. Playing props shouldn’t be a bettor’s primary pursuit, but they’re fun, and often offer boosted odds that can increase the expected value of a bet.
Live or In-Play Bets
Just what they sound like, live or in-play bets occur as the action is happening. These fast-paced bets were previously impossible before the advent of legal, online sportsbooks– by the time you were ready to place a wager, the action had already happened. With online sportsbooks, bettors can place live, in-play bets with constantly changing odds on in-game events (including props) as the action unfolds.
Moneyline Pricing and the “Vig”
It’s a good idea to think of American odds (given as +/- values) as denominations of $100 bets. For example, let’s think of a hypothetical match between New England and Green Bay:
- New England moneyline: -150
- Green Bay moneyline: +200
We can discern a few things from this. First off, we know we’re making a moneyline bet, which is a bet on one of these teams to win the game, no matter by how many points. Secondly, we can tell which team is the favorite from the odds given as positive or negative values, which directly correlate to how much money one can win on a bet.
In this example, a $150 bet on the Patriots would net you $100, since the odds on the favorite are a negative value. Another way of thinking about bets on a favorite is that the odds indicate how much you’d need to wager to win $100. In the case above, to win $100, you have to wager an amount matching the absolute value of the favorite’s odds: 150. So, in simpler terms, a winning $150 bet on the Patriots would end up paying out $250, the $150 bet plus $100 profit.
On the other end of the spectrum, when you are betting the underdog (indicated with a + in the odds) the profit on a $100 is indicated by the number after the + symbol. In the example listed above, a $100 bet on Green Bay would payout $300 that includes your original $100 bet plus $200 profit.
Of course, if sportsbooks were simply taking in bet money and paying out 100% of the profits every time, they’d go bankrupt. That’s where the vig comes in– that’s how the sportsbook pays the rent.
The vig (also referred to as the juice) is the amount that the online sportsbook is charging for a bet. This is usually calculated into the pricing of a standard bet, and is typically around -110. This means that for a $100 bet, you’ll win around $91, with the other $10 going to the house to cover their fees. Take a look at the odds for a totals (over/under) bet to get an idea of what your preferred sportsbook is pricing for a given line.
If we are breaking this down in terms of $100 profit, it would take a $110 bet to net a profit of $100 on that -110 odds example. Different online sportsbooks will offer varying juice on particular bets, so it is always recommended to shop around for the best price, especially on prop bets. The juice may not sound like a lot when you think of it on one bet, but consistently paying high vig can add up.
Placing a Legal Sports Bet
Placing a legal sports bet in Tennessee is about as straightforward as it gets, especially using this guide as a companion. The process will look pretty much the same for most competitive online sportsbooks, but for the sake of this article we’ll use screenshots from DraftKings as a guide.
When your first deposit is secured and you’ve taken advantage of welcome offers and bonus promo codes, you’re ready to place your first sports bet. Taking a look at the DraftKings platform on desktop, you’ll be greeted with a screen that looks like this:
Scroll through the lines to find your preferred matchup, and click (or tap on mobile) to choose that line for a bet. You’ll note that now, that bet goes over to your betslip, which typically docks to the right on desktop or slides up from the bottom on mobile. Here’s what that looks like on DraftKings:
You’ll see that the platform has already noticed that you’re placing two singles bets, so you’ll default to being on the Parlay tab. You can, of course, just place those two singles bets by navigating to the Singles tab, or you can stay on the Parlay tab to combine bets for a higher payout if you expect both to win. If you want to add more legs to a bet, simply click or tap on your preferred line once again. You can also click or tap over to the Round Robins tab to join those parlays into two-team matchups (up to five).
Note that the platform will specify whether you’ve made a moneyline, totals, or spread bets right on the line. The betslip will also calculate your potential payout right there. This process is essentially identical on mobile devices.
Promotions are a great way to lower your initial risk and increase the expected value of a given bet. They’re all over the place at Tennessee online sportsbooks, and it can be a bit daunting as to which promotion to opt-in for. We’ve broken it down for you, including how your basic promotional offer might work, and the fine print you should watch out for.
Here’s a list of common promotions available with Tennessee online sportsbooks:
- Deposit match bonuses are welcome offers wherein an operator will match a user’s deposit up to a certain amount. Your boilerplate deposit match bonus is a 100% deposit match up to $500. Deposit up to $500 and, dollar-for-credit, the site will match your initial deposit with betting credit. We call this “credit” because you can’t just sign up, deposit $500, net the bonus, and withdraw $1000– that extra $500 is credit that can be wagered, but doesn’t count as cash until you put it in play.
- “Risk-free” bets are promotions that enable users to get free bets or site credit as a consolation for a lost wager. For example, a 100% risk-free bet up to $500 means that users can make an initial deposit of up to $500, place their first wager up to $500, and if that wager is lost, the platform will credit you with a bet credit matching that amount. We use quotation marks when describing “risk-free” bets because any bets placed using your free bet credit can still be lost, meaning there’s not 0% risk.
- Free bets are often given in addition to the above bonuses, usually coming in the form of one, two, or three free bets of small denominations (around $10). Unlike the above deposit and “risk-free” bonuses, these free bets typically do not require users to make an initial deposit.
- Boosted odds are promotions offered throughout the year on specific lines, including moneylines, spreads, prop bets, and more. What these boosted odds promotions do is add a bit more value to a bet by adding a bit more onto the line’s expected odds. For example, you might see a parlay boost offering an additional 20% to your payout if your 2-team parlay works out.
Often, there are wagering requirements that come with promotions, so do read the fine print. Typically, these are “playthrough requirements” of anywhere from 1 to 15x, meaning that you have to put a certain multiple of the bonus amount in play in order to net the full bonus amount. For example, a $500 deposit match with a 5x wagering requirement would mean that you would have to put the equivalent of $2500 in bets in play. This can be as simple as making ten $25 bets– it doesn’t mean you have to risk $2500 worth of your own money.
In addition to the above, many online sportsbooks are offering loyalty programs which are essentially “comp” programs that earn users rewards based on how much money they spend with a given platform. These complimentary bonuses often come in the form of cashback rewards, VIP promotions, and access to hosts, events, and other benefits that operators give out to incentivize their spenders. If your preferred online sportsbook offers a loyalty program, it’s almost a good idea to sign up, as they’re typically free and net you rewards just for playing.
Bankroll management is likely the most important aspect of any online sports betting experience, and can often stand in the way between you and your success as a bettor.
The first tip that any online sports bettor will tell you is to keep your betting funds separate. Betting, as we all know, is not an investment strategy; it’s best not to co-mingle betting cash with your real money, lest you bet some money that you actually didn’t want to lose.
Another good idea is to bet a small percentage of your bankroll, not the whole thing. Sticking to a small “unit size” is a trusted strategy for building your bankroll over time. Of course, we’d all love to hit that one YOLO bet where we throw caution to the wind and bet it all, but that’s not an ideal strategy because you’re not going to be able to build a bankroll this way. This means the betting fun is over as soon as you lose. The fun of sports betting isn’t just betting, but being able to stay in the game long enough to take advantage of boosted bets, player props or a line with stellar odds.
Many bettors will tell you to consider every withdrawal from your bankroll as a loss. This sounds counterintuitive, as a withdrawal technically means that money is becoming usable for you. However, a small bankroll will affect your ability to bet through a whole season and, as we’ve mentioned, take advantage of odds boosts, promotions, and other situations where the value of the bet is higher than expected.
We refer to these situations as +EV situations, or “positive expected value”, where a bettor can benefit from higher-than-average payouts due to promos, props, shopping around for lines, etc. Staying in the game is tantamount to winning, so don’t throw your whole bankroll to the wind on a bet with negative expected value.
Glossary of Sports Betting Terms
Now that you’re ready to place your bets, here’s a handy glossary in case you run across a concept that is unfamiliar:
- Cover: “Covering the spread” is to win by more points than you were expected to win. For example, if the Packers are favored to win by 3 points, we’d see a +3 next to their line indicating the spread. If they win by four points, they’ve “covered the spread”.
- Handle/Hold: The handle is the amount of money wagered on a certain game or event at one sportsbook. The hold is, simply, how much that sportsbook was able to keep after paying out winnings.
- Juice: This is another term for vig, referring to the amount a sportsbook will charge for bets on a given line.
- Favorite: The team favored to win, represented by negative odds.
- Buying Points: When you bet a teaser, you’re allowed to adjust your spread by a set number of points. Some operators will allow you to buy points, usually costing around 10 cents of juice. For example, if your team is favored to win by 3 points, but you want to avoid a “push”, you can buy a half point to set the spread at 2.5 so your team covers the spread.
- Push: When your team meets the spread but doesn’t cover it, voiding the bet. For example, if the spread is set at 3 for your favorite to win and they win by exactly 3 points, the bet is a “push”: essentially a tie.
- +/- EV: EV stands for expected value, and is an important factor to consider when placing a bet. For example, the expected value of a coin toss is 0, because there’s a 50% chance of winning or losing. If promotions, stale lines, or other considerations like boosted bets come into play, the expected value of a bet often becomes a positive number. That’s not to say that betting on -EV lines is a bad idea: EV is simply a measure of the likelihood of profiting over time.
- Over: When you’re placing an over/under bet, the bookmaker will set an expected total number of points scored by both teams. The “over” refers to point totals higher than this expected culmulative score. Typically, over/under bets will start at odds of -110 on each side– there’s no underdog or favorite here, as you’re not betting on a team to win, but rather the amount of points scored by both.
- Dog: The underdog, the team or competitor that is less favored to win.