Best NFL betting sites in Ohio

Your guide to NFL betting in Ohio

Apr 28, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; A general overall view of FirstEnergy Stadium. The stadium is | Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The biggest sport in the United States to bet on is the NFL, and with teams playing just 17 regular season games, there are only so many matchups to bet on throughout a season. 

That makes each week, including the playoffs, a huge betting event for sports bettors everywhere, and a chance to add some extra incentive to watching games. 

In Ohio, the Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals represent the state’s NFL squads, and Cincinnati has been one of the best teams in the NFL the past two seasons, making the Super Bowl in the 2021 season. 

While there are plenty of avid bettors already in Ohio, it’s also a relatively new market for some. Here’s a full guide of the best betting sites in the state, tips on how to bet on the NFL and the types of wagers you can place in the upcoming NFL season. 

Best NFL betting sites in Ohio

There are several different betting sites that are available in Ohio, and the best ones even have partnerships with the state’s two NFL teams. 

These sites offer tons of different bet options from spreads, moneylines and totals all the way to prop bets on specific players and quarters in a game. Each book offers competitive odds with the competition in the state to give bettors a great experience. With so many options, you are able to shop lines for the best price each week of the NFL season. 

Here are different sportsbooks that you can use in Ohio to bet on the NFL as well as some of the features that they offer:  

Cincinnati Bengals betting partnerships

Prior to the 2022 season, the Cincinnati Bengals agreed to a multi-year partnership to make Betfred the team's official sports betting partner.

When online gambling was legalized in Ohio in January of 2023, Betfred was allowed to operate in the state, launching a mobile sports betting app for bettors, and fans of the Bengals, to place bets on sporting events anywhere in the state of Ohio. 

Cleveland Browns betting partnerships

The Cleveland Browns also have a betting partner in the state. They announced a long-term partnership with Bally Interactive as the official sports betting partner of the team.

As part of the partnership with Bally Interactive, the Browns had planned to set up a Bally-themed lounge at FirstEnergy Stadium which would allow fans ages 21 and up to enjoy the experience of the stadium in a fun sports-betting experience while also seeing games from across the league that day. 

Tips for those new to NFL betting

Betting on the NFL isn’t easy, but there are a few things that new bettors can do to give them the best chance to succeed and become profitable throughout a season. 

One of the first keys is to manage your expectations. When betting, you aren’t going to hit big on your first try, and attempting crazy parlays to hit on a big payout is a way to go down fast, not to become profitable. 

Instead, sticking to smarter, single bets is a good way to get an advantage. Here are a few other tips for when you start out betting on the NFL: 

  • Track the lines from the initial release to find the best number: Spreads, moneylines and totals for NFL games will be released several days in advance, and the numbers can change based on injuries, weather conditions and how other bettors are wagering on the game. It’s a good practice to follow the odds all week to see if you can get a number you are comfortable with betting on.
  • Trust your own process: Everyone is different when it comes to placing a bet. Some people will rely heavily on statistics, others will look at current form and some will use a gut feeling. The key for bettors is believing in your pick and riding with it. Don’t let outside influences change your mind at the last second. Sure, it’s important to stay up to date on news about the game, but don’t strictly make a bet based on someone’s opinion if you have done the work to craft a pick yourself. If you have done the research and believe you have the right play, trust it. 
  • You don’t have to bet every game: This is one of the most important tips that I can give for a beginning bettor. If you feel like you have an edge on a game, player prop or another bet, go for it. But don’t just place a wager for the sake of placing one. It’s important to be selective to make sure you are making an informed pick. 

Reading NFL odds

Each week, every NFL game is going to have a spread, moneyline and total for bettors to look at. If you’re first starting out, it’s understandable to not know what each means. Let’s break it down. 

Say we’re looking at a game between the Bengals and Browns next season. The spread may look like this:

  • Bengals -2.5 (-110)
  • Browns +2.5 (-110)

In this scenario, oddsmakers are setting the Bengals as 2.5-point favorites (-2.5) against the Browns. This means, for a bet on the Bengals spread to win, they need to win the game by three or more points. For the Browns, they must win the game outright or lose by two or fewer points to win the bet. 

The spread is how the oddsmakers make the matchup “even” between two teams. The odds (-110) show how much a bettor can win by placing a bet. In this instance, a $110 bet would net the bettors $100 in profit if the bet wins. 

Moneylines and totals have similar concepts. 

With a moneyline, you are simply betting on which team will win the game. Because of this, the odds for the favorite will be higher than the underdog, looking something like this:

  • Bengals: -145
  • Browns +115

For a total or over/under bet, you are wagering on the total number of points scored in a game. So, it may look something like:

  • Total: 50.5 (Over -110/Under -110)

In this case, an OVER bettor would need 51 or more points scored in the game, while an UNDER bettors would need 50 or fewer points scored to win the bet. 

Calculating your payouts

Before placing a bet, it’s natural to want to know how much you can win if the wager goes in your favor. The amount of the payout depends on the odds, but with American odds it is fairly easy to calculate since everything is based on winning $100 or a $100 bet. 

Let’s use the moneyline example from earlier, where the Bengals were favored over the Browns. 

  • Bengals: -145
  • Browns +115

Here’s how you would calculate the payout for each:

Bengals (negative odds): With negative odds, you need to risk the amount, in this case $145, to profit $100. So, if the Bengals win, a $145 bet would win $100. If you only bet $100 on the Bengals, here’s how you can calculate that use a formula:

  • Calculation for negative odds: Bet amount/(odds/100) = Potential profit

In this case, it would look like: 100/(145/100), which comes to 100/1.45 = $68.97.

Browns (positive odds): Calculating bets with positive odds is much easier, as they show how much money one would win when risking $100. If the Browns win in this scenario, a Browns bettor would profit $115 on a $100 bet. 

  • Calculation for positive odds: Bet amount * (odds/100) = Potential profit

In this case, it would look like: 100 * (115/100), which comes to 100 * 1.15 = $115.

The bright side is that sportsbooks in Ohio do this calculation for you, so once you place an amount in your betslip, it will show the potential winnings. 

Ohio NFL betting markets

We’ve discussed a ton of different wagers that one can place on the NFL at various sportsbooks, but what do they exactly mean? 

If you’re new to betting, it's understandable to not completely grasp some of the different types of bets that you can place. Luckily, we have a full breakdown of each of them for you!

Spread bets

A spread bet is one of the most common bets to place on NFL games. The spread is the number of points that a sportsbook sets between two teams to deem the matchup as even. 

For example, if the Browns play the Bengals in the 2023 season, the odds may look something like this: 

  • Bengals -3.5 (-110)
  • Browns +3.5 (-110)

In this example, oddsmakers are favoring the Bengals by 3.5 points, meaning they need to win by four or more points for your bet to cash. If you bet on the Browns in this example, they either need to win the game outright or lose by three or fewer points to hit the bet. 

The spread favors the team that is deemed “better” in a given matchup. The odds, in this case -110, on either side of the spread show how much betters would need to risk to win $100. So, in this case a $110 bet on the Bengals at -3.5 would net the bettor $100 if Cincy covers. 

Moneylines

Another popular NFL bet is the moneyline, which is simply choosing the team that is going to win the game. When taking a moneyline bet, the spread is no longer factored in, so you don’t need the team you pick to win by a certain number of points. 

Let’s stick with our Browns-Bengals example from above. The moneyline for that game could look something like this: 

  • Bengals: -180
  • Browns: +140

The Bengals, who are favored in this scenario, are set at minus odds, which means bettors would need to risk $180 to win $100 if Cincy wins. The Browns, set at +140, are a different story. Since they are the underdog in this game, a $100 bet would win $140 if Cleveland wins the game. 

While taking the moneyline means that you won’t get as large of a return on a favorite as you would when betting the spread, it takes out the stress of covering a number and all bettors have to focus on is the actual winner of the game. 

Over/Unders (Total bets)

Over/Under or total bets are a wager on the total number of points scored in an NFL game. Oddsmakers will set a line based on the previous performances of the teams, the weather at the game, their defensive ability and offensive ability to come up with a number. 

Here’s a potential example for a total for a Bengals vs. Browns NFL game:

  • Over 48.5 (-110)
  • Under 48.5 (-110)

For an OVER bet to hit in this situation, the Bengals and Browns need to combine for 49 or more points in the game. For an UNDER bet to hit in this scenario, the total number of points has to be 48 or lower. 

Here’s what the result would be based on some hypothetical scores:

  • Bengals 24, Browns 21 – UNDER 48.5 
  • Browns 37, Bengals 27 – OVER 48.5
  • Browns 23, Bengals 20 – UNDER 48.5

It’s also possible to PUSH on a total if it is set at a full number, for example 51.0. If the game finishes with exactly 51 points in that instance, bettors would push, meaning their initial bet will be returned to them. 

Parlays

Parlays are a fun way to bet on the NFL, but they are not a great way to bet profitable. 

Parlay bets are when bettors put multiple bets, or legs, together to increase the odds on a bet. 

For example, if you want to take the Browns and Bengals to win in the same week, that is a parlay bet. However, both teams need to win for the parlay bet to win. 

NFL parlay bet example

  • Bengals ML (-150) vs. Baltimore Ravens
  • Cleveland Browns ML (+110) vs. Los Angeles Chargers
  • Nick Chubb OVER 72.5 Rushing Yards (-125)

In this scenario, the bettor needs the Browns to win, the Bengals to win and Nick Chubb to run for 73 or more yards for the bet to cash. If one of these bets is wrong, then the parlay loses. That’s why it is hard to be profitable long term with parlay betting. 

Sportsbooks profit in a big way off of parlay bets because they are harder to win since they are increased odds, therefore less likely to happen. 

Teasers

 A teaser bet gives a bettor the ability to move the spread for two or more NFL games, although the odds will shift as well as a result. 

Let’s look at a potential example using the Browns and Bengals. Let’s say their odds for an upcoming week look like this:

  • Bengals -2.5 vs. Baltimore Ravens
  • Browns +1.5 vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

In this case, a bettor can use a six-point teaser to move the odds for both games so they now look like this: 

  • Bengals +4.5 vs. Baltimore Ravens
  • Browns +7.5 vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

That way, bettors are essentially buying a touchdown, but they have to combine the two bets together for the bet to cash. By doing this, you are agreeing to take less or a return, but you have more cushion on the spread for the bet itself to hit. 

Futures

Futures are long-term bets that usually take the entire NFL season, or at least a good chunk of it to happen. 

Here are a few examples of futures bets:

  • Super Bowl Winner
  • Division and Conference Winners
  • Player Awards such as MVP, DPOY, Rookie of the Year and more
  • Odds to Make or Miss the Playoffs
  • Regular Season Win Totals

These futures odds will move over time based on a team’s performance throughout the season. If a team starts off with a good record, its Super Bowl odds will likely shrink from where they started ahead of the season. 

Here’s what the odds look like for the AFC North division this season in the futures market:

The futures market is a great place to shop around odds, as there may be a discrepancy from sportsbook to sportsbook. For example, one sportsbook could have the Bengals at +900 to win the Super Bowl while another may have them at +1100. Getting the better price will help you increase your payout if the team ends up winning the bet. 

Prop bets

Prop bets are side wagers that involve something happening in the game. There are various types of prop bets, including player props (wagers on specific players) and game props. 

An example of a game prop is something such as a single team’s total points such as:

  • Bengals Team Total: 23.5 (Over -110/Under -110)

A player prop can be taken on players scoring touchdowns, their passing, rushing or receiving yards and even defensive and special teams props. 

An example would be Joe Burrow’s passing yards for a game:

  • Joe Burrow Passing Yards: 255.5 (Over -110/Under -110)

There are a ton of prop bets that can be taken in NFL games, and the odds on either side of the prop can vary (they won’t primarily be -110 like totals or spreads). For props like touchdown scorers, they’ll usually have several players at plus odds to find the end zone. 

NFL playoff betting

Following the NFL regular season, there are 14 teams that make the playoffs in each conference. 

The No. 1 seed in each conference receives a bye, while the No. 2 through No. 7 seeds play to advance to the divisional round. 

There are different rounds of the NFL playoffs including:

  • Wild Card Round (first round) – six total games
  • Divisional Round (second round) – four total games
  • Conference Championship (semifinals) – two total games
  • Super Bowl (Championship) – one game

Bettors can wager on futures for teams to make the playoffs, win the conference and win or appear in the Super Bowl. 

With fewer matchups, bettors will have more time to focus on certain teams when betting the board. The NFL playoffs are usually heavily bet, so there can be a lot of odds movement as the week progresses.

Super Bowl betting

The Super Bowl is the biggest betting event of the NFL season. There are a variety of bets offered in the Super Bowl, and with two teams facing for the championship, everyone seems to have a take on who will win. 

The Super Bowl is home to unique betting props such as the coin toss result, Gatorade bath color and length of the National Anthem. 

During the Super Bowl, there are extra prop offerings as well compared to regular season and some playoff games. 

Bettors can also wager on who will win the Super Bowl MVP award, usually given to the best performer on the winning team of the game. 

Betting on the Super Bowl can be a fun experience, especially since there are two weeks between the Super Bowl and Conference Championship Games, giving bettors plenty of time to prepare. 

NFL live betting

One cool element to betting on the NFL is live betting. 

This allows bettors to wager on a game while it is going on, with updated lines based on how the game had unfolded to that point. 

Here are a few examples of live bets that you can place: 

  • Live moneyline, spread and total odds
  • Live Player, team and game props (with updated lines)
  • The result of a team’s current drive
  • The results of quarters and halves

Live betting can be a fun experience for bettors who believe they have a handle on a game based on how a team starts. It also can allow opportunities to occasionally cash in on a favorable moneyline when a team makes a comeback. 

This is a great way to stay engaged throughout a game if you’d like to wager on it. 

Ohio NFL TV and Radio coverage

How to watch NFL in Ohio

There are various different ways to watch NFL games in Ohio, including the Browns and Bengals. 

Games will be broadcast these various outlets throughout the season depending on the matchup day, location and time:

  • CBS
  • FOX
  • ESPN (Monday Night Football)
  • NBC Sports (Sunday Night Football)
  • Paramount Plus (CBS Streaming)
  • Amazon Prime Video (Thursday Night Football)
  • NFL Sunday Ticket
  • NFL RedZone
  • NFL Mobile App/NFL Network

Local games will be broadcast on one of these networks throughout the season. Fans can also watch games on their respective team’s app by signing into a TV provider. 

How to listen to NFL in Ohio

There are several ways to listen to NFL games on the radio as well. Both the Bengals and Browns have their own radio networks for fans to tune into games. 

Here are a few other ways to listen to NFL games: 

  • NFL Game Pass
  • Westwood One
  • Sirius XM Radio

Westwood One is the exclusive network radio home for every NFL primetime and postseason game. 

Ohio NFL players

Quarterbacks

Joe Burrow, Quarterback, Cincinnati Bengals

There may not be a more famous player in the state of Ohio right now than Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, Burrow led Cincinnati to the Super Bowl in the 2021 season and the AFC Championship Game in the 2022 season. 

He’s one of the few quarterbacks to beat Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes in the playoffs, and he’s put up amazing numbers through his first three seasons with the Bengals. Burrow has recorded 82 touchdown passes and just 31 interceptions in 41 career games, leading the NFL in competition percentage in the 2021 season. 

He’s one of the favorites to win the NFL’s MVP Award this season. 

Deshaun Watson, Quarterback, Cleveland Browns

Deshaun Watson has been at the center of controversy over the past two seasons for allegations of sexual assault, making the Browns’ trade for him prior to the 2022 season one of the more scrutinized moves in the NFL. 

Watson was suspended to start the season, and the Browns ended up missing the playoffs. However, the team is hoping with a full season ahead of him in 2023 that Watson can bring the team to the promised land. 

A former first-round pick, Watson is a three-time Pro Bowler and has gone to the playoffs in two of his NFL seasons.

Wide Receivers

Ja’Marr Chase, Wide Receiver, Cincinnati Bengals

The No. 5 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, Ja’Marr Chase is on the short list for the title of best receiver in the NFL. 

Across 29 games in two seasons, Chase has 2,501 receiving yards and 22 touchdowns. He cleared 1,000 yards in the 2022 season despite playing in just 12 games due to injury. 

A teammate of Burrow’s at LSU, Chase has carried that chemistry with his quarterback into the NFL. He’s been an unstoppable weapon early in his career. 

Tee Higgins, Wide Receiver, Cincinnati Bengals

Bengals receiver Tee Higgins may be the best No. 2 option in the NFL. 

A second-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, Higgins has racked up 3,028 receiving yards and 19 touchdowns in his first three NFL seasons. 

He’s an elite downfield threat, and when he’s paired with Chase, the Bengals are arguably the most dangerous offense in the NFL. Higgins has at least 67 catches, 908 receiving yards and six scores in each of his first three seasons. 

Amari Cooper, Wide Receiver, Cleveland Browns

Acquired in a deal with the Dallas Cowboys prior to the 2022 season, Amari Cooper was the top target for the Browns. 

The former first-round pick made 78 catches for 1,160 yards and nine scores in his first season in Cleveland. He’s gone over 1,000 receiving yards in six of his eight NFL seasons and is one of the more consistent options on the outside in the entire league. 

Elijah Moore, Wide Receiver, Cleveland Browns

A second-round pick by the New York Jets in the 2021 NFL Draft, Elijah Moore was traded to the Browns this offseason. 

Moore starred at Ole Miss, but poor quarterback play in New York really limited his numbers over his first two seasons. As a rookie, Moore had a six-game stretch where he reeled in 34 of 51 targets for 459 yards and five touchdowns. 

The Browns hope he can bring that production and more to their offense. 

Running Backs

Nick Chubb, Running Back, Cleveland Browns

One of the best running backs in the NFL resides in Cleveland. Nick Chubb, a four-time Pro Bowler, is a great player to target weekly in the prop market for bettors due to his insane consistency. 

After rushing for 996 yards in a timeshare as a rookie, Chubb has four straight seasons with over 1,000 rushing yards, posting a career-high 1,525 rushing yards and 12 rushing scores in the 2022 season. 

Chubb may be the best offensive player for Cleveland heading into the 2023 season.

Joe Mixon, Running Back, Cincinnati Bengals

A second-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, Joe Mixon has been a workhorse for the Bengals since taking over the starting role in the 2018 season. 

He’s posted three seasons with over 1,000 rushing yards, and he’s scored 50 combined rushing and receiving touchdowns in his NFL career. Mixon may have an even bigger role in the 2023 season after his backup, Samaje Perine, signed with the Denver Broncos in the offseason. 

Greatest Ohio NFL players of all time

There are plenty of great players in the history of these two franchises, and Burrow honestly is on his way to becoming arguably the best player to ever wear a Bengals uniform. 

Here’s a list of the best players from each franchise:

Greatest Players in Cincinnati Bengals History

  • Anthony Munoz, Offensive Tackle (1980-1992)
  • Boomer Esiason, Quarterback (1984-1992, 1997)
  • Chad Ochocinco, Wide Receiver (2001-2010)
  • Corey Dillon, Running Back (1997-2003)
  • Ken Anderson, Quarterback (1971-1986)

Greatest Players in Cleveland Browns History

  • Jim Brown, Running Back (1957–1965)
  • Otto Graham, Quarterback (1946–1955)
  • Joe Thomas, Offensive Tackle (2007–2017)
  • Ozzie Newsome, Tight End (1978–1990)
  • Paul Warfield, Wide Receiver (1964–1969, 1976–1977).

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