From The Cavaliers To The Reds, Here Are The Ohio Sports Teams To Bet On

Written By TJ McBride on June 20, 2024
Ohio Sports Teams To Bet On

Not only does Ohio have a thriving sports betting market, but it’s also home to more than a handful of major professional sports teams that fans can wager on — eight of which we’ll discuss below.

Top Ohio-based pro sports teams to bet on

There are two Ohio teams in the NFL: the Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns. Similarly, there are two Ohio teams in the MLB: the Cincinnati Reds and Cleveland Guardians. Lastly, there are the Cleveland Cavaliers, who play in the NBA, and the Columbus Blue Jackets, who play in the NHL. 

With so many local favorites available to bet on, Ohio sports betting has quickly become one of the most engaging markets in the country.

NBA teams in Ohio

Cleveland Cavaliers

The Cavaliers have been in the thick of the playoff hunt for the past couple of years thanks to the stand-out play of shooting guard Donovan Mitchell.

Mitchell has been the best player on the court for most of the Cavaliers games the past couple of years, including two All-Star appearances in the last two seasons. He finished last season with averages of 26.6 points, 5.1 rebounds and 6.1 assists per game.

Flanking him is Darius Garland, an accomplished guard in his own right, and the Cavs towering frontcourt of Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen. 

Cleveland, who won 48 games this season, came up short of its preseason win total of 50.5 wins. Expect Cavaliers odds to lengthen if the team loses one of its coveted guards in the offseason.

NBA betting odds

MLB teams in Ohio

Cincinnati Reds

It has been quite the streak of losing for the Reds. 

The Reds have snuck into the postseason once since 2014 when they lost the National League Wild Card Series to the Atlanta Braves in 2020. So far this year, not much has changed. The team has been hovering under .500 all season long and currently sit at 29-33.

The Reds sit middle of the pack in ERA at 15 out of 30 teams, but its hitting has been dismal. Cincinnati is 26 out of 30 teams in team batting average at .228.

Given current Reds odds, most Ohio sportsbooks expect another short season for Cincinnati. For fans anticipating a more successful season for the Reds, these lengthy odds offer the ideal opportunity to lock in some futures bets.

Cleveland Guardians

While the Reds are struggling to be relevant, the Guardians have jumped out to a great start and currently sit atop the American League’s Central Division at 40-20. 

This is unexpected based on Cleveland’s +6000 odds to win the World Series at the start of the season. Those odds would be in the bottom half of all teams right now. But with the fast start, Guardians odds have jumped up to around +2000  at most sportsbooks which is in the top-10 overall.

While the Guardians are middle of the pack in hitting. Their pitchers have given up just 209 runs, which is the sixth-lowest in baseball. As the old baseball proverb states, hitting wins games while pitching wins championships.

The Guardians need to address their somewhat anemic offense, but things are looking up in Cleveland, who has not gotten deep into the playoffs since they lost the World Series in 2016.

MLB odds

NFL teams in Ohio

Cleveland Browns

The Browns season does not begin until September 8 when the Dallas Cowboys come to Cleveland, but that does not mean there is nothing of interest for the 2024 season.

First, the Browns are not expected to be league-defying performers this year. While there is certainly talent on the roster, a championship seems far off. The schedule begins moderately easy and gets progressively difficult as the season continues. There is no team with a tougher strength of schedule in the NFL this season, and that will work against them. However, this also works in favor of sports bettors, who can find value in the lengthy Browns odds found at Ohio sportsbooks.

But the most important factor will likely be if running back Nick Chubb is healthy and ready for Week 1 after having a couple knee surgeries.

Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals are full steam ahead as they attempt to get back into the Super Bowl contenders bracket.

With Joe Burrow healthy after his wrist injury last season, they will have one of the elite quarterbacks leading them toward their goal. But the team has a lot to prove after an incredibly disappointing 2023.

Bengals odds position them with the sixth-best chance to win the Super Bowl ahead of the 2024 season. And that is due to the uncertainty surrounding the current Cincinnati squad. That bet could prove to be great value if Cincinnati gets off to a fast start.

NFL betting odds

NHL teams in Ohio

Columbus Blue Jackets

Things have not gone well for the Columbus Blue Jackets recently.

Last season, the Blue Jackets had the second-worst record across the league and the worst record in the Eastern Conference after finishing at 25-48.

While this season has been better so far, only incrementally so. Columbus is currently the third-worst team in the league by record and still the worst in the Eastern Conference. At 27-43, the Blue Jackets are trending better than last year. And while they couldn’t sniff the playoffs this year, lengthy Blue Jackets odds should offer hockey fans extended value when locking in early future bets for the 2024-25 season.

There is still a long way to go before the Blue Jackets play high-profile playoff games.

NHL betting odds

MLS teams in Ohio

Columbus Crew

Major League Soccer has become a staple in the US over the past two decades, and never has there been a team more American than the Columbus Crew. As the first official club of Major League Soccer and the 2023 MLS Cup champions, the Crew enter the 2024 season as one of the most talented teams in soccer. Fans looking to lock in a pick for their winning team can do so again before the season heats up.

FC Cincinnati

For one of the biggest rivalries in the sport, fans must look no further than their own backyard to find Hell is Real, a rivalry between the Columbus Crew and FC Cincinnati. With just five seasons under their belt as an MLS team, FC Cincinnati shows exceptional potential. They rank second in the Eastern conference as the 2024 season gets underway.

Photo by Dreamstime / PlayOhio
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TJ McBride

T.J. McBride is a Denver-based writer and reporter who covers sports betting for PlayOhio. His work has been featured on ESPN, CBS Sports, FiveThirtyEight, Bleacher Report and Yahoo Sports, among others.

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