Tennessee Sports Betting
Tennessee Sportsbook Offers
|Is online sports betting legal in Tennessee?||Yes|
|When did online sports betting become legal in Tennessee?||November 2020|
|What online sportsbooks are available in Tennessee?||DraftKings, BetMGM, FanDuel, William Hill and WynnBET.|
|What sports can you bet on in Tennessee?||No sports are off-limits (relative to other legal U.S. markets). The only bet type that’s not allowed is college player props.|
FanDuel Sportsbook & Memphis Grizzlies Announce Partnership
FanDuel Sportsbook announced a partnership with the Memphis Grizzlies. This deal is the Grizzlies' first partnership with a sports betting operator and FanDuel's first such partnership with an NBA team.
Sports Betting Goes Online in Tennessee with Four Sportsbooks
Sports betting is finally here in the Volunteer State! Tennessee officially launched sports wagering in the state at midnight on Nov. 1 with four mobile sportsbooks launching on Day 1: BetMGM, DraftKings, FanDuel and Action247.
Tennessee Sports Betting Timeline
Sports betting has officially launched in Tennessee! Betting went live online at midnight on Nov. 1 with DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM and Action 247 all launching on Day 1.
The Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation approved three firms — FanDuel, DraftKings and BetMGM — to launch online on Nov. 1.
A lack of approved operators looks to delay the expected September launch of sports betting.
Although it was expected to launch with the return of sports, sports betting did not go live in July.
Tennessee finalizes regulations for online sports betting, including the mandatory 10% hold and requirement for operators to buy official league data to offer live betting. But it skips many of the other restrictions that could have doomed the market.
Tennessee puts forth potential regulations that frighten the entire industry, including a 15% hold, no bets on events that can be influenced by one person (like golf or tennis), and no betting from 3-10 p.m. on Sundays or on holidays.
Gov. Bill Lee, who is opposed to legal sports betting, allows the bill to pass into law without his signature.
The bill made it through the state Senate easily but narrowly cleared a House committee.
Rep. Rick Staples (D-Knoxville) introduced a bipartisan bill to legalize sports betting, though the eventual bill that passed (HB0001) looked much different than his first version.
Tennessee's Sportsbooks: All-in Online & Mobile
Mobile-focused and exclusively online (i.e., no physical sportsbooks), Tennessee’s sports betting setup is the opposite of what many states have passed in the newly legalizing U.S. market. But Tennessee has imposed a mandatory 10% hold, meaning bettors will be paying more juice on every bet than they would with an offshore sportsbook. The hold structure creates a problem: existing bettors may continue wagering illegally and new bettors may be less drawn into sports betting with reduced payouts.
State officials have reserved the right to revisit these rules after one year of operating. So the market could become more consumer-friendly before the 2021 football season, but there’s no guarantee. With the economic downturn from COVID-19, however, the state may be more likely to revise its sports betting policy to generate more revenue and expedite its recovery. Four operators are live and approved by the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation, which is responsible for oversight of online sports gambling in the state. One is a locally owned operator, known as Tennessee Action 24/7, and then three major sportsbooks:
DraftKings Sportsbook Tennessee
DraftKings has been among the sports betting leaders in the U.S. thanks to its existing brand power, DFS user base and massive marketing budget. The Boston-based company has been among the first books in every state, and Tennessee is no different.
DraftKings has a great selection of NFL player props, is the first book in most U.S. states to post college football lines for the following week, and has among the best mobile apps in the market.
BetMGM Sportsbook Tennessee
MGM is a major casino brand across the country and in Las Vegas, and its BetMGM sports betting brand has started to make waves as a major player in the larger U.S. market.
MGM offers a straightforward app, competitive sign-up offers and some niche-but-favorable betting rules like ties paid in full for golf finishing position bets. They're the only U.S. book to offer that.
FanDuel Sportsbook Tennessee
Like its DFS counterpart, FanDuel got out to an early lead in the U.S. and has been building upon it. FanDuel recently combined its wallets so you can use the same money for DFS and sports betting.
FanDuel offers one of the easiest start-to-finish registration and deposit experiences in the sportsbook market. Its biggest downsides are that it can be difficult to find smaller markets like props because they're buried so far in each game.
William Hill Sportsbook Tennessee
WynnBet Sportsbook Tennessee
How to Place a Sports Bet in Tennessee
It's easy to get started sports betting in Tennessee. Here's how:
Step 1: Choose a Legal TN Sportsbook
In sports betting, it's best practice to have accounts at multiple sportsbooks to get the best price on every game. Particularly with their high hold percentage, this is important in Tennessee.
Let's start with BetMGM.
Step 2: Sign Up & Verify
Fill out all the required fields for new sports bettor in the state: name, email and date of birth. BetMGM might ask you for a driver’s license or social security number to verify your identity. These questions and details are all measures sportsbooks take to protect you, the sports bettor.
Step 3: Deposit with Preferred Payment
BetMGMs will take you right to the deposit screen once you’ve put in your personal information.
Select your payment method, then click deposit.
Our preference is direct deposit via a bank account.
That way when you cash out, the money will be accessible in your checking account right away instead of being credited back to a card.
Step 4: Place an Online Bet in Tennessee
Here’s how to place your first wager. Remember — the app will geo-locate you to confirm you’re truly in Tennessee before you’re able to bet.
BetMGM has a strong mobile experience and user-friendly betting slip for Tennesseans.
- Navigate to "Sport" and click the line you want to bet
- Head to your bet slip
- Enter your bet amount
Congrats! You’ve just placed your first legal sports bet in Tennessee.
How Tennessee Sports Betting Compares
Whether you're a Knoxville local, a Chattanooga transplant, or just visiting Nashville for the weekend, there's good and bad to Tennessee's online sports betting bill.
Tennessee's Grading Card
Tennessee got two major points right with its bill — fully online betting and depositing — but limited the benefits of both with mandatory hold pricing. Local bettors should look into line shopping to help even things out across several books.
Some who bet offshore pre-legalization may still consider local, under-the-table Tennessee bookies and offshore websites offering more favorable odds. Additionally, some in-state sports fans may travel to bordering bettor-friendly states instead: tracks or casinos in neighboring West Memphis, Arkansas and Tunica, Mississippi, where sportsbooks offer higher payout rates.
Tennessee may unnecessarily lose money to legal and illegal options alike until the hold is addressed. In the meantime, however, there's still plenty of fun and money for sports bettors to get in on.
Mobile Betting Options
Tennessee is officially live with online sports betting.
That's great, as online betting is the only way for states to generate meaningful sports wagering revenue, particularly in the current pandemic, and it’s the preferred method for bettors.
More than 80% of the betting handle in New Jersey is generated online. Further, New Jersey has amassed $62.6 million in tax revenue over the last 24 months. It’s nice to see a state with such loyal college fans have the option to bet on their teams.
With no in-person casinos, Tennessee bettors should be able to register and deposit online with ease. Eliminating in-person sign-ups and deposits is a huge benefit to operators and bettors, who may be more willing to use multiple sportsbooks because of increased convenience — and they would be wise to.
Local bettors can sign up from a local sports bar in Memphis in real-time during a game and another from the comfort of their couch at home in Chattanooga.
The 10% mandatory hold could force operators to pass costs onto the consumer. For example, instead of betting an NFL point spread on the Titans at -110, you’ll be betting at -120 or worse. This could force would-be legal bettors from the legal market back to offshore sites or unlicensed bookmakers, defeating the point of legal wagering.
Legal operators have not had to adjust their lines so far, but it's something that could be a major handicap to the market going forward.
Bettors can wager on college teams in the state such as the Tennessee Volunteers football team or the Vanderbilt baseball team. In some other states, wagering on college teams in the state is prohibited entirely.
Tennessee won’t have live betting on college teams, which is unfortunate. Additionally, the requirement for a Tennessee sportsbook to buy official league data to offer any live betting may limit what’s available in the Tennessee sports betting market due to cost and availability.
The 10% Hold, Explained
Tennessee’s sports betting rules and regulations are tough for both bettors and sportsbooks. The state is mandating books generate at least a 10% hold and cap payouts at 90% of a bettor’s wager, meaning bettors in Tennessee are required to pay a much steeper cut to operators than what you see in other states legally, and certainly steeper than risky, illegal options.
So what is a hold? It’s the percentage of money the sportsbook holds onto after all bets have been settled, or simply gross revenue divided by dollars wagered. Nevada and New Jersey, the two most developed sports betting markets in the country, have been between 5-7%. A 10% hold implies -120 or -125 on each side of a standard bet with two outcomes, as opposed to the -110 you see most places. So a typical NFL bet might look like this:
- Tennessee Titans +6.5 (-120)
- Arizona Cardinals -6.5 (-125)
So instead of wagering $110 to win $100 on an NFL point spread, Tennessee bettors will have to wager $125 to win $100. That’s a notable disadvantage, whether they bet the Titans or favor Arizona. Again: For every $100 you bet, you’re going to be paying the sportsbook an extra $10 or $15.
Sportsbooks may get to 10% differently, and choose to bury holds into bet types where it’s more difficult to calculate the hold with the naked eye. Here are some other downstream effects you might see at a Tennessee online sportsbook.
- Caps on parlay and futures payouts so sportsbooks can limit their exposure. If the Memphis Grizzlies are 100-1 to win the NBA title at most books, you could be capped at 50-1 in Tennessee. If you bet a 2-team parlay, you may get paid 2-1 instead of 2.6-1.
- Even worse odds than -125 to balance risk.
- Unfair one-way markets.
With all these downsides, why would Tennessee opt for this plan? As a method to secure tax revenue. Evan Davis, managing director at SeventySixCapital Sports Advisory, explains:
"The state imposes a 20% tax on sportsbook operators’ gross gaming revenues, meaning that if a sportsbook operator doesn’t make money on the bets that it takes, neither does the state."
This way, sportsbooks are required to achieve a minimum return on bets.
The revenue generated from Tennessee's gaming revenue tax is to be allocated as follows: 40% for general appropriations by the general assembly; 30% to local colleges; and 30% to each local government for their school system and infrastructure projects. While these allocations have direct community benefits, some disagreement within the Tennessee lottery itself about whether or not a mandatory hold is the right policy move emerged.
Tennessee Lottery President and CEO Rebecca Hargrove said the cap would guarantee taxable revenue for the state, and create an equal playing field for smaller players so that bigger books can’t operate at a loss to scoop up market share (which they’ve been doing in other legal states).
The Lottery’s Sports Betting Director at the time, Jennifer Roberts, wanted no cap so the state can be “fully competitive with the illegal market.” At the end of June 2020, Jennifer Roberts left Tennesse’s lottery with less than one year of tenure.
The departure of a highly qualified gambling executive brought on to launch sports betting isn’t exactly a vote of confidence in the state’s plan.
A Tennessee Betting Success
Tennessee going with full online sports betting is great news. That’s step one for success.
It’s somewhat surprising to see a southern state with no existing gambling presence go straight to online betting. But it’s definitely a good sign, and could lay the blueprint for Georgia or Alabama, which have no existing casinos or gambling.
It also avoided a few disastrous proposals, including:
- No betting on Sundays from 3-10 p.m. or on holidays.
- No betting on an “occurrence determinable by one person or one play” which would have prevented betting on golf, tennis, NASCAR and much more, plus betting on all player props. Yikes.
We’re hoping the anticipated 2021 revisions help clean some of this up for sports fans in the state.
What Tennessee’s Bill Got Wrong
We can’t hammer it home enough: the mandatory 10% hold is unfair to bettors.
It will prevent the state from generating maximum revenue because a share of bettors will return to illegal markets. You’ll be betting almost everything at -120 or worse.
Research firm Eilers & Krejcik projected that a 15% hold proposed initially would cut the number of operators in half and cost the state more than $10M per year in tax revenue.
It also detailed how France, which has a similar minimum hold to Tennessee, has failed to generate “meaningful consumer participation” and revenue like some of its European counterparts.
The high barrier to entry for operators ($750,000 yearly fee, 20% tax rate — more here) raises concerns that many from local businesses will not enter the market because of the steep price tag. During committee hearings, this was an area House bill critics were most vocal about.
If operators do enter the market and can't pay, the consequences are open-ended:
“The Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation’s Board of Directors reserves the right to determine the consequences of the failure of an Operator to meet this requirement, within the confines of the Rules, Regulations and Standards and the governing legislation,”
Dave Smith, director of communications for the Tennessee Lottery, said in an email to The Action Network.
Lastly, the requirement for operators to buy official league data to provide live betting is a disappointment because it will restrict the breadth of market offerings. In official partnership with services like Sportsradar, the leagues have been pushing for this as new states come online. In Tennessee, unfortunately, for local bettors, they succeeded.
A study on the “Economic Impact of Legalized Sports Betting” projected nearly $300 million in gaming revenue potential annually for Tennessee in a mature market — but only if it made betting accessible with bettor-friendly offerings. The high hold and other restrictions may mean fewer legal sports bets are placed for the state to profit from, falling short of its achievable upside.
Tennessee Sports Betting Tips
Sports Betting for Beginners
New to sports betting? Check out our educational resource hub so you can get started placing informed bets, whether you want to bet on the Tennessee Titans or Nashville Predators.
Sports Betting Glossary
The sports betting lexicon is vast and sometimes confusing, especially to new bettors. Check out our sports betting glossary to get up to speed with every term you might need to know.
Sports Betting Mistakes to Avoid
Betting on your favorite teams like the Tennessee Titans or Memphis Grizzlies might seem like a no-brainer, but you need to be responsible if you're going to sustain in the sports betting world.
Here are nine mistakes to avoid.
Tennessee Teams to Bet on
Pro Sports Teams
Although states don't need their own professional team to have a strong sport-specific market, it certainly can help momentum and engagement! Because of legal mobile betting, Tennessee bettors can attend pro games and bet and monitor in real-time when watching their favorite teams.
Tennessee has three pro teams housed in the immediate downtown Nashville area that attracts sports bettor attention.
NFL Betting in Tennessee
The Tennessee Titans have had success on the gridiron in recent years, including making a run to the AFC Championship Game in the 2020 playoffs. The Titans have been successful under coach Mike Vrabel, quarterback Ryan Tannehill and running back Derrick Henry and look like playoff contenders again in 2021.
The Titans call Nissan Stadium home, a modern stadium equipped with nearly 70,000 seats and even party suites. Tennessee's NFL Sports betting market is poised for a strong open. Need friends to bet with? The Titans have a highly engaged fan base. Join the discussion on the GoTitans forum.
Week 7 Odds: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Tennessee Titans
Kansas City Chiefs
Recommended resource to help you bet smartly on football in Tennessee:
- How to Bet on Football Guide
- Check our Expert NFL Picks
- Keep an eye on betting activity and bet/money distribution with our NFL Public Betting data
NBA Betting in Tennessee
The Memphis Grizzlies are one of the most exciting young teams in the NBA. The Grizzlies are led by Rookie of the Year Ja Morant and fellow All-Rookie First Team Brandon Clarke, along with breakout big man Jaren Jackson Jr. Memphis overachieved in the 2019-20 season and qualified for the play-in game before falling to the Portland Trail Blazers.
The Grizzlies made the playoffs seven times last decade with their Grit and Grind style, advancing to the Western Conference Finals for the first time in 2013. They play at FedExForum in downtown Memphis in the heart of the city's Beale Street Entertainment District.
Recommended resource to help you bet smartly on basketball in Tennessee:
NHL Betting in Tennessee
The Nashville Predators play downtown at Bridgestone Arena. The Preds were an expansion team in 1998. They made the playoffs for the first time in 2004 and advanced to their first Stanley Cup Finals in 2017 but lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins in six games. The following season, Nashville won its first Presidents' Trophy, given to the team with the best record in the regular season. The Predators have a rabid local fan base that loves to throw a catfish onto the home ice in support of the Preds.
Recommended resource to help you bet smartly on hockey in Tennessee:
MLS Betting in Tennessee
Nashville SC are in their first-ever season in the MLS after moving over from the USL. As an expansion team, Nashville SC currently shares Nissan Stadium with the Tennessee Titans (NFL). However, they have plans for an independent stadium come 2022 due to soccer's increasing popularity.
Recommended resource to help you bet smartly on hockey in Tennessee:
College Sports Teams
Tennessee’s orange-blooded Vols fans have a history of rivalries, some more notorious than others. We expect big college bets to be placed on these games now that sports betting is legal! Learn more about these high-stakes games and sporting traditions for Tennessee.
NCAA Division I Football & Basketball
|Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders|
NCAA Division I Basketball Only
|Austin Peay Governors|
|East Tennessee State Buccaneers|
|Tennessee State Tigers|
|Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles|
|UT Martin Skyhawks|
College Football Betting in Tennessee
Tennessee Volunteers Football
It's been over two decades since the glory years of Peyton Manning and Tee Martin, and most of today's Vols were not even born yet when the team last won a national championship in 1998. That was also the last time Tennessee won its conference, the always competitive SEC. Still, the Volunteers have won 16 conference championships over the years, 13 in the SEC, and have a long, proud football history with 52 bowl appearances and 28 bowl victories, both of which are top-six all-time.
But 1998 wasn't Tennessee's only national title. In fact, the Volunteers claim six national championships, with the others coming between 1938 and 1967. The orange and white seek a return to prominence under new coach Josh Heupel. The Vols play their home games at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, the nation's fifth-largest stadium. If you're able to bet and attend a game in person this year, be sure to check the latest conference COVID-19 safety guidelines to prepare.
Vanderbilt Commodores Football
The Commodores play in the Southeastern Conference (SEC), so it's an uphill battle each fall, but Vanderbilt is up to the task. The program is on its way up, with five of their nine bowl appearances coming in the past decade alone. Vanderbilt is 4-4-1 in its bowls and is led by new coach Clark Lea. The Dores do have two unclaimed national titles from a century ago in back-to-back unbeaten seasons in 1921-22.
Vanderbilt has played in a bowl game five times over the past decade, winning the Music City Bowl and the BBVA Compass Bowl. The Commodores play their home games at Vanderbilt Stadium in Nashville.
Memphis Tigers Football
The Tigers play in the American Athletic Conference (AAC) and won the conference championship in 2019. That was Memphis's eighth conference title. The Tigers have appeared in 13 bowl games, winning five of them. Their greatest bowl appearance came in January 2020 when the Tigers faced Penn State in the Cotton Bowl, with Memphis coming up short in a 53-39 loss. Ryan Silverfield coaches Memphis. The Tigers play their home games at the Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in Memphis.
Recommended resources to help you bet smartly on college football in Tennessee:
- College Football Betting Tips for Profitability
- College Football Betting Tips on Fading the Public
- Action Data/Tools: College Football Odds, Picks & Projections
College Basketball Betting in Tennessee
Tennessee Volunteers Men's Basketball
The Volunteer basketball program has seen a rise to national prominence over the past couple of decades, first under coach Bruce Pearl and, since 2015, under Rick Barnes. In 2019, the Vols were a March Madness No. 2 seed for the third time in the past 15 years, but the program is still waiting for its first Final Four appearance in school history.
The Tennessee program has a long and storied history, featuring players like Bernard King and Allan Houston, and won its first SEC regular-season title in a decade in 2018. The Volunteers compete in the SEC, where they have the third-most wins all time. The Volunteers play their home games at Thompson-Boling Arena on campus in Knoxville.
Vanderbilt Commodores Men's Basketball
Vanderbilt plays its home basketball games on the recognizable elevated stage of Memorial Gymnasium in Nashville. The Commodores have three SEC regular-season titles and two SEC Tournament championships, most recently in 2012. Vanderbilt has played in 15 NCAA tournaments with six Sweet Sixteen appearances but has yet to make it to the Final Four. Dores fans hope that will change soon under third-year head coach and former NBA star, Jerry Stackhouse.
Memphis Tigers Men's Basketball
The Tigers have established themselves as one of the nation's marquee men's college basketball programs. Now playing in the American Athletic Conference (AAC), Memphis has played in 11 Sweet Sixteens and three Final Fours. Their most recent Final Four appearance came in 2008 when Derrick Rose led the team to the national championship game before falling in overtime.
Tigers legend Penny Hardaway is the Memphis coach now and has already brought in some of the nation's elite recruits. The Tigers are so popular that the team typically doesn't even play its home games at the Elma Roane Fieldhouse on campus. Instead, they usually play at FedExForum, home of the Memphis Grizzlies.
Belmont Bruins Men's Basketball
Belmont basketball has become synonymous with Cinderella over the past two decades. Belmont won its conference in 12 of the past 16 seasons, most of them under legendary head coach Rick Byrd. The Bruins secured their first-ever March Madness win in Byrd's final season before he retired. Casey Alexander is the new coach now, and Belmont plays in the Ohio Valley Conference (OVC). The Bruins have eight NCAA Tournament appearances this century.
Tennessee Lady Volunteers Women's Basketball
The Lady Vols have long been one of the premier programs in women's college basketball. The late great Pate Summitt led Tennessee from 1974 through 2012; still, the all-time leader in women's college hoops with 1,098 career wins. The Lady Vols ranks second all-time with 18 Final Four appearances and eight national championships, all of them under Summitt.
Tennessee will forge forward under second-year coach Kellie Harper, a three-time champion for the Lady Vols in the 90s. Tennessee plays its home games at the Thompson-Boling Arena on campus in Knoxville, nicknamed "the Summitt" in honor of their legendary former coach.
Recommended resources to help you bet smartly on college basketball in Tennessee:
- How to Bet on College Basketball
- Trends to Know Before Betting Conference Tournaments
- Action Data/Tools: College Basketball Odds & Picks
We expect to see these major rivalries draw sports bettor attention and significant handle in Tennessee.
In addition to its traditional sporting events, Tennessee hosts races, tournaments and more — attracting sports bettor attention. This list includes:
NASCAR’s Bristol Motor Speedway Racing
Bristol Motor Speedway hosts the "Food City 500" each year. Food City is a growing grocery chain in the south, and the Food City 500 is a sponsored cornerstone event of NASCAR's Spring race weekend. It is also one of the most highly anticipated events on the annual Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule. Bristol is in the northeastern tip of Tennessee, about 300 miles from Nashville.
Southeastern Conference (SEC) Men’s Basketball Tournament
Bridgestone Arena, a downtown Nashville multipurpose venue, will host the SEC Tournament each year through 2030 except in 2022 when it heads to Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida. Bridgestone and Nashville have the facilities and capacity to host additional marquee events when games, races, and more resume as COVID-19 settles.
Double Dogs has locations in Hillsboro Village and Sylvan Heights, and another two in Knoxville. It features plenty of TVs, and each table has an individual audio selector so you can listen to the sound on any game you want.
Beyond the Edge
Beyond the Edge is an East Nashville spot with 25 TVs and more than 125 beers on tap. It’s about 1.5 miles from Nissan Stadium, home of the Tennessee Titans.
Acme Feed and Seed
Looking to watch sports and bet on Broadway, the biggest tourist attraction in Nashville? The second floor of Acme Feed and Seed has plenty of TVs. Acme is on the corner of Broadway and 1st Avenue, right across the Cumberland River from Nissan Stadium.
Bailey's is a lively, trendy, and casual sports bar. They've got plenty of TVs to catch a Titan's game, and have great cocktails.
Cool Beans Bar and Grill
The hottest sports bar in Knoxville and campus headquarters for University of Tennessee fans, Cool Beans Bar and Grill provides food, drinks -- featuring a daily happy hour between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. -- and fun, including beer pong, darts and pool.
Fieldhouse Social offers American craft food, beers and cocktails along with the largest TV in the Southland to watch all the biggest sporting events, including University of Tennessee Volunteers college football and basketball games.
Bearden Hill Fieldhouse
The self-proclaimed best sports bar in Bearden, Bearden Hill Fieldhouse offers a popular happy hour six days a week (11 a.m. to 7 p.m.) and food favorites like buffalo and boneless wings among a full menu of appetizers, burgers and sandwiches.
Smoky Mountain Brewery
Smoky Mountain Brewery is the oldest craft brewery in East Tennessee and has grown to become a great place to have a beer, watch sports and enjoy quality food such as hand-tossed pizzas, wings, sandwiches and pasta.
Featuring three locations in Knoxville and serving up some of the best award-winning Mexican food in Tennessee, Soccer Taco is a great place to watch -- and bet on -- both futbol and football games among other sports.
Bucket Head Tavern
Bucket Head Tavern is a premier full-service sports bar with a daily happy hour and quality food options like award-winning wings that also gives patrons the chance to play an assortment of games themselves, including Golden Tee, cornhole and skee ball.