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The Latest in 2021: Virginia's Sports Betting Highlights
West Virginia Briefly Posts Presidential Odds Then Immediately RenegesApril 8, 2020
FanDuel briefly offered odds for the 2020 U.S. Presidential market but pulled the odds within two hours of posting at the behest of West Virginia state officials. West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner released a clear statement: "Gambling on the outcome of an election has no place in our American democracy. Not today. Not tomorrow. Not ever."
BetMGM Launches as Third New Sportsbook in West VirginiaJan. 28, 2020
After nearly a year of shuttering, the first two West Virginia businesses to launch sports betting finally reopened for business. Operated by Delaware North, Wheeling Island and Mardi Gras had only been open for sports wagering for two months when legal disputes over intellectual property and pricing paused business.
BetMGM Launches as Third New Sportsbook in West VirginiaJan. 28, 2020
Just in time for the Super Bowl, BetMGM became the third sportsbook operating in West Virginia, joining FanDuel and DraftKings. BetMGM has partnered with The Greenbrier, and West Virginia is its second state of operation. In August, BetMGM also launched the BetMGM Online Casino in the state of West Virginia.
West Virginia Sports Betting: Sportsbooks & Apps
It didn't take long for West Virginia sports bettors to be taken home following the landmark Supreme Court decision to strike down PASPA. Last August — less than three and a half months after the federal sports betting ban was lifted — West Virginia began accepting legal wagers at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races. In doing so, the Mountain State, which lacks any professional teams but is a hotbed for college sports, especially football and basketball, became the fifth state to offer legal sports betting following Nevada, Delaware, New Jersey and Mississippi. It wasn't a smooth first year for West Virginia legal betting, as several hiccups have occurred along the way. Two Mountaineer sportsbooks and one mobile app suspended operations in early March 2019 due to legal disputes. As a result, West Virginia betting took a big hit by losing out on March Madness revenue. Nevertheless, the future remains is bright for West Virginian sports bettors: Both FanDuel and DraftKings started operating in the state in August 2019, while BetMGM launched in 2020. The sports betting bill passed by state lawmakers supports betting at all five of the state's physical casinos, three of which are fully operational, plus it allows for online and mobile app-based betting, which are the future of legal betting and are sure to be an economic boon for the state (and convenient for sports bettors) once they are running at peak capacity. FanDuel and DraftKings both relaunched in West Virginia in August after there was no mobile betting in the state for several months. You also don’t have to be a resident of the Mountain State to place a bet. As long as you are geo-located within the state, can place a mobile wager. For more on books available in West Virginia:
How West Virginia Sports Betting Compares
We graded West Virginia on its sports betting bill and experience relative to other states.
Mobile Betting Options: TBD
We'll update West Virginia's mobile grading as more information is available.
We'll have to see how deposits are set as the sports betting market takes shape.
Fair Pricing: TBD
Fair pricing evaluation is still pending in West Virginia, but at least there will be competition across sportsbook.
Sport Offerings: TBD
We don’t know exactly what sports will be offered as betting options in West Virginia yet, so we're waiting to grade.
Line Shopping in West Virginia
West Virginia Sports Betting FAQ
When did sports betting become legal in West Virginia?
Can I bet on my phone in West Virginia?
How old do I have to be to bet on sports in the state?
Who controls West Virginia’s Sports betting industry?
Sports Betting for Beginners
New to sports betting? Check out our 11 sports betting tips for beginners so you can get started placing bets in WV.
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 in West Virginia might seem like a no-brainer, but you need to be careful if you’re going to sustain in the sports betting world.
Here are nine mistakes to avoid.
West Virginia Sports Betting Timeline
March 2018 (cont.)
|Hollywood Casino at Charles Town||DraftKings||Charles Town|
|Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack and Resort||William Hill||New Cumberland|
|Mardi Gras Casino and Resort||Pending||Cross Lanes|
|Wheeling Island Hotel, Casino and Racetrack||Pending||Wheeling|
West Virginia Teams to Bet on
Although no professional sports teams call West Virginia their home, that certainly doesn't stop West Virginian fans from loving the local sports scene. Even though the University of Pittsburgh is a hated rival for many fans of the West Virginia Mountaineers, professional Pittsburgh teams are the local team of choice for many in the state. For others, it's a team from northwest Ohio or Washington, D.C., in the East. Whatever the market, you can expect plenty of legal sports betting on all of these teams below!
Pro Sports Teams
NFL Betting in West Virginia
The Pittsburgh Steelers are six-time Super Bowl champions. Pittsburgh won the title four times in the 70s, then again in 2005 and 2008. The Steelers' six Super Bowls are the most in NFL history, tied with the New England Patriots. Pittsburgh has played in eight Super Bowls, the second most in NFL history. The Steel Curtain has played host to more conference championships than any NFL team, and Pittsburgh is the oldest franchise in the AFC. There's no other way to say it — you can't tell the story of the NFL without the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Ben Roethlisberger may not have many seasons left, but Pittsburgh will surely make the most of them. Pittsburgh has never finished under .500 since drafting Big Ben, and Steeler Nation will hope to make another Super Bowl run in 2020. Pittsburgh is coached by Mike Tomlin and plays its home games at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Pittsburgh Steelers Rivalry #1: vs. Baltimore Ravens. This AFC North divisional rivalry is maybe the hardest hitting in all of football. Both of these teams are known for their intense, smash-mouth defense and these games are often tough, low-scoring, defensive battles. The Steelers have won three of four playoff matchups and lead the all-time series overall. They play at least twice every season, maybe a third time if they meet in the playoffs.
Pittsburgh Steelers Rivalry #2: vs. Cleveland Browns. This has been a rivalry for many decades now, though it's about as one-sided as rivalries come. Pittsburgh won 16 home games in a row in this series at one point, and they're currently on a new 15-game home winning streak, so that may be outdated again soon. These AFC North foes play twice each season, and it typically doesn't go very well for Cleveland.
Washington Football Team
Washington Football Team is a five-time NFL champion. It won championship games before the Super Bowl era in 1937 and 1942 and then won the Super Bowl in 1982, 1987, and 1991, its most recent Super Bowl appearance. Those three Super Bowl wins tie Washington for seventh-most all-time. Washington has also finished as league runners-up six times, twice in the Super Bowl era. In all, Washington has played for the NFL championship 11 times in 24 postseason appearances.
Washington is undergoing a transition after choosing to change its name in 2020. The team is officially the Washington Football Team for now until another team name is chosen later. Washington hired Ron Rivera as coach to change team culture and drafted star pass rusher Chase Young No. 2 in the 2020 NFL Draft. The Burgundy and Gold play their home games at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland.
Washington Football Team Rivalry #1: vs. Dallas Cowboys. The rivalry between Dallas and Washington is one of the NFL's oldest, and it is often rated as the best rivalry in all of the NFL. The teams have played in the same division since 1961 and meet twice every season in an often contentious game. A Thanksgiving meeting in 2016 was the most-watched game in the history of the NFL. The Cowboys dominate the all-time rivalry, but Washington has won both playoff meetings.
Washington Football Team Rivalry #2: vs. New York Giants. New York and Washington have been rivals for the better part of the century, and the rivalry was especially heated in the 1980s and early 90s when the teams won back-to-back Super Bowls twice, first in 1987 and 1988 and then again in 1991 and 1992. The teams play twice each season as NFC East division rivals.
Recommended resource to help you bet smartly on football in West Virginia:
NBA Betting in West Virginia
The Cleveland Cavaliers won the 2016 NBA championship with LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, completing the first-ever 3-1 Finals comeback to defeat the 73-win Golden State Warriors. Cavaliers fans had waited a long time for a championship, Cleveland's first major professional sports title since 1964, with hopes particularly high since drafting the kid from Akron, Ohio, in 2003. Cleveland had made the NBA Finals in 2007 and 2015 without winning, but in 2016 they finished the job. The Cavs went on to play in four straight Finals.
That 2016 ring with LeBron remains the only Cavs championship. The Cavs have made 22 playoff appearances and won seven division titles. The Cavs play their home games at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland. They are coached by J.B. Bickerstaff.
Cleveland Cavaliers Rivalry #1: vs. Chicago Bulls. The Cavs and Bulls have been longtime division rivals, but the rivalry really heated up when Chicago drafted Michael Jordan. The teams played five playoffs in seven seasons with the Bulls winning all five times, including the iconic shot over Craig Ehlo. The rivalry finally swung Cleveland's direction during the LeBron era, but Chicago still dominates the all-time series.
Cleveland Cavaliers Rivalry #2: vs. Golden State Warriors. This is a newer rivalry, and it might already be over. The Cavs played the Warriors in four straight NBA Finals from 2015 through 2018. Golden State won the first matchup and then led three games to one in 2016 before the Cavs shocked them, winning three straight times to win their first NBA championship. The Warriors added Kevin Durant and won the next two meetings. It's the only time in NBA history two teams have met in four (or even three) straight Finals.
The Washington Wizards were formerly the Washington Bullets until 1997, and previously hailed from Baltimore and even Chicago their first two years of existence. The franchise played in four NBA Finals, all in the 1970s, winning the NBA championship in 1978 with Hall of Famers Wes Unseld and Elvin Hayes. Unseld was named Finals MVP and is also the franchise's only league MVP, in 1969.
The Wizards hope to return a healthy John Wall to play with Bradley Beal next season. The team is coached by Scotty Brooks and plays its home games at the Capital One Arena in the Chinatown neighborhood of Washington, D.C.
Washington Wizards Rivalry: vs. Cleveland Cavaliers. These regional rivals played in three straight playoffs from 2006 through 2008, with LeBron James beating Gilbert Arenas in all three memorable series, including LeBron's first playoffs and some involvement from Jay-Z. The franchises also played in Cleveland's first playoff series, where the Cavs hit three last-second winning shots in the series known as the "Miracle of Richfield."
Recommended resource to help you bet smartly on basketball in West Virginia:
MLB Betting in West Virginia
The Pittsburgh Pirates are a historic baseball franchise. They've been playing ball since 1887 and played in the very first World Series in 1903. Pittsburgh didn't win that time, but they did win their first World Series in 1909, led by MLB legend, Honus Wagner. The Pirates have five World Series wins in all. In 1960, Bill Mazeroski hit the only championship-winning Game 7 walk-off home run in baseball history.
Pittsburgh's most recent World Series win came in 1979. That was also the most recent appearance for the Pirates, which gives Pittsburgh the longest pennant drought of any National League team. The Pirates wear black and gold and play their home games at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Pittsburgh Pirates Rivalry: vs. Philadelphia Phillies. For many years, these in-state rivals were divisional foes when they competed in the NL East together. Then Pittsburgh moved to the National League Central when the divisions realigned, and the rivalry has cooled down some ever since. In the old NL East days, these teams often competed for the division title. Today, they typically play two series a year in interleague play.
The Cincinnati Reds won five world championships in 1919, 1940, 1975, 1976, and 1990. They've played in nine World Series, most recently when they swept the Oakland Athletics in 1990. The team has made the postseason five times since, three times as NL Central champions and twice as a wildcard.
Cincinnati baseball is most memorable for Sparky Anderson's Big Red Machine in the 1970s featuring Hall of Famers like Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan, and Tony Perez (and, of course, Pete Rose). The Reds played in the NL Championship Series six times in the 70s, winning four and lifting two World Series trophies.
The Reds play their home games at the Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. They are managed by David Bell and built around future Hall of Fame first baseman Joey Votto.
Cincinnati Reds Rivalry #1: vs. Cleveland Indians. The Battle of Ohio pits the state's only teams, even though the Reds are in the NL and the Indians are in the AL. The rivals first met in an annual preseason exhibition game in 1989 and played for the Ohio Cup, but the introduction of interleague play in 1997 allows the teams to play a home-and-home series each year. The Indians lead the all-time series and have won the most Ohio Cups.
Cincinnati Reds Rivalry #2: vs. St. Louis Cardinals. There are other more historic Reds rivalries, but few are as heated as this one between NL Central division foes. The rivalry ignited in the summer of 2010 when a memorable August brawl made the teams blood enemies. Both teams' managers continued to push the rivalry and it is kept alive today by Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina, who was at the heart of things that day. The division rivals play many times all season long but have never met in the postseason.
Recommended resource to help you bet smartly on baseball in West Virginia:
NHL Betting in West Virginia
Pittsburgh has won more Stanley Cups than any other American NHL team, outside of the Original Six. The Penguins are five-time world champions. Their first two titles came in 1991 and 1992 with NHL legends Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr leading the way. Over the past decade, Pittsburgh has added three more titles to its count. These days, Lemieux is a team owner, while Sydney Crosby is the team's superstar and franchise player.
Pittsburgh has won all five of its championships on the road, so the city is still waiting to lift the Cup on home ice. The Penguins are the only NHL team this century to win back-to-back championships. Pittsburgh plays its home games at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Pittsburgh Penguins Rivalry: vs. Philadelphia Flyers. These in-state rivals do not like each other one bit. The Pens and Flyers play in the same division, so they play many times each season. They also played three times in the playoffs between 2008 and 2012, intensifying the rivalry even further. Philadelphia leads the all-time series in both the playoffs and the regular season, but Pittsburgh leads the only count that really matters: Stanley Cups.
Columbus Blue Jackets
The Blue Jackets joined the NHL as an expansion team in 2000. The Jackets' name and logo are a nod to Ohio's contributions to the Union Army in the Civil War. Columbus has struggled to match up with the best of the best in the NHL. They didn't make the playoffs once until 2009 and got swept once they made it. The Blue Jackets recorded their first playoff win in 2014 and won their first playoff series in 2019. The Jackets play their home games in Nationwide Arena in Columbus. They are coached by John Tortorella.
Columbus Blue Jackets Rivalry: vs. Pittsburgh Penguins. The Jackets and Penguins are a newer regional rivalry, with the teams about a three-hour drive apart. The NHL realigned divisions at the start of the 2013-14 season, putting Columbus and Pittsburgh in the Metropolitan Division together. Columbus made their second playoff appearance that season and won the franchise's first playoff game ever against the Pens. The teams played again in the 2017 playoffs, with Pittsburgh winning both series.
Recommended resource to help you bet smartly on hockey in West Virginia:
MLS Betting in West Virginia
FC Cincinnati is one of the newest teams in Major League Soccer. The club had succeeded in lower divisions under the FC Cincinnati moniker but was excited to begin play in the MLS in 2019. The club is nicknamed the Orange and Blue and plays its home games in Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati. The team had a rough inaugural season and is struggling to find its footing in the MLS.
Columbus Crew SC
The Crew were one of the 10 MLS charter clubs when the league opened play in 1996. Despite fears that the Crew might leave Columbus in recent years, the #SaveTheCrew efforts helped keep the club at home. The Crew have won three Supporters Shields along with one MLS Cup and one U.S. Open Cup. They play their home games at Mapfre Stadium in Columbus, the first stadium built specifically for an MLS team.
Recommended resource to help you bet smartly on hockey in West Virginia:
WNBA Betting in West Virginia
The Mystics won their first WNBA championship in 2019 with two-time MVP Elena Delle Donne leading Washington to glory in their second straight Finals appearance. The Mystics joined the WNBA in 1998 and have made the playoffs in 10 of 20 seasons. They were the only WNBA franchise that had never made it to the WNBA Finals before appearing in 2018 and 2019. The team plays its home games in St. Elizabeths East Arena in southeast Washington, D.C., and is coached by Mike Thibault.
College Sports Teams
West Virginia doesn't have any in-state professional teams, but the state has a rich history of collegiate sports to bet on, with rivals West Virginia and Marshall both playing every major sport at the NCAA Division I level. We expect big bets to be placed on these Mountaineers and Thundering Herd teams soon.
College Football Betting in West Virginia
West Virginia Mountaineers Football
Football is West Virginia's most popular sport, and the Mountaineers are the state's No. 1 team. The Mountaineers have played college football since 1891, bouncing around through five different conferences, along with multiple periods as an independent. West Virginia has 15 conference titles, eight in the Southern Conference and seven in the Big East. They currently compete in the Big 12 Conference, which West Virginia joined in 2012.
West Virginia has the most victories among NCAA FBS programs that have never won (or claimed) a national championship, though they've played in 37 bowl games over the years. West Virginia has finished the season ranked in the top 10 five times and made it to No. 1 in the Coaches' Poll in 2007. The Mountaineers play their home games at Milan Puskar Stadium on campus in Morgantown. After every win, players and fans link arms and sing "Take Me Home, Country Roads" together. The Mountaineers are coached by Neal Brown.
West Virginia Mountaineers #1: vs. Pittsburgh Panthers. The Backyard Brawl pits these heated regional rivals, separated by a mere 75 miles on Interstate 79. The most famous meeting came in 2007 when Pittsburgh upset the No. 1 ranked Mountaineers 13-9 and ruined their national championship chances. Pitt leads the all-time series but the teams have not met since conference realignment in 2011. They are scheduled to meet again beginning in 2022.
West Virginia Mountaineers Rivalry #2: vs. Virginia Tech Hokies. These Appalachian rivals played every year from 1973 to 2005, but the rivalry has gone dormant thanks to conference realignment. The teams play for the Black Diamond Trophy, which symbolizes the region's rich coal heritage. West Virginia leads the all-time series, but Virginia Tech won the Black Diamond Trophy in six of nine years it was played for.
Marshall Thundering Herd Football
The Thundering Herd made the leap to Division I-A (now FBS) in 1997, but they were an established Division I-AA (now FCS) powerhouse before that. In the decade before moving up, Marshall made the I-AA playoffs eight times and played in six national championship games, winning in 1992 and 1996. The Thundering Herd now play in Conference USA and own a sparkling 12-4 bowl record since their move.
Before their run of dominance, Marshall football was remembered mostly for tragedy because of a 1970 plane crash that killed all 75 people on board, including 37 Marshall football players, eight coaches, 25 boosters, and five flight crew members. It was the deadliest tragedy to affect any sports team in U.S. history and was memorialized in the 2006 Matthew McConaughey movie, "We Are Marshall."
The Thundering Herd play their home games at Joan C. Edwards Stadium in Huntington, one of only two Division I stadiums named solely for a woman. Marshall is coached by Doc Holliday.
Marshall Thundering Herd Rivalry #1: vs. Ohio Bobcats. These rivals compete in the Battle for the Bell. What used to be an annual conference rivalry has not been played as frequently once Marshall moved to Conference USA, but the rivalry was to have been renewed in 2020 before the pandemic wreaked havoc on the schedule. Ohio leads the all-time series, though it is trending in Marshall's direction.
Marshall Thundering Herd Rivalry #2: vs. West Virginia Mountaineers. As the only two Division I colleges in West Virginia, these in-state rivals should have a more storied history than they do. The teams first met in 1911 and began playing annually in 2006 before West Virginia's conference change suspended the rivalry in 2012. When they do play, they call it the Friends of Coal Bowl. Oh, and just one more thing? Marshall has never beaten West Virginia on the gridiron. The Mountaineers are 12-0 all time. Perhaps this is more of an aspiration than a rivalry.
Recommended resources to help you bet smartly on college football in West Virginia:
College Basketball Betting in West Virginia
West Virginia Mountaineers Men's Basketball
Like the football program, West Virginia basketball competes in the Big 12 Conference but has jumped around conferences over the years. The Mountaineers have 15 regular-season conference titles and 13 conference tournament championships. West Virginia has played in 29 NCAA tournaments and made it to the Final Four in 1959 and 2010.
The 1959 Mountaineers featured NBA legend Jerry West, the man who the NBA logo is modeled after, and unquestionably the greatest West Virginia athlete in history. West was named tournament MVP but the Mountaineers lost in the championship game by a single point. West Virginia plays at the WVU Coliseum on campus in Morgantown. They're coached by former Mountaineer and legendary coach Bob Huggins.
West Virginia Mountaineers Rivalry: vs. Pittsburgh Panthers. The Backyard Brawl may be more famous on the gridiron, but the rivalry extends to hoops too. The most memorable matchup came in 2010 when the No. 25 Panthers upset the No. 4 Mountaineers in triple overtime in Pittsburgh. The rivalry took a short hiatus after the conference realignment but has been re-added as an annual non-conference matchup. West Virginia leads the all-time series.
Marshall Thundering Herd Men's Basketball
Marshall won the NAIA national championship in 1947 and saw star Andy Tonkovich taken No. 1 in the draft of the BAA. That's not quite the NCAA or the NBA yet, but the Thundering Herd joined Division I later and now play in Conference USA. Marshall has appeared in six NCAA tournaments, most recently in 2018 when they won their first March Madness game ever.
Marshall was also home to Hall-of-Famer Hal Greer, and the Thundering Herd have been a hotbed for excellent coaches like Mike D'Antoni, Billy Donovan, Anthony Grant, and John Pelphrey. The Thundering Herd are coached today by Dan D'Antoni. They play in the Cam Henderson Center in Huntington.
Marshall Thundering Herd Rivalry: vs. West Virginia Mountaineers. These in-state rivals play in what's called the Chesapeake Energy Capital Classic, typically held in the neutral state capital of Charleston. West Virginia dominates the all-time rivalry 34 to 11 and has won 10 of the last 11 meetings. The teams have met only once since 2015.
Recommended resources to help you bet smartly on college basketball in West Virginia:
Division I Football & Basketball
Division II Football & Basketball
Pro Sports Teams
The Jefferson 500
For the world of motorsports, West Virginia hosts the Jefferson 500, which is described as a "celebration of the great long-distance races" of the past. The event is traditionally held in May and will return in 2021 after it was canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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