We’re less than a month away from the ball dropping on the year, when the Buckeye State officially joins the more than 30 other states with legalized sports betting. That means bettors won't have to wait too much longer to use a DraftKings Ohio promo.
Ohio sportsbooks will undoubtedly be among the leaders in the nation in wagering revenues from Day 1, given the state’s population (11.8 million) and ample professional sports teams (eight across the MLB, MLS, NBA, NFL, and NHL).
A BetOhio.com estimate suggests Ohio sports betting could take in more than $8 billion in handle during Year 1.
In the spirit of the season, here’s a look at our resolutions — or perhaps more accurately, Christmas wishes — for the state’s sports teams and Ohio sports betting apps in the coming year.
Ohio Handle 3rd Best in U.S.
The golden standard for first-year sports betting markets in the U.S. is New York, which has raked in more than $13 billion in wagers since launching mobile sports betting in January.
While no one is expecting such a result in Ohio (given New York’s larger population base and more established betting culture), we can deduce the Buckeye State will be among the national leaders in wagering revenue in 2023.
The current No. 2 market for sports betting operators, by handle, is New Jersey, which has taken in just over $11 billion in handle over the last 12 months.
After that, Illinois, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Arizona.
Of that quartet, Illinois is probably the strongest at the moment, with the Land of Lincoln raking in just over $5 billion in handle since dropping its in-person mobile sportsbook registration requirement in March.
Should Ohio clear the $8 billion mark in 2023, the state would have a higher average monthly handle ($734.17 million) than Illinois since it dropped its in-person registration requirement ($639.596 million).
It’s not hard to see an immediate future where Ohio would usurp Illinois to become the third-largest sports betting market in the country after New York and New Jersey.
As bettors look for deals to make their first wagers in the state, BetOhio.com is the place for Ohio sportsbook promo codes.
Ohio State Beats Michigan for CFP Title
The Buckeyes enter the 2023 College Football Playoff as the No. 4 seed and currently have the third-longest odds of any competitor, according to BetMGM Sportsbook Ohio.
Bettors might want to shop around at different books though, as using a FanDuel Ohio promo might offer better odds.
Ryan Day’s squad is currently listed at +350 to earn their second CFP title, ranking behind defending champion Georgia (-145) and Michigan (+300).
The Buckeyes’ road goes through the Bulldogs (8 p.m. Eastern on New Year’s Eve in the Peach Bowl), before they’d have to face the winner of the Michigan-TCU semifinal in the championship game Jan. 9.
It’s unfortunate timing for Ohio sports betting, with the Peach Bowl figuring to end less than 30 minutes before wagering goes live in the state.
Ohio State is fresh off its second-straight shellacking at the hands of Jim Harbaugh and the Wolverines, this time via a 45-23 loss Nov. 26.
The Buckeyes could right all that went wrong — both against Michigan and for the state’s gamblers — by getting the last laugh and upsetting the Bulldogs and Wolverines to capture the program’s ninth national title.
Bengals Repeat as AFC Champs
Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals entered 2022 with high hopes and higher expectations after rushing their way through the AFC playoffs and within shouting distance of the franchise’s first Super Bowl title.
The team’s AFC title defense has been anything but smooth so far, with consecutive losses to the Steelers and Cowboys serving as the jumping-off point out of the gate.
Since then, however, Cincy has gone 8-2, with the team’s lone losses coming to Baltimore and Cleveland on the road.
The Bengals are currently riding a four-game winning streak, with wins over the Panthers (42-21), Steelers (37-30), Titans (20-16), and Chiefs (27-24) during that stretch.
Cincinnati currently holds the third-best AFC odds at BetMGM Sportsbook at +600 with five weeks left in the NFL regular season.
We expect the Bengals to notch victories over the Browns on Sunday, Buccaneers on Dec. 18, and Patriots on Christmas Eve to get to 11 victories for the year and firmly secure a playoff berth.
Come the playoffs, the Bengals should be flying high and could repeat the same type of run they put up last season to get back to the Big Game.
Cavaliers Earn a Top 2 Playoff Seed
The Cavaliers have chipped away at the lofty heights the franchise reached during King James’ reign but have never made the postseason since the Akron native left for L.A. in 2018.
This year, J.B. Bickerstaff’s team has put Cleveland back on the NBA map, with the Cavaliers sitting at 15-9 and in third place in the NBA Eastern Conference.
The Cavaliers appear to finally have the type of scoring threat (Donovan Mitchell) they’ve sorely missed since the King departed, with the former Utah guard leading Cleveland in scoring (28.4 PPG).
Aside from Mitchell, perhaps the biggest storyline for the Cavs’ this year has been the play of point guard Darius Garland, who has averaged 22.2 points, and 7.7 assists per game.
Mitchell, Garland, and sophomore power forward Evan Mobley have punished opponents all year, placing Cleveland in prime position to lock down their first top-four seed in the East since 2018.
We expect the Cavaliers to have no issue winning 55 games this year, which would be Cleveland’s most in a season since going 57-25 in 2015-16.
That type of steady success should lift Bickerstaff’s squad to a top-two seed in the East, right behind current No. 1 seed, Milwaukee, which is on pace to win 61 games.
Multiple March Madness Wins
It’s been a solid start to the men’s college basketball season for Ohio State and Kent State.
The Buckeyes are 6-2, ranking 20th as of Tuesday in stats whiz Ken Pomeroy’s daily college basketball rankings.
The Golden Flashes are ranked 68th by the same metric, at 6-3, and have wins over mid-major stalwarts Northern Kentucky, Portland and South Dakota State this season.
It’s not hard to imagine a future where Chris Holtmann’s squad earns a five or six seed in the tournament and knocks off its first two opponents, earning the Buckeyes their first Sweet 16 berth 2013.
Conversely, there’s a real chance Rob Senderoff’s Golden Flashes team gets in as a 12 or 13 seed and does some damage from there — perhaps earning Kent State its first Sweet 16 appearance since 2002.
Kent State will have a golden opportunity to bolster its resume when it hosts New Mexico State on Dec. 21, before kicking off MAC action Jan. 3.
Ohio State has a home game against defending national runners-up, North Carolina, on Dec. 17, before kicking off Big Ten play on New Year’s Day.
Guardians, Reds in MLB Playoffs
It’s been a decade of “what-ifs” for Ohio’s two MLB franchises in Cleveland and Cincinnati.
The Guardians have been one of the league’s most consistent franchises, making six playoff trips in the last 10 years, but haven’t won it all since 1948.
The Reds, on the other hand, have been mired in a two-year rebuild that’s seen Cincinnati post its first 100-loss season since 1982 this year.
Cleveland, under the steady leadership of World Series-winning skipper Terry Francona, should be a frontrunner to win the AL in 2023.
The Reds, meanwhile, are going to be facing long odds of even reaching the postseason in the year ahead but have some decent pieces to build around.
Cincinnati will turn to starter Nick Lodolo, who had the highest WAR (2.7) of any Reds starting pitcher to anchor their rotation, while catcher Tyler Stephenson (1.5 WAR) and right fielder Aristides Aquino (1.4 WAR) will be tasked with leading the order.
The Reds should have the opportunities needed to contend in a wide-open NL Central next season, with the Cubs continuing their multiyear rebuild, St. Louis needing to replace franchise cornerstones Albert Pujols and Yadier Molina, and Milwaukee having its fair share of question marks as well.