The NFL Is Game For Sports Betting Partnerships. So Who Would Be The Best Pairings?

Posted on July 2, 2020 - Last Updated on June 24, 2020

The NFL season has yet to kick off. In fact, it was pushed back when you consider the cancellation of the Aug. 8 Hall of Fame Game.

Yet already history has been made.

The Denver Broncos took advantage of a rules modification and made FanDuel Sportsbook — a Colorado online sportsbook operator since May 1 — an official NFL sports betting partner.

As a result, fans will see ample FanDuel branding throughout Empower Field at Mile High as well as hear about the operator on the team’s radio, television and digital platforms.

NFL opened door for sports betting sponsors

Such a deal is the first of its kind in the NFL, which updated rules earlier this year to allow such partnerships.

Prior to 2020, teams could partner with casinos and daily fantasy sports operators, but they could not team with sportsbooks.

Now, though, the league allows stadiums to feature betting lounges. While actual retail betting will not take place, these areas will certainly promote online betting apps of the sponsor.

Perhaps down the road, the NFL will broaden its horizons even further and betting windows will open up.

Baby steps is progress, though. But why stop there?

Finding best sports betting pairings for NFL teams

Chicago Bears

Despite early expectations of Illinois waiting until 2021 to launch online sports betting, the Land of Lincoln provided a summer gift, essentially fast-tracking mobile plans that allowed BetRivers to become the first legalized online sportsbook in the state.

Not only was the operator first, but its land-based headquarters are located just a half-hour up the interstate from Soldier Field, home of the Chicago Bears.

It only seems fitting, then, to pair the two: Da Bears pair off with Da BetRivers. A match made in deep dish heaven.

Indianapolis Colts

Over the past year, the Midwest has boomed with legalized sports betting. Among the group was the Hoosier State: Indiana.

In the dome that Peyton Manning built(ish), the Indianapolis Colts became an AFC power seemingly rivaled only by the New England Patriots, perhaps the Pittsburgh Steelers and nobody else.

So, why not have the Colts team up with a sports betting operator with similar success?

In New Jersey, DraftKings Sportsbook has grown into a heavy hitter. It expanded its reach into six other states, including Indiana in October 2019 (interestingly, on the same day the aforementioned BetRivers hit the market).

As the regulated wagering industry grows, it’s difficult to forget about DraftKings. It seems as if when any state opens up legalized betting, DraftKings is at the doorstep ready to plant its flag. And it seems as if the operator is destined to take it over with few competitors that can keep pace.

Las Vegas Raiders

The silver and black of the Oakland Raiders is as old as professional football itself. Or so it feels.

A passionate fan base. Built on tradition. Lined with history.

Now, the Raiders have relocated to the hub of American gambling: Las Vegas. There awaits a sports betting operator that shares similar traits.

Think of Vegas betting, and MGM will certainly be one of the first operators mentioned.

Well-known among legal sportsbooks, MGM carries plenty of weight in name alone. Add in a respectable product with some of the most experience in legalized American wagering history, and you get a solid partnership between team and operator.

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Northeast teams and NFL betting partners

New York Giants/Jets

Sure, BetRivers is just a zip up the interstate from Soldier Field (and even closer to another NFL stadium, though more on that in a bit), but no legal sportsbook boasts the proximity that FanDuel Sportsbook enjoys.

Located at Meadowlands Racetrack in East RutherfordNew Jersey, FanDuel’s retail spot sits an extra-point away from MetLife Stadium, where the New York Jets and New York Giants call home.

Like its chief daily fantasy sports rival DraftKings, FanDuel has quickly established itself as a go-to betting destination. In New Jersey, it has become a power online.

Along with its success and location, FanDuel clearly emerges as the natural partner for the Jets and Giants.

Philadelphia Eagles

Throughout franchise history, it seems as if the Philadelphia Eagles have flown under the radar, no doubt during the Super Bowl LII run. And arguably even during Philly’s NFC Championship and Super Bowl pushes in the early 2000s.

Similarly, SugarHouse Sportsbook has not enjoyed much spotlight. This despite the operator flourishing in New Jersey and standing as one of the industry leaders in Pennsylvania.

Like previous nominees above, SugarHouse’s retail proximity cannot go unnoticed.

A quick drive down the interstate leads bettors from the brick-and-mortar at Rivers Casino Philadelphia to Lincoln Financial Field. Add in an established and recognizable online betting app and you get a homegrown and beautiful marriage between NFL franchise and sportsbook operator.

Pittsburgh Steelers

This list started with BetRivers. So let’s bring it full circle and end it there.

At Heinz Field lives the blue-collar franchise Pittsburgh Steelers. The pride and joy of the working man. Steel City.

In the morning, the shadows of such harrowing ground stretch along the Ohio River, pointing toward Rivers Casino Pittsburgh. From the upper level, looking west, Steeler fans can see the brick-and-mortar that BetRivers calls home.

Like its sister sportsbook out of Philadelphia, SugarHouse, BetRivers has grown into a Pennsylvania sports betting powerhouse. As hinted at above, the operator has expanded its reach since debuting in the Keystone State a year ago.

Now, four states with legalized wagering feature the BetRivers brand. But it began in Pennsylvania. It began in the shadows of Heinz Field.

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Grant Lucas

Grant Lucas is a longtime sports writer who has covered the high school, collegiate and professional levels. A graduate of Linfield College in McMinnville, Grant has covered games and written features and columns surrounding prep sports, Linfield and Oregon State athletics, the Portland Trail Blazers and golf throughout his career.

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