Legal Wagering On The NBA, Memphis Grizzlies Comes To Tennessee

Written By Chris Sheridan | Last Updated
Memphis Grizzlies NBA Tennessee Sports Betting
The Volunteer State is now online in the legalized US sports gambling market, meaning folks in Tennessee can wager on the Memphis Grizzlies and all of the teams in the NBA. There are already 2021 NBA Finals futures odds available to bet on at DraftKings Sportsbook, FanDuel Sportsbook and BetMGM, all of which are available to download and wager on in Tennessee.

How to bet on the Grizzlies

  DraftKings has the Grizzlies odds to pull off an all-time stunner by winning it all in 2021 at +15000. FanDuel is +10000, and BetMGM is +20000. Those are long odds for sure, and we’re still around two months away from the next NBA season starting, so not much action is coming in on the Grizzlies to win the next NBA title in states that already have legal wagering. If you’re a Tennessee bettor who is bullish on the Grizzlies’ chances of making noise this coming season, or if you think Morant has an outside shot at league MVP in 2020-21, you don’t need to worry about these new sportsbooks altering the prices on the locals. “We are going to approach the Tennessee teams like we would with any jurisdiction, we’re not going to change the odds or lower them or anything like that,” said Johnny Avello, DraftKings’ head of sportsbook and gaming operations. “The price will be what we would give anywhere else.” As we get closer to the start of the next NBA season, sportsbooks will begin posting odds to win the division and also team odds to make the playoffs. The Grizzlies barely missed out on the playoffs this past season as they played in the NBA’s first ever play-in game, losing to the Portland Trail Blazers. But Memphis is clearly a team on the rise. An NBA title for Ja and the Grizzlies in 2021 is highly unlikely, but a trip to the postseason might be a worthy bet when those “To Make the Playoffs” markets are posted. “The Grizzlies have some talent with Ja and Jonas (Valanciunas), but it’s hard for bettors to see a path to success for them,” said Andrew Mannino of PointsBet, an Australian-based sportsbook that could enter the legal Tennessee sports betting market in the coming months. “They’ve been improving and made the play-in game this year but making the playoffs isn’t enough to succeed in a stacked Western Conference.”
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Ja Morant MVP odds

  Morant, the 2019-20 NBA Rookie of the Year, is currently +10000 to win the 2021 NBA MVP at DraftKings Sportsbook. That puts him on par with the likes of the Miami Heat’s Bam Adebayo (+10000), the New Orleans Pelicans’ Brandon Ingram (+10000), the Toronto Raptors’ Kyle Lowry (+10000), the Golden State Warriors’ Klay Thompson (+10000) and the Minnesota Timberwolves’ Karl-Anthony Towns (+10000). Zion Williamson, Morant’s 2019 rookie class rival, is +6000 to win MVP at DK. The favorites include the Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo (+600), the Mavericks’ Luka Doncic (+600) and Lakers stars Anthony Davis (+700) and LeBron James (+700). Morant had a sensational rookie campaign in Memphis this past season, averaging 17.8 points and 7.3 assists per game. A bump up in those numbers and a Grizzlies playoff push could certainly put him in the conversation for MVP.

Tennessee sports betting at a glance

According to, there are a number of salient details regarding the introduction of legalized sports betting in Tennessee. Among them:
  • Tennessee sportsbooks will offer odds on college games, but one thing you will not find is free-for-all, play-by-play prop betting, which offers updated odds after basically every play.
  • This popular form of wagering will be available only on a limited basis in Tennessee. Additionally, there are no prop bets on individual performances by college athletes.
  • When it comes to the basic elements of Tennessee sports betting, these are the important industry numbers to know:
    • $750,000 upfront licensing fee for all operators
    • $750,000 annual renewal fee
    • 20% tax rate
  • Compared to other states, the licensing fee is on the low side of things, while the tax rate is on the high side, especially in an online-only marketplace. The money generated by sports betting taxes and licenses will be distributed thusly:
    • 80% goes into the lottery for an education account where Lottery proceeds are also deposited
    • 15% goes to the TN General Fund
    • 5% goes to mental health and substance abuse programs specifically focused on problem gambling
  • If any state is going to take a hit on Tennessee’s legalization, it is bordering Mississippi – where there are over 20 brick-and-mortar spots offering legal sports betting.
  • Because there is no gambling infrastructure in Tennessee such as parlors and horse racetracks, the companies that are going into Tennessee are going to have an online presence only.