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 Ohio in the northwest or Washington, D.C., in the East. Whatever the market, you can expect plenty of legal sports betting on all of these teams below!
The 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, 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games in a row in this series at one point, and they’re currently on a new 15-game home winning streak, so that may be outdated again soon.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 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 at 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 will host the Cowboys on Sunday, October 25, and then make the trip to Dallas for another Thanksgiving matchup on Thursday, November 26.
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. New York eked out a win, 20-19, in the first meeting this fall on October 18. The teams will meet again November 8 in Washington.
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The Cavs 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 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.”
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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 states 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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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