The summer solstice is near, which means that the start of the 2021-22 college football season isn’t far off. Appropriately, Virginia sportsbooks and their counterparts in Washington, DC, have college football futures markets for bettors’ consideration.
For gamblers in the DMV, though, betting on college football can be a little tricky. It’s important to know how and where you can bet on which markets and teams, as laws in the three jurisdictions impact this segment of the industry heavily.
Where can I bet college football futures?
All licensed VA and DC sports betting apps have at least some of these markets live right now. These include wagers on which team will win conference titles and the 2022 College Football Playoff National Championship. Other markets at some books have action on individual teams’ win totals and which player will claim the 2022 Heisman Trophy.
Which players and teams you’ll find on these apps heavily depends on which jurisdiction you’re in at the time. That’s because VA law bans sportsbooks in the commonwealth from accepting wagers on in-state schools and athletes. So, you won’t find any University of Virginia or Virginia Tech futures at those books.
If you’re determined to get such wagers down, you can travel to the nation’s capital. DC has similar statutes – sportsbooks in the District can’t take bets on college teams within the borders of DC or on collegiate events that happen there either – but obviously, the Cavaliers and Hokies don’t fit either of those stipulations.
Even within the confines of Washington, DC, though, there are some geofencing requirements that bettors should be aware of. That’s because the law in DC gives preferential treatment to the DC Lottery while allowing for some competition.
Location matters in the District
In DC, you’ll currently find a retail William Hill Sportsbook at the Entertainment and Sports Arena (home of the Washington Capitals, Washington Mystics, and Washington Wizards) along with a BetMGM Sportsbook at Nationals Park. Those operators can also offer online wagering, but only within a two-block radius of those venues.
The DC Lottery has a legal monopoly on mobile betting throughout the district. GambetDC has received a lot of criticism from users, though. Most of those complaints revolve around a lack of competitive odds, a small number of markets, and infrequent promotions.
So, if you want to stake the odds on BetMGM or William Hill in DC, you’ll need to get close to those stadiums to actually put your bets down. That might sound like more effort than it’s worth, and fortunately, another option is on the horizon.
Later this year, Virginians will have another option to put down bets on the UVA Cavaliers and VT Hokies during the season. Legal sportsbooks in Maryland should go live sometime this fall, at least on the brick-and-mortar side. MD law doesn’t have any special carveouts for college sports.
With all that information about how and where to wager laid out, the fun can begin. Where do the D1 FBS teams sit in the respective futures markets at the aforementioned sportsbooks? There’s a pretty strong consensus about their chances right now.
Odds on DMV teams at regional sportsbooks
Given that BetMGM and William Hill are the only two brands currently operating in both DC and Virginia, this overview will focus on those books. BetMGM figures to be a player in MD as well. MGM operates a casino in the state, and BetMGM has a deal with the Baltimore Ravens.
BetMGM in DC has some regional D1 FBS teams among its longer shots to win the 2022 championship. Virginia Tech is the team with the shortest odds at +10000. Virginia sits +15000 while Maryland and Navy both rest at +25000.
Also on BetMGM DC, you’ll find markets on Maryland’s regular-season win total. The book has that line set at six, with -125 odds on the Under. BetMGM also has conference title futures live. The Maryland Terrapins are +8000 to win the Big Ten. As far as the ACC goes, the Hokies are +2500 and the Cavaliers are +3500.
William Hill in DC currently features a Heisman futures market. There, Virginia Tech quarterback Hendon Hooker is +6000 while Hokies QB Braxton Burmeister currently lands at +10000. Also +10000 in that market is Terps QB Taulia Tagovailoa.
As long as there are special stipulations in the DMV regarding college sports, wagering on college football futures will be unique. However, there are still ways to legally get in on this action right now, and those options will only expand in the future.