Football fans may not have to wait long to start betting live games once again. The United States Football League (USFL) is relaunching this spring. So far, 15 US states have decided to allow licensed sportsbooks to offer betting odds on USFL games.
Currently, more than 30 US states allow some form of sports betting. However, only 15 states have currently given the green light for betting on the USFL. Of those states, only two of them will feature USFL franchises. Pennsylvania, however, will be home to two teams.
A launch this spring could provide the USFL with a unique opportunity to build a fan base. The MLB is currently in a lockout. If the stalemate continues, there may not be MLB games for bettors to wager on for some time. When the MLB season was shortened in 2020, sports bettors found new sports to bet on. Two years ago, it was table tennis. This time around, it could be the USFL that fills that void.
What Is the USFL?
From 1983 to 1986, the original USFL appeared poised to give the NFL a run for its money. The league was able to lure away top draft prospects such as Jim Kelly, Steve Young, and Herschel Walker. Unfortunately, despite having plenty of talented players throughout the league, bad management caused the USFL to fold.
For its first season, the USFL will consist of eight teams from seven states. Despite having teams from all over the country, all 40 regular-season games will be played in Birmingham, AL. The games will be simulcast on both Fox and NBC in a historic move for both networks. After the regular season, the post-season games will be played at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, OH.
Which States Allow Betting on the USFL?
In recent years, dozens of states have legalized sports betting in some form. In total, 33 states plus DC have created laws to allow sportsbooks. So, only 15 states have approved licensees to offer odds on the USFL. Those states include:
- New Jersey
- New Hampshire
- New Mexico
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
Out of those states, only two, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, will be home to USFL teams. Michigan and Louisiana allow sports betting and will also have franchises, however, their regulators have not yet approved betting on the USFL.
USFL officials have stated that they want the league to be an “innovator” in the world of professional football. Acting as a springtime option for football bettors is a good place to start. The more states that approve USFL betting, the more impact the league can have.
How Will the MLB Lockout Affect the USFL?
Football is one of the most popular sports to wager on in the US. As a result, the USFL offers bettors a great opportunity to win real money betting on football during the NFL offseason. This year, the added betting option could be even more important than normal.
Without MLB games to bet on, sports bettors will need to find alternative activities to wager on. During the early phases of the pandemic, sports such as table tennis saw a major increase in action. This time around, the USFL could benefit from the lack of baseball games.
The growing popularity of sports betting across the US should also add to the action on the USFL. Sportsbooks across the country set new records on this year’s Super Bowl. The growth in popularity has helped to dispel some of the taboos surrounding the industry. As a result, sportsbooks have seen an increase in smaller tickets from casual football fans.
This spring, nearly four decades after the original league folded, the USFL will make its return. Other than the name, the new league has little connection to the old USFL. The league offers good news for sports bettors looking to fill the void left by the MLB lockout. So far, 15 states have cleared licensees to offer wagers on the new football league.
The USFL will kick off its first season in just over a month. For its inaugural season, all the regular-season games will be played in the state of Alabama. However, the playoffs and championship game will take place in Canton, OH.
With professional baseball already canceling games due to its lockout, the USFL offers a chance for bettors to stay active. The extra attention could also help the league grow in popularity in its early stages. If it proves successful, more states will likely allow their sportsbooks to offer wagers on the league.