The United States Football League kicks off on Saturday, April 16, with the New Jersey Generals visiting the Birmingham Stallions at Protective Stadium in Birmingham, AL.
Of course, our interest is in whether or not there will be betting lines available? After all, sports bettors placed wagers in record numbers for Super Bowl LVI, and there will likely be no shortage of prospective USFL bettors looking for offseason football action.
SBR's industry insiders have been in talks with all the major U.S. online sportsbooks regarding USFL betting since the league's reincarnation was announced. We are excited to announce that DraftKings Sportsbook is the first to confirm that they will indeed be hosting betting lines for the USFL.
"We will be offering lines for when the USFL season begins in April. However, we still do not have confirmation of when and in which states these lines will be up. We are also still working on getting confirmation of which props will be offered," said a DraftKings Sportsbook representative.
Prop betting would be an excellent aspect for the USFL and unique to the spring football world as it was something we didn't see for the AAF in 2019 or the XFL in 2020.
Many have seen the launch of the new USFL as a rushed process. The initial draft was held on February 22. Training camp begins on March 21, and kickoff is April 16. That gives teams, fans, and the sports betting industry just two months between the draft and kickoff to sort things out.
In comparison, before the XFL's 2020 season, they had invited sportsbook and DFS providers like DraftKings to minicamps two months before kickoff. They consistently contacted providers to ensure they had everything needed to make DFS and betting a vital part of the viewer experience. XFL pregame shows featured sports betting advice and promoted current lines, something that was still frowned upon by the likes of the NFL at that time.
At this time, sportsbooks have not mentioned having any contact with USFL representatives. However, many have still expressed interest in offering lines. A FOX Bet rep stated the last hurdle for the USFL to clear is getting approval at the state level across the country to become a legal league to bet on. A representative from the State of Colorado confirmed that the USFL's application is currently under review but had no timetable for when it could be approved.
The XFL's first week in 2020 averaged 3.1 million viewers per game. With the rapid growth we have seen from the sports betting industry since 2020 and the potential void to be filled with the delay of the MLB season, the USFL and sportsbooks have a massive opportunity to capture the general public's hearts. Still, we'll need to see better communication and collaboration from the league.
For now, DraftKings Sportsbook is the first dog at the bowl to confirm that you'll be able to place wagers on the upcoming season.