When retail sports betting launches in Maryland, college sports will offer Maryland residents tons of betting possibilities. The NCAA plays more games every week than the vast majority of professional sports. Maryland also has local collegiate teams that play in high-profile games, which adds more betting action.
College sports differ from professional sports like the NFL and NBA in various ways. One is that there are different rules at each level. Others are the scoring outputs and the importance of home-field advantage. All of them are important to understand before placing a wager on any game.
Here are five things to know about betting on college sports in Maryland.
More Betting Opportunities
The NCAA features 129 FBS schools, while college basketball has 351 Div. I men’s college basketball teams. During each week of the college football season, there are more than 50 games being played between FBS schools. Those games are played throughout the week, usually Tuesday through Saturday.
Meanwhile, the NFL will have at most 16 games played each week during the season. The NBA will also top out at 15 games a day. Americans bet billions of dollars on football and basketball in a year, and college sports play a pivotal role in that.
According to Forbes, the 2021 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament was expected to reach $8.5 billion in total bets. COVID-19 canceled March Madness in 2020, so sports bettors could not wait to bet on college basketball. More US states have started to legalize sports betting and implement mobile betting apps so that number is expected to increase in the future. College football also constantly expands its number of bowl games, so the betting possibilities keep increasing.
Noteworthy Maryland College Teams
Most Maryland residents looking to bet on local college sports will flock to the University of Maryland Terrapins, who play in the Big Ten conference.
The football squad plays ranked opponents every season, so those games will entice sports bettors. The Terrapins men’s basketball team has qualified for five of the last six NCAA Tournaments. Maryland’s deepest run during that time came in 2016 when it reached the Sweet 16.
The University of Maryland-Baltimore County also has a promising men’s basketball team. Three years ago the Retrievers entered the NCAA Tournament as a No. 16 seed and pulled off the biggest upset in the history of the tournament by defeating the No. 1-seeded Virginia in the first round. During the 2020-21 season, UMBC finished the regular season as the top seed in the America East Conference but lost in the semifinals of the conference tournament and did not receive an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Home-Field Advantage Plays A Huge Role
Home-field advantage matters in all sports, but it plays a bigger role in college. Bettors should take into account the home versus away matchup when betting college sports. Crowd noise plays a major factor in these games, so the home team has a decisive advantage.
The 14 largest stadiums by capacity in the US all host college football teams. Some college football teams can pack more than 80,000 fans into their stadium. Eight of them have capacities over 100,000.
During the 2019-20 football season, the Kansas City Chiefs won the Super Bowl, and LSU won the college football national championship. That season, the Chiefs went 5-3 at home, and LSU went 7-0 at home. Many regard the Chiefs’ home field Arrowhead Stadium as one of the tougher places to play, but Kansas City lost three home games.
The 2018-19 college basketball and NBA seasons showed a similar trend. The Toronto Raptors won the NBA championship after going 32-9 at home during the regular season. Virginia won the college national championship after going 15-1 at home.
Home field advantage plays a pivotal role in college sports and bettors should keep that in mind when making bets.
College Football Games Are High Scoring
Every week, betting odds will have at least a couple of college football games with totals close to or surpassing 70 points. In comparison, oddsmakers have never listed a total of 70 points for an NFL game. Bettors with little college football betting experience will need to take a closer look at point totals.
With 129 schools competing in the FBS, the parity between teams has a much larger gap than the NFL. The talent level from team to team can differ by a wide margin. Depending on the matchup, one team could easily have massive speed and strength advantages. Those factors play a pivotal role at the collegiate level.
Rule Differences Between College And Professional Sports
College football and the NFL have rule differences. One big difference includes players only needed one foot in bounds to constitute a catch in college instead of two feet in the NFL. This allows more completed passes and more total yards. The clock will also temporarily stop when the offense gets a first down. This helps teams move the ball late in the game, as they can stop the clock without using a timeout. College teams can score late in the games a lot easier than NFL teams.
In basketball, NBA games last longer than college games. The NBA has four 12-minute quarters. In college, schools play two 20-minute halves. College basketball games will have lower scores than NBA games because of less game time. The NCAA also has a shorter three-point line. This makes it easier to score in bunches.