While hope remains for a late fall launch of at least brick-and-mortar sportsbooks in Maryland, that isn’t of much use between now and Friday night as far as Maryland football betting odds go.
That’s when the No. 5-ranked University of Iowa Hawkeyes will visit the University of Maryland for the Terrapins‘ 2021 home Big Ten football opener.
The game takes place Friday at 8 p.m. and airs on FS1.
Both teams come in with unblemished records, adding to Marylanders’ likely chagrin that legal betting options in MD haven’t ramped up yet. However, not all hope is lost for those willing to invest a little time and travel.
Maryland football betting odds available in neighboring jurisdictions
Sports betting is legal in MD. However, no licensed sportsbooks have yet opened their doors or launched their apps for use in the Old Line State. Right now, the current expectation is that Marylanders will be able to place bets in person in early or mid-December without leaving their state.
The last four words of the prior sentence are of paramount importance. Every jurisdiction that borders MD (including Washington, DC) except Delaware currently has legal online sportsbooks up and running within their borders. In DE, only retail sportsbooks operate.
MD residents of age (at least 21) can register accounts on the appropriate apps, make deposits, and browse the lines from their homes. The only restriction is on actually placing bets. That’s when you’ll need to cross a border and let the app you’re using verify your location.
Once you’ve submitted that betting slip, you can head home. Should you win your bets, you can withdraw your winnings from anywhere. Here are a few of the online sportsbooks available in multiple adjacent jurisdictions:
- BetMGM Sportsbook: New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, DC (within two blocks of Nationals Park), and West Virginia
- BetRivers/PlaySugarHouse Sportsbook: NJ, PA, VA, WV
- Caesars/William Hill Sportsbook: DC (within two blocks of the Entertainment and Sports Arena), NJ, PA, VA, WV
- DraftKings Sportsbook: NJ, PA, VA, WV
- FanDuel Sportsbook: NJ, PA, VA, WV
In fact, now is a great time to try these sports betting apps. The college football and NFL seasons are when they offer their best new-customer bonuses like free bets. If you get ready in time, you could use those free bets on Friday night’s contest.
What do the lines look like for Friday night?
As of Wednesday, both BetMGM and Caesars have Maryland a 3.5-point underdog to Iowa. Those two books are also in agreement on a total for the game at 47.5. The Terrapins’ moneyline is identical between them as well, sitting at +145 on both apps.
So why despite the Hawkeyes’ high ranking is the spread on this game so small? Iowa is the least statistically impressive of the current top five teams on the offensive side. The Hawkeyes are winning games with defense right now.
While Iowa is third in the nation in average points allowed and 13th in average total yards allowed, they have quite pedestrian numbers among the top 25 for sacks and turnovers created. Their ascent has been all about putting the clamps on opposing offenses’ attempts to move the chains.
So far, they’ve managed to score enough points to avoid any real nailbiter games. The Hawkeyes are dead last in the Big Ten in total offense, though. They’re dealing with injuries along the offensive line, but execution seems to be the bigger problem so far.
It’s also an opportunity for MD quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa and the offense. Tagovailoa is seventh in all of FBS in passing yards, and Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz spoke about the threat he poses.
As Ferentz stated:
“This guy, he’ll get outside the pocket. So if we let him outside, it’s a little dangerous. He’ll do that with ease. It’s amazing how easy he gets out there. But like a good quarterback, he’s looking down the field when he gets out there. He will run it, but he’s trying to make a play, and that’s really scary. Now they force to you stay back in coverage. When he’s broke in contain, that’s a dilemma for any defensive player.”
Betting the spread on this game is a matter of deciding whether the Terps have the offensive firepower to overcome one of the nation’s top defenses. If Maryland can score three touchdowns as the Hawkeye offense takes time to adjust, they might be able to make Marylanders’ out-of-state trips pay off.