Major League Football. The Pacific Pro League. Arena Football. Alliance of American Football. The United Football League. The US Football League. What do they have in common? They all live in the graveyard of failed spring football leagues.

USFL co-founders Brian Woods, and Eric Shanks, CEO and executive producer of Fox Sports are both focusing on an April launch, with a season that runs to July 3 in Year 1.

But the USFL hopes to succeed where others have failed, and they hold a significant advantage over the rest. Sports betting.

Can You Bet on the USFL in Pennsylvania?

Although betting on the USFL has not yet been approved in Pennsylvania, there are no glaring signs from regulators there would be a problem in doing so. According to PlayNJ, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement has not approved USFL betting but also gave no reason there would be any sort of delay.

To get a perspective from the sportsbook side of things, I recently talked with Johnny Avello, Director of Race & Sports Operations at DraftKings.

“DraftKings continues to work with regulators in every state we are currently operational in, to gauge interest in taking bets on the USFL. If approved, we’ll certainly take bets on the league and I believe there is plenty of time to finalize the process.” Avello said.

Another positive sign to look at is the multi-year partnership the USFL signed with Sportradar. This establishes Sportradar as the official sports data partner of the league.

Is Sports Betting the Key to the Success of USFL 2.0?

Yes, the AAF and XFL launched during the rise of online sports betting and still failed, but sports betting is much more available than it was even a year ago. Also, with FOX Sports having ownership of the league, it’s pretty obvious that this new USFL will take advantage of a thriving sports betting industry in an effort to gain viewership.

Plus, during the AAF season, three states allowed legal online sports betting. When it came to the XFL season, there were nine. However, when the USFL kicks off in the spring of 2022, there could be as many as 19 states offering online sports betting.

When I asked Johnny Avello if the USFL has a better chance of succeeding due to the growth of sports betting throughout the US, he told us…

“It certainly has been a tough go for past leagues, but if we get the green light from regulators in multiple jurisdictions to offer odds on the league and if the product on the field is compelling with tv exposure, I can see it succeeding.” Avello continued, “As a betting operator, we’ll do our part but it’s up to the league to present a first-class product year in and year out which is necessary for sustained success.”

Betting on the USFL – How will it work?

When I asked about the challenges oddsmakers may face creating lines for unknown players in a new league, Avello explained that if approved, he’s confident his team will be able to overcome those challenges and offer the USFL market.

Avello shared that they may take a “Gradual approach as our traders become familiar with the nuances and intricacies of the league.” Avello also added, “If approved, since we are still engaged in conversation, the plan would be to offer Future Odds on the 8 teams in the league. We’d likely offer, Sides, Totals, and  Money Lines initially. First & Second Half bets are also possible. This is no easy task but we have an excellent team that will do the necessary research in order to offer this market.”

What Teams Are in the USFL?

If approved, bettors would be able to bet on all eight teams in the USFL. Each team will play a 10-game schedule, with teams in the same division playing each other twice and teams in the other division once.

The top two teams in each division will play against each other in the semifinals followed a week later by the championship game.

North Division:

  • Michigan Panthers
  • New Jersey Generals
  • Philadelphia Stars
  • Pittsburgh Maulers

South Division:

  • Birmingham Stallions
  • Houston Gamblers
  • New Orleans Breakers
  • Tampa Bay Bandits

Featured image credit: Susan Ragan – AP