When sports betting arrives in Maryland in the near future, Marylanders will finally be able to wager on their favorite teams and sports.
This begs the question. What teams and sports will Marylanders bet on? Different parts of the country see various levels of popularity for each sport.
So let’s take a look at what can be expected in Maryland.
Sports Available for Betting in Maryland
There are a number of sports that Marylanders will be able to bet on when sports betting lands in the state. Here they are:
|Football||NFL, NCAA, Canadian Football League|
|Basketball||NBA, NCAA, WNBA, Euroleague|
|Baseball||MLB, Japanese and Korean Leagues|
|Hockey||NHL, Russian, Swedish Leagues and potentially other international associations|
|Boxing||Fights throughout the calendar|
|UFC/MMA||Fights throughout the calendar|
|Motor Sports||NASCAR, F1|
|Rugby||Super League, World Cup, Six Nations, England – Premiership|
|Soccer||UEFA Champions League, England – Premier League, Europa League, MLS, various other international associations|
|Australian Rules Football||Games throughout the season|
|Table Tennis||Games throughout the year|
|Volleyball||Various European associations|
Most Popular Teams in Maryland – Eyes Open for Sports Betting in Maryland
For a long time, NFL loyalties in Maryland split between the Ravens, the new kids on the block, and Washington, who also calls the state home.
But now that the Ravens have called Maryland home for a quarter-century and have won two Super Bowls in that time, the team has become the clear favorite of the Maryland fan base.
The presence of star players like Ray Lewis and Lamar Jackson over the years, plus their consistent presence among the top teams in the NFL, combine to make the Ravens the most popular rooting option among Maryland bettors.
Washington Football Team
As we said, NFL football is king. So, even if the Ravens have taken the No. 1 spot, there’s plenty of rooting interest left for the “old guard’ Washington Football Team.
Washington is one of the league’s oldest franchises. They have experienced considerable success throughout the years and management always willing to spend on bringing in the best players.
It’s Not Just the NFL in Maryland
As members of the Big Ten Conference, Maryland basketball plays numerous big games every season. It is a regular participant in the season-ending March Madness tournament.
Terrapins football has seen mixed results in recent years. But, as members of the Big Ten, they play several marquee games each year against some of college football’s flagship programs, including Michigan, Ohio State, and Penn State.
The Orioles’ recent struggles has done little to hurt their popularity among Maryland sports fans. Baseball fans love tradition and the Orioles have plenty of it dating back to the days of Jim Palmer, Brooks Robinson, and Cal Ripken. For many years, the Orioles were the only professional sports team in Baltimore. As a result, the team generated a large and loyal following in America’s pastime that follows them to this day.
It’s Not Just.. Maryland.. in Maryland!
These days, the Orioles have competition among Maryland MLB fans. The Nationals came to Washington D.C. in 2005. They have slowly but surely built a following. This rabid fan base reached a new peak when the team won its first World Series in 2019. These days, Maryland baseball fans have both an American League and National League option nearby.
The local NBA franchise spent years playing in Maryland while known as the Baltimore Bullets. Their fans continue to follow them years later as the Wizards in the nation’s capital.
Most NBA fans remember the Wizards as Michael Jordan’s team during his two-year comeback in the 2000s. However, countless other star players have honed their craft for the franchise over the years.
NHL hockey may not enjoy as robust as following as the NFL, NBA, and MLB, but sports bettors will appreciate the simplicity of gambling options in this sport. Totals for goals scored in a game are often as low as 5 or 5.5.
And, over the years the Capitals – one of the league’s most exciting teams – have been a popular ‘over’ bet with their high-flying offense.
Alexander Ovechkin is one of the best players in the sport’s history. Maryland hockey fans saw their loyalty pay off when the Capitals claimed Lord Stanley’s Cup in 2018.
Most Watched Sports in Maryland – And Soon to Be Most Bet On!
Over six million people live in the state of Maryland. And the local TV markets for Baltimore and nearby Washington D.C. combine to represent about 3.6 million people.
Given what we know about the popularity of certain teams and sports in the state, what are the most watched TV sports in Maryland? This may give us a solid indication of what Marylanders will bet on too.
|NFL Football||It’s the king in the United States, with between 15-18 million people viewing an average game on national TV. The most recent Super Bowl was viewed by almost 92 million Americans.|
|MLB Baseball||Second to the NFL, Game 7 of the 2021 World Series was viewed by 12 million Americans.|
|NBA Basketball||Numbers are up for NBA telecasts in the states at about 1.5 million viewers per national contest so far in 2021.|
|PGA Golf||The bigger the tournament, the bigger the audience. The 2021 U.S. Open averaged over 5 million viewers.|
|NHL Hockey||A new deal with ESPN is helping the sport’s cause, as over 900,000 Americans tuned in to this year’s season opener.|
Which Sports Will be Most Popular Among Maryland Bettors?
Across the country, different sports enjoy higher or lower popularity with bettors. What will we see in Maryland? We can take some insight from nearby New Jersey, which recently released its year-to-date Sports Wagering handle – or total money wagered – statistics.
Of the nearly $8.5 billion wagered on sports in New Jersey this year, the numbers were broken into five categories. You can see them below, followed by some analysis of these numbers:
New Jersey Sports Wagering Handle Year to Date Through October 2021
- Parlays are highly popular, accounting for almost $2 billion in wagering so far this year. The sportsbook calculated a 17.1% win percentage off the wagers. Almost three times that of other sports, underscoring the challenge of completing a successful parlay.
- Basketball was the highest-bet single sport to this point in the year, owing largely to the return of the March Madness tournament in 2021 and a robust NBA playoffs season.
- You may be surprised to see football lagging behind the other sports, but keep in mind these numbers are only through October. Half the NFL’s regular season plus the college bowl season and playoffs are still to come. Also, it stands to reason a large percentage of parlay revenue may come from football games.
- “Other” comprised bets taken on anything outside the first four categories, including international soccer, major golf tournaments, important boxing matches and other events.
The Garden State is one comparison, as it’s become a robust area for sports wagering. There is little doubt that Maryland will soon follow in its footsteps, as Maryland bettors will have no shortage of options for sports, events, and local teams once sports gambling finally gets underway!
What will Marylanders bet on? It won’t be long until we find out!