The start of the 2020 football has provided a jolt for sports betting operators — enough so that one DraftKings executive called the first weekend of the NFL season a “Super Bowl” level event in terms of handle. While the NFL has long been a driver for sports betting operators, college football is also a key component.
Against the backdrop of a COVID-19-restricted world, the first kickoff in the NFL on Sept. 10 was cause to celebrate like you would for a Super Bowl. After all, the other three major professional sports either had seasons interrupted or shortened. College football is, in some ways, a side dish to the NFL, but one that sportsbooks wouldn’t want to do without.
In August, both the Big Ten and Pac-12 announced they would delay their respective 2020 fall seasons. But both have since done an about-face, and the Big Ten’s first game is set for Oct. 23 while the Pac-12 will officially kick off on Nov. 6. While it’s unclear how a national champion will be crowned or even if every team will get in all their scheduled games, sportsbook operators are happy to have one more thing on the menu of betting options.
“The more games, the more number of events that it has, the better it is for bettors,” 888 Holding’s Head of Commercial Development Yaniv Sherman said in an interview. “They own Saturdays. The NFL has Sunday, Monday, and Thursday, they’re very specific time slots, but