Virginia College Sports Betting

Legal sports betting is enjoying great success in Virginia. While this success partially carries over into college sports betting, several restrictions on the activity make it far less accessible than wagering on professional sports.

In particular, Virginia sports betting law doesn’t allow for wagering on Virginia-based college programs. Also, both in-game wagering and player prop bets are prohibited for college games in Virginia.

All other types of bets are allowed on college sports contests, as long as those matches do not involve any Virginia teams.

Of course, these limitations put a little bit of a damper on college sports betting in the Commonwealth.  However, there is plenty more college action available for sports bettors to enjoy.

Where can Virginia bettors place these wagers? Virginia is now home to a dozen mobile sports betting apps. By early 2023, bettors will likely be able to access retail sportsbooks at land-based casinos as well.

This guide will discuss some of these online sportsbooks below.  We will also provide information about some of the most popular college teams in Virginia and other information you need to know to fully enjoy college sports betting.

Is It Legal To Bet On College Sports In Virginia?

College sports betting is legal in Virginia with a few exceptions.

Sports contests involving Virginia-based programs can’t legally be offered for wagering at the state’s legal sportsbooks. In-game betting and player prop bets also won’t appear on the menus of the state’s sportsbooks under Virginia law.

Sports Betting In Surrounding Areas

Both West Virginia and Washington, DC, currently offer legal online sports betting. Maryland approved sports betting on 2020’s November ballot, with lawmakers in the state expected to spend 2021 finalizing the state’s sports betting regulations. This means that within a year, all four states will have legal online sports betting. 

Can I Bet On Virginia College Teams?

Betting on Virginia-based college teams isn’t allowed at the state’s legal sportsbooks. This ban on wagering on in-state programs isn’t unusual in the US, however.

New Jersey, the biggest sports betting market in the US, operates with a similar prohibition on betting on state-based colleges.

Betting On College Basketball In Virginia

While programs like the Virginia Cavaliers and Virginia Tech Hokies are off the table, the state’s legal sportsbooks offer wagering on many other college teams. This includes several prestigious basketball programs from surrounding areas.

Maryland Terrapins

The University of Maryland Terrapins men’s basketball program stands as one of the most consistent winners in the sport over the last half-century.

The Terrapins lay claim to 28 NCAA Tournament appearances, including two Final Four berths. Maryland’s 2002 tournament run culminated in a National Championship for the program.

After decades in the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Terrapins moved to the Big Ten in 2014. Since making that move, Maryland’s men’s basketball resume includes four March Madness appearances and a regular-season conference championship in 2020.

Georgetown Hoyas

Based in Washington, DC, Georgetown University boasts one of the most storied men’s basketball programs in the country.

The Hoyas basketball tradition goes back more than 100 years and includes 30 NCAA Tournament appearances, five final four runs, and the 1984 National Championship.

A stalwart of the Big East Conference, Georgetown holds the record for most conference championships with eight. The Hoyas made five March Madness appearances in the 2010s, and are one of the most popular teams in the Virginia/Washington, DC area.

Betting On March Madness In Virginia

The NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament (aka March Madness) functions as one of the biggest sports betting events in the US. The annual 68-team tournament generates wagering interest rivaled by only the Super Bowl in the US.

While Virginia laws prevent bettors from wagering on Virginia-based teams in the NCAA Tournament, all other games in the season-ending tournament are open for betting. This also applies to the annual ACC tournament.

Betting On College Football In Virginia

West Virginia Mountaineers

Virginia and Virginia Tech won’t appear on the college football betting menus at Virginia’s sportsbooks. The West Virginia University Mountaineers, one of college football’s more consistent programs over the past decade, will be open for betting, however.

Based in Morgantown, WV, the Mountaineers play in the high-scoring Big XII Conference. Big XII games present a special kind of drama for sports bettors, with combined scores that can sometimes reach triple digits.

West Virginia has appeared in a bowl game in six out of the last seven seasons.

Maryland Terrapins

The University of Maryland football program doesn’t quite carry the decades-long tradition of success enjoyed by the university’s basketball program. The Terrapins play in one of college football’s most competitive conferences, having joined the Big Ten in 2014.

Maryland’s spot in the Big Ten East pits the program in annual matchups against elite programs like Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan, and Michigan State. The Terrapins finished 2-3 in five conference games in the shortened 2020 season.

Betting On College Football Bowl Games In Virginia

NCAA Football bowl games function as season-ending showdowns between some of the nation’s top football programs.

Bowl games involving Virginia-based programs won’t be offered at Virginia sportsbooks, but a wealth of other betting opportunities await each December and January. Big-time bowl games like the Rose Bowl, Fiesta Bowl, and Sugar Bowl are some of the most popular events on the sports betting calendar.

All bowl games are open for betting in Virginia, provided that neither participant is a Virginia-based college program.

Where Can You Bet On College Sports In Virginia?

Online sports betting launched in January 2021, and retail sportsbooks in Bristol, Danville, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Richmond are under construction.

Over a dozen different online sportsbooks could find their way to the Virginia market. Current mobile sportsbooks include:

  • DraftKings Sportsbook
  • BetMGM Virginia
  • Caesars Sportsbook
  • BetRivers Virginia
  • FanDuel Sportsbook
  • PointsBet Sportsbook
  • Unibet Sportsbook
  • WynnBET Sportsbook
  • Barstool Virginia
  • Golden Nugget Sportsbook
  • Bally Bet Virginia
  • Hard Rock Sportsbook

All of these platforms take bets on most games throughout the NCAA football and basketball seasons.

Betting markets on college sports include the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament and College Football Playoff, except for games involving Virginia-based college programs.

Online Sportsbooks

DraftKings Sportsbook

Much like FanDuel – its closest competitor – DraftKings Sportsbook offers a selection of college sports betting options that puts it in the top tier of options among NCAA sports bettors.

Nearly every game from the NCAA’s major football and basketball subdivisions appears on the menu at DraftKings sportsbook. With hundreds of games available for betting in each sport, both college basketball and football season offer a bettor’s paradise at DraftKings Sportsbook.

Caesars Sportsbook

A Caesars Entertainment land-based casino is projected to open in Portsmouth, thanks to Virginia’s recent approval of expansion into retail casino gaming. The Caesars Sportsbook App is already live in Virginia. Caesars operates as one of the most recognizable sports betting brands in the US.

Caesars Sportsbook features a big-time selection of college sports betting markets, including the regular season and postseason in both college football and basketball.

BetRivers Virginia

BetRivers’ parent company, Rush Street Interactive, has a land-based casino planned in Portsmouth. That tie-in will almost certainly yield a land-based retail version of BetRivers Sportsbook in Virginia at some point.

The BetRivers Sportsbook app is known for a generous welcome bonus offer for new players. This promotion comes in the form of a 100% deposit match up to $250 with just a 1x playthrough with promo code SHARP250.

Like DraftKings and FanDuel, BetRivers offers a wide variety of college sports on its betting menu.

FanDuel Sportsbook

The nation’s number one online sportsbook by market share, FanDuel Sportsbook was the first sportsbook app to launch in Virginia. FanDuel Sportsbook offers one of the most comprehensive overall sports betting platforms in terms of variety.

College football and basketball fans will find no shortage of opportunities to wager at FanDuel Sportsbook. FanDuel’s status as the most popular sportsbook in the US is bolstered by a wide array of college sports betting markets.

How College Sports Betting Odds Are Calculated

Virginia’s sportsbooks will display the odds on all games in American Odds notation. Here’s a look at the lines on the 2021 College Football National Championship at DraftKings Sportsbook:

Team Point SpreadTotalsMoneyline
Ohio State+7.5 (-110)Over 76 (-110)+235
Alabama-7.5 (-110)Under 76 (-110)-305

The numbers denoted by “+” and “-” represent American odds notation. Understanding how these payouts work is crucial to a winning sports betting strategy.

Calculating Positive American Odds

Suppose you place a $50 bet on Ohio State’s (+235) moneyline odds to win the game. To figure out your potential payout, divide the odds number (235) by 100, and multiply by the amount of the wager.

Using that formula, a $50 wager on the Buckeyes calculates as (235/100)*$50, which equals $117.50. A $50 bet on Ohio State, if it won, would return $167.50 to the bettor ($117.50 profit plus the original $50 bet).

Calculating Negative American Odds

A $50 bet on Alabama requires the negative American odds equation. To find the payout on the (-305) odds on the Crimson Tide, divide 100 by 305 and multiply that quotient by the amount of the bet.

A $50 bet at -305 odds calculates as (100/305)*50, which produces the rounded-off solution of $16.39. A $50 winning bet on Alabama would return $66.39 total to the bettor ($16.39 profit plus the original $50 bet).

What Kinds Of Bets Can Bets Can Be Placed On College Sports In Virginia?

The above table on the College Football National Championship represents the three most popular ways to bet on college sports.

Point spread betting adds points to the underdog’s score or subtracts that same number from the favorite’s score. Totals (aka over/under) bets wager on whether the combined final score of the game will go over or under the set total.

Moneyline bets present a straight-up wager on which team will win the game, with no point spread involved. Underdog odds on the moneyline can pay off big when an unlikely upset happens on the field.

Parlays offer the chance to combine multiple bets on one ticket, with the parlay only paying off if all bets on the ticket win.

Virginia sports betting laws outlaw player prop bets and in-game betting on college sports contests. All bets involving Virginia-based programs are banned by state laws.

Virginia College Sports Betting FAQs

Is It Legal To Bet On College Sports In Virginia?

Yes. Virginia sports betting is now live and eventually bettors will have access to at least a dozen different legal online sportsbooks, as well as retail sportsbooks at upcoming land-based casinos throughout the state. All of these sportsbooks offer comprehensive selections of college sports betting markets. In-game betting, player prop bets, and all wagering on Virginia-based college programs aren’t allowed under state law, however.

How Popular Is Betting On College Sports?

College sports offer some of the most popular betting markets in the US. The NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament exceeds the Super Bowl in terms of betting handle in some markets. College football represents another significantly popular sport for US bettors.

Can I Bet On Virginia College Teams?

No. Virginia sports betting laws explicitly ban all wagers on Virginia-based college programs. Tournaments involving Virginia teams, such as March Madness or the ACC Tournament, are open for betting, however. Only the games involving Virginia-based teams in those tournaments are off the board.

Where Can I Bet On Championship Games In Virginia?

Both online and retail sportsbooks offer bets on the NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four and the College Football Playoff. Some of the top online platforms in the Virginia market include DraftKings Sportsbook, BetMGM, Caesars, BetRivers, FanDuel Sportsbook, PointsBet, and Unibet.

Who Has The Best Odds On College Sports?

Odds on each game vary at the different sportsbooks in Virginia. Skilled bettors research the lines at different books, and wager at the sportsbooks offering the most favorable odds. With a number of online sports betting platforms in Virginia, bettors in the Old Dominion have plenty of opportunities to line shop among many different brands.

Does DraftKings Offer Odds On College Sports In Virginia?

Yes. DraftKings Sportsbook offers a comprehensive selection of college sports. Virtually all major and mid-major conferences are open for betting throughout the regular season and postseason in college football and basketball. Outside of the NCAA’s two most popular sports, plenty of other ways to bet on college athletic contests await on the DraftKings Sportsbook menu as well.

Does FanDuel Offer Odds On College Sports In Virginia?

Yes. Like DraftKings, FanDuel Sportsbook offers a comprehensive selection of college sports betting markets throughout the year.

About the Author

Geoffrey Fisk

Geoff Fisk is a San Diego-based freelance writer, specializing in the poker and gambling industries. He’s written for numerous platforms and has traveled the globe as a live poker tournament reporter. Geoff’s interests include the legal online poker industry in the U.S. and abroad.