Iowa Sportsbooks Get Plenty Of Time To Prepare For Big Ten Football Restart

Written By Derek Helling on September 18, 2020 - Last Updated on June 10, 2021

It was never a matter of if, and now it is no longer a matter of when.

Big Ten football will restart this fall, and the good news for Iowa sportsbooks is the first games are about a month away.

Teams expect to play their first games on Oct. 2324. Over the weeks between now and then, IA sports betting apps should have plenty of opportunities to craft some appropriate promotions.

Details on the Big Ten football restart

While the conference has yet to release a detailed schedule, a press release did include some information. If all goes according to this latest plan, each team will play eight games against other teams in the conference.

The Big Ten championship game is set for Dec. 19. In order to pull off the new plan, teams have to maintain COVID-19 testing positivity levels of 5% or less on a weekly basis.

Should everything go well, that means the Nebraska Cornhuskers and Iowa Hawkeyes could be on the field again late next month. While it’s too early to say for sure whether their schedules will include the annual Heroes Game between the two programs, that’s a strong likelihood.

Until the conference releases a new full schedule, don’t expect IA sportsbooks to post markets. Additionally, sportsbooks may place conditions on Big Ten futures wagers, like a minimum number of games teams have to play.

Provided everything moves forward as planned; however, there is plenty of time for sportsbooks in IA to prepare for Big Ten football wagering. Within the limits of the law, there’s time for them to get creative.

Ideas for Big Ten football promos for IA sportsbooks

The law in Iowa says legal sportsbooks can’t take prop bets on college athletes’ performances. For football, that means they can’t post markets on how many yards the Iowa running back Tyler Goodson will rush for in a game, for example.

Other than that, however, the only limits to what bets IA books can take on college sports are their own abilities to offer the action.

Here are a few ideas for promos that would be perfectly legal:

  • West is the Best: Place a wager on any Big Ten West team to win the conference championship game and enjoy a profit boost if you guess right
  • Hawkeyes Surprise: Stake a minimum amount on Iowa in a moneyline market. If the Hawkeyes lose the game, the sportsbook will credit your account with an amount equal to the number of points they scored in that defeat.
  • Cornhusker Buster: For every 100 bets the sportsbook takes on the Nebraska spread in a game, the book will increase that line by a point.
  • Superheroes: Place at least three in-game wagers during the Iowa versus Nebraska game. If you win all three, the sportsbook will give you a special bonus.

The sportsbooks may come up with variants of these on their own, so check in with your favorite Iowa book as the calendar moves closer to Oct. 23. If all goes well, IA residents and visitors could be wagering on Big Ten football again by Halloween.

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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a lead writer for PlayUSA and the manager of BetHer. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa and covers the intersections of sports with business and the law.

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