Does Nebraska Sports Betting Allow Wagering on College Football?

Dan Favale
By , Updated on: Jul 11, 2024 12:00 AM
There is often some confusion over Nebraska sports betting laws when it comes to college football. OSB is here to clear it all up.

Do the laws of Nebraska sports betting allow for wagering on college football?

Believe it or not, it’s a question that gets asked fairly frequently. On the surface, it seems bizarre. Perhaps it even sounds absurd. The Cornhusker State is a hotbed for betting on college football, even if it’s taking place out of the market. After all, the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers are the flagship team in the state. Not just the premier college program, but the most popular team, bar none. 

The Cornhuskers’ popularity is twofold. First and foremost, football is a sacred sport in Nebraska. In particular, high school and college games pique a ton of interest. 

Secondly, and perhaps the genesis of the aforementioned interest: Nebraska does not have any pro sports franchises inside the state. That’s not a problem in the macro sense. There is still plenty of revenue generated from sports betting in Nebraska anyway. States have never needed teams inside their market to drum up fandom. And this is true now more than ever in the age of the internet and the rise of online sportsbooks in the United States that has come with it. 

No matter where you are, everything is ultra-accessible these days. So while Nebraska isn’t home to any NFL teams, they have a robust Kansas City Chiefs fanbase. Though they don’t have an NBA team, their population boasts a large Denver Nuggets following. And so on and so forth.

The point? All types of sports in the Cornhusker State are popular. But college football is going to be the biggest attention-grabber—and by extension, moneymaker—for Nebraska sports betting. 

This raises the question: How or why would the state disallow betting on NCAAF? They wouldn’t. They don’t. And yet, they sort of do. Without further delay, allow us to explain.

Nebraska Sports Betting has Unique Rules on College Football and Other Amateur Events

College football betting in Nebraska is basically top-of-mind right now. The 2024 regular season kicks off in just a few weeks—less than two months. Nebraskans will naturally want to know whether they’re able to bet on the Cornhuskers or bet on college sports in general. 

The simple answer here is yes, you can bet on college sports in Nebraska. However, you are prohibited from betting on certain in-state events. Here’s Legal Sports Report’s Nick Beare with the full lowdown:

“Bettors may wager on professional, international, and college sports, individual sports awards, sports drafts, esports, and simulated games. The state won’t allow prop bets on individual college athletes or bets on Nebraska-based college teams that are playing games in the state. Bettors also won’t be able to bet on minor league sports or high school sports.”

Even after reading the guidelines, this can still be a little bit confusing. So, let’s break it down.

Essentially, there are two stipulations on Nebraska college sports betting. First, you cannot bet on individual player props. These include wagers such as the over/under on the number of touchdowns a quarterback throws, and so on. The bigger issue: You cannot bet on Nebraska football games when they’re being played in Nebraska. If the Cornhuskers are playing an away game, outside the state, you’re good.  

But wait, there’s more. In fact, there’s actually an exception to the rule. Nebraska sports betting permits wagers on in-state college games when they’re part of a tournament or postseason. For example, if the Cornhuskers make the college football playoffs and are playing a game in Nebraska, you would be allowed to bet on that. 

Will These Nebraska Sports Betting Laws on College Sports Ever Change?

Clarifying the Nebraska sports betting laws on college events should go a long way toward optimizing the experience for those in the Cornhusker State. With that said, many want to know whether the rules could loosen to allow wagering on in-state games and player props.

At the moment, we don’t have a definitive answer. Could we see Nebraska eventually allowing residents to bet on all in-state collegiate events? Absolutely. While this isn’t a rule we’d call pointless, it does seem to be a restriction with limiting upside. It also definitely eats into the Nebraska sports betting revenue. Home games for Cornhuskers are bound to yield more interest than away tilts.

On the other hand, we do not envision betting on college player props ever being permitted in the state. This rule exists to protect younger athletes from bettors who lash out after missing wagers. And its importance has only grown since Nebraska sports betting launched in 2023. We are seeing more and more reports of college athletes (and pro athletes) being harassed, both in-person and online, by those overly aggrieved by failed wagers.

Heck, at this rate, Nebraska is more likely to increase the restrictions on college sports betting before they loosen them up. Just look at the rest of the country. More states have started to consider adding college restrictions to their gaming laws. On top of that, the president of the NCAA has publicly advocated for states to keep college player props off the legal betting portfolio. 

None of which means a ban on college player prop bets will become the industry standard. But the continued push to police them, if not outright get rid of them, suggests that Nebraska’s gaming laws for college sports aren't an inconvenience or obstacle that needs to be adjusted. On the contrary, it seems like Nebraska sports betting was ahead of its time.

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Meet the author

Dan Favale

Dan first began writing about sports back in 2011. At the time, his expertise lied in the NBA and NFL. More than one decade, that remains the case. But he's also expanded his catalog to include extensive knowledge and analysis on the NHL, MLB, tennis, NASCAR, college ba...

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