A complete Guide to Massachusetts Sports Betting
Sports fan gets ready; because the wait is almost over for legalized Massachusetts sports betting! In person sports betting went live on January 31st with online betting right around the corner. As long as we don’t see any delays Massachusett residents will be able to place bets on various sportsbooks starting on March 10th, 2023.
With kick-off right around the corner, let’s take a look at the best places to partake in Massachusetts sports betting, how sports betting works, and some resources to make sure you’re placing winning bets.
How Does Sports Betting Work?
Sports Betting works by algorithmic software or Linemakers creating odds and spreads on your favorite sporting events. Before we dive in to the weeds let’s make sure we understand the various lingo.
What Is A Moneyline Bet?
A straight up bet on who you think will win the game, a moneyline bets has no spread attached to it. If you’re new to sports betting, you may be wondering, “what is a moneyline bet?” A moneyline bet is a popular type of sports wager where you simply pick which team you think will win the game. Unlike point spread bets, where you bet on a team to win by a certain margin, with a moneyline bet, you’re only betting on the outcome of the game. The odds for each team are determined by the sportsbook based on a variety of factors, including team performance and injuries. The favorite will have negative odds, while the underdog will have positive odds. The higher the odds, the more money you can potentially win if your bet is successful. Understanding how to read and interpret moneyline odds is key to making informed bets and potentially increasing your winnings.
What Is A Handicap?
A handicap is used to add points to one team to level the playing field, this is especially used in low-scoring events.
What Is Spread Betting?
This is the most common bet you see on sportsbooks. Especially in sports like Basketball and Football. This is to level the playing field and make all betting events competitive. Without a spread, bettors would have little interest in games where one team is heavily favored since the payout would be so low. If a “bad” team is playing against a “good” team, the spread may be +/- 10. Meaning the “good” team would need to win by at least 11 points for your bet to be successful.
What Does Juice Mean?
Also known as a “vig”. This is a percentage of the profit the sportsbook makes off all bets. Sometimes a book will have a straight-up vig, but typically it is priced into the odds.
How Does A Parlay Bet Work?
Adding multiple bets into the same ticket for an increased payout. Parlays typically have much lower odds of hitting since all of your selections must be correct to win. But if done right, the payouts are massive.
What Does Over/Under Mean?
This is betting on the total points scored in the entire game, by both teams. If you bet over 100.5 points the game would need a combined score of 101 points for your bet to win.
What Do Odds Mean?
The odds of a team winning are denoted by a positive and negative number. These numbers reflect the payout for your bet. The better the chance of a team winning the higher the number. The favored team is represented by a negative number.
Let’s continue with odds so we can understand how to make money in sports betting. Let’s use a moneyline bet for tonight as an example. We have the Minnesota Timberwolves at +105 vs. the Los Angeles Lakers at -115.
The negative number lets us know that the Oddsmakers have the Lakers favored to win. Since the Lakers are the favored team your payout would be smaller than betting on the Timberwolves. The easiest way to determine your payout is to calculate this based on a $100 bet.
Placing a $100 bet on the Timberwolves would yield a payout of $105. This is because they are the underdog at +105.
Now the Lakers are favored with the odds of -115, which means in order to profit $100 from this bet you would need to bet a total of $105 and dollars.
It’s important to remember that odds are constantly changing depending on a variety of things.
A sportsbook is always looking to mitigate risk. If everybody is taking one side of the bet they will increase the point spread or lower the payout odds. The Lakers may be favored now but if last-minute AD is out of the lineup, this will almost immediately be reflected in the odds.
Betting with the odds is typically the “safer” option since this team is favored to win. However, the big money is made when you put your sports knowledge to the test and find the diamond in the rough underdog.
If you still need more clarification here is a great 1-minute video courtesy of FanDuel.com explaining how betting odds work.
Best places for Online Massachusetts Sports Betting
Starting at 10 am on March 10th the people of Massachusetts will have a total of 7 online sports books to pick from. With 2 more online booking coming in the following weeks. Most of these books are offering a very generous new user bonus for Massachusetts residents. The books that will be available at launch are:
Seven of these books will be available at 10 am on March 10th. Bally Bets and Fanatics Sportsbook will come in the following weeks.
In-Person Massachusetts Sports Betting
There are three places Massachusetts bettors are already in on the action. Luckily they are pretty spread out over the state, so if you’re not a fan of online sportsbooks check out the locations below.
1 MGM Way, Springfield, MA
1 Broadway, Evertt, MA
301 Washington St. Plainville, MA
Recommendations for Massachusetts Sports Betting
With some many options, it will be difficult to pick your go-to book. I would recommend going with any of the three books that are already offering in-person betting. These companies are tried and true and already have a grasp on the Massachusetts market. Draftkings, BetMGM and Barstool Sportsbook are all reputable companies selected by the Massachusetts gaming commission.
The fact that they were the only three able to capitalize on in-person betting lets me know that they have a good reputation, are compliant with all MA guidelines, and most importantly have the capital to stay afloat and payout those huge parlay winnings.
My last recommendation for online books would be Boston bread Draftkings. Daily Fantasy Sports has been live in Massachusetts for years now, and Draftkings is the pioneer of the industry. They have a great reputation in Massachusetts and have a successful sportsbook in many other states. They also offer a wide variety of prop bets and game lines.
Fanduel will also get an honorable mention for their longevity in DFS and player prop bets.
Both Draftkings and Fanduel are offering very generous welcome bonuses for new members.
Massachusetts Sports Betting Resources
Now that we understand the basics, let’s take a look at some resources to increase your sports betting odds.
Oddshark.com – This is my favorite free resource for finding line movements and seeing computer generated scores. Oddshark runs each matchup through a computer simulator and gives a projected outcome of each game. They also show key injuries and trends in a easy to digest format.
Statmuse.com – Great resource for seeing both individual player and team stats.
Lineups.com – Pretty self explanatory, use this tool to make sure you’re informed with the nights starting lineups.
Oddsjam.com – This is not a free resource and should only be used by people looking to take their betting to the next level. They offer a wide variety of data driven tools to gain an edge on the linemakers.
Massachusetts Sports Betting Rules for College
Sports betting may be legal but there are still rules we have to follow. While all pro sport teams are on the table, college is a little trickier.
College sports betting is allowed in Massachusetts’s but you must stay away from your local schools. For example you are not allowed to bet on a Boston College game, even if the game isn’t being played locally.
The only exception to this rule is if the team is playing in a tournament consisting of more then four teams; like March Madness.
Massachusetts Sports Betting Tax Rates
It’s important not to forget taxes. Massachusetts has decided to go with a 20% tax rate on all winnings. This is a good mid-ground with some states having a rate as low as 8% and others having a sky high rate of 50%.
Please note that the following information is for educational purposes only and should not be construed as legal or financial advice. Sports gambling can be a fun and exciting activity, but it also comes with inherent risks. In Massachusetts, sports gambling is legal, but it is important to recognize the potential dangers that can come with it. It is important to gamble responsibly and within your means. Gambling can be addictive and may lead to financial difficulties if not approached with caution. It is also important to be aware of the legalities surrounding sports gambling in Massachusetts, as it is still a developing industry with changing laws and regulations. Please consult with a licensed professional if you have any questions or concerns about sports gambling in Massachusetts.
As a lifelong Massachusetts resident, I’m overjoyed that I can finally LEGALLY gamble on sports. But it’s important to reflect on the power of sports betting. It’s best to define your bankroll from the beginning and be willing to lose that money. Gambling is not for everybody and should always be done responsibly.