Massachusetts residents are patiently awaiting the legalization of mobile sports betting within the state’s borders.
Luckily for those who aren’t interested in waiting, there are several nearby states where it is legal — and that fact is motivating Massachusetts lawmakers to legalize sports betting in the state. There’s hope that, with recent developments, sports betting could launch some time in 2023.
Until then, those who continue to count down to the arrival of sports betting odds and betting lines in Massachusetts should spend time familiarizing themselves with some of the finer elements of mobile sports gambling.
Where Can I Bet on Sports Online?
Many future gamblers will be familiar with daily fantasy sports (DFS) powerhouse FanDuel, and they’d likely find an easy transition to FanDuel Sportsbook. The mobile sportsbook is active in several states, including New Jersey, Virginia, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.
There are a number of additional players in the industry. Some are easily recognizable, like Caesars Sportsbook and FOX Bet. Others, such as BetRivers and Unibet, will become more familiar to the US market over time.
Here’s a breakdown of a few to give you an idea of what to expect from mobile sports betting apps.
- Bonus offer: Caesars Sportsbook offers up to a $1,500 risk-free bet as a welcome bonus.
- Available platforms: Caesars is accessible to both iOS and Android users, and found on each respective platform’s app store.
- How are the odds? Caesars provides competitive odds on a variety of sports. Prospective Massachusetts bettors can find odds and betting lines on a number of obscure sports in addition to traditional leagues.
- Bonus offer: BetRivers Sportsbook doesn’t have the industry’s best bonus offer, but it’s helpful for those new to the app. New bettors can receive a $250 deposit match upon signing up and making their first deposit.
- Available platforms: BetRivers Sportsbooks is available on Android and iOS platforms.
- How are the odds? Like any successful sportsbook, BetRivers offers competitive odds on a number of sports, both popular and obscure.
- Bonus offer: New FanDuel Sportsbook bettors can receive a no sweat first bet up to $1,000 when they make their initial deposit.
- Available platforms: Users of both iOS and Android will be able to find the app in each operators’ app stores.
- How are the odds? FanDuel is gaining a reputation for being a market-maker on the odds front. All in all, its odds will be very competitive within the industry, but it’s not afraid to stand out from the pack when warranted.
Sports Odds Explained — Types of Sports Bets
Prior to making any betting picks or betting predictions, Massachusetts gamblers should be sure to grasp the basics. The last thing a new bettor wants to do is become discouraged by easily avoidable mistakes.
Knowing the different types of bets available is just as important as understanding the odds associated with those wagers.
What Is a Moneyline Wager?
The moneyline wager is perhaps the most basic form of sports betting line.
It requires a bettor to pick the winner of a contest. The side considered most likely to win is denoted with a minus (-) sign associated with its odds, i.e. -150. In this case, a bettor would pay $150 dollars in order to net $100 in the event of a win.
The team considered most likely to lose will come with a plus (+) sign, i.e. +150. In this case, a bettor would pay $100 for the chance to net $150. The larger the number, the likelier a suggested outcome will occur. For example, a team favored at -750 is more likely to win its matchup than a team favored at -110. The same concept applies to underdogs.
Betting on a Point Spread
A point spread bet can loosely be considered a “tougher moneyline” wager.
In this bet, someone will wager on the margin of victory or defeat as opposed to the team that will win. A bettor must pick a team to finish within or outside of a set range — or “spread.”
Underdogs and favorites are still represented with a plus or minus sign, respectively. If a team is favored at -6, it must win by seven points or more. An underdog listed at +6 must lose by five or fewer in order to “cover.” Spreads can have decimals as well. For instance, if a spread is listed as -5.5, the minimum margin of victory must be six.
In an Over/Under wager, also known as a “totals” bet, someone will gamble on whether the score between two teams in a particular contest will combine to finish above a set number (over) or below that set number (under).
If the Over/Under for a Patriots game is 41.5, a bettor siding with the Over wants to see both teams combine for at least 42 points. For the Under, the final tally must finish no higher than 41.
What Are Parlay Bets?
Parlay bets are among the most exciting — and most volatile — types of wagers. The reward can be huge, but the risk is heightened as well.
A parlay ticket involves multiple wagers, and each one must win for a ticket to cash. The potential earnings increase in line with the number of bets added to a ticket. But the more bets that need to win, the more opportunity there is for a leg to go awry. A single losing bet on a ticket — even if it’s by half a point — results in a losing ticket.
Parlay calculators are a helpful tool for those looking to keep track of the dynamic parlay odds of a ticket.
In a proposition — or “prop” — wager, a bettor gambles on a particular event or series of events taking place in a game.
For example, will Player A score a touchdown? Who will score first? Will Player B score two touchdowns? The odds adjust in relation to how likely an event is to occur.
These types of bets offer variety and a fun outlet for bettors who want to dive into games from different angles. Prop bets can be made for an entire season or for a single game.
Live In-Game Betting
Sportsbook apps that offer live in-game betting are a leg up on those straggling behind.
This feature allows bettors to wager on odds that ebb and flow in real time as a game is unfolding. Bettors should be sure to familiarize themselves with all of the rules and regulations of whichever app they are using, as there may be certain restrictions associated with this relatively new feature, and differences across platforms.
How Sports Betting Odds Work
Coming up with the odds and lines bettors gamble on is a complex process that is steeped in both art and science.
Sportsbook oddsmakers produce odds and then adjust them in a manner that will benefit the house in the long run. Thus, the amount of money being bet on a particular side — and from where that money is coming — plays a significant role in a line’s movement.
For example, a large bet from a “sharp” bettor will have significantly more impact than the same wager from the public.
There aren’t too many sports or leagues more popular than American football and the NFL.
Super Bowl odds for the upcoming season are released following the conclusion of that current season’s Super Bowl. NFL betting is widely available for much of the calendar. Football odds are available for all regular season and preseason games, and prop bets are increasingly available at the various mobile sportsbook apps in the market.
The popularity of the NBA spans the globe, and it’s one of the most prominent brands in all of professional sports.
The NBA Finals is perhaps the most prestigious event on the basketball calendar. Similar to the championship odds for other sports, NBA futures odds are released immediately following the conclusion of that season’s championship series.
NBA betting picks can be made all season though. Preseason play begins in October, so true NBA enthusiasts can begin betting early. The regular season lasts 82 games, so there are a lot of opportunities for NBA fans to continue investing their time — and money. Among these opportunities is the NBA All-Star Game, which always comes with fun prop bets.
Major League Baseball remains a fixture on the summer calendar, even as other sports try to expand their footprints.
MLB action really intensifies as summer turns to fall though, and eyeballs increase as postseason play ramps up. World Series odds are released as early as late-October, but MLB betting lines for teams like the Red Sox are available for games throughout the spring and summer.
Baseball has the benefit of a long season, and the league has increased the playoff field in recent seasons. Each of the 30 MLB teams plays 162 regular-season games. That’s a whole lot of games to bet on.
The NHL is the world’s most prestigious professional hockey league.
The Stanley Cup is among the most exciting events in sports. Stanley Cup odds are released in June. NHL betting lines in general, however, are heavily based on “puck lines.” The puck line is a standard -1.5/+1.5, and the bettor uses that number exactly like a point spread.
Hockey fans will enjoy a menu of bets that includes unique options, like the “grand salami,” in which a bettor will bet on the total number of goals scored across the entire night’s slate of hockey games. Find Boston Bruins betting odds here.
College Football Betting
College football generates massive viewership within the US, and popularity soars in regions of the country that don’t have easy access to a professional team. Saturdays during college football season are huge for sportsbooks and bettors alike.
NCAAF odds and college football lines are heavily impacted by the immense talent gap that can exist between two programs. This makes betting on college football exciting — but also challenging.
We still don’t know if college sports betting will be allowed, or in what capacity it will be allowed, once Massachusetts legalizes spots betting. Oregon is currently the only state that doesn’t allow it at all, but many states restrict residents from betting on in-state teams or games within state lines.
College Basketball Lines
“March Madness” is the nickname provided for the NCAA Tournament, college basketball’s end-of-season extravaganza. The three-week event is one of the most exhilarating and anticipated sports betting events on the sports calendar.
College basketball can also be subject to massive spreads and crazy happenings as the talent disparity between two teams can be drastic.
Again, we don’t know if, or how, Massachusetts residents will be able to bet on college sports yet.
PGA Golf Odds
There always seems to be a golf tournament going on, making golf betting a year-round activity.
PGA odds can be found for upcoming tournaments, both big and small. The majors — the Masters, US Open, PGA Championship, and The Open Championship, aka the British Open — will take betting action well ahead of time. Bettors can also bet on futures odds of a golfer to finish as the season’s champion.
NASCAR betting odds are released for each of the circuit’s events. That includes the season-opening Daytona 500, the midsummer All-Star race, and the season-ending playoff challenge. NASCAR fans can also find futures bets on individual drivers’ chances at taking home the title at season’s end.
Soccer is prevalent worldwide, and offers countless opportunities for bettors. There are major soccer fixtures in North and South America, Europe, Africa, and Asia that attract viewers. And odds can be found for all those leagues.
MLS betting may not create the fervor of English Premier League odds, but bettors generally won’t have trouble finding matches on which to wager. Large continental tournaments also take place on a regular basis. Competitions such as the European Championship (or “Euros”) and Copa America are big gambling events.
FIFA World Cup odds, however, are the most anticipated in the soccer space.
Boxing betting isn’t as popular as it once was. But even though it reaches a smaller fanbase these days, there remains interest from the betting angle. Less well-known fights and boxers may only be known by purists and enthusiasts, but the busiest betting events will be the high-profile bouts, such as heavyweight title fights.
MMA has grown in popularity in recent years with mainstream stars emerging throughout both the men’s and women’s ranks. MMA odds are available for undercard fights, but bettors will mostly be in search of UFC betting odds for the big matchups between the high-profile fighters.
There are a number of markets in which the WNBA has excelled. Bettors can make WNBA picks on a particular game or make a play on a particular team finishing the season as the league’s champion.
The WNBA playoffs is the league’s most visible and prominent event. And, given when it happens (running until after the NBA Finals in June and July), the WNBA playoffs can often attract additional betting handle.
The US Open, Wimbledon, Australian Open, and French Open are popular sports betting events. But even smaller tournaments throughout the season can draw action from hardcore tennis followers. Tennis is popular on the men’s and women’s side with both tours producing a number of name-brand stars and compelling matchups.
Sports Betting Odds Calculators
Sports betting can feel intimidating especially for Massachusetts residents that are new to the experience.
Odds calculators are great tools to help make sports betting a little less daunting. Odds calculators help gamblers keep tabs on the moving lines and potential winnings of a bet. These are especially beneficial when parlays are involved.
What Affects Sports Betting Odds Throughout a Season?
Oddsmakers adjust odds and lines in relation to a number of factors, both tangible and intangible.
Sometimes it’s obvious, like if a team trades away its best player. Sometimes, it’s a little less obvious, like if a team is playing its fourth straight road game in a week. Those factors, and much more, can have a small or sizable impact on the odds for a certain contest.
Massachusetts Sports Betting Odds FAQs
Betting lines, gambling odds, and all of their synonyms are at the core of wagering on sports. The betting line is the number on which someone making a bet will root their decision.
Individual sportsbook apps will have their odds. Scores will be more easily accessible via dedicated sports apps and the individual league apps.
There is no one sportsbook or app that has “the best” odds. At any given point in time, one book’s odds may be more appealing to one bettor than those at a rival sportsbook. It’s recommended that prospective bettors get in the habit of consulting multiple sportsbook apps prior to placing bets.
Free picks, insight, and advice can be found online, and is typically only a quick search away. Many of the sites with this information often employ experienced writers and analysts who can provide quality insight and informed opinion.
Odds and lines adjust as a sporting event is unfolding. For instance, if a team enters a game as a -120 favorite, but falls into a first-quarter deficit, the odds may adjust to +110. If a bettor still likes the same team, the updated price to wager on them will be much friendlier.
Las Vegas betting odds and lines are not difficult to find. Individual sportsbooks will list their odds, both online and through mobile apps. Just download the app on your phone or conduct a Google search.
Most bettable events will be related to the action happening between the lines. However, for many significant matchups — often standalone games like the Super Bowl or NBA All-Star Game — bettors can often find prop bets that include non game-related offerings.