Massachusetts online sports betting is not yet legal, but there's momentum in 2021. Five major bills have been introduced and will be debated soon within committees. Some details need to be hammered out, like how many licenses will be granted and whether betting on college sports will be legal, but with the biggest sportsbook operator in the U.S. (DraftKings) headquartered there, expect movement this year.
Massachusetts Sports Betting Hopes Hit Another Pothole
Massachusetts’ House Ways and Means committee excluded sports betting revenues from its upcoming fiscal year budget draft, signaling lawmakers’ expectations that legal wagering won’t begin in the next 18 months.
Five Sports Betting Bills Introduced by Massachusetts Legislators
As reported by our own Ryan Butler, state legislators have already introduced five sports betting bills in the Bay State — two by the state Senate and three by the state House. It's clearly a priority in 2021, and now these bills will be debated and hammered out in committees before moving to full chamber votes.
2020 Hopes For Massachusetts Sports Betting Likely Dead
Massachusetts sports betting is all but dead in 2020 after lawmakers failed to include a legalization provision in their 2021 budget. Despite months of negotiations and bipartisan support, lawmakers will seemingly have to start sports betting deliberations over again when a new session begins in 2021.
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Massachusetts Sports Betting Timeline
Five majors bills have been introduced by state legislators: Two in the Senate and three in the House. Those bills will now be hammered out in committees over the coming months.
Massachusetts sports betting is all but dead for 2020 after lawmakers failed to include a legalization provision in their 2020 budget.
Massachusetts House advances sports betting bill to state Senate.
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How Massachusetts Sports Betting Compares
Here's our own Ryan Butler on what's going on in the early part of 2021 in Massachusetts: "Several top Democrats in the legislature and Republican Gov. Charlie Baker have once again introduced a set of sports betting bills. Officials still face challenges such as license count, college betting legality and a host of other issues that have shuttered previous efforts despite bipartisan support."
It remains to be seen exactly what online sports betting will look like in the Bay State, especially since there are so many competing bills in both the House and Senate — five to be exact, which will be debated and hammered out within legislative committees over the coming weeks and months.
There's always a lot of attention on the future of online sports betting in Massachusetts, in part because one of the biggest (if not the biggest) sportsbook in the U.S., DraftKings, was founded and is currently headquartered in Boston. Because of various lobbying efforts, it will likely be a priority for legislators in 2021.
Massachusetts Sports Betting Grading Card:
We'll evaluate Massachusetts' sports betting bills as details become available. Sports betting bill analysis TBD.
Massachusetts Sports Betting Tips
Sports Betting for Potential Bettors
Sports betting isn't currently legal in Massachusetts, but is expected to be within the next two years. Want to get ahead of the curve? Check out our 11 sports betting tips for beginners so you can get started, whether you want to bet on the Boston Red Sox or the New England Revolution.
Sports Betting Glossary
The sports betting lexicon is vast and sometimes confusing, especially to new bettors. Check out our sports betting glossary to get up to speed with every term you might need to know before a parlay or prop bet.
Sports Betting Mistakes to Avoid
Betting on your favorite teams like the Boston Celtics might seem like a no-brainer, but you need to be careful if you’re going to stay healthy all around in the sports betting world.
Here are nine mistakes to avoid.
Massachusetts Teams to Bet on
Pro Sports Teams
NFL Betting Massachusetts
New England Patriots
The New England Patriots likely need no introduction. The most successful team of this century is one of the most successful teams in NFL history, having won six Super Bowls since 2001, 11 conference championships and 22 division titles.
With Tom Brady taking his talents to Tampa ahead of the 2020 season, things went sour in Foxborough for the first time this century, as the Patriots went 7-9, finished in third place in the AFC East, and missed the playoffs. The Patriots' dynasty is over, but with Bill Belichick still in charge, expecting the downfall to be a long-term thing is likely not a smart bet. Speaking of betting, you can check out our ongoing NFL insights and analysis to bet smart.
NBA Betting in Massachusetts
Like their NFL counterparts, the Boston Celtics have a history of success, but while the Patriots' winning took place entirely this century, the Celtics' stretches back to 1957, when they won their first of 17 titles. The most recent one came in 2008. The current Celtics under Brad Stevens are perennial contenders with emerging superstar Jayson Tatum flanked by the likes of Jaylen Brown, Kemba Walker, and Marcus Smart. While there's more star power elsewhere around the league, the Celtics should continue to contend in the Eastern Conference playoffs for the foreseeable future. For more on the Celtics and the rest of the NBA, check out our insights and analysis to bet smart once you can in the state.
MLB Betting in Massachusetts
Boston Red Sox
The most famous drought in sports history was snapped in 2004 when the Boston Red Sox came back from 3-0 against the rival New York Yankees in the ALCS and then swept the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series. It was their first World Series title in 86 years. Boston went on to win three more titles over the next 14 years, as the Red Sox established themselves as heavyweights and one of the powerhouses of the 21st century. They've since fallen on hard times, as a deal that sent superstar Mookie Betts to the Dodgers signaled to fans that the Red Sox are in for a length rebuild. For more on the Red Sox and the rest of MLB, check out our insights and analysis to bet smart once you can in the state.
NHL Betting in Massachusetts
The Boston Bruins have been regular contenders in the NHL for the better part of this century, but have just one Stanley Cup to show for it, a 2010-11 crown that was their first since 1972. The Bruins have won their division three times since then including a Presidents' Trophy in 2019-20, and in 2021 they have another strong contender. For more on the Bruins and the rest of the NHL, check out our insights and analysis to bet smart once you can in the state.
MLS Betting in Massachusetts
New England Revolution
The New England Revolution were founded in 1994 and are a longtime member of Major League Soccer. However, an MLS Cup continues to allude them. The Revs' first major trophy was the 2007 U.S. Open Cup, and they have made the MLB Cup finals five times — 2002, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2014 — but have yet to come away with a victory. For more on the Revolution and additional soccer coverage, check out our insights and analysis to bet smart once you can in the state.
College Sports Teams
Pro sports are king in Massachusetts, but there is plenty of college action in the state, too.
College Football Betting in Massachusetts
Boston College Eagles Football
Boston College's last conference championship in football came in 2004, one year before leaving the Big East. Since joining the ACC the Eagles have yet to capture a conference title, but they won ACC Atlantic Division titles in 2005, 2007 and 2008. BC has had 12 consensus All-Americans and one Heisman Trophy winner, Doug Flutie in 1984.
Harvard Crimson Football
Even casual college football fans are likely familiar with "The Game," which is the name of Harvard's annual rivalry game with Yale. "The Game" dates back to 1875 and was once upon a time as fierce of a rivalry on the national scene as the Iron Bowl is today. Harvard has won 17 conference championships, with their most recent coming in 2015.
Holy Cross Crusaders Football
The Holy Cross football team's crowning moment was an Orange Bowl appearance in 1946. Against the Miami Hurricanes, the Crusaders lost a 13-6 decision after the game was knotted at six late in regulation. Holy Cross has won two conference titles this century, with the most recent coming in 2019.
UMass Minutemen Football
The UMass football team has fallen on hard times of late, going a combined 1-15 in the 2019-20 seasons. The Minutemen became full-time FBS members in 2012 and spent four years in the Mid-American Conference becoming a full-time independent school in 2016. Their last conference championship came in 2007 when a member of the Colonial Athletic Association.
Merrimack Warriors Football
The Merrimack football team has been around since 1996 and a member of Division I FCS since 2019, when it joined the Northeast Conference. In their first season in 2019, the Warriors went 6-5.
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Boston College Eagles Men's Basketball
The men's basketball program has fallen on tough times of late, with their most recent NCAA Tournament appearance coming in 2009. The Eagles have never made a Final Four, but have three Elite Eight appearances, with the most recent coming in 1994.
Boston University Terriers Men's Basketball
The 2020 Patriot League Conference Tournament champions were robbed of their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2011 when it was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Their last regular-season title came in 2014. The Terriers have made the NCAA Tournament twice this century and seven times in history. Their only tournament victories came in 1959 when they made the Elite Eight.
Harvard Crimson Men's Basketball
In 2012, the Harvard men's basketball team made the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1946. That began a four-year stretch of tournament appearances that even included a pair of wins. As underdogs both times, the Crimson upset New Mexico in 2013, and Cincinnati in 2014. In 2018 and 2019, the Crimson made the NIT, and in 2019 scored a win over Georgetown. Harvard has won the Ivy League regular-season championship seven times since 2011.
Holy Cross Crusaders Men's Basketball
The basketball program last made the NCAA Tournament in 2016, when it scored a First Four victory over Southern before losing to No. 1-seed Oregon in the Round of 64. The Crusaders have made the tournament 13 times, including five times this century, Other than the First Four win, their last win came in 1953 when they made the Elite Eight.
UMass Minutemen Men's Basketball
Under John Calipari, the UMass men's basketball team climbed to the heights of the NCAA Tournament's Final Four in 1996 but vacated those victories because of sanctions based on admissions of gifts received by star player Marcus Camby. The Minutemen made seven straight NCAA Tournament appearances from 1992-98, but have made only one since — in 2014.
Merrimack Warriors Men's Basketball
In their first season as a Division I team, the Warriors' men's basketball team went 20-11, including 14-4 in Northeast Conference player. Because of NCAA's policy on reclassifying programs, the Warriors will not be eligible to compete in the NCAA Tournament or the NIT until the 2023-24 season.
Northeastern Huskies Men's Basketball
The Huskies men's basketball team has been in the CAA since 2005, having previously played in the American East Conference. In 2015, Northeastern made its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1991, losing to Notre Dame in the first round. The Huskies made it again in 2019 when they lost to Kansas in the first round. Their last NCAA Tournament victory came in 1984. They've won the CAA regular-season title three times: 2013, 2015 and 2018.
UMass Lowell River Hawks Men's Basketball
The River Hawks' men's basketball team has been a member of the American East Conference since it began transitioning to the Division I level in 2013. The River Hawks were first eligible for postseason play in 2017-18. The River Hawks won the Division II national championship in 1988.
Recommended resources to help you bet smartly on college basketball in Massachusetts:
NCAA Division I Football & Basketball
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NCAA Division I Basketball Only
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One of the most famous races in the world, the Boston Marathon, takes place in Massachusetts every year in April. It was started in 1897 and is considered one of six "World Marathon Majors."
The Northern Trust
The Northern Trust, an annual PGA Tour event, rotates between Massachusetts and the New York/New Jersey region. When in Mass., it takes place at TPC Boston, which hosted the event in 2020. In 2021, it will be played at Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City, New Jersey.
Minor League Sports Teams
Massachusetts is home to a variety of men's and women's minor league sports teams, including lacrosse (Boston Cannons), hockey (Boston Pride), baseball (Lowell Spinners) and many more.