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Betting on College Football Massachusetts

Boston College fans were excited when Massachusetts moved to legalize sports betting but college football fans may find themselves out of luck when the state finally rolls out its legal betting platforms.

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker introduced a bill that would legalize sports betting across the state but, as legalization continues to be hotly debated among lawmakers, the bill is expected to exclude college sports betting.

Though some lawmakers have pushed for college sports betting to be legalized as well, arguing that people have long been betting on NCAA football games despite the decades-long sports betting ban, the growing consensus seems to be that betting on college sports will remain illegal for the foreseeable future, along with high school sports and other amateur sports.

Many other states that have legalized sports betting have allowed fans to bet on NCAAF games but with some restrictions. New Jersey, for example, allows all college sports bets except those involving New Jersey colleges or games that take place in New Jersey.

Here is a quick look at how the betting bill is shaping up and what it will mean for Boston College betting.

NCAAF Betting in Massachusetts

NCAAF Betting Massachusetts

A 2018 Supreme Court decision lifted a decades-long ban on sports wagers outside of Nevada and paved the way for states like New Jersey and Pennsylvania to legalize and regulate sports betting. New England neighbors like Rhode Island and New Hampshire quickly followed suit in moves that are expected to raise millions for public projects. Massachusetts joined the trend as well, with Governor Baker and nearly a dozen lawmakers introducing bills that would license sportsbooks and raise millions from fees and taxes.

Under the current framework, Massachusetts is expected to allow existing casinos like the recently-built Wynn and MGM casinos buy licenses that would allow them to accept sports wagers in person and online. The state is also expected to allow a few online operators like daily fantasy sports giants DraftKings and FanDuel to set up mobile betting platforms. The bill would allow these platforms to accept wagers on all professional sports — but not college sports. College sports would be excluded, just like high school sports, if the current framework holds up. It’s possible that lawmakers carve out exceptions, like New Jersey, but for all intents and purposes the state is expected to continue prohibiting bets on Massachusetts college football games.

NCAAF Odds Massachusetts

If Massachusetts does approve some form of college sports betting, it’s important to familiarize yourself with football odds before you bet on NCAAF games.

Most bets are placed on the point spread, which is used to entice betting on the underdog in lopsided affairs. The spread is the margin of victory the favorite must win by in order to win the bet.

For example, if Boston College is a 14-point favorite, they would have to win the game by 15 or more points in order for your bet to win. If they were an 8-point underdog, they could lose by up to 7 points and you would still win the bet.

You can also bet on the moneyline, which is the ratio between your initial stake and the payout. So if BC is a -140 favorite, you would have to bet $140 to win $100. If they were a +130 underdog, your $100 bet would win you $130.

Many sportsbooks also allow you to bet on whether the point total will be “over” or “under” the projection set by the oddsmakers and many offer in-game betting, prop bets, and futures.