MLB Betting in Massachusetts
Red Sox fans have been itching for MLB betting to finally arrive in Massachusetts and they may soon get their wish.
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker and a handful of lawmakers have introduced nearly a dozen bills that would legalize sports betting in the state after the Supreme Court lifted a decades-long ban on sports betting and allowed states to set their own rules. While New England neighbors Rhode Island and New Hampshire have already legalized sports wagers since the 2018 ruling, Massachusetts’ sports betting push has been stuck in the legislature. Baker has said he is confident betting will be legal by summer of 2020, which means MLB betting may arrive before the 2020 MLB playoffs.
Though the details are still being worked out, the state is expected to allow existing physical casinos to accept in-person and online sports wagers. The state is also expected to allow some online platforms to launch mobile betting platforms. Users only need to be 21 years or older and be physically located inside the state when playing.
Here is a quick rundown on where MLB betting stands heading into 2020:
MLB Betting Massachusetts
A Supreme Court ruling in 2018 lifted the decades-long prohibition on sports wagers outside of Nevada, allowing states to set their own rules. A number of states like New Jersey and Pennsylvania quickly legalized and regulated sports betting, bringing a financial boost to the state thanks to tax revenues and licensing fees. New Hampshire and Rhode Island soon followed and Massachusetts is expected to be the next state to join them.
There is a strong bipartisan effort to finalize the sports betting law, though the details have taken months to iron out. Under the current framework, MGM Springfield, Plainridge Park Casino and Encore Boston Harbor will be able to start accepting in-person sports bets and launch online platforms where you can place your bets as well. Some daily fantasy sports operators like Boston-based DraftKings and FanDuel are expected to be allowed to launch mobile betting platforms. The law excludes betting on amateur sports but would allow all MLB betting and wagers on other professional sports.
Sportsbooks are expected to use geolocation technology and identity verification software to ensure that every user complies with the law, as they do in other states.
How to Bet on MLB Games
MLB odds are a bit different from NFL and NBA odds, where much of the betting is done on the point spread. While the point spread is always changing, the MLB uses a set “run line,” which effectively sets the spread for each game at 1.5 runs. So if the Red Sox are the favorite, they would have to win by 2 runs or more in order for your bet to win. If they are the underdog, they can lose by up to 1 run and still win the bet.
Since the run line never changes, most MLB bets are placed on the moneyline, which denotes the ratio between the bet and the payout. For example:
Red Sox -130
In this case, the Red Sox are the favorite, which is denoted with a minus sign, so the payout is lower. You would have to bet $130 to win $100, or $65 to win $50, while a $100 bet on the Yankees, the underdog, would win you $125 because they are less likely to win.
Sportsbooks also allow you to bet on whether the combined run total will be “over” or “under” the projection set by the oddsmakers. Most sportsbooks also offer live in-game bets, prop bets, and futures bets.