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MLS Betting in Massachusetts

Soccer betting is expected to arrive in Massachusetts in 2020, according to the state’s governor.

Governor Charlie Baker has been at the forefront of the push to legalize sports betting in Massachusetts since the Supreme Court lifted a decades-long ban on sports wagers outside of Nevada. New England states like New Hampshire and Rhode Island have already legalized soccer betting and Massachusetts is expected to roll out its own legalization by the summer of 2020, according to Baker.

There are currently nearly a dozen bills in the state legislature that would make soccer betting a reality but the movement was delayed as lawmakers iron out key specifics. Once legal, soccer fans will be able to place a bet at one of Massachusetts’ existing casinos or online. The state is also expected to license certain online operators and allow them to launch mobile betting platforms. The law restricts anyone under 21 from placing bets and requires online and mobile bettors to be inside the state at the time they place their bet. The law restricts betting on amateur sports, but MLS bets and other pro sports wagers will be fully legal.

MLS Betting Boston

Soccer Betting Massachusetts

The forthcoming betting legalization was made possible by a 2018 Supreme Court ruling that ended a decades-long prohibition on sports betting outside of Nevada. States like New Jersey and Pennsylvania quickly legalized sports betting and have reaped the rewards in millions in fees and taxes that will now go toward public projects. With Rhode Island and New Hampshire recently legalizing sports betting as well, Massachusetts is expected to be the next state to join the growing pack.

There are currently about a dozen bills that would legalize soccer betting being considered by state lawmakers but the framework for the expected legalization has already taken shape. The state plans to restrict licenses to existing casinos, which will be allowed to accept wagers in person and online, and to a select few daily fantasy sports operators, like Boston-based DraftKings and FanDuel, to set up mobile betting platforms.

Other states that have legalized betting have seen sports teams embrace the trend, with some even setting up betting stations in their home stadiums and arenas. Teams like the New England Revolution are already considering following suit and partnering with one of the forthcoming sportsbooks.

How to Bet on Soccer Games

Soccer odds come in two main forms. The first is the moneyline, which simply denotes the favorite and underdog and the ratio between the initial stake and the payout. For example:

Revolution -150

Red Bulls +145

In this case, the Revolution are the favorite, which is denoted by a minus sign, so the payout is lowered. You would have to bet $150 to win $100 (or $75 to win $50, etc). The Red Bulls are the underdog, which is denoted by a plus sign, so the payout is increased. A $100 bet on the Red Bulls would win $145.

Spread betting, which is most common in the NFL and NBA, is becoming increasingly popular as well. The spread is the margin of victory the favorite must win by in order to win the bet. Favorites “give up” points and underdogs “get” points. For example:

Revolution -1

Sounders +1

In this case, the Revolution is giving up a goal so they must win by 2 goals or more in order to win the bet. The Sounders are getting a goal so even if the match ends in a draw, the Sounders bet would win.

Sportsbooks also allow you to wager on whether the final combined goal total will be “over” or “under” than the projected total set by the oddsmakers. Many sportsbooks will also offer in-game live betting, prop bets, and futures bets.