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NFL Betting in Massachusetts

Sports betting hit a snag in Massachusetts but NFL betting is expected to be legalized in the state in time for the 2020 season.

Massachusetts moved to legalize in-person and online sports betting after the Supreme Court lifted a decades-long ban on sports wagers outside of Nevada. Governor Charlie Baker and a number of bipartisan lawmakers have pushed for a speedy legalization, which would allow the state to join New England neighbors Rhode Island and New Hampshire in rolling out legal sports bets. The bill has been stuck in the legislature for months but Baker is confident it will be approved by summer of 2020.

Once the bill is finalized, Massachusetts residents will be able to place a bet at one of the state’s land-based casinos and at the casinos’ online platforms. Daily fantasy sports operators like Boston-based DraftKings will also be allowed to offer mobile bets. Here is a quick preview of what NFL betting Massachusetts style will look like:

NFL Betting Boston

NFL Betting Massachusetts

In 2018, the Supreme Court lifted a longstanding ban on sports betting outside of Nevada, paving the way for states like New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware to quickly offer sports wagers online. Rhode Island and New Hampshire have recently done the same and Massachusetts is expected to be the next state to follow.

Under the current framework, the state’s three existing casinos — MGM Springfield, Plainridge Park Casino and Encore Boston Harbor — will be allowed to take bets in person and online. A small number of daily fantasy sports operators like DraftKings and FanDuel are expected to be allowed to launch mobile betting platforms.

To play, users will have to be at least 21 years of age and be physically located in the state. All online betting platforms use identity verification technology and geolocation software to confirm that you are complying with all state regulations.

Though the law is expected to exclude college football and other amateur sports, all NFL bets will be legal once the law is finalized.

How to Bet on NFL Games

NFL odds are typically displayed as a point spread or a moneyline.

A point spread is the margin of victory the favorite has to win by or “cover” in order for your bet to win. So if the Patriots are a -4.5 favorite over the Dolphins, New England would have to win by 5 points or more for your bet to win. On the other hand, the Dolphins could lose by up to 4 points and your Miami bet would win. This is done to encourage betting on underdogs, especially in heavily lopsided games. In some cases, New England may be giving up 15 points or more, meaning they would have to win by 16 or more points for your bet to win.

You can also bet on games using the moneyline, which shows the ratio between your stake and the payout. So if the Patriots are a -150 favorite, you would have to bet $150 to win $100. On the other hand, if the Pats are a +125 underdog, your $100 bet would win you $125.

Along with betting on the game winner, every sportsbook also allows you to bet on the point total. Each oddsmaker displays a projected combined point total for each game and you can wager on whether the final total will be “over” or “under” the projected total.

Most sportsbooks also offer a range of prop bets, futures bets, and live in-game betting.