HomeNFL Betting in Massachusetts

NFL betting in Massachusetts

The NFL is the unquestioned top dog of U.S. sports betting, and that trend certainly holds true in Massachusetts. The New England Patriots are coming off a 20+ year run of dominance in the NFL, but even during the rebuilding process, betting on the Pats will remain popular.

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In this piece, we’ll take a look at how NFL betting in Massachusetts works. We will also showcase some of the top MA sportsbooks for NFL betting, walk you through the signup process,

Best Massachusetts sportsbooks for NFL betting

There is no one true “best” sportsbook for NFL betting, as all licensed MA sportsbooks will do things a little bit differently. Some will go heavy on bonuses while others will have more player-friendly lines. Similarly, there are variances in the mobile platforms, desktop sites, and even retail sports betting locations in Massachusetts.

Still, we’ve found these four sportsbooks to be highly reputable, user-friendly, and offer competitive betting odds.

DraftKings Massachusetts Logo

DraftKings

Founded in Boston in 2012, Massachusetts bettors have firmly established DraftKings as their favorite. The operator has cruised to the top spot in sports betting handle in MA after beginning as a daily fantasy sports (DFS) site.

FanDuel Massachusetts Logo

FanDuel

FanDuel MA began as a DFS site as well but has surged to popularity for implementing same game parlays (SGPs). Players will have a broad array of markets to choose from when crafting their own SGPs while also being able to play a pre-crafted parlay that FanDuel put together.

ESPN Bet Massachusetts Logo

ESPN Bet

While ESPN doesn’t own or operate ESPN Bet, they’ve licensed their branding to PENN Entertainment to be the face of the latter’s sportsbook product, replacing Barstool Sportsbook. ESPN Bet features exclusive betting-themed content from ESPN’s on-air personalities and has a sleek mobile app.

BetMGM Massachusetts Logo

BetMGM

The MGM Springfield is one of the top brick-and-mortar sports betting locations in Massachusetts, and the BetMGM MA digital platform is easy to navigate. We’ve found the customer service to be excellent, and the rewards program is outstanding.

How to wager on the NFL online in Massachusetts

Wagering on the NFL online in Massachusetts is easy whether or not the league is in season! Here’s how to get started today.

  1. Research the available Massachusetts sportsbooks: MABetting.com only works with legal, licensed sports betting operators to ensure your betting activities are conducted in safe, fair environments. To that end, we’ve also written detailed sportsbook reviews so you can have the most accurate information possible before starting your betting journey.
  2. Get signed up: Within the reviews we mentioned above are links to the registration forms for Massachusetts sportsbooks (they will open in a new tab). You will be able to use these links to access the best possible welcome bonus and complete the signup process in about 5-10 minutes. State law requires you to be at least 21 years of age to gamble, so you will need to verify your identity (legal name, address, date of birth, last four digits of your social security number) before you’ll be able to participate.
  3. (Optional) Download sportsbook apps: Playing on the go is convenient and easy, and sports betting apps are free to download. You don’t have to use them, as a desktop platform may be more comfortable for you, but it’s an option worth considering.
  4. Research the NFL markets you’re interested in: Knowledge is power when betting on the NFL, and the more research you do, the more likely you are to develop consistent, profitable betting strategies. The shorter nature of the NFL season compared to other professional sports leagues can lead to a recency bias, so make sure you’re using a big enough sample size to pull your data from. Following the experts (also called “sharps”) can be beneficial as you get started as well; just remember that you alone are responsible for the bets you make!
  5. Place your wagers and wait for the win: Finally, click or tap on the betting line on the sportsbook platform and add the wagers you want to play to your betting slip. When you’ve decided on the amounts you’re wagering, click “Submit” and enjoy watching your bets unfold!

Reading NFL odds

Reading NFL odds is the most important step to betting on football. It can be a little confusing at first, but with a bit of practice, you’ll be a pro in short order!

When you’re reading NFL odds, the first step is to determine where the “+” and “-” symbols are located in the odds listing. A “+” symbol indicates a betting underdog, which is what sportsbooks and bettors perceive to be the less likely outcome to occur.

Conversely, a “-” symbol designates the betting favorite, which is perceived as the more likely outcome. In head-to-head matchups (like moneyline, spread, and totals wagers), you’ll only see one favorite and one underdog; on the other hand, futures bets can have many more outcomes, and most of them will have a + symbol.

Next, look at the number listed after each sign. The number listed after the “-” sign represents how much money you’d need to wager to win $100, while the number after the + sign shows how much money you’d win with a $100 bet.

Basing around the 100 is a good way to conceptualize the odds, but you don’t need to bet $100 or more on each wager. Payouts are scaled proportionally to your stake, so pick an amount to bet that doesn’t break your budget.

In cases where all outcomes have a “+” sign (such as with futures bets), the betting favorite is the one that has the smallest number after the “+”. Similarly, in close head-to-head matchups, you may find both outcomes have “-” symbols; in that case, the betting favorite has the higher number after the “-”.

Types of wagers you can place on the NFL

The types of wagers you can place on the NFL are virtually endless, leaving you with tons of options when crafting your betting slip. Here are a few of the most popular options.

  • Spread bets: In the NFL, moneyline bets (picking a straight-up winner) tend to have more heavily skewed odds than for other sports. To work around this bookmakers created “the spread” as a way to handicap the line by requiring the betting favorite to cover a margin of victory determined by the sportsbook to make things more even. For example, if the New England Patriots were listed as 4.5-point favorites against the New York Jets, New England would need to win by at least five points for a spread bet on the Patriots to win. However, a spread bet on New York would pay out if the Jets either won outright or if they lost by fewer than four points.
  • Prop bets: Short for “proposition bets,” props are wagers on in-game events such as statistical milestones that aren’t necessarily tied to the team’s final score. For example, some New England Patriots prop bets could be which player will score the team’s first touchdown, how many passing yards quarterback Drake Maye ends the game with, or if the Patriots will score a defensive touchdown.
  • Parlays: Parlays are a combination wager that multiplies several betting outcomes into a single bet. Odds have an increasing multiplier for each outcome (called a “leg”) added to your parlay. However, all legs must hit for the bet to pay out; if even one leg doesn’t hit, the bet is scored a loss. Traditionally, parlays came from multiple games, or potentially multiple sports, but in recent years, the same game parlay has surged in popularity, allowing bettors to focus their research efforts on a single contest and the matchups therein.

NFL live betting explained

NFL live betting refers to wagers made on an individual game after kickoff. Lines are constantly moving depending on what happens on the field, leading to a flurry of betting action as bettors look to pounce on favorable odds.

Successful live betting requires you to make snap decisions based on what you’re seeing from a game flow standpoint. Understanding the matchups, exploiting the weaknesses, and playing a favorable line before the odds shift are crucial elements of in-play wagering.

For this season, we recommend you only participate in live betting on games you’re actively watching. While box scores and stats can help to tell the story, they can be misleading; trust your eyes and your gut instincts.

Expert advice when betting on the NFL in Massachusetts

Here is our expert advice when betting on the NFL in Massachusetts.

  • Limit your parlays: Especially when you’re new to sports betting, limiting the number of legs in your parlay is a smart move. We typically recommend keeping parlays to 2-5 legs to help balance your risk and to hit your bets more consistently.
  • Trust your head, not your heart: It’s always more fun to win a wager when you’re betting on your favorite team, but there are some instances where backing your favorite doesn’t make sense. The same can be true when betting against a rival. Keeping your emotions aside and looking at the data as objectively as you can will limit potential bias in your research and avoid sour betting losses.
  • Embrace alternate lines: In some cases, the line on a spread bet may be a little more steep than what you are comfortable with. For example, if a sportsbook sets the line at Patriots -6.5 but the injury report for the week doesn’t look promising, you may want to see if the sportsbook offers an alternate line, such as Patriots -3.5. The payout will be smaller, but you’ve also reduced the risk a bit to increase your likelihood of winning.