Why You Should Shop Around When Choosing Massachusetts Sportsbooks

Written By Dave Briggs on March 9, 2023 - Last Updated on August 8, 2023
Signing up for as many Massachusetts sportsbooks as possible gives you the most in bonuses and helps you line shop to get the best return.

Massachusetts sports bettors stand to benefit greatly by following one important piece of advice before participating in the state’s new legal, regulated online market:

Sign up for as many Massachusetts sports betting apps as possible and take advantage of the generous offers while operators are competing for your business.

Six online operators are now live in the Bay State. Four more are licensed and coming to the Massachusetts market soon. That means those looking to capitalize on the opening of Massachusetts sportsbook apps will benefit most by fully exploring their options.

PlayMA spoke to a number of professional bettors. Beyond signing up with as many sportsbooks as possible, they provided other tips for a successful Massachusetts sports betting experience.

Massachusetts sportsbook apps offer big bonus bets & promos

Apps will pay for your business with lucrative Massachusetts sportsbook welcome bonuses. Professional bettors say it is best to grab as many bonuses as possible to maximize your probability of being a successful MA sports bettor.

That means, it is best to sign up for all the Massachusetts sportsbook apps.

Professional sports bettor Rob Pizzola explained why:

“They’re all competing for your action. So, they’re all offering you a signup bonus in some capacity,” Pizzola said. “Now you add in the fact that they’re giving you money, essentially, to sign up with them. That makes it way more difficult for you to lose in the long run if you’re taking advantage of the bonuses properly on top of it.”

Professional sports bettor and gambling law professor Harley Redlick added:

“Open up as many accounts as you can get and max the bonuses. … A lot of them have their opening bonus bets where they give you your bet back that you lost. Let’s say two of them, you lose your bets and then four of them, you win either your bet or your bonus bets, then you’ve got four well-funded accounts and you can start line shopping in those four accounts and go from there.”

Here’s what is being offered at four live MA online sportsbooks:

Bettors who sign up for all four of those apps can put up to $3,900 into their sports betting accounts. Simply click the above links to sign up for each operator.

It is essential to line shop at MA sportsbooks

Before placing a bet, it’s important to look for the best possible return. This is called line shopping. And it’s no different than searching retail stores or the internet for the best prices on products you want to buy.

Moreover, in terms of Massachusetts sports betting, line shopping will help you become a profitable sports bettor.

For example, say you want to bet on the Celtics, Red Sox, Patriots or Bruins. Check all of the operators to see which one is offering the best line on the game you want to bet. Sometimes, you can get at 5% better return just by betting with the operator offering the best line.

See for yourself. Visit PlayMA’s odds pages for the Celtics, Bruins, Red Sox and Patriots and see the odds-on offers for upcoming games.

Pro bettors say line shopping makes a huge difference in the following ways:

  • If you’re a losing bettor, you will lose less.
  • Bettors on the edge of becoming winning bettors can get over the hump into the black.
  • If you already win, you will win more.

“If you’re a regular bettor hoping for or expecting long-term profit, you should concern yourself with getting the best price possible every time you make a bet,” sports bettor Garnett Barnsdale said.

Key to beating the sportsbooks long-term

Redlick said line shopping is one of the few ways bettors can beat the sportsbooks long-term. It’s a simple matter of probability.

“Line shopping is essential,” Redlick said. “Say you’re opening up a bunch of sports betting accounts and say, based on your research, you want to bet a game tonight, check all your sites and see where you get the best line. You can sometimes get 5% better return on one site compared to the others.”

Pizzola added:

“If you’re betting the NFL, pretty much all sportsbooks are offering -110 spreads. Your break-even point is 52.4%. So, that means you have to win at least 52.4% to not lose money on the NFL at -110. Now if you’re line shopping and you have five, six, seven, eight types of books, you’re going to start to find the side you want to bet at, at much lower numbers, -102 or, in some cases, +100. Now you’ve gone from taking a break-even point of 52.4% and, if you’re betting into a +100 line, your break-even point is now 50%.

“That’s much more accomplishable for someone. Even if you’re a coin-flipper and you know nothing about sports and you’re just picking random games, you’re still much more likely to win when you only need to win 50% of the time rather than 52.5%.”

Barnsdale also knows from experience how much line shopping has helped his bottom line.

“Getting -110 vs. -115 may not seem like much, but it will add up over time and can be the difference between long-term profit or loss,” Barnsdale said. “To this day, I still use five sites regularly and price shop.”

Different apps have different specialties

There is another reason to open as many Massachusetts online sports betting accounts as possible. Each MA sportsbook app and operator excels in different areas.

Professional bettor James Erickson told PlayMA:

“Another point on having multiple books is that some do like to put out unique bets or new markets. They don’t always get the numbers right. … With books putting out a much deeper lineup of bets on normal games like halftimes, quarters, player props, there has to be an opportunity for a bettor who wants to dive deep into the numbers to find some advantages. Especially in newer markets or sports that haven’t normally been covered.”

For instance:

  • DraftKings is best for live betting (betting on games in real time) and its betting carousel that provides a custom betting experience.
  • FanDuel is the best for Same Game Parlays and its wide selection of player props.
  • BetMGM offers the most flexibility for customers to edit aspects of their open bets.
  • Caesars offers some of the best bonuses and promotions.

Other pro betting tips

Nothing can improve your experience more than winning your bet.

As Pizzola explains, “A lot of people will say, ‘Sports betting is for fun, it’s entertaining,’ but I don’t know anyone who is entertained by constantly losing their money over and over and over. The fun part of sports betting is actually winning your bets and celebrating that with your friends. It’s not losing outright. That just creates a pretty abysmal experience.”

To help achieve a positive outcome, Pizzola and Redlick have a few other tips for novice bettors:

  1. Bet on sports you know and like. “Find sports you’re passionate about or you think you have a feel for or you like because, if you’re going to learn more about it or research it more, it’s a lot more fun if you like the sports,” Redlick said.
  2. Bet small amounts at first and do not bet too often. Redlick’s one exception is: “If you get a bonus. If you have $100 in an account, but your first bet is basically a refund bet, then you’ve got to bet the whole thing.”
  3. Avoid parlay betting in the beginning. Pizzola said it’s going to be “very, very difficult” for amateur or recreational bettors “to ever profit off parlays without getting extremely lucky. … I would highly recommend avoiding them out of the get-go until you’re a more pronounced bettor and you understand some more basic concepts over time, and you do a little bit more learning.”
If you or a loved one is experiencing problems with gambling, call 1-800-327-5050 or visit www.mahelpline.org/problemgambling to speak with a trained specialist for free, 24/7
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Dave Briggs

Dave Briggs has been an editor and writer covering sports and the gambling industry since 1995. Much of that time was devoted to reporting on the horse racing industry where Briggs has earned 27 national and international writing awards. In 2018, he was inducted into the media wing of the U.S. Harness Racing Hall of Fame. He began working at Catena Media in January of 2022. He is now the managing editor of PlayIllinois and PlayCanada.

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