The college basketball NCAA Tournament, aka March Madness, gets a lot of attention this time of year. However, there is another version of March Madness that Massachusetts sports fans also have interest in: the NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Championship.
The bracket has been released, and among the 16 teams in the field, three of them hail from Massachusetts: Boston University, Harvard, and Merrimack.
So, at least for Massachusetts, maybe the more relevant March Madness ends with the Frozen Four, not the Final Four.
To enhance the action, online sports betting in Massachusetts allows hockey fans in the Commonwealth to bet on college hockey March Madness this year.
College hockey March Madness betting in MA
Massachusetts residents can’t wager on in-state college teams in traditional exhibition matchups. The exemption was a requirement for the state senate to pass the sports betting bill back in August 2022.
Fortunately for those who care to wager on colleges in the state, the rule does carve out an exception to allow betting on in-state teams playing in a tournament of four or more teams. These events include March Madness, the College Football Playoff, the College World Series, and the NCAA Ice Hockey Tournament.
Now that the bracket is set with three Massachusetts teams in the mix, hockey fans in the Commonwealth can bet on the NCAA Tournament either online or in-person.
When betting in-person, bets can be placed at three Massachusetts casinos: MGM Springfield in Springfield, Encore Boston Harbor in Everett, and Plainridge Park Casino in Plainville.
MA online betting apps went live on March 10, and six apps are now available. They are DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, Caesars Sportsbook, WynnBET, and Barstool Sportsbook. These mobile apps allow sports fans in Massachusetts to place bets from anywhere in the state.
In addition, college hockey betting is a perfect spot to use MA signup promos.
First round matchups for MA teams
The tournament gets started on Thursday, March 23. One Massachusetts team will be in action on Thursday, while the other two play opening games on Friday.
Thursday, March 23:
- Western Michigan vs. Boston University
Friday, March 24:
- Ohio State vs. Harvard
- Merrimack College vs. Quinnipiac
Massachusetts sportsbooks offer vast betting markets on hockey games, meaning there are plenty of wagers to choose from. However, a large amount of hockey betting involves three primary bet types: moneylines, puck lines, and totals (over/under).
Hockey moneylines work the same as any other sport’s moneyline wager. It’s a bet on which team will win the game. Puck lines are the hockey version of spread bets that are popular for football and basketball odds. Because of the scoring structures of those sports, the spreads move more frequently than in hockey. For hockey games, the puck line is a standard 1.5 goals. If you bet the puck line, you are betting on the favorite to either win by two or more goals (listed as -1.5), or the underdog to keep the game within two goals (listed as +1.5) or win the game outright.
Bets on totals involve betting on how many goals both teams will combine to score during a game. Bettors can choose to bet over or under the listed number. For hockey, totals typically range from 5-8 goals. You will find that the odds for hockey totals are usually listed around -110 for each side, although they can vary.
In addition to these wagers, MA sportsbooks also offer other hockey bets such as player props, team props, parlays, and more.
MA college hockey title odds
The Minnesota Golden Gophers are the title favorites with odds of +250 to go all the way on DraftKings Sportsbook MA. They are followed closely by Michigan (+350), Denver (+500), and Quinnipiac (+600).
Of the three Massachusetts teams in the tournament, Boston University has the best odds at +1200. Harvard has odds to +2000, while Merrimack has odds of +4500.
Keep in mind that these odds are subject to change up until puck-drop of each individual game, as well as throughout the course of tournament. Odds can also vary from sportsbook to sportsbook.
How the college hockey NCAA Tournament works
There are 61 Division I hockey programs in the country. Only 16 make the NCAA Tournament. Six conference champions receive automatic qualification, while the remaining best 10 teams are selected on an at-large basis by the Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Committee.
Four regional sites are selected with four teams playing at each site. Those four teams will compete in single-elimination Regional Semifinal competition. The two winning teams will then compete against each other in a single-elimination Regional Final game at the same site. The winning team from each of the four Regionals will advance to the Men’s Frozen Four.
Regionals will take place from March 23-26. The Frozen Four will be held at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida, with the two National Semifinal games taking place on April 6. The National Championship will take place on April 8.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