There is an added level of excitement in Massachusetts for March Madness this year. That’s because online sports betting in Massachusetts is now live.
Each year, about 40 million Americans fill out at least one March Madness bracket, and about 70 million total brackets are played.
Now that online sports betting in Massachusetts is legal, the Commonwealth will see an influx of March Madness bracket contests.
With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at some March Madness bracket contests that are available to Massachusetts basketball fans.
March Madness bracket contests in Massachusetts
This March Madness won’t be heavy with Massachusetts flavor. No Massachusetts teams will play in the men’s NCAA Tournament this year. Just Holy Cross will play in the women’s NCAA Tournament as a 15-seed against No. 2 Maryland.
Along with sports betting, bracket contests are a fun way to get in on the action.
Both free and paid-entry March Madness bracket contests are available in MA.
The bracket contest on DraftKings Sportsbook MA allows users to pick the results of NCAA Tournament games for a chance at winning cash prizes. Each correct selection will give a user points, and the points system breaks down as follows:
- Round 1 – 10 points
- Round 2 – 20 points
- Round 3 (Sweet 16) – 40 points
- Round 4 (Elite 8) – 80 points
- Round 5 (Final Four) – 160 points
- Round 6 (Championship) – 320 points
The contestant with the highest total number of points at the end of March Madness wins $1 million. The top 1,000 entries will also receive payouts.
There is a $100 entry fee for this contest, and users can submit up to 100 entries. Be sure to read the full terms and conditions of the contest before entering.
In addition, DraftKings will likely once again be running its free March Mania Survivor Pool. Last year, the winner received $30,000.
Last year, BetMGM introduced a free-to-play $10 million challenge. It is back again this year.
BetMGM Sportsbook MA users can win $10 million by predicting the perfect March Madness bracket. That is easier said than done, but even if no one guesses a perfect bracket, the player that accumulates the most points throughout the NCAA Tournament will win a $100,000 guaranteed prize.
BetMGM uses a doubling system for its points, starting at one point for the first round and progressing to 32 for the championship game.
Unlike the bracket contest at DraftKings MA, there are no other rewards besides the top prize. In addition, only one entry per BetMGM account is allowed.
FanDuel Massachusetts is back with its FanDuel Bracket Pick’em, a free March Madness bracket contest with a $5,000 grand prize and $25,000 in total prizes.
The rules for this free contest are a bit different.
Like the other contests on this list, players get a certain number of points for each correct selection. However, FanDuel differs in that those point totals are also multiplied by the winning team’s seed. So players get rewarded for correctly picking an upset.
Here’s the points system:
- First round — 10 points (multiplied by seed)
- Second round — 25 points (multiplied by seed)
- Sweet 16 — 50 points (multiplied by seed)
- Elite Eight — 100 points (multiplied by seed)
- Final Four — 250 points (multiplied by seed)
- Championship — 500 points (multiplied by seed)
The player with the most points wins $5,000. Then, all players who score a total of 2,500 points or more get a share of $20,000.
ESPN Tournament Challenge
ESPN has its own tournament challenge, and this year it has $100,000 in prize money.
With a bit of different structure, the grand prize winner comes from a random drawing. In order to get your name into the drawing, you must be one of the contestants who scores the most points in each round of the tournament. At the end of March Madness, ESPN draws the winner from the pool of top scorers.
The scoring system is very similar to the DraftKings bracket challenge. Each first round win is worth 10 points, with the scoring doubling for each round.
March Madness betting in Massachusetts
Six online sportsbook apps are now live in Massachusetts. They are DraftKings, BetMGM, Caesars Sportsbook, WynnBET, Fanduel and Barstool Sportsbook. All of these platforms have NCAA Tournament betting odds for every March Madness game, giving basketball fans in the Commonwealth plenty of options when placing their wagers.
Under current law, as many as 15 MA online sports betting apps can be available in MA. So far, 10 mobile licenses have been claimed. Betr plans to go live in April, while Bally Bet and Fanatics Sportsbook will launch in May. Betway will launch in January 2024. (PointsBet withdrew its application and will not launch in Massachusetts.)
When signing up for each sportsbook, don’t forget to claim the many Massachusetts sports betting bonuses that are available.
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