Maybe college basketball doesn’t have the mainstream popularity it once did. And sure, no Massachusetts teams qualified for the men’s basketball NCAA Tournament.
Still, Massachusetts online sports betting launching last week came just at the right time.
March Madness remains one of the biggest betting spectacles of the sports calendar. In fact, with all of the men’s NCAA Tournament games added together, it outpaces the Super Bowl as the biggest betting event of the year. On Sunday, the American Gaming Association projected 68 million adults to bet $15.5 billion on this year’s men’s NCAA Division I tournament.
Massachusetts is now among the 33 states (plus Washington, DC) with legal betting. So here’s a look at essential things to know as March Madness is finally here.
March Madness betting in Massachusetts
With the sports betting market still very young in Massachusetts, the six live online operators are fighting to acquire customers. Residents who hope to participate can use March Madness betting as the perfect way to get their bankroll started strongly.
Click below for the best Massachusetts sports betting promos out there.
Popular game bets include wagers on the spread, moneyline or Over/Under for individual games. Bettors can place live bets on all Massachusetts online platforms, even during a game. In addition, you can place futures bets on teams to win the championship or even to win their region.
3 Massachusetts players to watch in men’s NCAA Tournament
While no MA men’s teams made the Big Dance for the third straight tournament (and fourth straight year, including the canceled 2020 event), there are still plenty of local ties.
Here are three homegrown players that Massachusetts basketball fans can get behind this month.
Kyle Filipowski, Duke
Duke has had a disappointing season by its standards. But still, leading the perennial powerhouse in scoring puts Kyle Filipowski in legendary company.
The former Wilbraham & Monson Academy standout has scored 15.4 points per game for coach Jon Scheyer this season. He secured MVP honors for the champs in the ACC Tournament after scoring 20 points and grabbing 10 rebounds in the final against Virginia.
The former Massachusetts Gatorade Player of the Year and fifth-seeded Duke plays Oral Roberts on Thursday night.
Adam Seiko, San Diego State
A senior from Boston, Adam Seiko plays 20.5 minutes a game for San Diego State.
He’s knocking down 3-pointers at a ridiculous 46.8% clip this season for coach Brian Dutcher’s team. The fifth-seeded Aztecs play Charleston on Thursday afternoon.
Bensley Joseph, Miami
Bensley Joseph, who played high school ball at Arlington and Cushing Academy before leaving the state for his senior year, has played in every Miami game this season.
The 6-foot-2 guard is a sophomore for coach Jim Larranaga.
Miami is a No. 5 seed and plays Drake on Friday night.
Holy Cross women lone Massachusetts March Madness rep
As for the women’s tournament, the local rooting interests are not that much deeper. Holy Cross is the only team representing the Bay State.
The Crusaders won the Patriot League title by knocking off in-state rival Boston University in the final on Sunday.
Holy Cross earned a No. 15 seed and is lined up to play second-seeded Maryland in its opening game.
However, Holy Cross does not list any Massachusetts residents on its 12-player roster.
College sports betting was a hot topic during the implementation of MA sports betting, as wagers on in-state teams were banned unless it was tournament action. Three retail sportsbooks were fined for violating these rules early on. Now that the biggest tournaments are here though, the local betting options are sparse.
Enjoy the Massachusetts March Madness, nonetheless!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