If you’re living in Massachusetts, you’re likely aware that online sports betting has launched. You can now place wagers on the Bruins, Celtics, Red Sox and other favorite teams.
You’ll be able to use bonus bets from the sportsbooks to seed many of your first bets.
But what’s the best way to maximize your Massachusetts sports betting bonuses?
Best use of your Massachusetts sportsbook offers
Now that you’re placing wagers on sports in Massachusetts, it’s time to leverage those bonus bets and deposit matches to work best for you.
1. Educate yourself on the offer details
Don’t be misinformed.
Don’t be misled.
And don’t be mistaken.
Sportsbook offers lead with all the benefits, because that’s the sexy part. But, as they say, “the devil is in the details.”
Be aware that you will not win the stake amount when using a bonus bet. For example, WynnBET is giving out $100 in bets as a signup bonus. If you wager that on +200 odds and win, you’ll get $200 in winnings, not $300. That makes sense, because the sportsbook wouldn’t be able to survive by giving out the stake amount as winnings.
Also, note that most sportsbooks will require you to play through the winnings from a bonus bet before you can withdraw your cash. This is called a playthrough requirement or wagering requirement. Look for those words in the terms and conditions.
Some sportsbooks will even require you wager the winnings from a bonus bet on odds of a certain amount (-200 and higher, for example). That’s because a sharp better could simply wager on -1000 (a fairly certain favorite) and get money out from those betting credits.
2. Bet the long odds
Repeat after me: You won’t get your betting stake back.
That means you must bet the longer odds when using bonus bets from the sportsbook.
Search for Massachusetts sports betting odds of +300 or more when using the bonus betting credits. For example, if you wager $25 bonus bets on +400 and win, you’ll get $100. A typical non-bonus bet with same result would return $125, so you only “miss out” on $25 in this example.
Conversely, if you use your betting bonus like this — $25 bet on -200 favorite — you’ll win $12.50. Not much to get excited about, and you have used $25 in credits to get only half that in real money.
When using the betting bonus offers, find longer odds so you get more back if you win. Because the sportsbook “keeps” the stake.
3. Parlay the odds up, up, up
We’ve established that you should target longer odds for your bonus bets.
But what if you can’t locate higher odds to your liking? Create them yourself.
A parlay pushes the odds up. Choose 3-4 bets for a Celtics game, for example, and watch the odds drift higher.
For example, choose X points by X player, and moneyline on the Celtics, and assists Over/Under for Y player, and so on. Or total number of 3-pointers to be made by both teams. By making a four-leg parlay, for example, the odds can move to +400 or higher. That’s the type of wager you want to use for your betting offers credits.
FanDuel and Caesars Sportsbook Massachusetts have excellent parlay-builders in their sportsbook apps. But all Massachusetts sportsbooks will have a way for you to craft a parlay.
4. Use bonus bets as a hedge
A hedge bet is a way to limit your risk by laying down wagers on both sides of a sporting event.
For example, in a Final Four game in March Madness, you bet the favorite using your own money at -195 AND you use bonus betting credits from BetMGM Massachusetts to bet the underdog at higher odds (say +325). This way, regardless of whether you lose your primary bet using your own coin, you get something in return if that underdog prevails.
The drawback of the hedge bet using bonus credits is that some sportsbooks may not allow the hedge. Also, you will lose something, either your real-money stake, or some of the betting bonus credits.
5. Use deposit match funds first
Let’s be clear: The deposit match funds you get from a sportsbook is not “your money.” It’s credits you can use for future bets. But many bettors don’t recognize that the deposit match credits have an expiration.
Use your deposit match betting credits first, and make sure to observe how you can split them up.
The more you split them, the better. For example:
- Deposit $1,000 on a 20% deposit match and get $200 from the sportsbook.
- You should use the $200 in Massachusetts bonus offers before using your own deposited money.
- If you can split that $200 into eight $25 bets, all the better.
- Place your bets on higher odds events (seek +200 minimum if you can), so you can win as much back, seeing as the stake cannot be won.
- Check details of the deposit match to see if you must play through any winning funds. Again, use those funds first, so you get any winnings as quickly as possible, to avoid expiration dates.
5 sporting events to bet on in Massachusetts this spring
- Boston Red Sox home opener at Fenway Park: March 30 at 2:10 p.m.
- The Boston Marathon: April 17, with favorites listed with odds at DraftKings, FanDuel and more.
- Bruins NHL Playoffs: Week of April 17, Bruins will be No. 1 seed in Eastern Conference.
- Boston Celtics and the NBA Playoffs: The Celtics will begin their defense of their conference title on April 15.
- Women’s March Madness: Everyone will be focused on the Men’s NCAA Tournament, but don’t snooze on the women’s tourney. The Final Four is March 31, and Holy Cross is representing the state of Massachusetts.
Practice responsible gambling
The advice on this page is meant to help sports bettors in Massachusetts best use the many sports betting bonuses in the state. We are not advocating that you bet beyond your means or budget.
- Never make a deposit beyond what you are comfortable with just to maximize a deposit match.
- Don’t chase losses with betting credits by making bigger bets with your own money.
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