Basketball fans in Massachusetts have a lot to be excited about. Online sports betting has launched in Massachusetts, meaning you can bet on March Madness from the comfort of your own home.
Unfortunately, no Massachusetts schools have qualified for the men’s version of the big dance. Ironically, regulators took months to figure out how to approach betting on college sports in MA, eventually carving out an exception for bets to be available for multi-team events such as the NCAA Tournament.
The good news is that Massachusetts sportsbooks will offer odds and lines for every game of March Madness, so you can still find plenty of ways to get in on the action.
Massachusetts teams fall short
Massachusetts is home to nine Division I men’s basketball programs: Boston College, Boston University, Harvard, Holy Cross, UMass, Merrimack, Northeastern, Stonehill College, and UMass Lowell. The last Massachusetts school to appear in March Madness was Northeastern in 2019.
The two schools that came close to making it to the big dance this year were UMass Lowell and Merrimack College.
UMass Lowell made it all the way to the America East title game but fell short against Vermont. UMass Lowell has never has made it to the big dance, but did make it to the Elite Eight of the DII tournament three times.
Merrimack College won the Northeast Conference tournament, but the NCAA’s ‘transition rule’ keeps the Warriors out of the March Madness tournament this year.
The rule states that if a college makes the jump from Division II to Division I, the teams can’t play in a postseason tournament for the first four years at the Division I level.
Merrimack made the move from Division II to Division I after the 2018-2019 season and joined the Northeast Conference.
This is their last year “transitioning” to the Division I level. They will be eligible to make the postseason beginning next year.
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March Madness betting in Massachusetts
Basketball fans can bet on March Madness online in Massachusetts using six online sportsbook apps that now live in the Commonwealth. They are DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, Caesars Sportsbook, WynnBET, and Barstool Sportsbook. All of these platforms have betting odds for every March Madness tournament game.
When signing up for each sportsbook, don’t forget to claim the many Massachusetts sports betting bonuses that are available.
In addition, other companies will be added to the mix soon.
Under current law, as many as 15 MA online sports betting apps can be available in MA. So far, 11 mobile licenses have been approved. 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.