Following the 2018 Supreme Court decision to overturn the federal ban on sports betting, we've seen 30 states legalize across the country. Yesterday, Massachusetts took a massive step toward joining the party.
After spending roughly six hours debating 28 amendments, the Massachusetts House of Representatives approved a bill to legalize sports betting by an overwhelming vote of 156-3. The House bill would allow wagering on sports, fantasy, e-sports and horse racing for anyone over the age of 21. Bettors will not be able to place wagers using a credit card. Betting on college sports would be allowed, however betting on college player props would not. It would also allow "untethered" mobile wagering, which means you don't have to sign up in person at a casino in order to create an account and start betting. The Bill is expected to bring in roughly $60 million in tax revenue per year, plus roughly $70 million in licensing fees.
It has been a long time coming for Massachusetts, which is one of the wealthiest and most educated states in the country and home to some of the most rabid sports fans in the nation. For years, Massachusetts has seen neighboring states like New Hampshire, Rhode Island and, just recently, Connecticut and New York go legal. Finally, the days of crossing state borders to place legal wagers may be coming to an end.
After passing the House in resounding fashion, the Bill now heads to the Senate. If approved, it then advances to the desk of Governor Charlie Baker to be signed into law. Early estimates are that if all goes well, legal betting could launch in Massachusetts in time for the Super Bowl or March Madness in 2022.
Now it's on to Fade the Public Friday. Today we have a loaded MLB slate on tap, with 15-games to choose from. For an updated breakdown of Friday's betting action, be sure to tune in to the VSiN Market Insights Podcast with Josh Appelbaum. It will be posted at 1 p.m. ET. I'll also be joining The Lombardi Line at 1:30 p.m. ET to offer a market update.
In the meantime, let's discuss where the money is flowing for a pair of Friday night MLB matchups...
7:05 p.m. ET: Atlanta Braves (47-48) at Philadelphia Phillies (47-48)
The Braves took Thursday night's series opener 7-2, cashing as -140 road favorites. Both teams now have identical records and sit 4-games back of the first place Mets. In tonight's rematch, Atlanta hands the ball to lefty Max Fried (7-5, 4.29 ERA) and Philadelphia counters with righty ace Zack Wheeler (7-5, 2.44 ERA). This line opened with the Phillies listed as a -130 home favorite and the Braves a + 120 road dog. Pros seem to like the pitching advantage with Philadelphia and have steamed the Phillies up from -130 to -140. Home favorites are 561-368 (60.4%) this season. Philadelphia also has value as a favorite with a low total (7.5). Historically, low totals have benefited favorites as the fewer amount of expected runs scored are more likely to come from the better team. The Phillies are 27-18 at home this season. Atlanta is 21-23 on the road.
8:10 p.m. ET: Los Angeles Angels (47-48) at Minnesota Twins (41-56)
The Angels stole last night's series opener 3-2, winning as + 105 road dogs. In tonight's rematch, Los Angeles sends out veteran righty Alex Cobb (7-3, 3.96 ERA) and Minnesota starts veteran lefty J.A. Happ (5-5, 6.15 ERA). This line opened at a true pick'em with both sides listed at -105. Respected money has hammered the Angels, steaming Los Angeles up from -105 to -120. Non-division favorites with steam 10-cents or more have gone 193-116 (62.5%) this season. Short favorites -150 or less off a win have gone 105-74 (58.7%). One ex-factor here: Minnesota just traded away their top hitter last night, sending veteran slugger Nelson Cruz to the Rays. Los Angeles will lean on their bats in this one. The Angels are hitting .258, which ranks 4th in MLB. The Twins are hitting .244, which ranks 11th.
Remember to check the VSiN Betting Splits every day for money and ticket counts so you can tell who the public is betting on.