How To Bet On March Madness Games


Spread betting, or betting against the spread, is a common bet that can be made on any NCAA March Madness game. Sportsbooks will set the spread based on their perceived probability of a certain outcome taking place. It is then up to the bettor to make a pick. NCAA March Madness Spread Example. When to Bet March Madness. Breaking down the March Madness Tournament over 3 weekends. It can be hard to digest the entirety of the NCAA Tournament. Consider the NFL as a comparison. The regular season has 256 games spread over 17 weeks. March Madness, on the other hand, has 63 games over three weeks, not including the four play-in games. 23 hours ago Bet on March Madness 2021 with a New Jersey-licensed Betting Site. When placing your bets on March Madness online in New Jersey, you must be sure to use a state-licensed, legal betting site.

How to Make the Most of March Madness

If you’re looking to make cash on March Madness, then the thing to do is to bet on single games and not brackets. The bracket game is really an exercise in guesswork, while single game betting involves analysis and skill. In this article, we’re going to consider what types of games you should bet on in the big NCAA Basketball tournament.

Bet on Teams You Know

You have been following various teams throughout the regular and conference tournament seasons and you should use that information to its fullest. If you have no idea about the makeup of a team, then roll up your sleeves and do some research or skip the game. In round one you’re looking to wager on from eight to 12 games.

Stay Away from Round One 8 & 9 Seeds

The eight and nine matchups in round one are simply too close to call. You’re better off betting on a 12 or 11 seed upsetting five or six seed. That happens a lot. The good thing about betting on a 12th or 11th seed is that they will be given points. So you actually have a decent chance of making money on those bets whether they win or not.

The Spread, the Spread, the Spread

The spread in the 16 versus the one seed games can be massive. These are tough bets to win. If there’s a huge mismatch and the spread isn’t outrageous, then go for it.

The thing to remember about the spread is you want to be able to see it to your advantage. In order to do so, you have to find three to four salient facts, usually statistical, that allow you to pick which side of the spread on which the game will fall. You want to as close to certain as you can be regarding this.


Round Two Spoiler

If there is a spoiler in round two and they are still the underdog, you may just want to go with them. That low seed may be given a wealth of points and there’s a decent chance that they will make that second game close. If that team gets to the Sweet 16, then go with them again in that round. Ride them until they’re out.

How to bet on march madness games today

Stay in the NCAA Basketball Tournament

You want to be in the tournament for the long run. That means carefully choosing on which games you’re going to bet. If you lose a few, you should not go wild trying to make up for lost ground. Keep your focus and use you analytical chops to get back on track.

The 2020-21 NCAA college basketball season tipped off on Nov. 25. That began a four-and-a-half month journey that will culminate with the 2021 Final Four. This year’s March Madness tournament will take place entirely in the state of Indiana due to COVID-19 precautions.

Last season, the NCAA Tournament was canceled. It had survived World War II, Black Monday, and half a dozen virus outbreaks; but for the first time since 1939, the NCAA was without a true champion.

The cancelation of March Madness was not only a major blow to TV viewership and ticket sales, but it erased the biggest sports betting event of the year. The American Gambling Association (AGA) reported that $8.5 billion was bet on the 2019 March Madness tournament. According to Legal Sports Report, sports gambling in the US jumped an average of 6.8% through the beginning of 2020 following a swath of passed legislation decriminalizing sports gambling. Based on those numbers, it can be projected that the cancelation of the NCAA Tournament lost nearly $9.1 billion in bets.

With the last NCAA tournament game having taken place nearly two years ago, anticipation is huge for this year’s March Madness tourney. Here is a look at the National Title odds with the start of the Big Dance just a couple of weeks away.

March Madness futures odds

Operators will undoubtedly have a generous array of wagering options on each March Madness game, including moneyline bets, point-spread bets, over/under bets, parlay bets, prop bets, teasers and in-play bets.

Those wagering options will be made available soon. However, here are current futures odds for the top projected tournament participants in the 2020-21 season. Gonzaga was the top favorite entering the 2020-21 season at FanDuel Sportsbook with odds of +700. The Bulldogs remain the favorites with current odds of +250 to win it all at FD.

Here is a look at March Madness odds for 2021.

To view more NCAA national title odds, go to DraftKings Sportsbook, FanDuel Sportsbook and/or BetMGM.

NCAA title odds: Futures report (March 8)

Baylor had been the co-favorite with Gonzaga at several books in the past few weeks but the Bears’ Feb. 27 loss at Kansas allowed Gonzaga to occupy the top spot at sportsbooks’ odds boards.

The Favorites

Gonzaga (+250): Gonzaga’s run over the past decade-plus has been remarkable. They haven’t lost double-digit games in a season since 2010-11 and are 24-0 this season thus far. They lead the nation in scoring (92.9 points per game; second place, Baylor) and scoring margin (+23.5 points per game). They’re also tops in field goal attempts per game and field goal percentage.

Baylor (+275): The Bears are making a difficult schedule look easy. They secured the regular season Big 12 championship after a year where the conference was at its best – fielding two top-10 teams and seven ranked teams. Baylor is second in points scored per game (85.3), first in 3-point percentage, and sixth in 3-point makes. They’re almost a lock for a top seed in the NCAA Tournament.

The Next Group

How To Bet On March Madness Games For Kids

Michigan (+450): The Wolverines dropped a pair of big games down the stretch, pushing their final regular season record to 19-3. While those losses might raise a red flag to bettors, trends say that may not be a bad thing. Indiana is the last team to go completely undefeated and win the NCAA Tournament (back in the late 1970s) and just one team since 2000 has won the NCAA Tournament with less than three losses (2012 Kentucky). Michigan is still a team built to win in March.

Illinois (+900): The Illini have gone through the complete cycle – unknowns to favorites, back again, and back again. Kofi Cockburn is one of the most elite players in the country amid a resurgence of talented big men, leading the team with 9.9 rebounds. Ayo Dosunmu is a top-scorer in the nation, too, with 21 points scored per game. A dominant win over Michigan in the final few games turned heads and might provide the fuel Illinois needs to make a tournament run.

Alabama (+1300): The Tide are top-five in 3-point shooting this year, and the philosophy of throwing up as many 3s as possible seems to be working out. Three straight wins to close out the year secured them the SEC regular season title and the top seed in the conference tournament. Some might be worried about Alabama’s scoring defense, but their high-tempo offense naturally leads to opposing teams scoring more. They’re solid in most defensive metrics.

The Longshots

Ohio State (+1500): A loaded Big Ten saw an 18-8 Ohio State team land just fifth in the regular season race. A concerning mark was the Buckeyes’ three-game losing streak to close out the year that included to arch-rival Michigan, top-five Iowa, and a red-hot Michigan State team. While they have the talent to make a run at the Final Four, Ohio State could also be on first-round upset alert if they don’t find their groove in the Big Ten tournament.

Iowa (+1500): Contrary to Ohio State, Luka Garza and the Iowa Hawkeyes finished on a three-game winning streak highlighted by ranked wins over the Buckeyes and Wisconsin. They’re a dangerous team capable of lighting up the scoreboard. Iowa hit triple digits four times this season. They’ve cleaned up their scoring defense and are ready to make a March run. Which region and matchups they’re dealt, though, will make a real difference in Iowa’s chances.

March Madness betting sites

How the NCAA Tournament works

March Madness is a 68-team, single-elimination tournament that annually crowns college basketball’s NCAA Division 1 men’s national champion.

The event is aptly named, considering it features a frenetic 67 games over a 19-day period. The participating schools are announced on “Selection Sunday”, along with the exact seeding and brackets.

The annual college basketball rite of spring is sports betting’s most prolific multi-day event. Below you’ll find the current betting odds for the favorites to win the NCAA Tournament, along with key tournament details and betting strategy to help you during the month-long madness.

The first 32 teams to gain entry into the tournament do so automatically by winning their conferences. The remaining 36 slots are filled by “at-large” teams. A 10-member selection committee consisting of athletic directors and conference commissioners undergoes an arduous and multi-layered process to determine the 36 at-large teams and subsequently finalize seeding and brackets.

This year, the committee will employ the NCAA Evaluation Tool (NET) as its primary sorting method for determining at-large entrants. The NET replaces the RPI (Rating Percentage Index), which had been utilized since 1981.

The NET utilizes the following metrics:

  • Game results
  • Strength of schedule
  • Game location
  • Scoring margin
  • Offensive and defensive efficiency
  • Quality of wins and losses

The NCAA has a detailed, step-by-step breakdown of seeding and bracket protocol on this page within its website.


March Madness betting history

The first NCAA basketball tournament took place in 1939 in Evanston, Illinois. Since then, 36 teams have won it all and five teams have won the tournament at least five times (Indiana, Duke, UNC, Kentucky, UCLA). Since seeding began in 1979, number-one seeds have won the tournament 24 times and have accounted for almost 49% of all championship appearances. Just three times has a team seeded lower than four won the title, and no team seeded below eighth has won, nor made a championship appearance.

Since betting lines were released for NCAA tournament games in 1985, underdogs have covered 44% of the time, winning outright 29% of the time. Games have gone under the total in 56% of games. Since 2010, games have gone under the total in 70% of games and favorites have covered in seven out of ten games. Three teams have won more than one championship since 2010 (Duke, UConn, Villanova), but none have won back-to-back titles (despite Butler & UNC appearing in back-to-back title games).

Since 2000, the top overall seed has made the championship game just four times but won the game three of those times (75%). In total, top overall seeds in the tournament have comprised of just 8% of the total Final Four teams (missed 13 out of 20 years). Besides 1-seeds, 2-seeds have the most championship appearances since 2000 (7 times), followed by 3-seeds (6 times), and 5- and 8-seeds (2).

Just eight percent (52/640) of all Sweet 16 teams have been seeded 11 or lower, and only 2.8% of teams in the Elite Eight were seeded 11 or lower. Four 11 seeds advanced to the Final Four (Loyola Chicago, 2018; VCU, 2011; George Mason, 2006; LSU, 1986). UMBC is the only 16-seed to upset a 1-seed in the tournament’s history (2018), and just eight 15-seeds have prevailed (5%). In 2015, two 15-seeds upset 2-seeds (25% of all such upsets) and two 14-seeds upset 3-seeds.

Using historical data when filling out brackets and betting March Madness, err caution; stats should be used in the long-run but when choosing individual games, be sure to study matchup statistics. The most important thing to remember, though, is this is March Madness, and anything can (and will) happen.

Tournament betting strategies

The historical ATS data for each team in tournament play is just one of countless data points that can constitute March Madness betting research. Other factors that can hold considerable relevance include:

How To Bet On March Madness Games Online

  • A team’s late-season performances, including in their conference tournament
  • Key injuries
  • A team’s defensive proficiency, as this typically has more carryover into tournament play than a high-powered offense
  • “Fading the public” when the line appears to be significantly affected by a team’s popularity, as opposed to actual recent performance
  • Examining various tournament-specific historical trends, such as how high-seeded mid-majors have done in each round in terms of straight-up wins and losses.

Another overarching data set that could prove highly valuable is the performance of each seed in each round versus the spread. Courtesy of, below is an overview of historical first-round performance by seeds 1-16 against the number:

SeedWinsLossesPushesWin %

Where can you legally wager on March Madness this year?

Bettors physically located within the following states will be able to place a legal sports wager on March Madness games:

  • New Hampshire

How To Bet On March Madness Games Today

Then, there will be a flurry of sports betting legalization efforts unfolding at statehouses around the country during 2020 legislative sessions. Thus, hundreds of thousands of potential new bettors are expected to be part of the fun when the 2021 version of March Madness rolls around.

March Madness Final Game Date

Based on recent progress and momentum, many states appear to have at least a fighting chance of implementing legalized sports betting in time for next year’s tournament.

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