March Madness is the pinnacle of college basketball. The top teams in the United States face each other in a dramatic season finale that determines who will become the NCAA Division 1 Men’s Basketball Championship winner.
Every fan of the sport watches and many of them enjoy betting on the competition. Some are trying to make money, while others simply want to add some extra fun to the experience. Whatever your goal, we aim to help you with this NCAA March Madness betting guide.
Our betting experts have compiled this guide to give you the best chance of finding profitable opportunities when placing your wagers on the NCAA basketball tournament.
For beginners, we explain the basics of how to bet on March Madness. We also provide some useful tips and strategy advice. If you’re not sure whether betting on March Madness is something you want to try, we look at the reasons why you should.
There’s so much included that we recommend you carefully read the whole guide. We’ll start with a quick look at the best places to bet on March Madness online.
If you’re new to the world of gambling on the web, you may need some help. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to bet on March Madness online.
Pick a Betting Site
You should start by picking an online sportsbook that offers the NCAA Division 1 Men’s Basketball Tournament. We obviously advise that you use one of our top-rated March Madness betting sites.
If you want to find a bookmaker on your own, you should have a couple of things in mind. Select one that has a proper license and a strong reputation. You should also be looking for competitive March Madness odds and generous bonuses, at the very least.
Open a New Account
Once you’ve found an online bookmaker or sportsbook that can meet your NCAA March Madness betting needs, it’s time to open a new account. The process usually takes only a minute or two. You need to fill in some personal details like email, address, name, and date of birth.
You also have to pick the credentials you’re going to use to log in to your account later. Make sure to go for a safe password that can’t be cracked easily.
Some of the betting sites might require additional verification through email, but that’s not a big deal. Just open the message they send you and click on the link inside it. If you can’t find it, check your spam folder.
Make a Deposit
At this point, you should have an active betting account, so it’s time to add some real money.
Most March online betting sites support multiple convenient payment options such as the following.
Credit and debit cards: Visa, Maestro, Mastercard
E-wallets: PayPal, Skrill, Neteller
Cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple
Other: Wire transfer, prepared cards, money transfer services
Just pick a suitable option and complete your deposit. The cash should instantly appear in your account and you can now place your first March Madness wagers online.
Pick a March Madness Market and Bet
The top sites make it easy for you to find their betting markets for the competition. There’s often a quick link to all NCAA basketball betting options on the home page.
Even if that’s not the case, you can look under “Basketball” or “College Basketball.” Once you find the markets you’re looking for, select the one you like and place your wager by filling in the amount and confirming your stake.
Withdraw Your Winnings
In an ideal world, you will be successful with your March Madness bets and reach a point in which you want to withdraw your profits. The process is easy and similar to the deposits. Just open the cashier section and select the preferred payment method.
Most gambling sites will allow you to use the same provider that you deposited with for your withdrawal. Unfortunately, the withdrawals are not instant. Even sites with the fastest payouts can’t process the money right away.
You might have to wait between 24 hours and several working days, depending on the banking option you used.
Why Bet on March Madness?
Some of you might be wondering if betting on March Madness is a good idea. While we would never encourage anyone to bet if they have any doubts, we do believe that March Madness is actually one of the best sports events to bet on.
Here are some of the reasons why we feel that way.
Loads of Bonuses and Promotions
March Madness is extremely popular and most online betting sites cover the event. Since each of them wants to attract as many users as possible, the competition between the bookmakers becomes fierce and that works in favor of the customers.
You can usually enjoy some exceptional promotions and bonuses that add extra value to every wager you place, especially if you bet on the internet.
Another direct result of the mainstream status of March Madness is the low margin applied by most bookmakers. You would often get higher odds for the games from the NCAA tournament compared to other competitions and sports.
The lower margin of the betting sites means your chances of consistently winning are higher.
Watching March Madness is fun even without placing a wager, especially if you have a favorite college that’s part of the competition. And yet, the whole experience is even more thrilling when there’s money on the line.
You don’t have to bet huge, even a couple of bucks could make every game way more exciting, especially for the neutral fans.
Lack of Widespread Knowledge
Every edition of March Madness features a number of teams and players that are unknown to most of the audience. After all, there are many competing colleges across the US and several different conferences. Most people don’t have the time and energy to follow them all.
That’s why the vast majority of bets during the tournament are based on hype and not real knowledge or analysis. This can skew the markets a bit if general public opinion is slanted one way.
If you go the extra mile during your preparation for each wager, you have a good chance of discovering profitable betting markets where value is created by hordes of recreational gamblers.
March Madness Betting Options
By this point of our March Madness betting guide, you probably made up your mind one way or another about whether this is a tournament you want to bet on.
Assuming it is, it’s now time to get into the good stuff and get you ready to place your wagers. Before your start, it’s important to know more about the most popular March Madness betting options available online.
This will help you pick the most suitable markets and build a winning strategy. Here are the different options.
March Madness Futures and Outrights
One category of NCAA March Madness wagers that draws a lot of attention are futures and outright betting markets. The most popular among them would be to back a team to become the NCAA Division 1 Men’s Basketball Champion.
You can also place a wager on a player to become the March Madness Outstanding Player or win another individual award.
Simply put, the March Madness futures and outrights are focused on the long-term bets that are usually related to the performance of a specific team or player throughout the entire tournament or at least several rounds, not one game only.
Betting on Individual March Madness Games
There’s little doubt that most people enjoy betting on March Madness games. After all, there are more than 60 encounters in a short period of time and every single one of them represents a good opportunity to make money.
Here are the most popular wagers that pretty much every online sportsbook offers for every game.
You can back any of the teams to win
One of the teams starts the game with a predetermined handicap and you can back the other to overcome or not
A bookmaker will offer a line for the total number of points scored by both sides and you can bet on whether the final score will be over or under that line
To find out more about all these betting options, take a look at the following pages.
Most betting sites and sportsbooks usually have a lot more options to offer, too, so you will have your pick of markets for each game.
March Madness Prop Bets
The last large group of March Madness betting markets is hard to define, as it includes many different options. The so-called prop bets cover a wide area of wagers, some of which are borderline crazy.
For example, you can place a bet on the color of the winning team’s uniform or go for the number of buzzer-beaters that will happen during the NCAA Division 1 final tournament.
Some of the March Madness props are more traditional, like betting on the statistical performance of a certain player or team.
You can find a good variety of such betting options in the best basketball betting sites. While some of them might sound wild, don’t underestimate them. Some NCAA March Madness props could bring a ton of value and deserve your attention.
Live Betting on March Madness
Another excellent March Madness betting option would be to engage in live wagers. As the name suggests, you can place your bets while the games are running. You can watch them and capitalize on any potential trends you can spot.
The best college basketball sportsbooks on the web usually offer most of the traditional markets such as moneylines, spreads, and totals, as well as at least some props for March Madness live betting.
Basic March Madness Betting Tips
This March Madness betting guide won’t be complete without some specific betting tips that can help you improve your results.
Let’s start with the basics that apply to pretty much every type of March Madness betting and are designed to help you avoid some of the most common mistakes people make.
Analyze and Evaluate, Don’t Guess
Let’s begin with a piece of advice that we always try to provide for all kinds of sports betting and NCAA March Madness is not an exception. You should never simply try to guess what will happen, as so many people do.
This is an almost certain way to lose money in the long run for one simple reason. This approach ignores the odds of the bookmakers and the implied probabilities they stand for.
For example, if you always bet on a team that has a true probability to win of 80% but the bookmaker’s price equals 90%, you will be correct in your prediction most of the time but lose money in the long run.
To avoid that, learn how to evaluate each outcome and calculate the implied probability of the odds offered by the bookmaker. We have a converter for the latter, so feel free to use it.
The Regular Season Is Not the Same as the Tournament
Another important thing you need to understand that the college basketball regular season is not the same thing as March Madness. Some people tend to look at the raw numbers from the first phase of the campaign and draw too many conclusions.
Some conferences are stronger than others and some teams face weaker competition. Allowing 60 points per game against mediocre colleges doesn’t mean much, the same way that limiting top opposition to 65 can be impressive.
There’s always context involved and you should never forget. We’re not saying that you can ignore the stats from the regular season, as that would be a step too far. Instead, try to combine the data with subjective factors like the strength of the competition, rotations, and more.
We have a page that’s dedicated to this topic, so take a look for more information.
Check for Important March Madness Stats and Trends
The NCAA tournament plays by its own rules and traditions. For example, the 16-seeded teams almost never beat the top seeds in the first round. There are plenty of other similar trends from the history of the tournament that can help you.
You should always explore stats and trends and try to incorporate them to your analysis. We have a page on the topic and it features some of the most important stats and trends that will save you a lot of time in digging when choosing your March Madness bets.
If you’re going to bet on March Madness, you should have a financial plan. Think carefully how much money you want to set aside for the competition. Once you’ve determined an acceptable amount you can afford to risk, it’s time to think about bankroll management.
Pick a staking plan that will allow you to only risk a fraction of your bankroll, so you don’t end up losing everything when the first bad streak comes.
If you need more help with this, the following page delivers.
The next section of our March Madness betting guide is focused on the latest edition of the tournament. Our team will be working around the clock to provide news, analysis, fresh betting predictions, and everything else that can help you with your wagers.
We’re sure that some of you would like to find the top picks at any given moment, so let’s start with the page where our experts in college basketball release their best March Madness bets before and during the tournament.
For more detailed game previews, and analyses of individual teams and players, we recommend you to follow our March Madness blog. We have several writers that love college basketball and frequently publish useful posts on the tournament.
Here are the latest pieces related to the NCAA Division 1 tournament.
March Madness Brackets, Office Pools, and Party Games
Some of you probably don’t want to engage in gambling with real money, but still would like to add some extra emotions to March Madness.
That’s where the different March Madness brackets, office pools, and party games come into play. Let’s take a look at them.
March Madness Brackets
The classic March Madness bracket game is one of the most beloved side entertainments around the tournament. You can challenge your colleagues, friends, family, or anyone else. Fill in your brackets and showcase your knowledge of college basketball.
The game is really simple, as you have to predict what will happen in every round of the NCAA tournament and collect points for every correct pick. The person with the most points wins at the end.
While the rules of the March Madness bracket are easy to understand, building the correct strategy is another story. Another useful page we have is related to the science of bracketology. Make sure you check it out.
A lot of people challenge their coworkers for bragging rights in the office and brackets are the most popular option. However, there are plenty of other exciting side games, such as the different variants of the March Madness squares, for example.
You will find more about them and other games that are perfect for office pools on the page below.
Finally, it’s not uncommon for people to throw parties during March Madness. You meet or welcome your friends, drink a beer or two, and watch the games. It’s an exciting experience that can become even better if you throw in some party games.
You can add a sheet with props for the different rounds, enjoy some drinking games, or add other ways to have fun during every March Madness party.
If you want some help with that, visit the page below.
About the NCAA Division 1 Men’s Basketball Tournament
You may be surprised to hear that the NCAA Division 1 Men’s Basketball Tournament, also known as March Madness, wasn’t always part of the college basketball schedule. It was added to the season in 1939 and initially wasn’t that big of a deal.
It was in direct competition with the National Invitational Tournament initially and it took a couple of decades before March Madness took off. The rise of college basketball’s popularity and the TV coverage created the perfect conditions for the NCAA Division 1 Men’s Basketball Tournament to shine.
March Madness quickly became one of the most beloved sporting events across the United States. In the most recent decades, it attracts attention from people all over the globe. Many basketball fans want to watch some of the future NBA stars.
The tournament features 68 of the best teams in the country. The winners of all 32 conferences of NCAA qualify for March Madness automatically, while the rest of the field is selected by a special committee.
If you want to know about the history, format, and structure of the NCAA Division 1 Men’s Basketball Tournament, you should check the following pages.
Best Advice for Betting on March Madness – A Summary
We sincerely hope that our complete March Madness betting guide will help you make the best out of the tournament. It was a hard task to collect all the useful information about the NCAA tournament in one place, but we are confident we did a good job.
You can pick between the top-ranked March Madness betting sites, learn how to bet online, explore the different options at your disposal, or simply go for one of the other ways to enjoy March Madness like our bracket.
We can assure you that this guide about the NCAA Division 1 Men’s Basketball Tournament will be updated and improved constantly in the future. Our team is always looking to add more useful pieces of information, stats, strategy, and anything helpful about March Madness here.
March Madness FAQ
If you still have questions about NCAA March Madness, you will likely find the answers here.
How many teams play in March Madness?
A There are 64 teams that are part of the main schedule and eight teams that compete for the last four places in the March Madness bracket.
How many rounds are there in March Madness?
AThe main schedule features the following six rounds: Round 1, Round 2, Sweet 16, Elite 8, Final Four, Championship game. The preliminary playoffs for the last two spots are called First Four.
When does March Madness start and end?
AThe NCAA Division 1 Men’s Basketball tournament usually starts in the middle of March and ends at the beginning of April.
Is it possible to make money by betting March Madness online?
AYes, and there are people who are winning consistently. However, most of the players are losing money, so you need a lot of experience and knowledge about both college basketball and betting to succeed.
Is it safe to bet on March Madness online?
AYou should be fine if you stick to your trusted March Madness betting sites. If you decide to select an internet bookmaker on your own, you should try to find one that’s licensed by a respected gambling regulator.
Is it possible to pick a perfect bracket for March Madness?
AIn theory, it’s possible, but there are no indications that anyone has done it. You have a much higher chance of winning the lottery and that says something.