Last Updated on September 30, 2022
Fact checked by: Alyx Tzamantanis
Are you ready for the most fun month of the year? We keep it circled on our calendars and so should you. Whether it’s late February or early May there’s no better time than now to learn all about how to bet on college basketball and March Madness!
March Madness betting can seem overwhelming at times, but when broken down it’s incredibly easy and fun. Everyone remembers their first tournament, and in case that’s this one or you’re just looking for a stronger edge, we put together this quick guide to give you everything you need to get successfully betting on March Madness!
Before you starts placing your bets and making some sweet sweet cash you need to get signed up with one of the top bookmakers out there. We did the hard work for you and put together a list of the best college basketball betting sites currently available. They have great offers to new players as well which could build your bank roll even higher, or protect you from losses in case those bets don’t hit.
The NCAA Tournament (or March Madness) is one of the most anticipated and exciting sporting events and it’s maybe the most bet on tournament in the world, which is why every spring you have many new sports bettors wondering how to gamble on March Madness. Even people who don’t watch College Basketball during the season want in on the action!
With 68 of the top college basketball teams in the country competing for the National Championship, the road to the Final Four is paved with fantastic finishes, unbelievable upsets, and the most fun you’ll ever have betting on college basketball. The history of the NCAA Tournament is heavy on Cinderella’s pulling off the upset. The key here is to know what to look for to find these upsets.
March Madness betting works just like most basketball games. However, when you mix in the high-stakes tournament format and the top programs in the NCAA, March Madness betting takes on a completely different intensity.
Once the field of 68 teams is released on Selection Sunday, oddsmakers from the biggest sports betting sites start working on setting the point spreads, Over/Under totals, and additional March Madness odds for each tournament matchup in the First Four as well as the Round of 64.
As teams win and advance throughout the bracket, bookmakers quickly release betting lines for the next slate of games all the way through to the National Championship game, adjusting their odds to current form and matchup edges found in these unique tournament contests.
|NCAA National Championship||Spread from FanDuel||Moneyline From Draftkings||Over/Under from Caesars|
|🏀 See odds from FanDuel||+160 Odds from DK||🌟Click to BET ON UNC vs. Kansas|
|+4 Bet with FanDuel||-190 Odds from DK|
|Caleb Love, Over 16.5 pts -125, Bet with FanDuel||UNC to Win by 1-5 pts +390, Odds from DK|
|David McCormack to Win MVP +1500 Bet with FanDuel||🏀 Click to See odds |
The point spread, Over/Under and money line may be the most common ways to bet on March Madness odds but there’s nothing basic about those betting odds because the drama of the unknown is there.
The point spread is the estimated gap between the two teams on the scoreboard, set by oddsmakers to balance the level of competition before each NCAA tournament game. The point spread favorite must win by more than the designated spread to cover (and win the bet) while the underdog must win outright or lose by less than the spread to cover.
The opening rounds of March Madness betting can see some larger point spreads on the board when higher-ranked teams play lower-ranked opponents, such as No. 1 vs. No. 16 matchups. As the tournament goes on, the spreads will shrink as the level of competition gets tighter. The first two rounds of the tournament have been the most popular to bet on as everybody loves an underdog and that’s the real hook of this tournament.
The Over/Under is the projected total number of points scored by both teams in their NCAA Tournament game. Bettors can wager on whether the final score will go Over or Under this total.
The money line is the most straightforward method for betting on March Madness: simply pick which team will win. Each team is assigned a money line value based on its implied probability of winning the game outright.
The popularity of March Madness betting has sparked additional ways to wager on the NCAA Tournament, from long-running bets to quick and thrilling gambling options.
Futures are bets that take a longer period of time to play out, including betting on which team will win the National Championship or make the Final Four by winning its respective region. Remember the odds you have at the time of the bet will not change no matter what happens. So you can bet Gonzaga to win it all right now +380 but if one of the star players for the Zags go down you will be still stuck on the odds at the time of your bet.
Props (or proposition bets) are alternative wagers set for games outside of the standard markets. March Madness props can focus on individual team or player performances or be based around events and stats, such as the total number of 3-pointers made or fouls committed. All kinds of prop bets exist on almost everything in March Madness so check them all out and find the right ones to line your pockets with cash.
Over 30 states and D.C. now allow some form of sportsbetting and that just keeps on going up with each passing month. As long as you’re in one of these states you should have a number of top bookmakers to choose from. Each one of these sportbooks will offer relatively similar odds when it comes to betting March Madness, but they all differ in certain other functionalities. Have a quick look at our best basketball betting sites and you’ll find your favorite in no time.
Once you found the sportsbook that’s right for you, you’ll need to sign up. The good news is, all of the major sportsbooks have streamlined this process into something that only takes a few minutes.
The strength of schedule from the regular season plays a big part in shaping the teams given an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament and it’s also a good measuring stick when betting March Madness matchups. Look at a team’s quality of opponents and notable wins from the regular season.
The other factor that we will want to look at is who’s hot coming into the tournament?
Guard play is another key factor, in College basketball, you win with guards.
Tournament experience as well as a stable core of upperclassmen to lean on can be key to a team’s NCAA success when postseason pressures rise.
There’s a reason why you always see the same coaches advancing past the first weekend of the tournament.
Finding a certified Cinderella team is the fast track to profits when betting March Madness. These can be small-conference schools with tricky tempos or sharpshooters who took down top-tier competition during non-conference play. A perfect example would have been Princeton back in the 1980s and 90s and the slow methodical style of play made them hard to prepare and play for.
Also, look for teams that placed fifth or worse in big conferences because those teams played tough schedules which help prepare a team for the Madness that’s about to ensue.
Betting on March Madness is by its very nature unpredictable. One thing that can cover you if you lose, or help you soar into success when you win is taking advantage of the best sportsbook bonuses available. You can get bonuses like free bets, bet credits, risk free bets or even free cash up to $1,500!
This way no matter what team wins, you will too with these unreal promotions. Be sure to check back often as every sportsbook will run new promotions throughout the March Madness Tournament.
Our Favorite March Madness Bonuses for 2022
There’s a lot to cover before betting on the Big Dance. Here’s a recap of the most important steps to remember when wagering on March Madness.