March Madness Betting Guide
March Madness is just around the corner and while you can’t fill out your brackets yet, we will get you ready for the NCAA Tournament. Keep an eye on Selection Sunday, which takes place on March 15. The NCAA Tournament will start with the First Four on March 17 and end with the National Championship game on April 6.
Why is the NCAA Tournament called March Madness? March Madness is the time of the year when the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship takes place. It begins in mid-March and runs over three weekends into early April.
Betting Options For March Madness
These are the betting options available:
Point Spreads: With point spreads, the final score of a game and the margin of victory are taken into consideration. If you bet on Gonzaga -5 in an Elite Eight game against Michigan State, they must win the game by at least six points for your wager to cash.
A five-point victory would result in a push. A win by any fewer points would make you lose your wager.
Moneylines: When you bet a moneyline, you are just choosing the team that you expect to win. The teams that are favored will have minus odds, meaning that you have to bet more than the amount you’re going to win.
For example, if Dayton is a 7-point favorite in the Final Four, the moneyline will be around -260. This means that you’ll have to wager $230 to win $100.
The opposite applies if you bet an underdog moneyline. An underdog team with a 7-point spread will have a moneyline around +210. In this case, a $100 wager would win $210.
Totals: Also known as Over/Under bets, totals have nothing to do with who wins the game. An Over/Under bet is strictly decided by how many combined points are scored by the two teams. Totals in college basketball vary with every game. They usually range from around 120 to 160 points.
To win these bets you have to pick whether you think the total points scored will go Over or Under a number set by the sportsbook. If the total for the NCAA Championship game is set at 138 points and the final score consists of 136 points, then Under bettors win and those who had the Over lose.
Parlays: A parlay is more complex, it is a single bet that links together at least two individual wagers. In order to win a parlay, none of the wagers can be a loser. You can still win a parlay if a game is canceled or ends in a tie.
Props: Prop bets are related to March Madness brackets. For example, player stats like points, rebounds, assists, etc. in an NCAA Tournament game, how far along a team will get and the odds of making the Sweet 16, Elite Eight and Final Four.
Live Betting: Live betting is a very popular alternative and it is great for March Madness because in this event no lead is safe in any game as long as there is still time to play.
In-game bets allow you to wager at any time in the contests with updated lines based on the current score and situation of the game.
The good part about this feature is that it doesn’t restrict you to the pregame college basketball odds. You can wager at any point and see how a contest begins before deciding to make a move.
Teams that get down a lot early will usually receive much better odds than what they had before the game. Put a few dollars down on those teams and if a comeback takes place it can provide a big payout.
Every March Madness game will have live betting.
Most sportsbooks will have the standard moneylines, point spreads and totals, as well as a large selection of alternate lines.
March Madness Betting Tips
Point spreads will be bigger in the first rounds of the NCAA Tournament. You can take advantage of that when you come up with the picks that you want to place early. There’s more parity at the start of March Madness than people think. In 2018, No. 16 UMBC crushed No. 1 Virginia 74-54 as a 20.5-point underdog in Round 1. This was the first and only time that a No. 16 seed prevailed against a No. 1 seed and many consider it the biggest upset in the history of the NCAA Tournament.
The complete schedule for the NCAA Tournament:
First Four: March 17-18
NCAA Tournament Round 1: March 19-20
NCAA Tournament Round 2: March 21-22
Sweet 16: March 26-27
Elite Eight: March 28-29
Final Four: April 4
National Championship: April 6
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