March Madness Betting: Understanding the Odds and Lines

• Basketball
• NCAAB
• Sports Betting

March Madness Betting: How to Bet on March Madness

March Madness Betting is a milestone in college basketball betting. NCAAB is one of the most popular sports to bet on, and it becomes even more popular in March. That’s when March Madness takes place. Betting on the tournament is something that even casual fans like to do, with new bettors jumping into the action every year. That means there are always people who want to learn how to bet on March Madness, and quickly!

This guide will show you how to bet on this glamorous event with any sportsbook you care to use. We will start by giving you a brief overview of the tournament and explaining how March Madness betting works. You will get a deep understanding of what March Madness Betting Odds and March Madness Betting Lines mean. 

That done, we’ll highlight some of the best places to find all the betting markets you’ll ever need, and answer a slew of the most commonly asked questions for basketball betting in terms of NCAA March Madness. This guide will give you the best possible chance to make use out of the crazy March Madness Odds that are soon to be coming around. 

 

March Madness Betting: Where Can I Bet on Games Legally?

The states where you can do online March Madness gambling legally are:

Online Sportsbooks & AppsRetail OnlyUpcoming States
Colorado AppsArkansasLouisiana
Illinois AppsDelawareNorth Carolina
Indiana AppsMississippiMaryland
Iowa AppsMontana
Michigan AppsNew Mexico
Nevada AppsNew York
New Hampshire Apps
New Jersey Apps
Pennsylvania Apps
Rhode Island Apps
Tennessee Apps
Virginia Apps
West Virginia Apps
March Madness Betting: Where Can I Bet on Games Legally?

March Madness Betting Lines & Odds- Spreads

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.

No. 1 Seed-4.5-110
No. 4 Seed+4.5-110
NCAA March Madness Spread Example

Sportsbooks will almost always offer the same odds at -110 for all point spreads. That means you would need to wager $110 to make a profit of $100 if your bet wins.

The No. 1 Seed are the favorites here. We see that because there is a (-) sign before their spread figure. In this case, 4.5 points will be deducted from their score before the sportsbook settles your bet. In other words, because they are the favorites, they will need to win by 5 points or more for your bet to win.

The No. 4 Seed are the underdogs. They get a (+) sign before their spread figure. That figure is added onto their points total before your bet is settled. If the team wins, so do you. However, because of the +4.5, your bet would also win even if they were to lose by 4 points or less.

March Madness Betting Lines & Odds – Over/Under

A March Madness Over/Under bet is sometimes referred to as a 'total' bet. This type of betting market focuses on the total number of points that will be scored in a game. It is therefore completely unnecessary for you to predict which team will win or lose.

Because it doesn't force anyone to choose a side, this bet is particularly popular. Let’s look at the example once again. 

Over 143.5 Points-110
Under 143.5 Points-110
NCAA March Madness Over/Under Example

Here you will see that the sportsbook has set the line at 143.5 points. If you think that the total number of points scored by the two teams will be 144 or higher, you would bet Over. On the other hand, if you think that the total will be 143 or lower, you would bet Under.

Again, note that the odds are the same for both outcomes.

March Madness Betting Lines & Odds- Moneylines

An NCAA March Madness moneyline bet is the easiest to understand because it only requires you to pick the winning team. This type of bet is less common during the regular season, but it is quite popular in the NCAA Tournament due to the potential for huge upsets.

Consider the following example:

No. 1 Seed-135
No. 4 Seed+145
NCAA March Madness Moneyline Example

The No. 1 Seed is the favorite in this matchup, and so the payout is not as great if they win. Odds of -135 mean that you would need to bet $135 to make a profit of $100 if your bet succeeds.

Meanwhile, the No. 4 Seed are the underdogs at odds of +145. A $100 bet on this team would therefore give you a profit of $145 if the team wins.

The NCAA Tournament is known as March Madness for a reason, and that's because upsets occur quite frequently. Make sure you gamble responsibly when taking advantage of March Madness lines.

How to Bet on March Madness: Futures

Futures betting involves making predictions about events that are more long-term than the next game. There are three very common future bets that are made during March Madness. They are:

  1. Who will win the NCAA Championship?
  2. Who will make it to the Final Four?
  3. Which team will be the No. 1 Seed?

The first bet can be made well in advance of the tournament, and you can continue making these futures bet all the way until the Final Four. 

The Final Four bet is usually opened up after the brackets have been unveiled. A future bet on which teams will earn No. 1 Seed will open when the season begins, and close right before the brackets are announced. 

March Madness Betting: Prop Bets

Prop betting was created during the Super Bowl but has very much been brought into other sports. NCAA Basketball and March Madness is no exception. Sportsbooks will offer lots of golden propositional March Madness odds.

These can range from more wacky picks for example 'How many dunks will be made in a game'. To more serious player props such as 'Jared Butler to get a triple-double. So whether you're wagering a small amount of dough on a wacky offer for fun, or going for a more serious, researched player prop there is always some March Madness betting odds for you!

How to Bet on March Madness: Parlays

March Madness offers lots of quality parlay betting opportunities with some very enticing odds. If you don't already know what a parlay bet is, don't be alarmed it is very simple. The basic premise is that you are stacking a few different odds into one. If they all come in, you win. If even one doesn't come in you lose. Parlay betting is a good way to increase your odds with outcomes that are not extremely out of the ordinary.

It can result in some crazy wins and some heartbreaking loss stories. It's definitely a fun betting type to go with during March Madness.

How to Bet on March Madness: Live Betting

Another great betting option during March Madness is live betting. March Madness live betting can not only make you some nice profit but it can also enhance the game watching experience.

Like in most sports/sporting events, the lines can change throughout the game. Watching the spreads, moneylines and the totals to find the best figures can be a very fun way to watch the game. It isn't often that a college team will hit over 100 points in a 40 minute game, but if you think a particular school has a chance this is a March Madness live bet that you can place.

Another popular March Madness live betting type to consider, is the live props available during games. Not only are these bets fun to make, but they can also make you a quick buck. One of our favorites here at HowToBet, is betting on who will get the next basket. Basketball is a very fast moving sport which makes for a plethora of live bets available during games.

Best NCAA March Madness Sportsbooks

Since March Madness betting is one of the most popular events to bet on, there are plenty of sportsbooks that will offer odds. Here are three of the best NCAA March Madness bookmakers and sportsbooks. 

The site launched in 2009 and quickly emerged as one of the leading daily fantasy sports providers in the country. This company has transitioned into the sportsbook industry over the last few years and is one of the best bookmakers in the United States. 

BetMGM is a company that is one of the top online gambling providers in the US. They are one of the biggest competitors in the sports betting industry as well. 

Caesars Sportsbook is one of the top American sportsbooks on the market. Caesars specializes in providing terrific college basketball betting odds, and that includes NCAA March Madness betting. 

FanDuelBetMGMCaesars Sportsbook
The site launched in 2009 and quickly emerged as one of the leading daily fantasy sports providers in the country. This New York-based company has transitioned into the sportsbook industry over the last few years and is one of the best bookmakers in the United States. BetMGM is a company that is one of the top online gambling providers in the US. They are one of the biggest competitors in the sports betting industry as well. Caesars Sportsbook is one of the top American sportsbooks on the market. Caesars specializes in providing terrific college basketball betting odds, and that includes NCAA March Madness betting. 

March Madness Betting in Land-Based Sportsbooks

Betting on NCAA can also be done in land-based sportsbook venues. For example, Las Vegas is the sports betting capital of the world, and things ramp up when the calendar flips to March. Betting on March Madness in Vegas offers a unique and exciting experience that can’t be found by betting online. 

The betting options in land-based sportsbooks are the same, but the excitement level increases when betting on March Madness from a casino or sports betting lounge with the action on a big screen.

To register, you will need your E-Mail address and Social Security Number (SSN). This information is needed so that the sportsbook can confirm your identity and verify that you are over the age of 21!

This is what you will be greeted with when you open BetMGM. Select the state that you will be playing from and it will take you to the appropriate registration screen.

Registering with BetMGM

Select your state with BetMGM

BetMGM Registration Step 1

The registration process at BGM sportsbook has just three simple steps. As you can see below, the first screen will ask you to enter your e-mail address and create a password for your new account.

Register your account

BetMGM Registration Step 2

In the next step, you will be asked to provide some basic details about yourself. Thes will include your name, date of birth, and last four digits of SSN. As mentioned earlier, this information will be used to confirm your identity and check that you are of legal age to place bets.

Add your personal information

BetMGM Registration Step 3

Finally, you will be asked to provide your home address and your mobile phone number. You will also need to personally verify that you are 21 or older and that you accept the BetMGM Terms and Conditions. To do this, simply check the boxes provided.

Agree on Terms & Conditions and register your account

You're All Set to Bet!

When you have set up your BetMGM Sportsbook account as just described, you'll be all set to enjoy all the NCAA March Madness betting action you could ever want. Enjoy the games and good luck with your bets!

March Madness Betting FAQ

Are NCAA March Madness prop bets available?
+

Yes, NCAA prop betting has become a huge part of the March Madness betting experience. Props are available for every single game of the NCAA Tournament and are also for the tournament as a whole.

Prop betting will add some excitement and intrigue to your March Madness experience.

What are the best March Madness betting sites?
+

The best March Madness betting sites are the ones that are legal in your area and offer the best betting odds and lines. BetMGM, FanDuel, and William Hill are three of the best on the market, but there are plenty of others as well.

What March Madness betting strategy should I use?
+

Even though March Madness usually plays out very differently than the regular season, you should still stick to tried and tested college basketball betting strategies. One of the best March Madness betting strategies is to be prepared for more upsets, as the NCAA Tournament is famous for them.

When does March Madness begin?
+

The 2022 March Madness tournament will begin on 15 March and conclude on 4 March.

When is selection Sunday for March Madness 2022?
+

Selection Sunday for March Madness 2022 is on 13 March.

How many games are in March Madness?
+

There are 67 games in the March Madness tournament, including the First Four.

Photo Credits: Kevin C. Cox / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP