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How to Bet on NCAA March Madness

• Basketball
• Betting
• NCAA Football
• Sports Betting

Learn How to Bet on NCAA March Madness

NCAA Basketball is one of the most popular sports to bet on, and it becomes even more popular in March. March Madness betting has taken on a world of its own, and new bettors jump into the action every year. That means there are always people who want to learn how to bet on NCAA March Madness, and quick!

This article is provided to help such beginners. We will explain how NCAA March Madness betting lines work and where you can bet on the games. Then, at the end, we provide a FAQ section which answers to the most common questions related to wagering on the tournament.

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March Madness Betting Markets

This article will take you through how to bet on NCAA March Madness. We will take you through the various types of betting markets that are available. Those are the Spread, the Over/Under, the Moneyline and the Future. We will also take you through the process of registering for BetMGM.

We will use a hypothetical matchup between a No. 4 Seed and a No. 1 Seed to work through examples as we come to them. 

How to Bet on NCAA March Madness 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 favourites 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 favourites, 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.

How to Bet on the NCAA March Madness 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 unneccesary 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

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.

How to Bet on the NCAA March Madness Moneyline

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 popular in the NCAA Tournament due to the potential of huge upsets.

Here is an 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. 

How March Madness Futures Betting Works

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 this 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. 

Where to Bet on NCAA March Madness

There are two main places where you can bet on NCAA March Madness. The first is through a March Madness online sportsbook, and the other is at a land-based sporsbook. Both options will offer the top NCAA March Madness betting markets, but they each offer unique experiences. 

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. 

FanDuelDraftKingsWilliam Hill
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. DraftKings are a Boston-based company that is one of the top online gambling providers in the US. They are one of the biggest competitors to FanDuel in the DFS market, and now they are competing in the sports betting industry as well. William Hill started out in London, but they are one of the top American sportsbooks on the market. William Hill specialize in providing terrific college basketball betting odds, and that includes NCAA March Madness betting. 
Best NCAA March Madness Sportsbooks

Betting on March Madness 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.

How to setup an account with BetMGM

This next section will guide you through the process of registering with BetMGM.

Setting up a BetMGM account is a very simple process, they are one of the easiest to use online Sportsbooks. With new odds everyday.

To register, you will need to use your E-Mail address and SSN, this is done to confirm your identity and 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 screen below.

BetMGM opening screen.

Registering to BetMGM

The first screen will ask you for your e-mail address and to create a password.

BetMGM registration screen

You will then be asked to provide some basic details about yourself, these being: name, date of birth and last four digits of SSN. This will be used to confirm your identity and that you are over the age of 21.

BetMGM second registration screen

Finally, you'll be asked to provide your home address and your mobile phone number, once again to prove identity. As well as accepting the T&Cs.

BetMGM third registration screen

You're all set!

After this you can begin betting on March Madness and many other sporting events and online casinos with BetMGM. Gamble Responsibly.

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How to Bet on NCAA March Madness FAQ

Are March Madness prop bets available?
+

Yes, prop betting has become a huge part of the NCAA 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. DraftKings, 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 use your same 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.

Are March Madness betting games available?
+

March Madness is one of the most exciting sporting events of the year, and there are plenty of betting games available. The most obvious betting game is filling out a bracket and joining a pool, but there are plenty of others as well.

What’s the best NCAA March Madness bet to make?
+

The best NCAA March madness basketball bets to make are ones that you are prepared for and have done plenty of research on. Pick a March Madness betting type that works for you, and spend plenty of time before making a pick.

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

About this author

Jude Sutcliffe author profile

Lover of all sport, particularly Premier League football and the NBA. Use statistics and figures to calculate the best ways to make money in the world of sports betting. Published journalist in the UK. 

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