March Madness is back. All major sportsbooks will be taking on a ton of bets across the country. March Madness is the biggest college basketball event of the year.
68 teams from NCAA Division I men’s basketball will be playing in the most-watched college basketball tournament in the world. Since there are so many teams playing, there are so many games to bet on! But what is the best strategy for betting on March Madness?
Whether you’re a sports betting beginner or a seasoned pro, this guide will outline the best betting strategies for March Madness 2023!
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Believe it or not, the site you use to bet on March Madness will affect your experience.
If you don’t already have a go-to legal online sportsbook, we recommend DraftKings Sportsbook, bet365, or Caesars Sportsbook.
Two big reasons these three sportsbooks are so enticing for new users are the big sign-up bonuses and easy-to-use betting sites and apps. Even as a beginner it’s really easy to sign up and get started picking March Madness winners.
With that being said, there are plenty of other sportsbooks available and ready to take on March Madness bets.
The best strategy for betting on March Madness is by filling out a full tournament bracket to compete against friends, family, co-workers, and strangers!
You can also bet make parlay bets, bet on game lines, team futures, as well as player props/futures for the March Madness tournament as they become available!
Finding the right March Madness betting site for you will be key!
Timing your bets with available lines is crucial. For example, the opening round is a fantastic way to take advantage of parlays, as the majority of results in the first round go the favorites way.
You may also recognize some notable talents or players that have upped their game for the tournament. Betting on player props is a great way to earn money if you see a player trending toward or away from their projected output.
Most importantly, you should understand how the bracket itself works – it’s simple!
There are four regions (East, West, Midwest, South) with sixteen teams representing each region. In total, there are 64 games in this thrilling single-elimination process!
Filling out your March Madness Bracket is a lot less daunting than graphics make it look. Each team matches up on their side of the bracket, all you have to do is select which teams you expect to win in each round until you find your ultimate winner!
Start with the first round’s 32 games, then the second round’s 16 games, then move on to the Elite Eight, Final Four, and then the Final.
In the NCAA Tournament Final, you will likely be asked to predict the score. This additional prediction is used as a tiebreaker, in the case that multiple correct predictions for a result are made.
Absolutely not! The beauty of the NCAA tournament is the one-off nature of each match, making it a true test of quality between each team. While ranking is a good indicator of who will win, underdogs can put on excellent performances to bring home an upset victory!
The tournament format of March Madness is beneficial to experts and beginners alike. With only one game deciding a team’s fate, anyone can make a great selection!
According to the NCAA, there has never been a verified event where someone has picked a completely perfect March Madness bracket.
There are many outlets and sports betting sites where you can fill out your March Madness bracket. Many major sportsbooks will have a March Madness bracket challenge, while CBS in partnership with the NCAA has an annual bracket challenge with cash prizes!
According to Sports Illustrated, the odds of attaining a perfect bracket are around one in 9.2 quintillions. In 2019, neuropsychologist Gregg Nigl set the record with 49 correct bracket picks.
Part of the draw of March Madness is the mystery behind who will win. With so many strong teams playing, anybody can win it all.
Let’s take a look at some of the teams that we think have the best shot at winning the National Championship!
To no one’s surprise, the Gonzaga Bulldogs were the regular-season champions of the West Coast Conference. They only lost two non-conference games, and their one conference loss came in their final game of the season against ranked Saint Mary’s.
Gonzaga always has one of the best teams in the nation, but this team is different.
Junior Drew Timme leads them. Timme is a great shooter who scores 17.6 points per game and grabs 9.7 rebounds.
Right behind Timme is freshman Chet Holmgren. Holmgren was one of the top high school recruits last year and put on a show in what will likely be his only season of college basketball; Holmgren is a projected lottery pick in this year’s NBA Draft.
He is a seven-footer who can rebound, shoot, and handle the ball.
Gonzaga started the season as the #1 team and finished the season as the #1 team. I projected they would win in it all at the beginning of the season, and I still believe that.
The Kentucky Wildcats were not the best team in the SEC this year, but they still had an excellent season. Unfortunately, they did not have the best finish to the season, losing two of their last five games, but they are contenders to win it all once more.
The arrival of forward Oscar Tshiebwe has significantly strengthened Kentucky’s roster. Tshiebwe transferred to Kentucky from West Virginia and is one of the best big men in the country.
He can do it all on both sides of the floor. Offensively, he leads the Wildcats with 16.9 points and 15.3 rebounds, but defensively, he is an intelligent player and a fierce rim protector. His 1.8 steals and 1.5 blocks per game lead Kentucky.
Guards TyTy Washington Jr., Kellen Grady, and Sahvir Wheeler have also been critical to the success of Kentucky. They are talented scorers and good team players.
Kentucky’s real strength is the bevy of scorers they have to offer. Five Wildcats are scoring ten points or more each game.
The Arizona Wildcats have come out as the best team in the PAC-12. They lost to the unranked Colorado Buffaloes last week, but other than that, they have been an excellent team. Gonzaga may be ranked #1, but you could argue that Arizona is the best team in the nation.
Arizona is a tall team that shoots very well from the field. Sophomore guard Bennedict Mathurin is the most impressive player on this team. The man from Montreal plays almost 32 minutes a
game, scores 17.2 points per game, and grabs 5.7 rebounds. Mathurin is a very impressive shooter who makes over 38% of his three-point attempts. As good as Mathurin is, I cannot mention Arizona’s success without talking about forward Azoulis Tubelis and center Christian Koloko.
Tubelis and Koloko are great rebounders and good rim protectors. Koloko is one of the best rim protectors in the country and blocks 2.9 shots per game.
Arizona’s size puts them in a unique position. They are bigger than most of the top teams in the country. So their height will be an advantage as they get into the later rounds of the tournament.
There are a couple of things to be mindful of in your March Madness betting strategy:
When keeping track of your March Madness betting site and minding your strategy, you should be able to formulate a solid plan. Here are some of our suggestions.
When it comes to betting on March Madness, it can be very easy to merely select the higher seeded team in every matchup. Granted, you’re likely to come up with decent results with that strategy. But you become vulnerable to your bracket busting early if you can’t see the coming upset.
The one-off matchup style favors teams in-form, rather than those who are boasting a more impressive seeding. When constructing your bracket, be aware of history as much as you are of current form. Only once, in 2008, have all four top seeds made the Final Four!
It’s easy to look for the “Ivy Upset” or the mid-size college with a star piece to get you your win. But pay mind to ranking, order, win streak, and injuries to inform your decision.
All things considered, betting on brackets and March Madness as a whole is a lot of fun. But betting on single games can be just as fun and also beneficial.
Check out our tips on finding good single-game bets:
With the top sixteen named, sportsbooks have opened up wagering on who will win the tournament as a whole. While these odds will change after conference tournaments, it gives bettors looking to build their strategy a preview of what the public is thinking.
As the bracket fills out and we see different schools and their roadmap to the Final Four, the odds are certain to change.
Aside from filling out brackets, there are plenty of ways to bet on March Madness, with bets that include parlays, futures, and props. In this section, we will break down how these bets work and some tips to help with your strategy.
A Futures bet is one that looks at how a team will do at a specific future date. With March Madness this will be a bet in terms of picking the overall champion in the end.
Picking which team will win the game is always a popular way to bet on NCAA basketball and during March Madness there’s a huge spike in money line bets. Here are the main things to understand:
You don’t always need to pick a team to win or a side to cover the point spread.
Betting on the over/under point total is when a sportsbook estimates how many total points will be scored in a game by both teams combined. Your job is to choose if the final total will be more or less than the sportsbook’s estimate.
March Madness games play out differently than regular-season matchups, which means totals are harder to predict.
One way to spice up your betting ticket is to combine multiple bets on one or more games into one betting ticket. Betting a parlay multiplies the payout but also makes it way harder to win.
Use our parlay calculator to make parlay betting even easier.
Proposition bets, also called props, are more creative bets on things like individual player performances. Since there’s so much betting action focused on March Madness, sportsbooks like BetMGM and DraftKings have tons of props on the menu.
You don’t have to wait for the games to finish before making new bets. In fact, you can get in on the madness while games are in full swing. This is called Live Betting and it is an increasingly popular form of wagering.
Betting on 2022 March Madness Bracket Challenges Bracket challenges will be available once the seeding has been decided!
In 2019 FanDuel awarded $250,000 to players who scored highest in their bracket competition. The top bracket won $100,000! The challenge was free to enter and open to residents in all 50 states.
DraftKings Sportsbook also had an exciting challenge in 2019, with their own free contest that had participants competing for their share of a $64,000 prize pool! If you were playing in New Jersey, you had to opportunity to compete for a separate $100,000 prize pool for a mere $20 entry fee!
Caesars Casino offered one of the most unique prizes for their 2019 March Madness promotion. While only available in New Jersey, players could compete for more than $50,000 in cash and prizes, while also receiving a free $20 bet just for filling out a bracket. First place won a $250 sports bet for each week for an entire year!
Selection Sunday will take place on March 13. Then, the First Four games will begin the tournament and take place on March 15 and March 16. The First Round will take place on March 17 and March 18. The Second Round starts on the following day on March 19 and finishes on March 20.
The teams that make it to the Sweet 16 get a little break after the second round. The Sweet 16 is played on March 24 and March 25. The next round, the Elite Eight, will take place on March 26 and March 27.
The 2022 NCAA Tournament will be held in various locations. Before the first round starts, the First Four games will be held at the University of Dayton Arena in Dayton, Ohio. The First and Second rounds of the Tournament are spread across the country. The games will be played at the KeyBank Center in Buffalo, New York, Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana,
Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas, Moda Center in Portland, Oregon, Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville, South Carolina, Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, PPG Saints Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and the Viejas Arena in San Diego, California.
The Sweet 16 and Elite Eight will also be played in various locations.
The games will be played at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas (home of the San Antonio Spurs), the Chase Center in San Francisco, California (home of the Golden State Warriors), the United Center in Chicago, Illinois (home of the Chicago Bulls), and the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (home of the Philadelphia 76ers).
The Final Four and National Championship game will be played at the Caesars Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana (home of the NFL’s New Orleans Saints). The Caesars Superdome can seat up to 73,432 people for basketball games.
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Max Heering graduated from the University of Kansas Sport Management program in May 2020. Max follows and writes about the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, MLS, college football, and college basketball. In his free time, you can catch Max draining threes on the basketball court. Email: [email protected]More info on Max Heering
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