Complete Guide to betting on March Madness
Below is an overview of the March Madness tournament, including how you can get an edge in the betting.
You'll find an overview first, then individual game advice, futures, parlays and how to make more with the very best lines. If you do not already know March Madness' best kept secret, then the place to bet is Bovada.lv.
March Madness is the more common name for the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship, a tournament for 68 teams in the spring to determine the national champions. 32 of the teams will gain automatic entry by becoming conference champions, while the other 36 teams will receive at-large berths in the tournament, being selected by committee – ‘Selection Sunday’ is nationally televised.
The build up to the tournament sees everyone go bracket crazy, with workplaces, newspapers and websites all offering competitions based upon predicting the complete bracket all the way to the final. However, although ‘bracketology’ takes hold in March, sports betting on the event is becoming increasingly popular, never more so than when it comes to prop betting. Here you can find a guide to all of the bet types you’ll be able to place on the Big Dance, touching on individual matches, before moving onto some of the more wide ranging bets on the tournament.
Every sportsbook will offer the standard money lines, points spread and totals bets on all 67 games throughout the tournament. One of the enjoyable betting aspects of March Madness for many is in trying to pick out that long priced underdog who might provide a shock. Due to the format of the tournament, you’ll find many games between teams who will have rarely played each other before, the majority of games being between teams from different conferences. Many gamblers will know a great deal about the seeded teams, but have no real clue about the teams from the ‘lesser’ conferences, so it can pay to spend some time studying these teams, as you might spot something that will give you an edge.
You’ll be able to place a futures wager on March Madness throughout the year, even long before the college season actually starts. This long term view can give you a head start but you have bear in mind that your money will be tied up for a long time. The outright March Madness betting really takes off when the field of 68 is set on Selection Sunday and progresses throughout the tournament.
The sportsbooks really come into their own when it comes to prop bets on the tournament. There are a wide range of different prop bets, but many of them are based around the seeded teams. Here are some examples of these props:
- Which number one seed will be the first to be eliminated?
- How many number one seeds will make it to the final four?
- How many number sixteen seeds will progress past the round of 64?
- Will the sum of the final four seeds be over or under 14.5?
- What seed will the winning team be?
- What will be the highest amount of points scored by a number one seed in the round of 64?
- Will the March Madness winner be seeded number 3 or lower?
Alongside these props based upon the seeding, you’ll find a number of more fun bets. My personal favourite is the round of 64 buzzer beater bet, where you’ll bet on how many games are won by a shot that is taken before the buzzer sounds, but hits the basket after. This is a prop bet for those who like drama – the advantage of this bet being that the bet applies to all 32 of the games.
Other prop bets you’ll find are whether a named team will progress through to at least the sweet sixteen, which player will be the MVP, which conference the winning team will be from and the nationality of the MVP.
Prop Bet Strategy
Although many of the prop bets are fun, take a close look at many of the markets, as you might be able to spot the odd situation where you think the sportsbook have got it wrong. For example, if choosing the ‘What seed will the winning team be?’ market – study the four teams at each number and evaluate your own odds for each. Your odds might look very different to the sportsbooks, so go ahead and bet where you think there is value.
March Madness Betting at Bovada
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