What to Know About Betting NCAA March Madness

What to Know About Betting NCAA March Madness

The first day of the NCAA Tournament, also known as March Madness, is a date to remember. That’s due to the large following that the iconic college basketball tournament has.

In 2023, employers estimated that they lost about $17.3 billion worth of productivity due only to March Madness. The single-elimination tournament of 68 college basketball teams is about as entertaining as it gets. If you love emotions, upsets and adrenaline-filled basketball, this is your cup of tea. If you’re new to it, let’s walk you through what to expect with NCAA March Madness.

What Is NCAA Tournament?

The NCAA Tournament is a single-elimination tournament of 68 college basketball teams. If you win, you move on. If you lose, you’re done. Teams are seeded from number one to 16 by a committee on Selection Sunday. That happens the Sunday before the start of the tournament. The team that survives through until the end (and obviously doesn’t lose), is the national champion.

How Teams Qualify for The NCAA Tournament

There are more than 300 college basketball schools in the United States. Throughout the year, they compete to build their portfolio. Teams that win their conference get automatic bids while the rest are selected by a committee. The committee then seeds the teams based on their regular season performance from number one (being the best team) through to 16.

There are four regions, so each region will have top seeds ranking from one to three, and so on. That’s where the fun begins. Usually, the top seeds do advance and win, however, there are always huge, unexpected upsets.

 Filling Out Your Bracket

As part of the fun, almost everyone with any interest in the tournament fills out a bracket. The bracket is simply your prediction of what will happen in the tournament. For example, in the Round of 64, a number one seed will face a number 16 seed. You have to predict who will move on.

Then, you predict the next round and the next round and so on. It’s almost impossible to be perfect with every prediction but everyone still tries. As a matter of fact, there has never been a perfect bracket.

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If you know a little bit about basketball, your odds are okay. By ‘okay’ we mean one in 120.2 billion! If you’re completely going by random, it’s just one in 9,223,372,036,854,775,808 chance. Yes, you read that right.

Nonetheless, it’s part of the fun. You make a bracket, get “rekt” – as the kids say – when there’s an upset, and laugh about it. Many people do office pools and many online casinos offer them up as free contests. Whoever gets the most right, wins a prize.

March Madness Betting Tips

If you’re planning on betting the tourney, here are a few pointers that might help you out. The first round is the hardest, so if you can get through the first Thursday and Friday (relatively) unscathed, you can put yourself in a much better position.

Here is a list of our top betting tips for you:

1.Top seeds thrive in round one

There have only ever been two upsets where a seed ranked sixteenth beat a top seed. One came in 2018 when 16th seed UMBC stunned first seed Virginia and the other occurred in 2023 when 16th seed  Fairleigh Dickenson beat first seed Purdue.

2.Top seeds win two games: about 86% of the time

A lot of people want to be the one to predict when a No. 1 goes down. When filling out your bracket, note that they win two games roughly 86% of the time. They usually get to the second week the majority of the time.

3.Top seeds are a good bet to win it all

Since the seeding process began in 1979, No. 1 seeds have won it all 26 times. When you add up all of the other seeds’ wins, they have combined for just 18 championships. 12 of the last 16 champs were No. 1 seeds too. It’s good to back them to go far and possibly pick one to win it all.

4.Defense Matters

Since 2002, every national champ has ranked well defensively. There’s a metric called “Adjusted Defensive Efficiency”. Every team that’s won since 2002 ranked in the Top 44 of that stat category. You can find where teams rank in this category at KenPom.com.

5.Seeds ranked 12th are good upset picks in the first round

For whatever reason, 12th-ranked seeds seem to give the 5th-ranked seeds a lot of trouble. Since 1985, number 12 seeds have won 53 of these matchups (roughly 35% of the time).

The Best Casinos to Bet March Madness

Filling out a bracket is fun but betting the individual games adds even more flavor. If you’re looking for lines, here are our three favorite Canadian casinos to bet the NCAA Tournament.

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Enjoy making live sports wagers on college basketball moneylines, point spreads, and totals.

What to Look for in a March Madness Betting Site?

If you’re looking to bet on the games, there are a few things you should look for. To start, you want a site that has a good reputation. Stick with the sites that we’ve reviewed, tested and trust.

Secondly, you want to look for a place that makes it easy to deposit and withdraw. Banking, whether it’s with cryptocurrency, Interac, credit cards –  or anything else – it has to be simple. The recommended casinos  make this a seamless process, which is part of why they’re ranked highly.

In terms of the betting lines specifically, what you’ll want to see is point spreads, moneylines and totals for every game. The moneyline allows you to pick the outright winner of the game, the point spread is a margin of victory and the total focuses on the combined total points between the two teams. Some sites will have player and team props, which allows you to bet on different aspects of the game.

For example, will Zach Edey have more or less than 15.5 points or 12.5 rebounds. You don’t have to bet on the winner of the game; you only bet on his performance. Lastly, look for a place that allows for live betting. That allows you to watch some of the action and bet at any point throughout – not just before tip off.

Always make sure you play responsibly. The NCAA Tournament can be quite the adrenaline rush – that’s why it’s called Madness. Just play within your limits and have fun!

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