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The Ins and Outs of March Madness Betting: What Every Fan Needs to Know

March Madness is one of the world’s most watched and awaited events. With 68 teams (men’s and women’s) competing for the Championship, the tournament is paved with impressive upsets, grand finishes, and the best time you’ll ever have laying bets on college basketball.

However, watching or following all the teams vying for the top title throughout the season can be challenging. So, how do you make your best bets for March Madness? For some help, below are the essential things you need to know to succeed in your March Madness betting.

How it Works

Simply put, March Madness betting works like any other basketball betting. But when you consider the elite programs in the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) and high-stakes tournament format, March Madness betting faces a different intensity.

Once the 68 teams are revealed, oddsmakers set the Over/Under totals, point spreads, and additional odds for each matchup.

Moreover, as basketball teams win and forge ahead in the bracket, sportsbooks like casino.fanduel.com show betting lines for the following games straight to the National Championship game. They adjust their odds to match up edges and current form in these contests.

Common March Madness Betting Markets

Common March Madness Betting Markets (1)

Let’s explore some of the best ways to bet on March Madness.

Point Spread

The point spread is the projected or expected gap between two basketball teams on the scoreboard. Sportsbooks and oddsmakers set this odd to balance the competition level before each tournament game.

The favorite must win the game by scoring more significantly than the estimated spread to cover and secure the bet. On the other hand, the unlikely winner must lose by below the spread to cover or win outright.

For example, UConn is a +7.5 point underdog. Hence, they’d have to lose by less than eight points to cover the designated spread or win outright. If the favorite is the San Diego State, they need to win by eight more points to cover and win the bet.


This betting odd refers to the expected total number of points both teams attain in their game. Bettors can place a wager on whether the actual total number of points will go Over or Under the projected final score.

Over/Under is one of the most difficult March Madness betting markets to book, given the contrasting styles, foreign foes, and fast turnarounds in each tournament round.

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The money line is the easiest and simplest March Madness betting method. All you have to do is to choose which team will achieve victory. Each basketball team is appointed a moneyline value based on its odds of winning the game outright.

Earlier rounds of the March Madness typically see significant moneyline odds when a more formidable seed takes on a lower one. Moneyline underdogs are a popular bet because of the unforeseen upsets that feature the bracket yearly.


These bets usually take a more extended period to play out—for example, betting on which teams will make the Final Four or the National Championship. Bettors can place these wagers throughout the March Madness season, and the odds are constantly changing due to injuries, outcomes, and more.

Proposition Bets

These best bets are set for games outside the traditional betting market. March Madness proposition bets may focus on player performances and individual teams, or depend on stats and events.

Additionally, long-term bets are available, like betting on how many teams with the “Wildcats” nickname will push forward to the Round of 32.

Tournament MVP

Betting on which player will nab the title tournament MVP is also a famous March Madness betting market. Unusually, these odds rise or increase as the tournaments get underway, highlighting the best players from their favorite teams. Moreover, the odds adjust to betting action, results, and outcomes throughout March Madness.

Betting Tips and Strategies

Betting Tips and Strategies (1)

March Madness is one of the most volatile and intense sports events, making placing the most brilliant and challenging. But fear not! Here are some tried and true March Madness betting tips and strategies to know.

Strength of Schedule

The strength of the schedule is an excellent benchmark when placing bets on March Madness matchups. Look at a basketball team’s notable wins and the quality of opponents from the regular season. Scout those hot and cold streaks and investigate if they will continue in March.

Follow Betting Experts

Listen to podcasts, read betting articles, or watch videos for information on some bets that could be smart to make. But note that no matter how much knowledge these betting experts have, this doesn’t mean they know which team will win. It’s still up to you on what bet to make.

Home-Court Advantage

Be wary of where tournament games are being fought. Some schools may have to travel over long distances to play their games. On the other hand, other schools may only have to endure short trips to the stadium.

Basketball teams playing close to the designated court don’t have to suffer from jet lag and exhaustion. Also, the crowd may not support them, kicking down the team’s morale.

Look for Experienced Coaches

Keep in mind that coaching means a lot in college basketball. With 68 teams participating in March Madness, there’s an enormous difference in coach quality. This discrepancy shows up on the scoreboard.

Over the years, several coaches have successfully cemented their names in college basketball. So, research them and take a hard look at their game lines.

Watch the Games

Another good tip is to watch the games intensely. By doing so, you may have discovered something that could be a great bet. For instance, you might have observed that a team faced difficulties when pressured or stretched late in the game. You may bet against them in their next game because they tend to press a lot.


The Ins and Outs of March Madness Betting What Every Fan Needs to Know (1)

March Madness betting is one of the best events to bet on. There are exciting and intense matchups all season long. Hence, you won’t get disinterested so fast. Throughout this article, we’ve given you practical strategies to bet on March Madness. These helpful tips will guide you to make the smartest or wisest best for March Madness.

Pantelic Natasa
Pantelic Natasa
My name is Natasa Pantelic, and I work as a content editor for thesportslite.com. By profession, I am a business administrator and a professional makeup artist. I enjoy taking care of my appearance and health through strength training, cardio, and a healthy diet. I also have a passion for music, socializing, adventures, and embracing new challenges.

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