Our comprehensive March Madness Betting guide will provide you with all the strategies and tips you need to start betting on college basketball.
The NCAA Basketball Tournament is second only to the Super Bowl when it comes to wagering handle. Americans can’t bet on March Madness enough!
So if you are looking to join in on the March Madness fun, make sure you read our in-depth betting guide to get all the tournament betting strategies, various bets you can make and our top recommended sites.
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The NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament, or the Big Dance, is second only to the Super Bowl in betting popularity.
The 2020 NCAA tournament will start on March 17th and end with the National Championship on April 6th in Atlanta. The Virginia Cavaliers will be looking to defend their 2019 NCAA tournament title.
2020 NCAAB Tournament Information
- Teams Selection: March 15, 2020
- 1st Round: March 17, 2020
- Final Four: April 4, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia
- 2019 NCAA Champions: Virginia Cavaliers
Wondering who are the favorites to win the Big Dance? Get the current 2020 March Madness betting odds below:
If you’re looking to bet on the NCAA Basketball Tournament this season, the following tips will allow you to place more profitable bets.
Betting Tip #1Fading The Public
This first betting tip has its advantages and disadvantages as a basketball bet, but the NCAA Tournament can be a spot to consider fading the public.
As stated above, the amount the NCAAB public bets on the tournament is exponentially more than what they wager during the regular season, or during conference tournaments. Interest in college basketball peaks in March.
For that reason, there’s going to be a lot more public money coming in on these games and the opinion of the masses will affect line movement much more than usual.
The public isn’t usually moving the line much when two unranked teams play during a random regular-season game. The opposite is true when a No. 15 takes on a No. 7.
We know the public loves to bet favorites. Savvy bettors should look for spots to fade public teams, particularly those ranked in the Top 25 Associated Press Poll.
Teams that played hard throughout their conference tournament to get to March Madness are another spot you should look to target. They are often tired, both physically and mentally, and may have a general bias based on their recent performance.
Betting Tip #2Performance Down The Stretch
Another pitfall you should avoid falling into is the trap of weighing overall record too highly when handicapping basketball games or evaluating teams in the tournament.
The overall record does matter, but how the team is playing coming into the tournament (last few games and conference tournaments) is perhaps something to weigh a bit more heavily when it comes to predicting performance.
It is extremely rare to see a team come into the tournament playing terrible basketball and end up running the table. Keep an eye out for how a team is playing coming into the tournament.
Betting Tip #3Monitor Teams’ Travel Schedules
Another March Madness betting tip worth considering deals with travel schedules. Most tournament games are effectively road games for both teams but, depending on the location, one side may have an advantage. As discussed later in this article, that advantage is certainly priced into the odds.
However, fatigue from traveling can still be something to keep in mind. Many schools travel many hours for their first game of the tournament. In many cases, this also after finishing out a conference tournament. This can undoubtedly add up to tired legs and missed jumpers.
In fact, if we’re going to look for something from the regular season, it would be road records. The environment of a tournament game is essentially a road game, for both teams. That doesn’t make a lot of sense on its face, but if you consider that both sides are playing on the neutral ground, far from their home court – it’s perfectly logical.
Betting Tip #4Bankroll Management
One of the most crucial betting tips and most often overlooked is bankroll management.
Being super into the tournament from a fan perspective is excellent, but sometimes that translates into betting too many games.
Just because it is the tournament, it doesn’t mean you need to bet more. Manage your bankroll correctly and look for advantages in the odds. Don’t bet for the sake of having action.
Betting Tip #5Defense & Rebounding
Defense and rebounding in NCAA basketball are essential and it is another March Madness betting strategy we recommend. That should be obvious, but there’s a reason we should focus on these areas when evaluating our NCAA tournament betting ideas, compared to offensive firepower.
For one, most of the teams don’t know each other or haven’t faced off in the regular season. Offenses might not translate well against specific defenses. What may be a strong point against the competition in the regular season, may suddenly become a weakness in the tournament, depending on the matchup.
Offensive firepower also just simply isn’t as consistent as defensive intensity. On some nights, the shots just aren’t falling. There is an element of luck to the offense, while a strong defense can be played much more consistently.
The same goes for rebounding. Sure, there are going to be times when a team is going to be overmatched on the boards, but consistent rebounding leads to second-chance buckets and fewer opportunities for opponents. Teams that have consistently played solid defense and have rebounded well offer more consistency and predictability when it comes to handicapping a game.
Betting Tip #6“Homecourt” Advantage
This seems to be a mistake of just about every amateur sports bettor when it comes to wagering on March Madness.
Every year, there are one or several teams that happen to play in a region that is close to their home court. This makes it much easier for fans of the school to travel to the game. NCAA basketball bettors, for some odd reason, don’t think this is factored in by the oddsmakers.
You’re playing right into their hands regarding public bias and the fact that one team may have more fans in the stadium compared to another. This is something that is integrated into the opening line.
Betting Tip #7Tournament Trends
Our last March Madness betting tip revolves around the tournament trends. They should be taken with a grain of salt. Trends don’t usually mean much, but there have been some historical trends with seeding position in the tournament that can be looked at for potential betting opportunities.
The most notable outlier in seeding is the No. 5 vs. No. 12 seed in the first round. No. 5 seeds are 76-44 against No. 12 seeds since 1985, which amounts to just over a 63% winning percentage.
This doesn’t take into account against the spread numbers, but the No. 5 seed is always going to be underdogs and sometimes large underdogs. At least one No. 12 seed has won a game in the tournament for the past 20 years.
There are some other matchups to look at, but none of them are overly conclusive. No. 9 seeds hold a slight advantage over No. 8 seeds, but these games are usually very evenly matched.
If you are new to college hoops betting, we recommend you read our NCAA College Basketball Online Betting Guide.
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When it comes to the best March Madness bets, there are a host of wagers available aside from traditional bets (such as sides, totals, and moneylines).
March Madness Proposition Bets
Prop bets are wagers that are not related to the final score or outcome of the game (which team wins or loses and by how much).
Instead, they’re things like “Which team will score first” or “Which team will get 20 points first”.
There are also team-specific propositions, team props, such as the number of three-pointers a team might make in a game (over/under) or the number of points a team might score in a game, known as “team totals.”
Player prop bets are also available for March Madness and are ramped up at sportsbooks compared to the rest of the year. Player props are like team propositions in that they are mostly totals, such as the number of points a player scores in a game, or his number of rebounds + assists.
March Madness Futures Bets
There are many different futures for the NCAA Tournament, with the most common being which team will win the National Championship.
Futures markets can cover all parts of the tournament, such as if a team will make to the Sweet 16, Elite 8 and Final Four. Bettors will also be able to wager on which teams will win each region of the tournament and more.
If you love college hoops, laying down a bet and encouraging some friendly competition among your friends during March Madness is a great way to enjoy the tournament.
When you have gotten a group together, you can print our March Madness 2020 bracket. Read the instructions on how to fill it out have some with your bracket and your bets.
NCAA.com offers a live streaming service to watch the games online, but you still must have a cable subscription to watch the games.
Every game of the tournament is televised these days. They are broadcasted on a number of networks, including CBS, TruTV, TNT, and TBS.
“March Madness” began in Illinois in the late 1930s. The University of Oregon defeated Ohio State University 46-33 in the first-ever NCAA men’s basketball tournament.
Back then, “The Road to the Final Four” wasn’t much of a road at all. For the first 12 years of the tournament, only eight teams were invited to play.
It wouldn’t be until 1951 that the number began to grow. Over the decades, it expanded further, and in 2001, the tournament was expanded to 65 teams, with a “play-in” game for the 64th and 65th seeded teams.
The last expansion to the tournament was in 2011 when it expanded to 68 teams, which added another play-in game. Only time will tell if the tournament expands further. Based on the increased public interest and television ratings, that is always a possibility.
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