After the rush of the NBA trade deadline, the attention of the basketball world focuses in on the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament. March Madness has grown into one of the most popular sporting events in the world, drawing audiences that rival the NBA Finals and other major pro sports. College basketball players aren’t allowed to make any money, but that doesn’t mean you can’t leverage your own knowledge to win some extra dough.
Bet On NCAA Basketball Games
Before the tournament begins, NCAA basketball fans wager on futures, predicting the outright winner or even the Final Four. Before each game, fans will check out the action on over/under totals, point spreads and moneyline winners. Before placing your wager, you might want to take advantage of signup, deposit bonuses or other promos from one of the following sportsbooks.
NCAA Basketball Money Line Odds
The moneyline odds you’ll find for NCAA basketball range from individual games to numbers that reflect the chance that a team will win a championship. These lines tend to shift according to circumstance, including injuries, streaks and the size of betting pools. Always keep an eye out for line movements before the game.
Similar to the NBA, NCAA basketball results tend to be heavily tilted towards favorites, who win the lion’s share of games and tournaments. However, March Madness is known for producing crazy upsets and Cinderella runs. For example, historical stats show that seeds 11-14 tend to outperform their ranking in the first round by as much as 13%, giving you a chance to start the tourney with a sweet upset win that pads your bankroll for the rest of the tourney.
NCAA Basketball Point Spread Odds
If you take a bit of time to research March Madness point spreads over the years, you’ll find a curious trend that has caused a bit of unfounded controversy over the years. Statisticians discovered that large spreads tend to underperform compared to small or medium sized spreads, sparking accusations of point shaving which have already been disproved.
Essentially, favorites with a predicted winning margin of twelve points or greater have been unable to cover the spread more than 50% of the time, while underdogs have overperformed in these ATS situations. Games with a predicted spread of less than four possessions match the expected statistical trend, with favorites covering ATS on slightly more than 50% of these situations. Until this trend reverses, you should beware of favorites when spreads breach the 12-point mark.
NCAA Basketball Over/Under Odds
Over/unders on point totals for March Madness tends to be a bit more difficult than other types of major sporting events because of the limited number of occasions each team plays before the tournament begins. The NBA has an 82-game season which forces each squad to play each other at least twice, leading to strong seasonal trends in terms of offensive production and defensive efficiency. College basketball has a smaller dataset compared to pro ball, weakening analysis when attempting to predict the over/under on totals.
When it comes to difficult wagering scenarios, focusing on defense tends to be more fruitful than betting on an offensively gifted team. Hitting buckets requires precision and skill, while solid defense revolves around effort and sound fundamentals. If you’re on the fence about an over/under, lean on defense for a slightly more predictable result.
NCAA Basketball Futures
Perhaps the most difficult type of wager to win on a consistent basis, NCAA basketball futures involve predicting the outright winner of the tournament. Some brave betting fans expand the challenge, wagering on the participants of the Final Four. The most extreme type of futures bet revolves around bracketology, which focuses on predicting the outcome of each stage of the bracket. Depending on the mathematician you ask, the odds of filling out a perfect bracket hovers between 1 in 128 billion to 1 in 9.2 quintillion.
Nonetheless, predicting the winner of March Madness tends to be one of the more profitable bets for people with insight into the tournament. The first person to fill out a perfect bracket will become a legend in the sports wagering world, leading millions to attempt the feat every March.