One of the most popular sports events annually, March Madness captures the attention of basketball fans from around the world. The Final Four often draws an audience that rivals the NBA Finals, leading to furious wagering action before the tournament even begins. Millions of fans participate in predicting brackets, futures, over/unders, money lines and point spreads, seeking to prove their betting skills while earning extra cash for their efforts.
March Madness Betting Trends
Dramatic upsets often provide the most memorable moments for the NCAA Division I Men’s basketball tournament, partially fueled by the fact that the tournament is a single game elimination format. Winning an underdog bet’s always exciting. However, you should diversify your betting strategy to ensure you’re not wasting money on impossible odds, such as a 16 seed beating a top seed to start off the bracket. Start comparing the sportsbooks offers right here.
March Madness Money Line Odds
Top seeds tend to perform well as moneyline favorites, creating an opportunity for college basketball fans to score a few easy wins at the beginning of the tournament. As the competition proceeds deeper into the brackets, picking the winner based on moneylines may become slightly more difficult. Earlier rounds thin out the pretenders, allowing true contenders to shine. Since anything can happen in a single-game elimination tournament, a couple of bounces, a few blown calls, and a cold shooting night can submarine the best college squads in the United States. Keep your eye out for dark horses in the tournament, as long as they’re seeded eight or above.
March Madness Point Spread Odds
During the first decade of the millennium, a controversial study that accused the NCAA of point shaving was debunked, showing that strong favorites are expected to cover the spread slightly less than 50% of the time. When sportsbooks offer a spread of twelve or larger, bettors should be slightly wary of whether or not it’s worth the risk to pursue an ATS bet for the favorite. This same study shows that favorites of less than 12 points tend to beat the spread closer to the 50% threshold, making these types of ATS favorites a bit more viable than larger mismatches. You may find more success betting on severe underdogs covering the spread when larger than 12 points.
March Madness Over/Under Odds
Betting on totals for NCAA basketball tends to be a slightly more difficult task than wagering on NBA over/unders because of the limited number of games that these teams play. The strength of a team’s offense and their defensive ability is more difficult to determine with a reduced dataset, compared to moneyline and ATS wagering. In cases of reduced datasets, focusing on the defensive quality of a team proves to be more informative. Great teams often have above average defense, which is much easier to maintain and more predictable than figuring out whether a team will hit the court and shoot the lights out. If anything, maintaining an elite offensive output during March Madness tends to be difficult because of intense defensive effort on behalf of both squads.
March Madness Futures
Perhaps the most difficult type of wager of any sporting event, futures betting can also be the most profitable. Since this method of betting involves predicting the Final Four competitors, or the outright winner, seeding trends should heavily influence your decision on who to choose when betting on March Madness futures. If you’re looking to predict the semi-finals, you should know that the top seed has made the Final Four 52 times, while the second seed has made the semis 28 times since 1985. This number drops off quickly for three, four and five seeds. For outright winners, number one seeds have earned the vast majority of championships, winning 19 titles, compared to 13 victories for non-top seeds… Learn more about betting against a #1 seed.