basketball
May 24, 2022

How To Bet On March Madness - The Best Betting Strategy

March Madness 2022 has come to an end and in the end, it was the mighty college basketball team from Kansas that won it all. From more than 60 teams, they were the only ones left standing in a true testament to their power, their legacy, and their excellent players and rabid fanbase.

March Madness is definitely one of the more important times of the year for basketball fans all over the world. Some people watch solely for the excitement and the edge of your seat action. Others watch to make money. That’s because betting on March Madness has become more and more popular over the years, including in the United States.

Laws and regulations have changed drastically over the years and now betting on these games isn’t just possible, it’s easy - and a lot of fun too.

But how does it work? What is March Madness and why do people bet on it? How do you get the best chances to win March Madness? What is the greatest strategy that enhances your chances of winning March Madness?

There is so much to learn about March Madness! But so much to gain too.

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When Does March Madness Start?

The start of March Madness varies every single year but one thing is certain: it always starts in the month of March, hence the name. However, you may still wonder when does March Madness start next year and when did March Madness start for the tournament that just concluded? For the year 2022, March Madness starts on March 13, 2022, and ran through April 4, 2022.

For next year, 2023, March Madness will initiate on March 14, which is a Tuesday. It will end just outside of the month of March on Monday, April 3.

March Madness always begins in March and is rarely ever postponed or canceled. The last time the tournament wasn’t held as scheduled was in 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic forced the NCAA to completely close down the tournament and cancel it for the entire year.  That was the first time the NCAA decided to cancel the event.

Best Chances to Win March Madness

One of the things about March Madness that is so complicated is the number of teams participating. All of the Division I basketball teams from colleges all over the United States are part of March Madness. That is an awful lot of teams to choose from and it’s hard to tell which one has the best chance of winning it all. Yet those who study the tournament every single year always go into it with favorites that they have a lot of faith and belief in. They gain this faith and belief in a number of ways, including team histories and the professional opinions of analysts and experts.

By studying each NCAA season and knowing which teams have the most appearances in the tournament, you are able to tell which teams are the favorites to show up in the games and probably stand the best chances of making it far in the tournament.

According to many betting sites and oddsmakers, schools like Gonzaga, Kentucky, UCLA, North Carolina, and current champions Kansas all have the best chances of making it in March Madness next year. However, when it comes to which team has the highest probability of winning it all, one team comes out on top according to oddsmakers.

March Madness Futures Odds 2023

Currently, there are multiple betting sites and sportsbooks that say Duke has the highest chance of winning the 2023 March Madness tournament. Oddshark currently has them with +800 odds of winning. There are other sites that cover sports betting all year long that also have Duke as the team with the highest chances of making the Final Four and actually winning the NCAA tournament known as March Madness. 

Following Duke, North Carolina is second with +1000. After that, it’s Gonzaga, Kansas, and Kentucky with +1200 each.

It should be noted that a lot can change between now and then and the future odds don’t always hold up over the year. There will eventually be 68 games in next year’s March Madness. Any of them could end up surpassing and surprising Duke or any other team. However, statistically, those are the teams with the best chances of going all the way.

Rules for March Madness betting

If you are looking to bet on March Madness, you are in luck because there are many more ways for you to do that nowadays. In fact, betting on March Madness from the comfort of your own home has never been easier, no matter where you live. 

However, there are many specific rules about betting on March Madness. Yet, the general concept of betting on these games has gotten much easier over the last few years. Previously, there were many states in America that didn’t allow anyone to bet on March Madness or any professional sports. Now that has changed. Additionally, the creation of numerous betting sites and sportsbooks has made it far, far easier to bet on March Madness.

Betting on March Madness and other mainstream professional sporting events has even been embraced and accepted by the leagues. It is not uncommon for the NBA, NCAA, NFL, and other leagues to advertise sports betting sites and apps in the middle of their games. Many of these commercials are actually filled with promo codes that you can use to get free bonuses or discounts.

The rules vary from state to state and site to site. Some sites still will not allow you to bet at all. When you are using a website such as DraftKings, you are only permitted to use it and win money in states such as Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming. 

Other sites, such as FanDuel, also have restrictions based on the states’ laws. You need to check the laws of your state and region to find out if you can use any of the betting sites that have grown so popular. States like Utah, Idaho, Texas, Kentucky, and others have made very little progress in accepting sports betting. 

Aside from those rules, all sites require that you be at least 18 years old to use their services. No minors are permitted to bet on March Madness. There are other rules to follow too, such as using a valid credit card and betting on the games before they start. Only select bets can be made during the game. Most of the time, you need to set your wager and place your bets before tip-off.

That’s not true for all sports betting sites, though. Some are now practicing live betting. With live betting, you will get new wagers and money lines, and odds throughout the game. At the start of each half in March Madness, you will be able to make new bets based on the current status of the game. 

How March Madness betting works

Betting on March Madness is a lot like betting on most any other sports, especially basketball. However, it is a little different too. Perhaps the most challenging and different aspect of March Madness betting is that there are so many teams to choose from, many of which you have never heard of. It may feel overwhelming to choose the right teams in your betting process. 

This is because the tournament is so large with so many teams. March Madness starts with 68 teams every single year and it’s very rare that the matchups ever look the same. Every year feels remarkably different, even though the last tournament was held just 12 months before.

After Selection Sunday, when the official bracket is released, oddsmakers reveal their picks for the teams with the best odds and chances of winning it all. It will be then that you see the point spreads, over/under totals, and other odds related to March Madness. 

Therefore betting on March Madness is all about creating a bracket with your best guesses for who will win each matchup. However, no one ever wins that bet, no bracket is ever 100% perfect. That means your best of winning in March Madness bets relates to an individual, one on one bets. As the tournament goes on, people who bet wager on individual team matchups. 

March Madness Brackets

If you have heard about March Madness, you have definitely heard of the brackets related to it. Brackets are a major part of March Madness - perhaps the most important part. If you want the best chances to win March Madness, you need to know how the bracket works and how to figure out college basketball odds in order to understand which teams you should select to win in each matchup.

Division 1 college basketball invites 64 teams to play in single-elimination games throughout the March Madness tournament. There is a tough, long selection process that decides the seeding for each team that is playing in March Madness. The first 32 of these 64 teams are selected by automatic bids due to them winning their conference tournaments. The other teams are awarded spots in the tournament via votes from college basketball odds professionals and analysts and coaches.

Each team is given a spot on a bracket. The teams with lower seeds are put up against squads with higher seeds. From there, they battle it out and the winner of each game moves on to face the winner of another game. The bracket is a map and pathway to the final game, held between just two teams.

When you are betting on March Madness, you need to look at every single matchup on the bracket and select who you think will win. There are some teams you may be familiar with but others you may have never heard of. That’s why it’s important that you read and rely on college basketball odds sites and pros to make your choice. Sometimes it’s hard to tell on your own which team will beat the odds to win the NCAA tournament so there is no shame in filling out your bracket by going to the pros. 

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How to Bet on March Madness Games Live

Betting on March Madness games can be even more fun when you do live betting. Typically, you look at the wagers and spreads and money lines of a game before it begins. However, if you participate in live betting, you get new spreads, money lines, and wagers every half. That allows you to make a bet before every half of the game, each of which is a reflection of the game in real-time.

Not all betting sites allow live betting but those that do require you to pay close attention. The new wagers will pop up and only leave you a little bit of time to place your bets. You need to be paying attention to the game and the site that you are betting through. 

Best March Madness Betting Strategy

When you are betting on March Madness games, there is a lot to keep in mind. Firstly, you need to have an understanding of how basketball works. Then you need a passing knowledge of the teams involved and the best players and coaches related to them. 

More than anything, you need to have a strategy when it comes to betting on a March Madness game. There are literally millions of people who are betting on these games, some people treat it like a full-time job. And the ones who really make a pretty penny on March Madness games do so because they have a strong, reliable, smart strategy when it comes to betting. By remembering just a few simple tips and following some recommendations and rules, you will be able to turn March into one of the most profitable times of the year. 

Tip 1: Home Court Advantage Is Real

When you are looking at your NCAA tournament brackets and trying to decide which teams have the best chances of winning March Madness, you should keep in mind the physical consequences of traveling a lot.

Few teams play on their home court during March Madness. Instead, March Madness today is played in courts all over the country. That means that most teams have to travel at least several hundred miles to make their game. That can tire a young player out. A lengthy plane ride can create jet lag and leave a player feeling wiped out, tired, and straight-up exhausted.

However, some teams don’t have to move as far. Some can even make their game with a short bus ride. Those teams might not be playing on their home court but they still receive something similar to home-court advantage. They are not as tired because they haven’t traveled as far and, additionally, the stands are likely filled with more fans since they are closer to home.

When you are betting, you should take a good, hard look at the teams that are playing near their homes. They will be given a little boost of energy and a lot more fans rooting them on - that really does make a difference.

Home court advantage is a real thing that can truly enhance a team’s chances. That is one of the reasons why the NCAA has decided to not hold the games throughout the country to get rid of home-court advantage. Yet, it cannot be denied that teams playing close to home will have an easier trip and, therefore, possibly an easier time on the court too. 

Tip 2: Only A Well-Balanced Team Will Win It All

Far too many people bet on a team because they have a one-star player who has been shining all year. Others bet on teams because they think they have the best defense in the NCAA, or perhaps the best offense.

The trick to finding really good teams to bet on in March Madness today is to focus on teams that are able to do it all. The good offense as well as a good defense. Big centers and sharp-shooting guards. Terrific starters and a deep bench too. 

Finding the right teams to bet on in March Madness isn’t about finding the teams with only one great player, a future NBA star. It’s about selecting a team that has many different players that can get the job done with various, important skills.

If you are betting with this method, it means you may have to search through multiple teams and dig into advanced analytics. Don’t solely make your choices based on the teams with the most points or rebounds. You need to look into some of the statistics and numbers that other people overlook. By doing that, you are able to find teams that are well-rounded and able to go the distance. Remember, any team that wins it all and becomes the eventual March Madness champion is a team that is able to play through multiple games and multiple different types of opponents. They are also teams that will remain strong even if their biggest break-out star happens to get hurt and sit out a game. 

A team that is well-balanced and deep is the team you should bet on in March Madness. 

Tip 3: You Have to Do Research

There are millions of people who think the best chances to win March Madness bracket contests lie in simply choosing the teams with the higher seed ranking. If you are looking at a 2nd seed playing against a 14th seed, these people will always choose to bet on the 2nd seed. That makes sense in a lot of ways. Statistically, the team with the higher ranking will perform better.

But if you are taking your March Madness betting seriously, you need to do some research and not make your choice based solely on which team has a lower number. College basketball odds professionals are good at their jobs, there is no doubt about that, but they aren’t always perfect. The odds to win the NCAA tournament aren’t always accurate and they don’t always select the winners. 

Even those with a passing understanding of the NCAA tournament and March Madness know that they can’t rely solely on the experts. If the experts got it right then no one would ever have to fill out a bracket.

If you want to make a bracket and make some bets you can believe in, you should definitely listen to the experts but not copy their choices. Instead, take those opinions into consideration and do your own research - a lot of it. You should read up and re-watch old games from the teams you have an interest in. You should study matchups on your bracket and see how respective teams fared against one another in the past.

You should definitely look at injury reports and other deep, advanced analytics. Don’t solely make your pick because of the seed number associated with a team. Instead, really explore the history and the strengths, weaknesses, and recent seasons of each team. 

You should also remember that many teams in March Madness may be vastly different than how they looked only a season before. Due to the nature of college students, some of the players that shined last year have now graduated and moved on this year. You should keep that in mind when you are studying matchups.

When Does March Madness Bracket Come Out?

One of the most important dates on the NCAA tournament schedule is Selection Sunday. For those who care a lot about March Madness, it’s a vital event that must be paid attention to.

Selection Sunday is when the NCAA releases the seeding and matchup schedule for the teams that will participate in March Madness This is generally just a mere 48 hours before the tournament begins its play-in games. 

Selection Sunday has a few surprises. However, half of the teams participating in March Madness are not shockers because they are the teams that won their conference titles. Instead, Selection Sunday also reveals which teams were chosen to participate based on a number of factors decided by the NCAA committee.

Selection Sunday has become a very big deal over the last few years and it’s treated as such. It is nationally televised and millions of people watch it. It is then that the official bracket for March Madness will be released and can be found on numerous websites and apps.  

How To Figure Out Who Will Win March Madness

Figuring out who will win March Madness is no easy task. You have to choose one winner from nearly 70 teams and there are a lot of variables that will help or hurt teams along the way. 

When you are attempting to find a March Madness winner in your bracket, you should certainly consider how the teams are seeded. Rarely does a team with a high seed number make it all the way to the Final Four or beyond. However, you need to also look at how far the teams travel, how healthy they are, how deep and well-balanced their squad is, and how many changes they’ve undergone since their last NCAA tournament appearance.

In other words, there is a lot to keep in mind when you are choosing your eventual winner for March Madness. 

Is It Legal To Be On March Madness in the US?

In many parts of the United States, it is totally legal to bet on March Madness. In fact, it is becoming more and more common to do just that as more states have legalized some form of sports betting over the last few years.

Indeed, 45 million Americans planned to wager on March Madness in one way or another in 2022. That’s about 17 percent of all American adults and worth about $3.1 billion.

While many are using typical bracket contests, nearly 21 million Americans are expected to be in the tournament outside of those contests - through sportsbooks, online, with bookies, or casually with friends. 

The number of states that allow people to bet on March Madness only grows. In fact, in 2022 29 million more American adults were able to legally wager in their home state compared to 2021. 

Connecticut, Louisiana,  Maryland, North Dakota, and Arizona are just some of the teams that legalized sports betting in the last year and that has opened it up for many more Americans.

While your chances to bet legally on March Madness are higher than ever, there are still many states that don’t allow it and you need to check your local regulations and rules about sports betting to ensure you don’t get yourself into trouble. States like Utah, Texas, Kentucky, and Idaho have been slow to legalize and regulate sports betting. 

When Is March Madness 2023?

The NCAA has already set the schedule for the next round of March Madness for next year. Currently, March Madness is planned to start on Tuesday, March 12, 2023, and will conclude on April 3, 2023.

March  Madness FAQ

What’s March Madness?

March Madness refers to the time period during March and early April when the NCAA holds its single-elimination basketball tournament to determine the Division 1 champion of that year. Through winning their own conferences and selection by the NCAA, 68 teams battle it out to eventually find one sole college team that is declared the only victor.

Who Won March Madness 2022?

The Final Four of 2022 consisted of Kansas versus Villanova and North Carolina versus Duke. In the end, Kansas and North Carolina were the two teams that went head to head in the final game and Kansas was declared the eventual winner.

Who Won March Madness 2021?

2021’s March Madness was a wild competition that saw the Gonzaga Bulldogs go against the Baylor Bears. When the game was done, Baylor ended up winning 86-70 to claim their first team title in their history. 

Where is March Madness 2023?

In 2023, the First Four will be held in Dayton, Ohio while the first and second rounds will be held in Birmingham, Alabama, Des Moines, Iowa, Orlando, Florida, Sacramento, California, Albany, New York, Columbus, Ohio, Denver, Colorado, and Greensboro, North Carolina. Following that the West Regionals will be held in Las Vegas while the East will be in New York City and the Midwest in Kansas City and the South in Louisville before the Final Four is played in the NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. 

Why Is March Madness Called That?

March Madness is referred to that way because it is held in the month of March (although it does eventually end in the first week of April) and because of how rabid and wild the fans get about each game. Those in the stands are known for being intense and fired up and those betting at home and filling out brackets are determined, intensed, and very dedicated to each and every game during that short time period.

How Much Are March Madness Tickets?

Attaining March Madness tickets isn’t easy and it certainly isn’t cheap. In 2022, the cheapest tickets were usually around $300 while the most expensive ranged anywhere from over $5,000 to well over $40,000, depending on the location you wanted to sit.

How Often Does The Favorite Win March Madness?

Number one seeds usually do quite well in March Madness every single year and it’s usually a smart bet to put some money on them, although they don’t always take the top prize. Between the years 1985 and 2019, 20 of the 34 of the tournament’s champions have been one seed.

How Many Teams Are In March Madness?

Altogether, there are 68 teams that are invited to appear in the NCAA tournament known as March Madness. Half of those teams earn their place by winning their conference titles and the other half of teams earn their admittance via a selection process by the NCAA that looks at many factors to determine their seeding in the tournament.