The NCAA college basketball season heats up in February, leading to the first part of March Madness – the annual tournament series where all the action takes place in every conference. Known as The Big Dance, this tournament chooses the champion of U.S. college basketball by having 68 teams compete and divide into four regions: East, West, North, and South.
The tournament features rounds of direct elimination clashes, resulting in fewer teams remaining as the tournament progresses. Teams from the same region face off in knockout rounds until one champion remains in each bracket, ultimately leading to the Final Four where all media spotlight is focused.
Betting on March Madness requires consideration of previous years’ NCAA college basketball results to gain an objective view on favorite teams as the series progresses.
Top Sportsbook To Bet on March Madness
To place March Madness bets, there are a wide range of online sportsbooks to choose from. In legal sports betting states, operators have been quick to get set up, but there are also offshore options available at all times. With any of the sportsbooks, bettors can check the NCAA college basketball results at any time, as well as analyze predictions and place wagers safely.
The main bookmakers are (depending on location):
It’s important to keep in mind that not all sportsbooks operate in all states. Regardless of the location, bettors should check the platform’s reputation and standing before making a deposit after they review the March Madness schedule.
How To Bet on March Madness
The odds that are handled for the March Madness bets are very high. Normally the format used to show the qualifiers and results is called a bracket. This format helps bettors predict the odds of each team winning.
Due to the size of the competition, hitting all the results when making March Madness picks is practically impossible. That is why the betting lines are inflated so much.
To interpret the March Madness betting odds, it is important to understand the tournament odds. The team with the lowest odds would be the favorite. The higher the odds, the higher the profit on the bets in case the team wins.
Odds to win March Madness can be presented in various formats. The most common, especially in the U.S., are the moneyline (sometimes called American) odds, but they can also be presented in fraction or decimal formats. Most operators offer the option of being able to change the format based on the preference of each user.
For example, with the American odds in March Madness picks that are presented in relation to 100, if there is a minus in front of the number (-110,) bettors have to bet that amount to win 100. If there is a plus sign, however (+110,) that’s the amount that the bettor would earn on a successful wager of $100.
Last 10 March Madness Champions
Starting from 2022 and working backward, these are the way the last 10 championships have played out on the March Madness schedule:
- 2022 – The Kansas Jayhawks beat North Carolina Tar Heels 72-69
- 2021 – Baylor Bears beat the Gonzaga Bulldogs 86-70
- 2020 – Canceled due to COVID-19
- 2019 – Virginia Cavaliers beat Texas Tech Red Raiders 85-77 in overtime
- 2018 – Villanova Wildcats beat Michigan Wolverines 79-62
- 2017 – North Carolina beat Gonzaga 71-65
- 2016 – Villanova beat North Carolina 77-74
- 2015 – Duke Blue Devils beat Wisconsin Badgers 68-63
- 2014 – Connecticut Huskies beat Kentucky Wildcats 60-54
- 2013 – Louisville Cardinals beat Michigan 82-76
The NCAA later threw out Louisville’s win when it determined the team had violated its regulations. Specifically, according to the organization’s ruling, the team had arranged “striptease dances and sex acts for prospects, student-athletes, and others.”
March Madness Bracket Betting
Bracket betting is one of the most exciting ways to participate in NCAA March Madness. This type of betting allows for pooling of interests and group activity, making it a highly competitive option.
To start betting on March Madness, you’ll need to wait until all the teams have been selected. Then, you can choose your picks for each round, including the championship game. It’s important to have your bracket in place before the first game begins.
The goal is to make the highest number of correct picks in each round. If you make good picks in the first round, your chances of success in future rounds will increase.
Many office pools create bracket betting groups, where each person chooses a bracket and puts in a small amount of money. This could be $1 or $10 per person, depending on what everyone agrees on. Alternatively, if cash-based bracket betting is not allowed, a prize may be awarded.
The pool determines how the payouts will be made – either a winner for each round plus the final or just the final. Then, the games begin, and the group waits to see the results as the odds of winning March Madness change.
There are also established bracket leagues in communities and towns. These typically use a different points system, where correct picks in later rounds are worth more points, and additional points may be awarded for picking an underdog.
Making smart choices is important, but these choices don’t necessarily have to be based on the team’s seed in the tournament. Checking the Vegas sportsbooks’ lines is a good way to gain insight. If there’s a close line in a game, it’s a good idea to check the teams’ records and player data before making a pick.
Remember, ranking doesn’t necessarily matter. Only two number-one ranked teams have won March Madness since 2011, showing that the odds of winning don’t necessarily depend on the team’s standing.
Top Teams To Bet On in March Madness
Logically, the layout of the March Madness teams and seeding changes from year to year. However, based on history, there are several teams that routinely participate that are favorites when betting on March Madness.
- North Carolina