How To Bet On March Madness
The NCAA competition that is the mad behind March Madness is one of the most anticipated events on the basketball calendar.
As soon as Selection Sunday wraps up and we get a glimpse of the full NCAA tournament bracket, basketball fans become properly giddy with anticipation; not just of the games to follow, but the opportunities to bet, even modestly, for big gains on March Madness at Bodog Casino.
A history of humble beginnings
The whole frenzied experience of March Madness began with an Illinois state high school basketball tournament way back in 1924. The anticipation that ensued eventually hit fever-pitch in that community, before rippling out across the nation in a wave of tournament-flavoured excitement that a daily newspaper unofficially deemed March Madness.
Almost a century later, the madness remains just as blissfully intense. The tournament’s humble beginnings are no longer humble, though, as 68 teams compete over seven single-elimination rounds, each vying for the NCAA championship, and with each player, no doubt, dreaming of being post-college draft pick material.
But – even seasoned NBL bettors might reach a sticking point with their empty bet slips and eager wagers, so we’ll show you right here how to bet on the March Madness NCAA tournament, before we zero in on the teams currently pegged by the sportsbook as championship favourites.
March Madness Betting: Pick a Side
The easiest way to bet on March Madness, and not coincidentally the most popular, is to choose who you think will win a particular game. The odds come up as soon as the schedule is announced, so it’s not too early to latch on if the numbers work in your favour.
This type of bet is called the moneyline, and it looks like this.
Iowa State: +155
In this case, TCU are the favourites to win, and you would have to stake $210 in order to profit $100. On the other hand, if you backed the Iowa State underdogs, you would profit $155 on a $100 bet… but then again, it’s riskier because they are the team least likely to win.
March Madness Betting: Points Spreads
So let’s say you’re a fan of Iowa State, and you want to bet on them even though you’re pretty sure they won’t win outright. Does that mean you can’t back your team for fear of losing? Nope!
With the point spread, you have the option to do just that!
A point spread is the way of the sportsbook evening out the court. It gives the underdog positive points, and the favourite negative points before the game has even begun. Then at the end of the game, those points are either added or subtracted to the final score, and the resulting score tells you if you’ve won.
A point spread looks something like this:
Iowa State: +2.5
We’ll choose this time to back Iowa State. In order for you to win this bet, they would have to either win the game outright, or lose by 2 points or less. That means you could still win with Iowa State even if they technically lost the game!
If, on the other hand, you decide to back TCU, they would have to win by 3 points or more in order to cover the spread. Whichever bet plays out, you get paid based on the odds posted at the time you submitted your bet slip.
March Madness Betting: Totals
Another way to bet on March Madness is through totals, also called over/under betting.
Betting on totals means you can support both teams at the same time, since the bet comes down to the final combined score at the end of the game. So if Iowa State scores 62 and TCU scores 42, the “total” would be 104.
Let’s say for a totals bet, the book looks like this:
This means that the sportsbook believes the final combined score at the end of the game will be 115.5. You decide if you predict the actual total score will be over 115.5 or under 115.5. As long as the final combined score is 116 or more, you win. If it’s 115 or less, you lose that ticket.
March Madness Betting: The Favourites
Finally, a very popular way to bet on March Madness is to look ahead and bet on who will win the entire championship!
For the event coming up this March of 2022, these are the teams who have shaped up to be the favourites to win it.
This is the second year in a row as favourites for Gonzaga, and they’re ahead of the others by a long shot! Much of the big scorers from last year’s squad are still on the court this time around, so the Zags are looking good to seal the deal.
The Wildcats enjoyed a winning streak that settled them into a 22-2 record, all with former Gonzaga assistant coach Tommy Lloyd taking over the helm for his first season with Arizona. The new leadership is making the odds look up for the Wildcats.
Kentucky has also welcomed a winning streak to its record with six games. They’ve got one March Madness win under their belt already, as well as one notch for runner-up, and the same coach is leading this time around, giving them a decent shot.
The 23-2 Tigers may not be the most consistent team in the NCAA, but they did make it to the final four in 2019 for the first time. Maybe this year they can nudge into the tournament a third time like they did twice before 2018.
The Purdue Boilermakers have an offense to be reckoned with, and they’re currently going 11-4 in the Big Ten. As long as they can bump up their defense game, Purdue might have a shot at the championship.
March Madness is a thrilling time to watch basketball, and any time during the tournament is the best time to lock in your bets on March Madness at Bodog Casino. Review the teams and check back at Bodog to get the latest odds, then jump on the crazy train and join the rest of us to get completely mad in March.
Take a read of our recent article to learn more about March Madness betting. Enjoy!