NCAA Tournament Betting Holy Grail

Jason Lake

Tuesday, March 14, 2017 8:42 PM UTC

Tuesday, Mar. 14, 2017 8:42 PM UTC

So you’re brand-new to this whole March Madness betting thing. No problem; the following tips will help you get the most out of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

We all begin from zero. None of us is born knowing how to fill out a March Madness bracket, or how to make sharp college basketball picks, so if you’re a beginner at this, don’t panic. You’re not alone. Here’s a primer to help you get started with this year’s NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.


The Single Life

Most of the sports betting in North America involves single-game wagers, where you bet on one side or the other to beat the spread. Totals are popular, too; this is where you bet on whether the game’s final score will be OVER or UNDER a certain number. Lines for March Madness are available on our NCAAB odds board, where you’ll see what’s being offered at more than 25 respected online sportsbooks across the globe. For these games, making sharp picks isn’t about predicting who will win – it’s about finding good prices. A lot of people bet on their favorite teams without even thinking about it, and the more people who bet on one side, the more the books will shift the lines to make the other side more attractive to customers. This is why underdogs often make good bets, especially when they’re playing against big-name teams like the Duke Blue Devils and the North Carolina Tar Heels.


Everybody in the Pool

There are many other ways to bet on March Madness – like the NCAAB futures market, where you can bet on any one team to win the Tournament. Duke and North Carolina opened as +650 co-favorites at Bovada, but again, the betting value is usually with other teams. Even a powerhouse like the Kentucky Wildcats would pay out much more generously at +1000. But unlike most sports, the most popular way of betting the Tournament has to be the March Madness bracket. This is a “pool” bet where everyone in the competition pays an entry fee, and that money is split among the winners. The idea is to guess ahead of time which teams will win each of the 67 Tournament games (if you include the First Four), all the way through to the National Championship Game on April 3. Points are awarded for each game you get right, and the points usually increase with every round. “Bracketologists” have used math and game theory to figure out the best ways of winning these competitions. No one method has yet been crowned king, but in general, you should use the same approach you would with single-game wagers, and treat the betting pool as a

marketplace. Pick the right upsets that others are overlooking, and you’ll maximize your slice of the prize pool. We’ve got wall-to-wall March Madness coverage for you here at SBR. We’ve also got everything you need to get you started with betting on college basketball; our Sportsbook Review rating guide and blacklist page will help you decide which sportsbooks to do business with, and updated odds for every Tournament game – plus the NIT and the other tourneys – are available around the clock. Keep informed, use your noodle, and may the sphere be with you during this Tournament and beyond.

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