March Madness Betting

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Few events in the sporting world can compare with the NCAA Tournament. This spectacle features 68 of college basketball's top teams battling to win one of the most prestigious titles in all of collegiate sports. With so many high-profile tournament games happening in a three-week span, March Madness is definitely an exciting time for sports bettors. If you're one of the many people who are into March Madness betting, or just want to know more about it, then check out the following information.

When and How to start Betting

While the dates of the NCAA Tournament can vary slightly year to year, Selection Sunday happens some time in the middle of March. As you may already know, this is when the at-large bids are announced, seeding is determined, and the 68-tournament field is finalized.

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Once Selection Sunday is finished, you only have a couple of days before the opening round of games start. This means that you have to hurry a bit if you're looking to research the games before making a wager(s). Of course, there are plenty of later games, so if you're not feeling ready by the first couple of rounds, it's not like you'll be left out of the action.

As for how to start wagering on March Madness, online sportsbooks are are a great place to begin. You simply create an account and make a deposit so that you're ready to bet on NCAA Tournament games. From here, you can visit the college basketball section and wager on the desired contest.

Many people also enjoy visiting land-based sportsbooks during March Madness. In fact, Las Vegas is packed during tournament time because so many bettors like to watch the games on big-screen TV's at sportsbooks. Just visit the counter and place your bet(s) before you start watching the games.

March Madness Betting Odds

The most common way to bet on the NCAA Tournament involves putting money on a point spread. For an example, take a look at the following line:

Kansas  +7.5
Creighton  -7.5

Here, Kansas is favored by 7.5 points, which means anybody wagering on them needs the Jayhawks to win by 8 points or more. Those betting on Creighton need them to lose by 6 points or less (or win). Keep in mind that there are different types of odds used as well, especially when betting at international sportsbooks. Other kinds of odds include decimal and fractional, which you can see examples of below:

(Decimal)
Kansas  1.55
Creighton  2.65

(Fractional)
Kansas  7/5
Creighton  5/8

In the line with decimal odds, those taking Kansas to with outright would be wagering $1 for every $0.55 in profit ($1.55 total). As for Creighton, you'd be risking $1 to win $1.65 in profit ($2.65 total) if they win. Some American and most European sportsbooks use decimal odds, so they're very prevalent in college basketball.

As for the fractional odds line, those betting on Kansas to win would be risking $7 to win $5 in profit. Those taking Creighton would be risking $5 to win an $8 profit. Fractional odds are normally used at UK-based sportsbooks, but they can sometimes be found in other parts of the world too.

Different Types of March Madness Bets

Betting on entire games with odds isn't the only way to get some excitement out of the NCAA Tournament. There are also totals (over/under), half-time bets, live wagering and prop bets. With an over/under, you're given a point total, and you bet on whether the two teams will go over or under that amount.

Half-time wagers are pretty self-explanatory because you're making a spread bet on either the first or second half. As for March Madness live wagering, there's practically no end to the opportunities that exist here. In the middle of a game, you can bet on which team will get the next dunk, which player will hit the next three-pointer, which player will block the next shot, etc.

March Madness prop bets deal with the same type of situations, with the exception being that you make these before a game begins. There are all sorts of interesting prop bets, and they can include everything from who'll win the tip-off to which player scores first.

Whatever type of bets you're planning on making, just be ready come the middle of March. This is when the world's most exciting single-elimination basketball tournament kicks off, and it's definitely one of the more thrilling betting opportunities too.