The NCAA Basketball Tournament is one of the most eagerly awaited sporting competitions of the calendar year. That is why every spring the best betting sites get many new sports gamblers wondering how to go about betting on March Madness.
With sixty-eight (68) of the top college basketball programs in the country vying for the National Championship, the path to the Final Four will be paved with great finishes, stunning upsets, and the best time you’ll ever have betting at the best online sportsbooks.
March Madness betting is the same as most basketball games. However, when you factor in the high-stakes tournament brackets and the best programs in the NCAA, March Madness betting assumes a whole new intensity. As soon as the field of 68 teams is released on Selection Sunday, the best betting sites get to work on setting the point spreads, Over/Under totals, and other March Madness odds for each matchup in the First Four and the Round of 64.
As schools win and make their way throughout the brackets, bookies quickly release gambling lines for the next slew of games until we get to the National Championship game. They adjust their odds to the current form and the matchup edges that are found in these exclusive tournament games.
March Madness Betting Odds
The point spread, the Over/Under and the money line may very well be the most common types of bet on March Madness odds. There is nothing simple about these betting odds when you go on to add a bit of Big Dance excitement.
The point spread is the gap that is estimated between the two teams on the matchup. It is set by the best betting sites to level the playing field prior to each NCAA tournament game.
The point spread fave has to win by more than the designated point spread in order to cover (and thus win the bet), while the underdog has to win straight up or lose by less than the point spread to cover.
UNC +2.5 (-110)
Kansas -2.5 (-110)
In the example seen above, UNC is a +2.5 point dog. They would have to win the game outright or lose by fewer than 3 points to cover the point spread. Kansas is the favorite. They would need to win by more than two points to cover the point spread.
The second set of odds other than the spread is the vig, aka the juice. This is the cost of placing the wager. At -110, a player has to bet $110 to win $100. The opening rounds of the March Madness tourney can be the occasion of some big point spreads on the board as higher-ranked colleges play lower-ranked foes. For example No. 1 vs. No. 16 matchups. As the tournament progresses, the point spreads will decrease as the level of competition increases.
The Over/Under is the estimated total number of points to be scored by the two teams in their NCAA Tournament game. Bettors can bet on whether the score at the end of the game will go Over or Under the total. Bookmakers tend to admit that college basketball totals are one of their most difficult markets to book and they get even tougher on March Madness what with unfamiliar foes, contrasting gameplays, and fast turnarounds in every round of the tournament.
The moneyline is the most direct method for betting money on the March Madness tournament. You just simply pick the team that you believe is going to win the college basketball game. Each of the teams has been assigned a moneyline value that is based on its implied probability to win the game straight up.
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