March Madness Betting Tips

Feb 25, 2022

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It won’t be long before bettors can start looking for value in the NCAA tournament. Remember, this year’s tourney will go back to its “normal” schedule with early-round games held at different regional locations around the country. Last year’s tourney was held entirely in Indianapolis due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Before you start making any March Madness bets, you should begin preparing. Follow these easy tips to help your winning percentage and your bankroll. 

Check Your Bracket 

If you’re like most college basketball fans and bettors, you will likely fill out and enter some bracket challenge. Whether it’s an online thing or it’s the office pool, you want to give yourself the best chance to win. That’s why you pick your champion first and work backward. 

The way bracket challenges are scored, you will get more points for wins later in the tournament. You can almost never win a bracket challenge without picking the champion correctly. That sounds hard but remember, in the 19 tournaments since 2000, 14 of them have been won by No. 1 seeds.  

There are some early-round upsets, but those games aren’t worth as many points. Plus, many of those lower-seeded early winners get knocked out of the tournament. It’s rare for seeds below No. 8 to make it to the Elite Eight, for example. It’s even rarer for a team seeded below No. 6 to reach the Final Four. Since 1985, that has happened just 14 times.  

Bet Against the Public 

March Madness is like the Super Bowl. These events bring out the casual bettors in droves. Most often, the public likes favorites. They like the big-name, higher-ranked teams, especially ones with stars. While the public is busy focusing on those types of teams, it would be best for you to do your homework and find some worthy underdogs. There are always upsets in the NCAA tournament. You just have to find the right ones. In the end, doing the work will pay off. 

Moneyline in Tight Games 

There are 67 NCAA tournament games and you can bet a good number of them will feature spreads of 1, 2, or even 2.5 points. With a line anywhere between -1 and even -3, there is an expectation that the game is going to be close. 

Too often, close games end with a two-point favorite winning by one. That’s a loss against the spread. Instead of betting the spread, consider paying a little more to take the favorite to win outright on the moneyline.  

Inflated Lines 

All the recreational bettors will create some situations where lines are inflated. Take a team like Kentucky. Maybe they are favored by 5.5 in a tournament game. The betting public loves the Wildcats and all the money pouring in on them pushes the line to Kentucky -8.5.  

The line now offers some value on the underdog. Instead of laying 8.5, you can get on an underdog at +8.5. You essentially are getting three points off the opening line. Again, do the work and find these inflated lines for the best value.