Besides the NFL Super Bowl, there’s no single sports event inside the United States that’s more gambled on than the NCAA March Madness tournament. It’s hard to put an exact number on how much money is bet on March Madness, but the figure is estimated to be well into the billions of dollars. If you’re reading this, chances are you want in on the March Madness betting yourself.

Welp, you’ve come to the right place. Over the course of this guide, we’ll give you all the know-how on how to bet on March Madness — sportsbooks, promotions, types of wagers, and even some March Madness betting strategies for success.

Before we get started, here’s the latest March Madness odds. The odds to win the 2024 March Madness were last updated on April 8, 2024, and obviously, will be in flux once the NCAA basketball season gets underway. Houston and Alabama are favorites to win the 2024 March Madness, though the big names like Baylor and Kansas are well amongst it.

2023/24 NCAAB Championship BetUS BetOnline Bovada
Connecticut -115 -120 -115
Purdue -105 -110 -105

Top Sportsbooks For March Madness Bracket Betting

Looking for the best March Madness betting sites to place wagers on the upcoming NCAA tournament? Our top recommendations allow you to conveniently bet on March Madness online with competitive odds and lines.

The NCAA Tournament is the pinnacle of college basketball — the top 68 teams in the nation, duking it out in a single-elimination tournament. That win-or-go-home format is why it’s earned the “March Madness” moniker. All 67 games are contested within a three-week span so March Madness bracket betting opportunities everywhere come tourney time.

To capitalize on all these opportunities, you’ll need an online sportsbook that carries all the March Madness gambling odds under one roof. We’re sure you’ve heard of sites like DraftKings, Caesars, and FanDuel, which offer extensive March Madness wagering options, but these sites are not legally accessible in every US state! In that regard, plus other bettor-friendly features, these next three sportsbooks should be atop every bettor’s to-join list, no matter the state they’re in:

BetOnline’s March Madness’ Lines

Bettors far and wide rave about BetOnline’s bet selection. It’s all-encompassing — no matter the sport, league, or country. That certainly applies to the bookie’s March Madness bets, too.

You name the March Madness bet type — moneyline, in-play, props, futures, etc. — and it’s there for the taking at BetOnline. Not only that, but the prices are top-of-the-line, almost mimicking the NCAA March Madness odds you’ll find from powerhouse Las Vegas casinos.

March Madness Bets at BetNow

Loyalty is a big part of BetNow’s charm. The bookie offers a “lifetime VIP” program to its players. Every time a bettor re-ups their account on BetNow, they’re eligible for an additional 10 or 15 percent bonus. To earn the deal, simply fund your account for the first time. If that initial deposit is at least $500, you qualify for the 10-percent deal, while a deposit of $2000 or above earns the 15-percent promo.

This loyalty program really pays off while in March Madness. With the sheer amount of betting options available, there’s a good probability you’ll need to re-add funds to your account. If so, why not earn extra free play out of it? Of course, this loyalty service can be used year-round at BetNow, even beyond the NCAA tourney.

BetUS has Huge March Madness Pools

BetUS always has a great welcome bonus. They let you choose between 100% and 125%. Of course these come with different rollover requirements and maximum payouts. Every choice comes with its advantages and disadvantages. We love being able to choose.

They have a total of one million dollars in prizes for their March Madness brackets. These are given out both for pools and perfect brackets.

March Madness Bonuses And Contests

Unsure how to gamble on March Madness brackets? Many March Madness betting sites like BetOnline let you enter free bracket contests with big cash prizes. You can also bet March Madness parlays and live betting for exciting wagers during games.

We’d be amiss not to mention the plethora of promotions available during March Madness! Sportsbooks roll out their biggest and best deals of the year right before the tournament starts as they try to lure bettors to its site for the tourney. Some of our personal favorites are the following:

  • BetOnline: This sportsbook has a $100,000 March Madness pick-em contest. With an entry fee of just $15, players submit their bracket picks and contend for 300 different prizes. The grand award, however, is a $15,000 reward for the best bracket picker.
  • BetNow: You’ll also find a bracket challenge at BetNow. However, this one is free of cost. Dubbed the “Million Dollar March Madness bracket”, there are 30 prizes up for grabs, none bigger than the $350,000 stake for the top bracket entrant.
  • BetUS: Win a million bucks by pulling off the nearly impossible. For a perfect March Madness bracket, they will give you a million dollars. For a perfect top eight, you will get $10k.

You’re in good hands at any of the aforementioned sportsbooks. For a complete list of betting site recommendations, check out the table below. Included are long-form reviews and sign-up bonus details.

March Madness Betting Games

In simple terms, you can place March Madness betting games into one of two buckets — daily and futures wagers. Here's what you need to know about each:

Daily Bets

Like we mentioned before, there are 67 different games in the NCAA Tournament. Each of those will come with the following bet types that can be made both pregame or in-play:

  • Moneyline: This wager is as simple as picking which team will win outright. Typically, moneyline March Madness odds will be more lopsided in the early-round games (e.g. one seed versus 16 seed), before becoming more neck-and-neck in the final rounds.
  • Spread: This bet adds a "handicap" to each team. Therefore, the favorite must win by a certain point-spread, while the underdog must keep the game within that same spread, if not, win outright.
  • Over/under: Nevermind who wins and by how much points, over/under is a gamble on how many points will be scored by both teams combined by either halftime or game's end.
  • Props: Some of March Madness best bets are props. These are essentially "side wagers" on specific outcomes within games. March Madness prop bets included which player will make the most three-pointers or even, what color tie a coach will wear.

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Perhaps the most popular way to bet on March Madness is via a futures bet. Typically, this is a wager on which team will win the entire tournament. Remember those odds to win the NCAA championship from earlier? Welp, those are future NCAA Bracket odds.

As the name implies, futures wagers are made well in advance. Most bettors place a futures bet before the regular season starts and again before March Madness.

Obviously, picking the exact team in a field of 68 to cut down the nets is a high-risk, high-reward play and the odds reflect that. Our advice is to spread your money around on a few different teams. This acts as an "insurance" per se and if one does indeed pan out, the winnings from that will more than makeup for the losers.

Obviously, picking the exact team in a field of 68 to cut down the nets is a high-risk, high-reward play and the odds reflect that. Our advice is to spread your money around on a few different teams. This acts as an "insurance" per se and if one does indeed pan out, the winnings from that will more than makeup for the losers.

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March Madness Betting Tips

Want advice on how to gamble March Madness and come out ahead? Always compare lines at multiple sportsbooks to find the best value. Focus on teams peaking heading into March and don't just bet big names. Making informed picks based on recent performance is key.

Over the years, we've learned a thing or two about winning at the best bets March Madness. This know-how has come from personal experience and observing other players so without further ado, here are some must-follow March Madness betting tips:

Ride The Hot Hand

Timing is everything when it comes to the NCAA Tournament. The teams that are peaking at the right time tend to steamroll through its bracket. Similarly, the opposite applies to shaky teams entering the field.

More than anything, we attribute the phenomenon to confidence. If a team's strung a few wins together to end the season, it starts believing it can make a deep run. And folks, believing is half the battle — especially under the bright lights of March Madness.

Making Picks Based On Reputation Alone

Far too often, we see bettors get swept away by the sport's hoopla. This manifests itself in a few ways. One, they automatically assume a prestigious program — think Duke, North Carolina, or Kentucky — will "run the table" based on its history alone. Two, bettors fall in love with a "one and done" prospects that are NBA bound. Or three, both those examples dovetail (e.g. Zion Williamson's single-season at Duke).

Don't let the hoopla get to you — no matter what ESPN or social media is ablaze about. Any betting pick you make during March Madness should be based on research and data, not hype.

March Madness Schedule

The March Madness Schedule is subject to change, we will update the detailed dates when they are released.

  • Selection Sunday: March 17th
  • First Four: March 19th-20th
  • First round: March 21st-22nd
  • Second round: March 23rd-24th
  • Sweet 16: March 28th-29th
  • Elite Eight: March 30th-31st
  • Final Four: April 6th at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.
  • NCAA championship game: April 8th at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.

What Makes a Great March Madness Betting Site?

Choosing the right place to place your March Madness bets can be challenging, given the multitude of factors to consider and the overwhelming array of options available. Fortunately, we have established a solid foundation focused on identifying the top March Madness betting sites for you. Your only concerns should be deciding on the perfect snack and choosing the ideal spot to enjoy the game.

Throughout the development of our evaluation process, we have honed in on crucial criteria. Specifically, the premier sports betting sites must meet a set standard to accommodate the heightened demand for March Madness wagering.

States with Legal Online March Madness Betting

As sports betting is subject to state-level regulations, the laws governing it undergo frequent changes across borders. The intricacies intensify, especially concerning legal March Madness betting, due to additional stipulations imposed on college sports betting. To determine whether you meet the age requirements for placing March Madness bets, please consult the table below. If sports betting is presently prohibited in your state, it will not be listed.

State Legal Sports Betting Age
Arizona 21
Arkansas 21
Colorado 21
Connecticut 21
Delaware 21
Illinois 21
Indiana 21
Iowa 21
Kansas 21
Kentucky 18
Louisiana 21
Maryland 21
Massachusetts 21
Michigan 21
Nevada 21
New Hampshire 18
New Jersey 21
New York 21
North Carolina 21
Ohio 21
Oregon 21
Pennsylvania 21
Tennessee 21
Virginia 21
West Virginia 21
Wisconsin 21
Wyoming 18

How to Choose the Best March Madness Betting Site

Each of the mentioned March Madness online sportsbooks has unique strengths and weaknesses, but they collectively share key positive aspects that elevate them to the top. Discover more about why these stand out as the best college basketball apps below:

  • Best March Madness Betting Odds: Competitive odds consistently offer favorable prices for March Madness games. These apps regularly provide top-notch odds, eliminating the need to compare betting lines across different bookmakers.
  • March Madness Betting Markets: For those seeking variety in their March Madness betting, apps with diverse markets, encompassing bet types, live betting, and a wide array of wagering opportunities, are essential. A rich selection of markets ensures easy access to desired options.
  • Customer Support: Top March Madness betting sites prioritize excellent customer service for quick and knowledgeable assistance with any questions or issues that may arise.
  • March Madness Sports Betting Apps: While many online sportsbooks offer apps, not all are created equal. Superior apps feature user-friendly interfaces, helpful features, and filters for locating specific wager types, making them invaluable for March Madness prop bets and live betting.
  • Bonuses and Promotions: Beyond the initial welcome bonus, the best betting sites continue to provide ongoing bonuses and promotions for college basketball. Some even offer bonuses that cover losses on your first bet.
  • Reliable Deposit and Withdrawal Methods: For personalized banking preferences in March Madness online betting, choose sites offering the right deposit and withdrawal options, along with potential deposit bonuses. While most accept credit cards and eWallets, some go further by including bank transfers, Play+ cards, PayNearMe, and cash. 💰 💵

Quick Facts: March Madness Betting

  • Tournament Dates: March 19 - April 8
  • Final Four Locale: State Farm Stadium in Glendale
  • 2023 Winner: No. 4 seed UConn
  • 2024 Betting Favorite: Purdue
  • Legal Betting Age: 21+
  • Top March Madness Bonus: Caesars - $1,000 on Caesars
  • Most March Madness Titles: UCLA (11)
  • Highest Single-Tournament Scorer: Glen Rice – 184 points in six games (Michigan, 1989)
  • Highest Single-Game Point Mark: Austin Carr – 61 points (Notre Dame, 1970)
  • Biggest Upset: 2018 – UMBA (No. 16) beats Virginia (No. 1)
  • Winningest Coach: Mike Krzyzewski – 97 wins (Duke)

Popular Bet Types and Formats at March Madness Betting Sites

To grasp March Madness betting, one must select a preferred format, with the bracket challenge being a favorite. Participants predict game outcomes throughout the tournament, aiming to be the most accurate. Download our free printable March Madness bracket for an engaging experience.

While no one has ever achieved a perfect bracket, there's a guide on how to fill one out. The record for the longest correct streak belongs to an Ohio man who predicted the first 49 games in 2019. For those preferring traditional markets like March Madness prop bets, popular choices include:

  • Moneyline: (e.g., Duke to win at +200)
  • Spread: (e.g., picking Purdue -9.5 at -150)
  • Over/Under point totals: (e.g., choosing over 105.5 points in Michigan vs. Villanova)
  • Futures: (e.g., betting on Marcus Sasser's March Madness MVP odds)
  • Props: (e.g., wagering on a specific player to score over 17.5 points in a single game)

Other March Madness Resources

While we covered the "meat and potatoes" of March Madness wagering just now, we have more resources for bettors looking to get an edge. Check out these other betting guides:

March Madness 2024 Teams

The field of 68 teams selected to compete in the 2024 NCAA March Madness tournament will be announced on Selection Sunday, March 10, 2024. Once the selection committee finalizes the full list of automatic qualifiers and at-large bids, the brackets will be revealed. We will publish the full slate of 2024 March Madness teams here on our March Madness betting sites as soon as they are officially released to the public. Be sure to check back on Selection Sunday next year to see the full rundown of teams that will be vying for the 2024 National Championship. As always, we’ll have the latest March Madness odds, betting markets, props, and more for the 2024 tournament.

March Madness FAQs

Meet the author

Quinn Allen

Quinn Allen leverages his broadcast journalism degree and passion for sports in his betting previews and analysis. Based in Kelowna, Canada, he has emerged as an expert voice with picks featured on OSB, MTS, SBD, and as a ClutchPoints editor. With a lifelong fandom of...