For three weeks in March, the March Madness tournament completely dominates the sports betting landscape. The championship competition features 68 teams, 67 games, and hundreds — if not thousands — of unique wagers. However, this time of the year isn't the only period in which you can wager on the NCAA tourney. Nope, thanks for NCAAB futures odds, March Madness is a year-round betting spectacle.
What's a March Madness futures bet, you ask? As the name hints, it's a wager on a future outcome relating to the "Big Dance" tournament. That's what it is on the surface, but over the course of this guide, we'll give you the full low down about NCAA Tournament futures gambling — top sportsbooks for it, types of futures, betting advice, and plenty more.
As an appetizer, here are the latest futures lines for the 2021 NCAAB national champion. As of March 29, 2021, the below odds are current. We'll explain how exactly to read these lines later on in the article.
Best Sportsbooks For March Madness Futures
While there's an exhaustive amount of March Madness odds available for betting, it still pales in comparison to the number of online sportsbooks out there. The list of options seemingly grows by the day, but here at OSB, we only have time for the very best. For March Madness futures, in particular, these bookies should get your immediate attention:
MyBookie's March Madness Futures
Not only is MyBookie an inviting name for a sportsbook, but it's also quite fitting. That's because MyBookie offers enough bets and user-friendly features to make it a one-stop-shop for bettors. Realistically, players can do all their wagering on MyBookie and not miss a single beat.
Its selection is large in all sports and bet types, but especially NCAA March Madness futures. Bets are available around the clock, from preseason up until the final round of the tournament.
Furthermore, the site's prices for futures are among the best in the industry. MyBookie's lines are actually quite comparable to casino's you'd find in Las Vegas or Atlantic City.
March Madness Futures at BetOnline
While the March Madness futures at BetOnline are no slouch, this betting site ends up on our list for another reason — it's sign-up bonuses. Notice the plural on bonuses? Yes, there's multiple to choose from at BetOnline, whereas most competitors offer just one.
Two separate bonuses are available at BetOnline. Each differs slightly in free play offered, cashback on sports betting, and its rollover requirement. First-time bettors can only leverage one, but just the mere fact of having options puts the power in the player's hands.
For instance, one of BetOnline welcome promos gives you a 100% match, which is not a small amount by any means. Taking advantage of a deal like this is a great way to bet on March Madness futures with "house money" per se.
GTBets' Markets for March Madness' Futures
Rounding out our suggestions is GTBets. Like the aforementioned sportsbooks, GTBets too brings the heat when it comes to March Madness futures. Its catalog in that regard is deep no matter what point in the playing season it is.
However, GTBets really earns brownie points due to its reload bonus. The reload promotion is automatic here, so if you make a qualifying deposit, you will get a matching amount added to your acount. For someone that's gambling on NCAAB odds plenty and often, that's a huge advantage.
In case you're not quite sold yet, we've included a sportsbook table below. You can find in-depth betting site reviews, as well as up-to-date info on the bookie's sign-up bonus. We've even tossed in a few extra bookmaker recommendations.
Signing up at any one of these sportsbooks is hassle-free. Registration takes minutes and once you deposit money into your account — unlocking a bonus in the process — you'll be ready to gamble on March Madness futures and then some.
March Madness Future Bet Types
Outside the NFL Super Bowl, no American sporting event draws as much betting attention as March Madness. With so many eyeballs on the product, you can expect a wide variety of bets, especially when it comes to futures. Next, we're going to cover the most common March Madness bets:
March Madness Finish Futures
Without question, no single bet draws as much volume and total money than the elusive which team will win the NCAA Tournament futures — and it's not even close. As soon as one March Madness ends, you'll probably find futures lines for the next tournament online. It's that in-demand by bettors.
Outside of picking the eventual championship winner, there's a slew of other futures revolving around where teams will finish in the tournament. Examples include advancement to the Final Four, Elite Eight, Sweet Sixteen, and so forth.
There's even a futures bet on just qualifying to the Big Dance. Given there are 68 total teams that receive bids to the event, this wager is actually quite easy to win. But with that, odds aren't exactly favorable — a far contrast to championship winner props, which are lucrative given the difficulty of hitting on it.
March Madness Award Winner Futures
There's another March Madness future that's popular among bettors and it has nothing to do with tournament teams or where they'll place. Instead, this future is concerned with which player will earn the tournament's Most Outstanding Player honor.
The Associated Press picks this winner at the conclusion of March Madness. Effectively, it's an MVP of the tourney award.
By and large, it's given to a player on the title-winning team. Matter of fact, the last time a player on a non-championship team earned the hardware was in 1983 by one Hakeem Olajuwon. Therefore, if you're betting on both this future and who wins the NCAA Tournament, the smart money is to align the two.
How To Read March Madness Odds
Now that you know what NCAA tournament futures look like, you might be asking yourself, "what do these odds even mean? Why are there plus and minus signs next to the lines?" All valid questions and each has an easy-to-understand answer.
American-based bookies will list their futures with whole number odds (e.g. +750 or -200). A plus icon indicates that the betting option is an underdog, whereas a negative sign means it's favored.
The payout, if you win, is directly tied to the line you took. On plus-money odds, you'll earn that exact amount in profit for every $100 staked. So at +750, you stand to net $750 from a $100 bet.
It's different with favored odds, however. Whatever the line is, you must bet that amount in full to win $100. Therefore, at a -200 line, you must risk $200 to take home a $100 profit.
March Madness Futures Betting Strategy
Before we wrap this article up, we had to leave you with some "words of wisdom." Here are two valuable tips we've learned while betting on March Madness futures:
Don't Go "All In"
Honestly, this tip can apply to any form of betting, but in the context of futures, it's especially useful. When wagering, managing your risk is a must.
Typically, we see bettors over-risk on futures in two ways. The first is simply betting on one option and that's it. What makes hitting on March Madness futures so difficult is all the possible outcomes. Picking only one to bet on and effectively "putting all your eggs in one basket" is a huge no-no.
The second mistake is betting on futures once in the year and that's it. Look, March Madness future lines fluctuate wildly throughout the year. Who's favored to win the national championship in the preseason will differ greatly than the favorites before Selection Sunday.
So here's what bettors need to do to minimize risk on March Madness futures — spread your money on multiple betting options and make these wagers at different points in the year (e.g. when the season begins and again as the tournament starts).
Do Your Research
When it comes to March Madness futures and betting as a whole, you get out what you put in. Period.
The more research and thought you put into a futures pick beforehand, the more informed your decision will be. And folks, that's the key to winning wagers — utilizing information that the masses and bookies aren't.
Of course, the type of research will vary depending on the future bet format. But it's best to account for recent performance, whether that's an entire team or specific player. The college basketball season is a marathon, not a sprint. Those making late-race strides are the ones to look out for.
That puts a lid on our March Madness futures betting guide. Now it's on you to put all this knowledge to action and start earning the big bucks!