How to Bet on NCAA March Madness 2018

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With Selection Sunday just a few weeks away and conference tournaments on the horizon, NCAA Basketball betting truly heats up with the NCAA Tournament and March Madness. College’s basketball preeminent tournament generates more betting action altogether than the Super Bowl, which is sports betting world’s crown jewel. In that sense, nothing compares in size to March Madness event’s betting market.

Want to get in on the action? Check our quick guide to betting on the tournament at online sportsbooks and other betting options. You can find the basics and my recommended bets during the tournament.

What Are the Basics of March Madness Betting?

The NCAA Tournament crowns a Division 1 National Champion and is college basketball’s postseason. 68 teams compete in the tournament each year. It is single elimination tourney over the course of several weeks, which is ultimately whittled down to two teams that play for the National Title.

The NIT Tournament is not to be confused with the NCAA Tournament and March Madness. The NIT uses a similar format but is far less prestigious than the NCAA Tournament. The NIT is still widely bet, but not nearly to the level of March Madness. Which isn’t to say that NIT isn’t worth betting on, but that March Madness has bigger bets.

How Does March Madness Betting Work?

College basketball betting rules don’t change when betting March Madness. The same betting markets are available and then some for the Big Dance. Betting on the NCAA tournament online is as simple as signing up for a sportsbook and funding your account. Sports betting is a perfect compliment to filling out a March Madness bracket. The March Madness bracket is the distribution of who faces who at each stage of the tournament. It has 6 stages starting with 64 teams on Round 1 which will be decided on Selection Sunday, and it ends up with the Final Four (the 5th stage), which follows the National Championship (to be played on April 2nd).

How Much Money is Bet During March Madness?

It’s impossible to know the exact amount bet, due to offshore betting markets and local bookies not reporting their handle amounts, but it’s easily over 1 billion dollars and likely several billion. Nevada sportsbooks broke records in last year’s tournament, with a handle of $315 million.

Nevada’s sports betting handle is a paltry amount compared to the entire betting market in the United States, which consists of offshore sportsbooks that take far more action and locals from around the country. March Madness is easily the most significant wagering event of the year behind the Super Bowl. We’ve seen this with several metrics and within the sportsbooks themselves.

Which States Bet the Most During March Madness?

As mentioned above, due to betting markets being unregulated in most of the country, it’s impossible to tell. Betting March Madness in Las Vegas is as simple as being 21 and walking up to a sportsbook counter or kiosk or using a local sportsbook app. No matter where you are in the U.S. – there is an option for betting on March Madness. Remember, there is no federal law against placing sports bets online.

What Are the Best March Madness Betting Sites?

The best way to bet on March Madness is with the highest rated sportsbooks, which currently are SportsBetting.ag and BetOnline.ag. Both offer substantial deposit bonuses. At SportsBetting.ag, bettors will receive a 75% Bonus on their first deposit up to $1,000. BetOnline.ag has a similar bonus, but a higher maximum amount, at 50% up to $2,500. Players will also receive a 100% Bonus up to $1,000 on their first deposit using Bitcoin.

The sites share support staff, management, and payout speeds. They also typically top our monthly U.S. Offshore Online Sportsbook Payout Report regarding payout speeds. Players can sign up for both sportsbooks and accept bonuses at both sportsbooks. A good tactic nonetheless to maximize earnings if you are an experienced bettor.

Best 2018 March Madness Betting Sites For American Bettors

sportsbetting best overall sportsbook
  • Accepts Litecoin and Bitcoin
  • Accepts Dash and Bitcoin Cash
  • Accepts Visa, Mastercard, and others
  • Excellent and timely payouts
  • Competitive odds and excellent sportsbook for betting NCAA, NBA or NHL.
  • Football-specific bonuses offered at the start of each season.
  • Large assortment of sports betting markets, including live betting, team and player props.

Start Betting & Winning at Sportsbetting.ag

Why Is Sportsbook.ag The Best?

The 75% up to $1000 Welcome Bonus is hard to pass by and the payout times are fast. Sportsbetting is the top betting site in the industry and easily the most professional. They offer competitive odds in all sports and tons of NFL markets, from propositions to live betting.

BetOnline best sportsbook bonus
  • Accepts Litecoin and Bitcoin
  • Accepts Dash and Bitcoin Cash
  • Accepts Visa, Mastercard and others
  • Timely payouts guarantees
  • Posts NCAA, NBA, and NHL odds earlier than other sportsbooks.
  • Takes up to $25,000 on NFL point spreads plus other popular sports bets.
  • Large deposit bonus, up to $2,500, and endless reloads.

Start Betting & Winning at Betonline

Why Bet At BetOnline?

New players receiving a massive Welcome Bonus of 50% up to $2,500 on their first deposit which makes BetOnline’s rise to one of the top sportsbooks online. They have a long history in the industry but have truly come on in the past few years to be a leader in sports betting.

What Bets Should I Place During March Madness?

All traditional basketball betting markets are offered, likes sides, totals, and moneylines, plus more. Due to the increased interest in the tournament, sportsbooks typically have more markets available, with higher betting limits than usual. This is due to the amount of attention the event brings over the whole tournament.

College basketball betting limits can be just a few thousand dollars on sides and even less on totals throughout the regular season, but with more public betting money being wagered on the tournament, these wagering limits are raised. Which goes to show the big difference in betting limits versus the Super Bowl for example.

Most betting sites don’t typically offer player props for college basketball, but many will have these markets available for the NCAA Tournament. Live betting is a mainstay at online sportsbooks these days and one of the most popular betting markets for March Madness.

Joseph Falchetti

Joseph Falchetti – Editor-in-Chief / Sports Writer & Analyst

Joe is the author of the blog, most picks, and the majority of excellent content on SafestBettingSites, with an extensive background as a writer and professional gambler. He's been mentioned on Forbes.com as a gaming analyst and his articles have been linked by larger publications, such as the New York Times.

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