2018 March Madness Tournament Betting

March Madness Sports Betting Action List HeadingFew sports bettors realize how much money is bet each year on the NCAA Tournament known as March Madness and that’s one of the reasons you should at least get to know one March Madness Betting Strategy or read a guide. College basketball’s championship tournament beats the Super Bowl when it comes to the amount wagered, but due to underground markets, it’s tough to get a precise number on the amount wagered.

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Free Printable 2018 March Madness Bracket – Official Bracket & Rules


Traditional sports betting aside, Americans risk upwards of $3 billion dollars on NCAA tournament brackets. Come tournament time, these are fixtures across every office and school in America. Tournament brackets are estimated to cost businesses across the country about $1.7 billion in worker productivity each year.

As far as sports betting on the games themselves, we know that Las Vegas sportsbooks took in over 375 million in wagers in 2016. That’s a drop in the bucket compared to what the FBI thinks is wagered at local bookies and offshore sportsbook, a whopping $2.5 billion.

Americans can’t get enough of March Madness betting. Many casual sports bettors stop betting after the Super Bowl, but will still bet on the tournament, until they take their win. It is not strange to find thousands of guides online explaining to casual bettors how to start winning easily, but believing everything will get you nowhere, that’s why reputation is so important, specially when talking about March Madness Strategies and guides.

2018 March Madness General Information

The NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament also known as March Madness or the Big Dance is 2nd to the Super Bowl in betting popularity sporting event in the US. This year’s tournaments will start on March 15 and end with the final game on April 2nd in San Antonio. North Carolina’s Tar Heels will be looking to defend their 2017 NCAA tournament win.

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General Information About The 2018 March Madness
  • Teams Selection: March 11, 2018
  • 1st Round: March 15, 2018
  • Final Four: March 31, 2018, in San Antonio, Texas
  • 2017 NCAA Champions: University of North Carolina

What Can People Bet On During The March Madness Betting Season?

Aside from traditional wagers, such as sides, totals, and moneylines – there are a host of other wagers available when betting college basketball. Super Bowl proposition bets are something that bettors look forward to betting all year and though they don’t have nearly as many markets the NFL title game – there is a much larger selection than normal. The same goes for NCAA title futures, which are available all year up until the National Championship game.

Betting On March Madness Propositions

March Madness Proposition Bets 2018 (Prop bets)Propositions are bets that are not related to the final score or outcome of the game (which team wins or loses and by how much). Instead, they’re things like “Which team will score first” or “Which team will get 20 points first” and so on.
There are also team-specific propositions, team props, such as the number of three-pointers a team might make in a game (over/under) or the number of points a team might score in a game, known as “team totals.”

Player props are also available for March Madness and are ramped up at sportsbooks compared to the rest of the year. Props are like team propositions in that they are mostly totals, such as the number of points a player scores in a game, or his number of rebounds + assists, and so on.

Betting On March Madness Futures

There are many different futures for the March Madness – NCAA Tournament, with the most common being which team will win the National Championship. Although, futures markets can cover all parts of the tournament, such as if a team will make to the Sweet 16, Elite 8 and Final Four. Bettors will also be able to wager on which teams will win each region of the tournament and more.

March Madness Betting Strategy – Fading The Public

Fading the public has its advantages and disadvantages as a basketball bet, but the NCAA Tournament is a spot to consider fading the public. As stated above, the amount the NCAA public bets on the tournament is exponentially more than what they bet during the regular season, or even during conference tournaments. Interest in college basketball peaks in March, and it’s not even close.

NCAA Final FourFor that reason, there’s going to be a lot more public money coming in on these games and the opinion of the masses will affect line movement much more than usual. The public isn’t usually moving the line much when two unranked teams play during a random regular season game. The opposite is true when a No. 15 takes on a No.

We know the public loves to bet favorites. Savvy bettors should look for spots to fade public teams, particularly those that were ranked in the Top 25 Associated Press Poll. Teams that played hard throughout their conference tournament to get into the tournament are another spot you should look to target. They are often tired, both physically and mentally and have a general bias based on their recent performance.

Defense & Rebounding – Placing College Basketball Bets

Defense and rebounding in NCAA basketball are important. That should be obvious, but there’s a reason we should focus on these areas when evaluating our NCAA tournament betting ideas, compared to offensive firepower. For one, most of the teams don’t know each other or haven’t faced off in the regular season. Offenses might not translate well against specific defenses. What might be a strength against their competition in the regular season suddenly becomes a weakness.

Offensive firepower e also just simply isn’t as consistent as defensive intensity. On some nights, the shots just aren’t falling. There is an element of luck to the offense, while the strong defense can be played much more consistently. The same goes for rebounding. Sure, there are going to be times when a team is going to be overmatched on the boards, but consistent rebounding leads to second-chance buckets and fewer opportunities for opponents. Teams that have consistently played solid defense and have rebounded well offer more consistency and predictability when it comes handicapping.

College Basketball Betting – Homecourt Advantage Strategy

This seems to be a pitfall of just about every amateur sports bettor when it comes to betting on March Madness. Every year, there are one or several teams that happen to play in a region that is close to their home court. This makes it much easier for fans of the school to travel to the game.

NCAA basketball bettors, for some odd reason, don’t think this is factored in by the oddsmakers. You’re playing right into their hands regarding public bias and the fact that one team may have more fans in the stadium compared to another is something that is integrated into the opening line.

In fact, if we’re going to look for something from the regular season, it would be road records. The environment of a tournament game is essentially a road game, for both teams. That doesn’t make a lot of sense on its face, but if you consider that both teams are playing on a neutral ground, far from their home court – it makes perfect sense.

March Madness tournaments trends should be taken with a grain of salt. Trends don’t usually mean much, but there have been some historical trends with seeding in the tournament that can be looked at for potential NCAA tournament betting opportunities.

The most notable outlier in seeding is the No. 5 vs. No. 12 seed in the first round. No. 5 seeds are 76-44 against No. 12 seeds since 1985, which amounts to just over a 63% winning percentage. This doesn’t take into account against the spread numbers, but the No. 5 seed is always going to be underdogs and sometimes large underdogs. At least one No. 12 seed has won a game in the tournament for the past 20 years.

There are some other matchups to look at, but none of them are overly conclusive. No. 9 seeds hold a slight advantage over No. 8 seeds, but these games are usually very evenly matched and point spreads, historically, have these two teams evenly matched.

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March Madness Schedule – Important Times And Dates

Sweet 16

Thursday, March 22

(11) Loyola Chicago vs. (7) Nevada 7:07 p.m. CBS | Stream
(7) Texas A&M vs. (3) Michigan 7:27 p.m. TBS | Stream
(9) Kansas State vs. (5) Kentucky 9:37 p.m. CBS | Stream
(9) Florida State vs. (4) Gonzaga 9:59 p.m. TBS | Stream

Friday, March 23

(5) Clemson vs. (1) Kansas 7:07 p.m. CBS | Stream
(5) West Virgina vs. (1) Villanova 7:27 p.m. TBS | Stream
(11) Syracuse vs. (2) Duke 9:37 p.m. CBS | Stream
(3) Texas Tech vs. (2) Purdue 9:59 p.m. TBS | Stream

Elite Eight

Saturday, March 24

(11) Loyola Chicago vs. (9) Kansas State 6:09 p.m. TBS | Stream
(9) Florida State vs. (3) Michigan 8:49 p.m. TBS | Stream

Sunday, March 25

(1) Villanova vs. (3) Texas Tech 2:20 p.m. CBS | Stream
(1) Kansas vs. (2) Duke 5:05 p.m. CBS | Stream

Final Four

Saturday, March 31

TBA vs. TBA 6:09 p.m. TBS | Stream
TBA vs. TBA 8:49 p.m. TBS | Stream

National Championship

Monday, April 2

TBA vs. TBA 9:20 p.m. TBS | Stream

Where Can You Watch March Madness

NCAA.com offers a live streaming service to watch the games online, but you still must have a cable subscription to watch the games. Every game of the tournament is televised these days. They are broadcasted on a number of networks, including CBS, TruTV, TNT, and TBS.

History Of The NCAA Tournament

“March Madness” began in Illinois in the late 1930s. The University of Oregon defeated Ohio State University 46-33 in the first-ever NCAA men’s basketball tournament. Back then, “The Road to the Final Four” wasn’t much a road at all. For the first 12 years of the tournament, only eight teams were invited to play.

It wouldn’t be until 1951 that the number began to grow. Over the decades, it expanded further, and in 2001, the tournament was expanded to 65 teams, with a “play-in” game for the 64th and 65th seeded teams. The last expansion to the tournament was in 2011 when it expanded to 68 teams, which added another play-in game.

Only time will tell if the tournament expands further. Based on the increased public interest and television ratings, that is always a possibility. There was speculation after the 2010 tournament that it may expand to 128 teams, but it was ultimately just expanded to 68.