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NCAAB March Madness Betting Guide

Few sporting events are bigger and more exciting than March Madness, which has been played annually since 1939. An estimated $8.5 billion dollars in total is wagered across this single-elimination tournament, which showcases 68 teams, competing through seven rounds, all with hopes of taking home the National Championship.

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Odds updated: Sep 18, 9:47 PM UTC

March Madness: Road to the Championship

Selection Sunday

In total, 64 teams are invited to play in a single-elimination style tournament played over the course of a few weeks. The first 32 teams receive automatic bids for winning their conference tournaments and 32 other slots are awarded by a selections committee.

First Round

Also known as the Round of 64. This is the opening round in March Madness betting which has all 64 teams competing. Each team is seeded 1 through 64, with the #1 seed taking on whoever is seeded at #64, and so and so forth.

Second Round

Also known as the Round of 32 when making March Madness predictions. With the tournament being single-elimination, this increases the chances of an underdog pulling off the upset outright and a lower-seeded team advancing to the subsequent rounds. In 2013 Florida Gulf Coast did exactly this, becoming the only 15-seed in history to win its second round game, defeating San Diego State 81-71.

Sweet 16

The top 16 teams advance to this round as the number of teams is once again cut in half. This is the Regional Semi-finals round split into Thursday/Saturday and Friday/Sunday games. Teams are not reseeded, and the number one seed in each conference play the lowest ranked.

Elite Eight

This is the Regional Finals round played during the second weekend of the tournament. Once again teams are not re-seeded and stay on their side of the bracket with the highest seed taking on the lowest.

Final Four

This is the National Semi-finals with the winners of each region advancing to the Final Four and the winner of those games advancing to the National Championship. No different than any other round, these are single-elimination games.

National Championship

The National Championship is decided by the final two teams left in the tournament. Historically, UCLA leads the way with 11 titles, most recently winning in 1995, followed by Kentucky with eight school titles to their name.

March Madness: Most Popular Markets

One of the most popular styles of betting during the NCAA March Madness tournament is by setting up a bracket. Your goal in constructing a bracket is selecting who will advance from the Round of 64 all the way to the eventual winner. Points are awarded for selecting the winner in each round with the highest number of points available for selecting the overall winner.

Over 90 million brackets are filled pre-tournament, with the odds of constructing a perfect bracket one in 9.2 quintillion!

Live Betting on March Madness

Live betting allows the bettor an opportunity to place a wager even though a match has already begun. This gives the bettor a huge advantage in college basketball betting because you are able to get lines and totals adjusted and re-evaluate your March Madness picks based on what has already happened in the game.

If both teams are getting good looks but the ball isn't falling early on, but the pace of the game is quick, you might want to find a sportsbook that offers a competitive over/under total. If both teams come out sluggish, the total will be adjusted off the pregame number and should be a lot lower than the pregame total. This is usually a good time to get a total as many as six or seven points lower than initially set.

March Madness Betting Tips

With so many games available from the play-ins, to the Round of 64, it is difficult to keep track of everything and get action. A great sportsbook will offer you the ability to bet on most, or all of those games and allow you to take advantage of live betting. This gives a big edge to a bettor after seeing the intensity both teams come out with and how each team is performing early.

Don’t forget, March Madness always has its fair share of upsets too, so don’t always expect the favorite to come out on top. One tip for filling out your March Madness bracket is not to pick all the number one seeds to make it to the Final Four – only once in tournament history have all four top seeds made it out of their region.

March Madness Betting FAQs

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