March Madness is one of the iconic sporting events that is held every year, a massive tournament that features the next generation of basketball superstars competing to earn their shot at history. But finding the best NCAA March Madness betting sites is not easy, because this is such a massive, wildly popular event, with so many options. But we’ve compiled a guide to the many NCAA March madness sportsbooks, as well as everything you need to know about this huge event.
March Madness Betting Guide for 2023
Best NCAA March Madness Betting Sites
March Madness combines a year’s-worth of excitement into a single annual tournament. It features the 64 best teams from the National Collegiate Athletic Association facing off in a single-elimination tournament, where ultimately, one team will be crowned the champion. This tournament has seen many of the most famous basketball players of all time face off, and is an iconic event that stretches for weeks. It is also an absolute hub for bettors.
At BettingTop10, we’ve created a guide to help you hit the ground running as we look ahead to the 2023 iteration of America and Canada’s favorite tournament. We’ll offer you insights into the potential field this year, tips for college basketball betting, and everything else you might need to know as we move ever-closer to an absolutely stacked tournament of non-stop college basketball action
If you are curious about how we review our betting sites click here. If you want a full list of our reviewed sportsbooks, check out our sportsbook reviews page. You can also read about each brand by clicking “review”.
If you are curious about how we review our sports betting sites, you can read how do we choose the betting sites?
If you want a full list of our reviewed sportsbooks, check out our sportsbook reviews page. You can also read about each brand by clicking “review”.
What is March Madness
March Madness is the final tournament that is the culmination of the NCAA season. After play-in games, the top 64 teams in Division 1 will make the tournament based on their performance in the regular season and conference tournaments. They are divided up into 4 sides of the bracket, each with 16 teams. Teams are ranked from 1 to 16, with 1 playing 16, 2 playing 15, and so on.
The games are 40 minutes with 5-minute overtime if necessary. The tournament is single elimination. Eventually, one team from each bracket will remain, and they will compete in a semi-final known as the Final Four. The two winners will face off to see who will be crowned as the March Madness Champion.
March Madness is known for its crazy, anything can happen atmosphere. When a higher-ranked team loses to a lower-ranked team, it is known as an upset. The Big Dance, as March Madness is known, is filled with upsets and crazy moments. Because every team’s season comes down to a single game, every game is tense and drama-filled as teams lay it all on the line. This is a big part of what makes gambling on Madness so fun. Chaos is a guarantee, and bettors delight in trying to capitalize on that chaos.
How to bet on March Madness in Canada
If you are unfamiliar with gambling and trying to get in on the action for this year’s March Madness, We at BettingTop10 can help.
Below, we’ll give you a breakdown of how to get started online betting on the Big Dance:
- Sign up for some of our recommended sports betting sites above. These all include NCAA March Madness betting sites. If you’re not sure which betting site to use, look at our reviews which will provide you with more info.
- Create your account, and deposit some money. Make sure it is an amount your comfortable losing, as there are no guarantees you will win anything betting on the chaos of March Madness.
- Figure out what type of bet you want to make. For example, if you are betting on the winner of the tournament, a team to make the Final Four or Elite Eight, the point spread or winner of a single game, and so on. We will give a breakdown of the March Madness markets available later on in our guide.
- Go to the Basketball section of the website you have selected for your bets, and click the NCAA/College Basketball section. There you will see the March Madness betting odds.
- At this point, you should be ready to place your bets. Click on the odds you are betting on, input the amount of money you wish to bet, and click Place Bet, and enjoy the Madness!
Popular March Madness Markets
March Madness is known to be chaotic, and if you’re a beginner bettor, betting on the tournament can be too. That is why we have come up with an explanation of different markets you can find on NCAA March Madness betting sites:
- Moneyline: Moneyline is betting directly on the result of a game, so whether one team will win or lose. If you are betting on a team on the Moneyline, that means you are betting on them to win their game outright, regardless of the point spread.
- Future bets: Future bets are bets on things that are in the more distant future, rather than the outcome of a game that has already happened. For example, a futures bet would be on a team to make the Final Four or win the tournament. These bets take place further on in the future.
- Total points (over/under): The total points is the number of total points projected to be scored by both teams combined. For this line, you can choose to bet the over or the under, meaning you think either more points will be scored or less.
- Prop bets: Prop bets are bets on things to happen within a game, or with individuals rather than the team. That means a prop bet could be something like who will win Tournament MVP, or who will score the most points in a game, or whether a team will score more or less than a certain amount of points in a half. These bets are the most expansive, as there’s a lot of different options that oddsmakers come up with.
- Spread: The spread is the line that oddsmakers project a team will either win or lose by. So if a team is favorited by -3, bettors can choose to bet for the spread, meaning the team will win by more than 3 points, or against the spread, meaning the team will either win by less than three points or lose.
- Parlays: Parlays are when users combine their different picks into one bet. This gives lower odds of the bet hitting, meaning the payout would be higher. But for a parlay to hit, every part of the bet needs to happen. Meaning if you parlay 5 different teams to win, and 4 of them do, you still won’t make money because not all your picks happened. Parlays are less likely to hit, but because of that, they result in some big payouts.
Betting option beginners should avoid
NCAA March Madness sites offer a ton of different betting options, but not all of them are for beginners. If you are still learning the ropes of betting, it is good to experiment and try different markets, but maybe invest less heavily in some of them. The main market we’d advise beginners to be careful with is parlays. Parlays can win you big money, but they are also the hardest market to win. It can also be confusing for a beginner. We would just suggest for beginners to put the smallest amount of money into parlays until they gain some experience with betting.
Live Betting is when you are betting on a game that is already in progress. The odds shift and adjust to what is going on in the game, which presents some intriguing opportunities for gamblers to jump in and capitalize. If a team you like goes down early, and you still believe they will win, you can potentially earn more by live betting on them. Not all gambling operators offer live betting, so if this is something important to you, make sure that it is available on the site you use. For live betting, it is best to download a betting app of the gambling operator you are using. That way you can live bet from the couch or on the go, without needing to drag your computer around.|
March Madness Favorites
March Madness is incredibly unpredictable, and there hasn’t been a team that won two years in a row since 2006-07, when the Florida Gators managed the highly rare feat. You really never know what to expect in this tournament, as teams are so vulnerable. Just one loss topples their season, and only one team in a field of 64 can triumph, so you’re not going to find any sure things. However, in advance of the tournament, there are always teams that experts will have pegged as likely to triumph.
Let’s look at some of the teams that oddsmakers have pegged as the most likely to make a run at the 2023 championship:
- Houston Cougars, +800: Ever since Kelvin Sampson took over as the head coach of the Houston Cougars, the teams has performed well. Sampson has twice reached the Final Four, but this year could be the year the team truly gets over the hump, as they have their most talented roster yet, and have surged to an 18-2 record at the time of writing. Let by Marcus Sasser, the reliable senior guard, and Jarace Walker, a likely lottery pick NBA freshman forward, the Cougars have been dominant this year. True to Sampson’s form, they are a defensive beast of a team that can make a lot of noise this march. .
- Alabama Crimson Tide +1000: Alabama has long been a football school, but coach Nate Oats has turned them into a true juggernaut of a basketball school as well. They have a good chance to secure a 1-seed this year and race through the tournament. Alabama has a high-scoring team, led by freshman phenom Brandon Miller, who is having one of the best three-point shooting seasons by a freshman we’ve seen. Alabama is 17-2 at the time of writing, and are 8th in the nation in points per game. They also have a surprisingly strong defense and lead the nation in rebounds per game, so there aren’t many real holes to poke in this team.
- Purdue Boilermakers +1000: Purdue basketball is usually solid enough to make some noise, but they have been unable to avoid disappointments in the tournament. This year could be different. The biggest reason why? The play of behemoth center Zach Edey, who is 7’4 and likely to win the National Player of the Year. Edey is dominating, and the Boilermakers have torn apart their competition. At the time of writing, Purdue is 19-1 with wins against Gonzaga and Duke. They are a team that plays slow and methodical, crashes the glass hard, and scores with efficiency. Will their three-point shooting deficiencies cause another March breakdown?
- Kansas Jayhawks +1100: Kansas is seeking to become the next school to repeat March Madness titles, and they are the most battle tested of all the primary contenders. They have returned several key players from their victory in the tournament last year, and added some new talent as well. Bill Self, Kansas’ legendary coach, has a stacked roster at his disposal, even if the team has looked mortal at 16-3. Jalen Wilson returned to take the reins of the team and has delivered a potential National Player of the Year season, and freshman Grady Dick is a sweet shooter with the goods to deliver in March. But is the middling defense and lapses on offense going to cost them?.
These aren’t the only teams that have strong odds to make a run this year. Here are four other teams oddsmakers believe have a real shot at March Glory:
Betting Tip and Strategies
March Madness is exceedingly unpredictable. Chances are, you’re going to be disappointed if you expect perfection. However, just because you aren’t likely to win them all doesn’t mean that you can’t find strategies that help guide you to success. It is no easy task, but there are certain strategies bettors can utilize to find the best results. Here are some important ones.
- Bet the Bracket: If you are betting a team to win outright, don’t make this decision without consulting the bracket. The bracket is what defines teams’ chances. Teams are divided into four regions, with certain regions having less difficult pathways to the final rounds. Bet accordingly. If the team you think is going to win is in a gauntlet of a region, their chances are seriously damaged by this.
- Upperclassmen are Differentiators: This statement is said every year, but having older players on the team that has played in high-stress games is a huge differentiator. Just look at Kansas’ victory last year. They were led almost entirely by upperclassmen, with players like Ochai Agbaji and Christian Braun leading the way. This year, many of the contenders like Kansas, Houston, and Purdue have a best player who is an upperclassman.
- Size and Physicality are Important: In the NBA, every team has at least one player that is nearly seven feet and bruises down low. In college, this isn’t the case. There will be some teams that won’t have the height and weight to match up with their competition. Particularly mid-major teams that make the tournament will often not have the size and physicality to square up against the top teams. Look at player sizes before betting games. Zach Edey has been a beast this year, and his 7’4 size is a big reason why. Few can stand in his path in college
- Pick Upsets: Don’t just go chalk. March Madness is called Madness for a reason, and the crazy is par for the course in this sporting event. If you are betting on games, take some risks because they very well might happen. Make sure to bet on some of the teams that aren’t favored by oddsmakers because, in a tournament where one loss eliminates you, anything can happen. The best team won’t win every game.
- Look at Team Stats: While individual player stats can paint a picture of a team, they don’t tell the whole story. If you want to get to the bottom of things, look at team stats. These show you how the overall team plays, and in Madness, the performance of a team is vastly more important than the performance of players. At this point in the season, the stats paint an interesting picture. Houston is ranked 2nd in defensive rating, and 5th in offensive rating. They look legit. Meanwhile, the stats don’t love Kansas one bit. They are 95th in offensive rating and 72nd in defensive rating.
- Experienced Coaches are the Ones That Win: You hear it over and over again in March, but it’s true: Madness is defined by the coaches. Every coach that has won March Madness in the past six tournaments had led a previous team to at least the Elite Eight round of the tournament. Experienced coaches get the job done in March, which is important information to know. Last year, Bill Self claimed his 2nd NCAA tournament. This year, some experienced coaches that can claim another or their first tournament victory include Kelvin Sampson, Tony Bennett, Mark Few, and Mick Cronin.
Statistics and Useful General Information
Here are some stats that might impact how you bet on the 2022 March Madness Tournament:
- 1 in 9.2 quintillions: statistical odds of filling out a perfect bracket
- The annual average amount of total upsets in a tournament is 12.4. An upset is defined as the winning team being at least two seeds below the losing team.
- The ten seed beats the seven seed in the first round roughly 40% of the time
- There has only been one upset of a one seed in the first round once in March Madness history
- The 11 seed beats the six seed in the first round 37.5% of the time, while the 12 seed beats the five seed 35.4% of the time
- The lowest seed to ever win the tournament was Villanova in 1985
- The lowest seed to make the Final Four was an 11 seed, which happened three times. The most recent was last year when UCLA made the Final Four.
- All four number one seeds have only made the Final Four once.
- Underdogs in March Madness have covered 44% of the time and won outright 29% of the time since the tournament began.
Dates & Places
If you are getting excited for March Madness already, you are not alone. Many already have this event circled in their calendar. The dates for the event are mostly set, so bettors can start planning accordingly.
Selection Sunday will take place on Sunday, March 12th. That is when the bracket will be established.
The First Four will be played on March 14th-15th. Then, the first round will take place from March 16th-17th. The second round will be played March 18th-19th.
The Sweet Sixteen will play on March 23rd-24th, the Elite Eight will play on March 25th-26th, and the Final Four will play on April 1st.
Finally, when the dust has settled and two teams remain, the Championship game will be played on April 3rd.
The games are played at stadiums across the country. Regardless of where you live in the United States, there is a good chance that a stadium not far from you will host a game. Here are all the cities that host a game in this year’s tournament:
- Dayton and Columbus, OH
- Birmingham, AL
- Des Moines, IA
- Orlando, FL
- Sacramento, CA
- Albany and New York, NY
- Denver, CO
- Greensboro, NC
- Las Vegas, NV
- Kansas City, MO
- Louisville, KY
- Houston, TX
The entire Final Four is played in Houston, at NRG Stadium.
Cameron Kozinets is a 2020 graduate from the University of Southern California’s Journalism program. He is an avid sports fan and bettor, whose favorite teams include the Toronto Raptors, and the Chicago Bears. Cameron has been writing about and following sports since the age of 10, when he first fell in love with the NFL and NBA.
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