March Madness Betting Strategy

It’s always important to enter the NCAA March Madness tournament with a betting strategy. So many sports enthusiasts, both casual and religious, will be wagering on the frenetic slate of games for the entire month, and you need to separate yourself from the pack—and certainly the below-average pack. Indeed, sportsbetting lore is littered with tales of the random gambler who played some long-shot odds and won despite arming himself or herself with minimal information. [+]

They didn’t watch the regular season unfold, nor did they pay an inordinate amount of attention to the early portion of the March Madness tournament. And yet, in the end, they still came out on top.

Those stories, make no mistake, are the exception to the rule, not the rule itself. If you don’t pay close enough attention to the college basketball season, both before and during March Madness, you are beyond unlikely to come out ahead at the sportsooks. 

For every anecdote featuring the lucky gambler, there are hundreds more about bettors who were burned by a lack of information or faulty planning.

Do not be one of those gamblers. In fact, you’re already on your way to avoiding such perils by coming here. Follow the advice we provide below and you will have a better chance at preparing yourself for a successful foray into the relative craziness that is March Madness betting.

March Madness Betting Tips

The first step toward successful March Madness betting is to keep track of the game lines. This can be a stressful task, given that the first two rounds of play specifically feature unending action that makes it difficult to synthesize all the information. [+]

But you can power through by simply taking stock of the lines here. These odds are usually accurate, and they’re listed in one convenient place.

Now, lines do vary from sportsbook to sportsbook, so don’t get caught up in the aggregated numbers you see listed elsewhere. Oddsmakers are also forced to adjust the lines after initially publishing them based on an unanticipated amount of action laid down on one team or particular bet.

These tweaks, however major, needn’t phase you. Simply double-check game odds at your preferred sportsbook before making any sweeping decisions, and try to be as quick as possible when submitting wagers. This will safeguard you against making investments using potentially outdated information.

NCAAB
NCAAB
playoff - Matchday 2
Match day
  • 1
  • 2
Away Score Home Money Line
Monday 05 March
FT William & Mary 73 - 83 Charleston Cougars +190 -217 Odds
AOT Delaware State 61 - 62 North Carolina A&T Odds
FT Northern Illinois 59 - 61 Kent State +250 -303 Odds
FT Bowling Green 77 - 81 Central Michigan +265 -313 Odds
FT Ohio Bobcats 55 - 68 Miami Redhawks +135 -154 Odds
FT Cleveland State 44 - 43 Oakland +395 -476 Odds
FT North Dakota State 57 - 78 South Dakota State +215 -256 Odds
FT Fairfield Stags 71 - 83 Iona Gaels +125 -145 Odds
FT Akron Zips 79 - 78 Western Michigan +340 -417 Odds
FT UNC-Wilmington 52 - 79 Northeastern +290 -345 Odds
FT MSH 68 - 78 Norfolk State +575 -769 Odds
FT San Francisco Dons 60 - 88 Gonzaga Bulldogs +725 -1000 Odds
FT Wisconsin-Milwaukee 53 - 59 Wright State +175 -204 Odds
FT E. Tennessee State 47 - 62 NC-Greensboro Odds
FT Denver Pioneers 58 - 76 South Dakota +600 -833 Odds
FT Brigham Young 85 - 72 St. Mary´s Gaels +200 -238 Odds
Tuesday 06 March
FT Georgia Tech 77 - 87 Boston College +128 -147 Odds
FT Pittsburgh Panthers 64 - 67 Notre Dame Odds
FT Montana State 74 - 76 North Dakota -105 -115 Odds
FT Florida A&M 88 - 78 Howard Bison Odds
FT Northern Arizona 59 - 82 Northern Colorado +725 -1000 Odds
FT Coppin State Eagles 48 - 60 NCC +240 -286 Odds
FT Wake Forest 64 - 73 Syracuse Orange +150 -169 Odds
FT LIU-Brooklyn 71 - 61 Wagner Seahawks +430 -526 Odds
FT Stony Brook 51 - 70 Vermont Catamounts +725 -1000 Odds
FT Cleveland State 57 - 74 Wright State +430 -526 Odds
AOT Northeastern 76 - 83 Charleston Cougars
FT Hartford Hawks 60 - 75 UMBC Retrievers +140 -161 Odds
FT MIS 73 - 77 Arkansas-Pine Bluff +315 -370 Odds
FT Jackson State 60 - 62 Southern Jaguars +185 -213 Odds
FT Southern Utah 76 - 68 Idaho State Bengals +110 -130 Odds
FT SCS 80 - 83 Morgan State Bears +180 -208 Odds
FT Alabama State 76 - 90 Texas Southern +600 -833 Odds
FT South Dakota 87 - 97 South Dakota State -125 +105 Odds
FT Brigham Young 54 - 74 Gonzaga Bulldogs +425 -526 Odds
FT Alcorn State Braves 71 - 87 Prairie View A&M Odds
FT Sacramento State 67 - 71 Portland State +270 -323 Odds
Wednesday 07 March
FT Louisville 82 - 74 Florida State +120 -141 Odds
FT TSM 73 - 66 Coastal Carolina +115 -135 Odds
AOT Air Force Falcons 90 - 97 UNLV Rebels +390 -455 Odds
FT Boston College 91 - 87 N.C. State Wolfpack +155 -175 Odds
FT Arizona State 85 - 97 Colorado Buffaloes -294 +245 Odds
FT Little Rock 64 - 93 Appalachian State +225 -263 Odds
FT Colorado State Rams 65 - 76 Utah State Aggies +230 -278 Odds
FT California 58 - 76 Stanford Cardinal Odds
FT Massachusetts 69 - 67 La Salle Explorers Odds
FT South Alabama 62 - 69 Troy Trojans Odds
FT TCI 76 - 83 New Orleans Odds
FT Florida A&M 71 - 75 Hampton Pirates Odds
FT Vanderbilt 62 - 78 Georgia Bulldogs Odds
FT St. John's 88 - 77 Georgetown Hoyas Odds
FT Oklahoma Sooners 60 - 71 Oklahoma State Odds
FT San Jose State 61 - 74 Wyoming Cowboys +925 -1429 Odds
FT Southern Miss 69 - 68 FGP Odds
FT Notre Dame 71 - 65 Virginia Tech Odds
FT Texas-El Paso 58 - 71 Texas-San Antonio Odds
FT Colgate Raiders 54 - 83 Bucknell Bison Odds
FT Morgan State Bears 78 - 77 Bethune-Cookman +105 -125 Odds
FT Fordham Rams 72 - 78 George Washington +220 -256 Odds
FT Louisiana-Monroe 76 - 54 Arkansas State -169 +150 Odds
FT Central Arkansas 67 - 57 Lamar Cardinals +105 -125 Odds
FT Mississippi Rebels 84 - 85 South Carolina Odds
AOT Oregon State 69 - 66 Washington Huskies -141 +120 Odds
FT Syracuse Orange 59 - 78 N.C. Tar Heels +290 -345 Odds
FT Iowa State Cyclones 64 - 68 Texas Longhorns Odds
FT DePaul Blue Demons 69 - 72 Marquette +200 -238 Odds
FT Louisiana Tech 68 - 62 North Texas -175 +155 Odds
FT Florida Atlantic 72 - 83 UAB Blazers Odds
AOT Washington State 62 - 64 Oregon Ducks +675 -909 Odds
Thursday 08 March
FT Dayton Flyers 72 - 77 VCU Odds
FT SMM 80 - 73 Connecticut Huskies -120 +100 Odds
FT Central Michigan 74 - 89 Buffalo Bulls Odds
FT Louisville 58 - 75 Virginia Cavaliers +285 -345 Odds
FT St. John's 60 - 88 Xavier Musketeers +240 -286 Odds
AOT TCU Horned Frogs 64 - 66 Kansas State -154 +135 Odds
FT Alabama 71 - 70 Texas A&M Aggies +145 -164 Odds
FT South Florida Bulls 77 - 79 Memphis Tigers +375 -455 Odds
FT Boston College 82 - 90 Clemson Tigers +200 -238 Odds
AOT Providence Friars 72 - 68 Creighton Bluejays +145 -164 Odds
FT Kent State 76 - 73 Ball State +157 -179 Odds
FT Massachusetts 75 - 80 George Mason +108 -128 Odds
FT Oklahoma State 68 - 82 Kansas Jayhawks +220 -256 Odds
FT UMKC Kangaroos 74 - 77 Grand Canyon +615 -833 Odds
FT CAL 66 - 70 UC Davis +260 -313 Odds
FT Colorado Buffaloes 67 - 83 Arizona Wildcats +600 -833 Odds
FT UNLV Rebels 74 - 79 Nevada Wolf Pack +200 -238 Odds
FT Georgia Bulldogs 62 - 60 Missouri Tigers +143 -164 Odds
FT North Dakota 76 - 84 Montana Grizzlies +775 -1111 Odds
FT San Diego State 64 - 52 Fresno State -169 +150 Odds
FT CSB 74 - 81 Utah Valley +330 -400 Odds
FT Long Beach State 74 - 76 Cal State Fullerton +103 -123 Odds
FT Stanford Cardinal 77 - 88 UCLA Bruins +162 -182 Odds
FT Northern Colorado 80 - 55 Weber State -125 +105 Odds
FT Duquesne Dukes 68 - 81 Richmond Spiders +110 -130 Odds
FT NCC 58 - 56 SST -115 -105 Odds
FT New Orleans 63 - 85 Sam Houston State +185 -213 Odds
FT Miami Redhawks 69 - 71 Toledo Rockets +225 -263 Odds
FT LSU Tigers 77 - 80 Mississippi State +125 -145 Odds
FT Tulane Green Wave 77 - 82 Temple Owls +235 -278 Odds
AOT Southern Miss 71 - 68 Middle Tennessee +725 -1000 Odds
FT Notre Dame 70 - 88 Duke Blue Devils +340 -417 Odds
FT Texas Longhorns 69 - 73 Texas Tech +230 -278 Odds
FT Marquette 70 - 94 Villanova Wildcats +560 Odds
FT Texas-San Antonio 81 - 95 Marshall +280 -333 Odds
FT Norfolk State 64 - 70 North Carolina A&T Odds
FT Central Arkansas 64 - 86 Stephen F. Austin +260 -313 Odds
FT George Washington 63 - 70 St. Louis Billikens +135 -154 Odds
FT Southern Utah 92 - 78 Idaho Vandals +300 -357 Odds
FT Baylor Bears 65 - 78 West Virginia +215 -256 Odds
FT Chicago State 70 - 97 New Mexico State Odds
FT Hawaii Warriors 67 - 68 UC Irvine +155 -175 Odds
FT East Carolina 52 - 66 UCF +675 -909 Odds
FT Akron Zips 58 - 67 Eastern Michigan +225 -263 Odds
FT Utah State Aggies 78 - 75 Boise State Broncos +210 -250 Odds
FT South Carolina 64 - 69 Arkansas Razorbacks +185 -213 Odds
FT Oregon State 48 - 61 Southern California +235 -278 Odds
FT N.C. Tar Heels 82 - 65 Miami Hurricanes -286 +240 Odds
FT Butler Bulldogs 75 - 74 Seton Hall Pirates -122 +102 Odds
FT Louisiana Tech 58 - 62 Old Dominion +290 -345 Odds
FT UAB Blazers 70 - 98 Western Kentucky +200 -238 Odds
FT Portland State 72 - 78 Eastern Washington +170 -196 Odds
FT TPA 60 - 77 Seattle Redhawks Odds
FT Cal Poly Mustangs 53 - 75 Santa Barbara +430 -526 Odds
FT Wyoming Cowboys 75 - 85 New Mexico Lobos +120 -141 Odds
FT Oregon Ducks 68 - 66 Utah Utes -149 +130 Odds
Friday 09 March
FT SMM 51 - 61 Cincinnati Bearcats +1000 -1667 Odds
FT VCU 67 - 76 Rhode Island Rams
FT TSM 54 - 80 UL Lafayette +635 -833 Odds
FT Alabama 81 - 63 Auburn Tigers
FT Southern Miss 75 - 85 Marshall
FT Memphis Tigers 67 - 64 Tulsa
FT George Mason 49 - 68 St. Joseph´s Hawks
FT Appalachian State 68 - 84 Texas-Arlington +225 -263 Odds
FT Georgia Bulldogs 49 - 62 Kentucky Wildcats
FT Southern Jaguars 65 - 71 Arkansas-Pine Bluff -112 -106 Odds
FT Western Kentucky 57 - 49 Old Dominion -105 -115 Odds
FT Troy Trojans 51 - 73 Georgia State +150 -169 Odds
FT Richmond Spiders 77 - 83 St. Bonaventure +265 -313 Odds
FT Sam Houston State 79 - 89 SLL +105 -125 Odds
FT North Carolina A&T 86 - 96 Hampton Pirates +145 -164 Odds
FT Kent State 61 - 78 Buffalo Bulls +500 -667 Odds
AOT Providence Friars 75 - 72 Xavier Musketeers +270 -323 Odds
FT Kansas State 67 - 83 Kansas Jayhawks +240 -286 Odds
FT Clemson Tigers 58 - 64 Virginia Cavaliers +290 -345 Odds
FT Temple Owls 81 - 89 Wichita State +560 -714 Odds
FT Mississippi State 59 - 62 Tennessee +225 -263 Odds
FT Morgan State Bears 70 - 79 NCC +105 -125 Odds
FT Louisiana-Monroe 55 - 63 Georgia Southern +145 -164 Odds
FT Stephen F. Austin 78 - 66 Nicholls State -303 +250 Odds
AOT Northern Colorado 89 - 91 Montana Grizzlies +145 -164 Odds
FT St. Louis Billikens 60 - 78 Davidson Wildcats +260 -313 Odds
FT San Diego State 90 - 73 Nevada Wolf Pack +120 -141 Odds
AOT UCLA Bruins 67 - 78 Arizona Wildcats +220 -256 Odds
FT N.C. Tar Heels 74 - 69 Duke Blue Devils +175 -204 Odds
FT Butler Bulldogs 68 - 87 Villanova Wildcats +330 -400 Odds
FT Grand Canyon 75 - 60 Utah Valley +130 -149 Odds
FT West Virginia 66 - 63 Texas Tech -141 +120 Odds
FT Eastern Michigan 63 - 64 Toledo Rockets +130 -149 Odds
FT Texas Southern 88 - 74 Prairie View A&M Odds
FT Arkansas Razorbacks 80 - 72 Florida Gators +195 -227 Odds
FT UCF 56 - 84 Houston Cougars +375 -455 Odds
FT Cal State Fullerton 55 - 52 UC Davis -104 -116 Odds
FT Southern Utah 70 - 82 Eastern Washington +280 -333 Odds
FT Seattle Redhawks 79 - 84 New Mexico State +550 -714 Odds
FT Utah State Aggies 68 - 83 New Mexico Lobos +170 -196 Odds
FT Oregon Ducks 54 - 74 Southern California +145 -164 Odds
FT UC Irvine 61 - 58 Santa Barbara +120 -141 Odds
Saturday 10 March
FT UMBC Retrievers 65 - 62 Vermont Catamounts +475 -588 Odds
FT Cornell Big Red 55 - 74 Harvard Crimson +205 -244 Odds
FT Texas-Arlington 71 - 68 UL Lafayette +265 -313 Odds
FT Alabama 63 - 86 Kentucky Wildcats +180 -208 Odds
FT NCC 71 - 63 Hampton Pirates +155 -175 Odds
FT Memphis Tigers 60 - 70 Cincinnati Bearcats Odds
FT St. Joseph´s Hawks 87 - 90 Rhode Island Rams +355 -417 Odds
FT Yale Bulldogs 57 - 80 Pennsylvania +200 -238 Odds
FT Arkansas Razorbacks 66 - 84 Tennessee +135 -154 Odds
FT Georgia Southern 67 - 73 Georgia State +170 -196 Odds
FT Houston Cougars 77 - 74 Wichita State +145 -164 Odds
FT Davidson Wildcats 82 - 70 St. Bonaventure -164 +145 Odds
FT Texas Southern 84 - 69 Arkansas-Pine Bluff -256 +215 Odds
FT West Virginia 70 - 81 Kansas Jayhawks -125 +105 Odds
FT San Diego State 82 - 75 New Mexico Lobos -204 +175 Odds
AOT Providence Friars 66 - 76 Villanova Wildcats +725 -1000 Odds
FT Toledo Rockets 66 - 76 Buffalo Bulls +290 -345 Odds
FT Eastern Washington 65 - 82 Montana Grizzlies +175 -204 Odds
FT N.C. Tar Heels 63 - 71 Virginia Cavaliers +145 -164 Odds
FT Marshall 67 - 66 Western Kentucky +220 -256 Odds
FT Stephen F. Austin 59 - 55 SLL -323 +270 Odds
FT Southern California 61 - 75 Arizona Wildcats +195 -227 Odds
FT Grand Canyon 58 - 72 New Mexico State +175 -204 Odds
FT Cal State Fullerton 71 - 55 UC Irvine +120 -141 Odds

How To Win Your March Madness Bets

Ranking as a winner during March Madness isn’t just about the bets you make. Oftentimes it’s about the bets you dont’ make. We offer you some general rules below, each of which will help put you in the best possible position to succeed when hitting up your favorite sportsbooks.

Resist Urge to Bet on Heavy Underdogs in the First Round

Yes, choosing underdogs is an important part of successful March Madness betting. But do yourself a favor and don’t get carried away.

You won’t see a No. 16 seed beat a No. 1 seed in the first round. Ditto goes for a No. 15 seed against a No. 2 seed. The same logic can be applied to No. 3 seeds facing No. 14 seeds. And so on and so forth.

While these upsets have happened in the past, you don’t want to start the tournament off by heavily investing in the rare exceptions. If you have extensively watched a No. 15 seed throughout the regular season and know the No. 2 seed it’s matched up with isn’t anything special, then you’re free to submit a wager. And if you’re betting a negligible amount you plan on losing—that you maybe specifically set away for these long-shot moneylines—this is fine, too.

But you don’t want to use early-round underdogs as your primary options. That might change should they survive into the Sweet 16 or beyond. Right now, you’re better off sticking with what you know from the regular season, in addition to what you know about the rarity behind such drastic first-round upsets.

Likewise, Don’t Get Seduced by Betting Chalk

Rolling with the top-seeded teams in every matchup isn’t just a proclivity of uninformed bettors. Wise sports gamblers get caught up in the regular-season hype that fuels a No. 1 seed team as well.

This isn’t always detrimental. After all, seven of the last NCAA championships entered the March Madness bracket as a top-seeded squad.

But there are four top-seeded squads, so your odds of picking the right one are 25 percent—and that’s assuming a No. 1 seed is even destined to be champion.

Going chalk also implies that all four No. 1 seeds reach the Final Four. And that almost never happens, which ensures your bracket and/or betting strategy is doomed to bust.

Nothing changes when specifically looking at the National Championship tilt. You’re seldom dealing with two No. 1 seeds. It’s happened twice over the last 10 years, and only three times over the last two decades.

Rather than banking on first-place teams to get the job done, either before or during the tournament, consider researching some light underdogs that fall between fifth and ninth place inside their resepctive brackets. Investing in chalk outcomes might get you past the first round—plus the second round if you’re lucky—but you won’t survive the month if you get seduced by the cursory appeal of betting on the top-most seeds.

Favor March Madness Results

Regular-season performances matter when betting during March Madness. They’re your sole means of gambling in the first round, and they remain super valuable when placing wagers once the field is winnowed down to 32 teams.

But you have to weight what happens through those first two rounds more than anything once you get to the Sweet 16.

If Team A played Team B in the regular season, then yes, that’s a past result you can place stock in during the Sweet 16. But teams get hot when they’re tasked with winning only six straight games. Chances are most brackets will be busted by the time the Sweet 16 rolls around, and you’ll need to take surprise teams seriously, judging them not on how they fared during the regular season, but based off what they’ve done since beginning college basketball’s big dance.