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 This will safeguard you against making investments using potentially outdated information.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
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Away Score Home Money Line
Monday 11 February
FT Lehigh 75 - 87 Bucknell Bison +185 -213
FT Norfolk State 66 - 54 Florida A&M -127 +107
FT Virginia Cavaliers 69 - 61 N.C. Tar Heels -103 -118
FT Howard Bison 79 - 73 Bethune-Cookman
FT MSH 61 - 68 North Carolina A&T
FT Delaware State 52 - 87 NCC
FT Morgan State Bears 85 - 88 SST
FT Coppin State Eagles 84 - 85 SCS
FT MIS 59 - 82 Alabama State
FT Arkansas-Pine Bluff 69 - 60 Alabama A&M
FT Grambling Tigers 65 - 53 Alcorn State Braves
FT Jackson State 67 - 76 Southern Jaguars
FT Oklahoma Sooners 53 - 59 Baylor Bears +220 -256
AOT Kansas Jayhawks 82 - 77 TCU Horned Frogs +123 -143
FT Portland State 67 - 78 Sacramento State +160 -179
Tuesday 12 February
FT Purdue Boilermakers 56 - 70 Maryland Terrapins -154 +135
FT St. Bonaventure 76 - 51 St. Joseph´s Hawks -104 -116
FT Buffalo Bulls 76 - 70 Akron Zips -435 +365
FT Pittsburgh Panthers 57 - 66 Boston College +106 -127
FT Central Michigan 72 - 79 Bowling Green +240 -286
FT Davidson Wildcats 79 - 69 Fordham Rams -345 +290
FT LSU Tigers 73 - 71 Kentucky Wildcats +355 -417
FT Eastern Michigan 66 - 57 Ohio Bobcats +125 -145
AOT Rider Broncs 88 - 98 Quinnipiac Bobcats -125 +105
FT Georgia Bulldogs 56 - 73 Texas A&M Aggies +205 -244
FT Northern Illinois 74 - 76 Western Michigan
FT Michigan State 67 - 59 Wisconsin Badgers -135 +115
FT Marquette 92 - 73 DePaul Blue Demons -179 +160
FT Drake Bulldogs 72 - 69 Southern Illinois +195 -227
FT Michigan Wolverines 69 - 75 Penn State -333 +280
AOT Butler Bulldogs 73 - 77 St. John's +160 -179
FT Duke Blue Devils 71 - 69 Louisville -370 +305
FT Arkansas Razorbacks 78 - 79 Missouri Tigers -135 +115
FT Alabama 62 - 81 Mississippi State +195 -227
FT Kansas State 71 - 64 Texas Longhorns +140 -161
FT Air Force Falcons 72 - 77 UNLV Rebels +385 -455
FT San Diego State 71 - 60 Colorado State Rams -164 +145
Wednesday 13 February
FT Boston Uni. Terries 61 - 71 Army Black Knights
FT St. Louis Billikens 73 - 58 George Washington -250 +210
FT South Carolina 73 - 85 Tennessee +1175 -2000
FT Providence Friars 67 - 85 Villanova Wildcats +500 -667
FT UMass Lowell 86 - 54 Albany Great Danes
FT Loyola-Maryland 86 - 84 American Eagles
FT UMBC Retrievers 64 - 50 Binghamton Bearcats
FT Hampton Pirates 84 - 87 Campbell
FT Memphis Tigers 79 - 69 East Carolina -455 +375
FT Missouri State 68 - 56 Evansville -161 +140
FT New Jersey Tech 55 - 57 Florida Gulf Coast
FT Wake Forest 66 - 88 Florida State
FT Charleston Southern 74 - 77 Gardner-Webb
AOT Massachusetts 75 - 80 George Mason +285 -345
FT Troy Trojans 63 - 77 Georgia State +350 -417
FT South Alabama 65 - 75 Georgia Southern +340 -417
FT Longwood Lancers 62 - 59 High Point Panthers
FT Maine Black Bears 73 - 81 Hartford Hawks
FT Duquesne Dukes 72 - 73 La Salle Explorers +103 -123
FT Clemson Tigers 64 - 65 Miami Hurricanes -154 +135
FT Lefayette Leopards 80 - 74 Navy Midshipmen
FT Kennesaw State Owls 57 - 80 North Florida
FT Rutgers 59 - 56 Northwestern +200 -238
FT Iona Gaels 57 - 52 Siena Saints +125 -145
FT UNC-Asheville 57 - 53 SCS
FT Jacksonville 93 - 70 Stetson Hatters
FT SMM 74 - 82 Temple Owls +195 -227
FT South Florida Bulls 65 - 78 UCF +285 -345
FT Richmond Spiders 60 - 81 VCU +500 -667
FT New Hampshire 44 - 73 Vermont Catamounts
FT Presbyterian 85 - 93 Winthrop Eagles
FT Colgate Raiders 74 - 70 Holy Cross
FT Liberty Flames 74 - 66 Lipscomb Bison
FT McNeese State 57 - 67 Stephen F. Austin
FT Loyola-Chicago 54 - 61 Bradley Braves -154 +135
FT Houston Baptist 75 - 71 Central Arkansas
FT Northwestern State 70 - 75 Lamar Cardinals
FT Syracuse Orange 58 - 73 N.C. State Wolfpack +125 -145
FT Abilene Christian 64 - 48 Nicholls State
FT Illinois State 64 - 77 Norther Iowa +135
FT Incarnate Word 64 - 70 SLL
FT Sam Houston State 70 - 69 TCI
AOT Indiana State 87 - 82 Valparaiso +165 -189
FT Georgia Tech 68 - 76 Virginia Tech +635 -833
FT Mississippi Rebels 60 - 55 Auburn Tigers +355 -417
FT Georgetown Hoyas 75 - 90 Seton Hall Pirates +165 -189
AOT Creighton Bluejays 61 - 64 Xavier Musketeers -125 +105
FT Vanderbilt 57 - 66 Florida Gators +500 -667
FT Minnesota 61 - 62 Nebraska +155 -175
FT San Jose State 60 - 92 New Mexico Lobos
FT Texas Tech 78 - 50 Oklahoma State -294 +245
FT Wyoming Cowboys 59 - 76 Utah State Aggies
AOT UCLA Bruins 75 - 67 California -333 +280
FT Long Beach State 82 - 85 Cal State Fullerton +230 -278
FT Northridge Matadors 59 - 76 UC Davis +180 -208
FT Arizona State 73 - 77 Colorado Buffaloes +105 -125
FT Boise State Broncos 63 - 65 Fresno State +220 -256
FT Southern California 76 - 79 Stanford Cardinal +102 -122
Thursday 14 February
FT Kent State 82 - 63 Western Michigan -238 +200
FT St. Francis (Pa.) 87 - 62 Fairleigh Dickinson
FT Eastern Illinois 79 - 65 SIU-Edwardsville -120 +100
FT Sacred Heart 105 - 104 Bryant Bulldogs
FT Illinois-Chicago 81 - 77 Cleveland State -189 +165
FT TCB 83 - 91 E. Tennessee State
FT North Texas 47 - 57 Florida Atlantic -189 +165
FT Rice Owls 65 - 86 FGP +145 -164
FT Hofstra Pride 99 - 95 Charleston Cougars -125 +105
FT Drexel Dragons 69 - 71 James Madison Dukes -102 -118
FT Robert Morris 62 - 76 Mount St. Mary's
FT Illinois 63 - 56 Ohio State Buckeyes +300 -357
FT LIU-Brooklyn 76 - 83 St. Francis (N.Y.)
AOT Delaware 78 - 71 Towson Tigers +110 -130
FT Tulsa 80 - 57 Tulane Green Wave -294 +245
FT Houston Cougars 71 - 63 Connecticut Huskies -455 +385
AOT Grand Canyon 75 - 87 UMKC Kangaroos
FT Northeastern 81 - 77 UNC-Wilmington -238 +200
FT CBD 57 - 63 Wagner Seahawks
FT Mercer Bears 74 - 65 Western Carolina -238 +200
FT VMI Keydets 84 - 95 Wofford Terriers
FT IUPUI Jaguars 73 - 75 Youngstown State -130 +110
FT NC-Greensboro 57 - 67 Furman Paladins +150 -169
FT Texas-Arlington 52 - 56 Little Rock +100 -120
FT UTEP Miners 57 - 71 Louisiana Tech +475 -588
FT Eastern Kentucky 72 - 78 Morehead State +109 -130
FT TSM 84 - 74 Arkansas State -200 +173
FT Oakland 54 - 66 Green Bay +110 -130
FT CSB 75 - 62 Chicago State
FT UAB Blazers 77 - 68 Marshall +160 -179
FT Detroit Titans 90 - 84 Wisconsin-Milwaukee +125 -145
FT Oral Roberts 73 - 85 North Dakota State +280 -333
FT South Dakota State 84 - 85 Nebraska Omaha -169 +150
FT Texas-San Antonio 71 - 78 Southern Miss +146 -167
FT Middle Tennessee 63 - 71 Western Kentucky +600 -833
FT Jacksonville State 67 - 57 Tennessee Tech -556 +445
FT Belmont Bruins 77 - 66 Tennessee State -909 +675
FT SMS 72 - 81 UT Martin +200 -238
FT Murray State Racers 73 - 71 Austin Peay -118 -103
FT IPFW Mastodons 94 - 81 Denver Pioneers -154 +135
FT Montana State 84 - 76 Idaho State Bengals -125 +105
FT Utah Valley 77 - 84 New Mexico State
FT Arizona Wildcats 76 - 83 Utah Utes +152 -172
FT Montana Grizzlies 83 - 80 Weber State
FT Northern Colorado 75 - 47 Idaho Vandals -1250 +850
FT Northern Arizona 94 - 103 Portland State +205 -244
AOT Brigham Young 88 - 82 San Diego Torreros +140 -161
FT Pepperdine Waves 77 - 89 San Francisco Dons +535 -714
FT Santa Barbara 57 - 71 CAL -345 +290
FT Southern Utah 73 - 84 Sacramento State +150 -169
FT Gonzaga Bulldogs 73 - 60 Loyola Marymount
FT St. Mary´s Gaels 66 - 55 Santa Clara Broncos -833 +635
Friday 15 February
FT Cal Poly Mustangs 54 - 75 Hawaii Warriors +1025 -1667
FT Fairfield Stags 68 - 72 Canisius +150 -169
FT Yale Bulldogs 70 - 64 Columbia Lions -417 +355
AOT Brown Bears 66 - 70 Cornell Big Red
FT St. Joseph´s Hawks 72 - 80 Davidson Wildcats +535 -714
FT South Alabama 81 - 90 Georgia State +345 -417
FT St. Peter's 46 - 62 Iona Gaels +330 -400
FT Manhattan Jaspers 64 - 60 Niagara +205 -244
AOT Dartmouth Big Green 79 - 82 Pennsylvania +315 -370
FT Harvard Crimson 78 - 69 Princeton Tigers +102 -122
FT Monmouth Hawks 72 - 81 Rider Broncs +285 -345
FT Buffalo Bulls 88 - 82 Toledo Rockets -238 +200
FT Marist Red Foxes 63 - 61 Quinnipiac Bobcats +175 -204
FT Troy Trojans 51 - 76 Georgia Southern +415 -500
FT Northern Kentucky 77 - 81 Wright State +115 -135
Saturday 16 February
FT George Washington 69 - 85 Duquesne Dukes +320 -385
FT Southern Illinois 79 - 57 Indiana State -104 -116
FT Clemson Tigers 55 - 56 Louisville +180 -208
FT Maryland Terrapins 52 - 65 Michigan Wolverines +305 -370
FT Oklahoma Sooners 71 - 62 TCU Horned Frogs +190 -217
FT Auburn Tigers 64 - 53 Vanderbilt -476 +395
FT N.C. Tar Heels 95 - 57 Wake Forest
FT Bucknell Bison 71 - 72 Holy Cross
FT Detroit Titans 73 - 82 Green Bay +200 -238
FT Stony Brook 66 - 64 New Hampshire
FT Texas A&M Aggies 77 - 84 South Carolina +170 -196
FT Oklahoma State 57 - 69 Texas Longhorns +525 -667
FT UMass Lowell 66 - 70 UMBC Retrievers
FT Florida Gators 71 - 53 Alabama +150 -169
FT Coastal Carolina 79 - 88 Appalachian State +105 -125
FT Akron Zips 56 - 57 Ball State +148 -169
FT Rice Owls 41 - 60 Florida Atlantic +190 -217
FT North Texas 59 - 69 FGP -161 +140
FT Florida State 69 - 47 Georgia Tech -323 +270
FT Sacred Heart 84 - 92 LIU-Brooklyn
FT Middle Tennessee 93 - 98 Marshall +280 -333
FT Indiana Hoosiers 63 - 84 Minnesota +150 -169
FT Charlotte 49ers 60 - 73 Old Dominion +700 -1000
FT Xavier Musketeers 75 - 61 Providence Friars +195 -227
AOT Fordham Rams 66 - 63 Rhode Island Rams +510 -667
FT Baylor Bears 61 - 86 Texas Tech +345 -417
FT Drexel Dragons 77 - 92 Towson Tigers +105 -125
FT Notre Dame 54 - 60 Virginia Cavaliers
FT TCB 82 - 103 Western Carolina
AOT Miami Redhawks 79 - 84 Western Michigan -217 +190
FT Army Black Knights 68 - 79 Navy Midshipmen
FT Valparaiso 79 - 84 Drake Bulldogs +210 -250
AOT SCS 79 - 83 Longwood Lancers
FT Texas-San Antonio 67 - 72 Louisiana Tech +177 -208
FT UT Martin 73 - 69 SIU-Edwardsville -125 +105
FT UTEP Miners 47 - 77 Southern Miss +355 -417
FT South Dakota 80 - 67 Western Illinois -105 -115
FT UAB Blazers 68 - 60 Western Kentucky +260 -313
FT Grand Canyon 90 - 59 Chicago State
FT Missouri Tigers 65 - 75 Mississippi Rebels +405 -500
FT Utah State Aggies 76 - 62 Air Force Falcons -556 +460
AOT Colgate Raiders 83 - 81 American Eagles
FT VCU 69 - 68 Dayton Flyers +125 -145
FT Mercer Bears 69 - 88 E. Tennessee State +535 -714
AOT Northeastern 79 - 88 Charleston Cougars +118 -137
FT North Carolina A&T 85 - 81 Howard Bison
FT Abilene Christian 68 - 48 Incarnate Word
FT West Virginia 53 - 78 Kansas Jayhawks +875 -1250
FT Iowa State Cyclones 78 - 64 Kansas State +120 -141
FT TSM 67 - 60 Little Rock -137 +118
FT Brigham Young 70 - 62 Loyola Marymount -145 +125
FT Coppin State Eagles 58 - 55 MSH
FT Wagner Seahawks 58 - 56 Mount St. Mary's
FT North Florida 64 - 63 New Jersey Tech
FT Penn State 64 - 76 Purdue Boilermakers +635 -833
FT Bethune-Cookman 98 - 73 SCS
FT CBD 79 - 90 St. Francis (N.Y.)
FT Florida Gulf Coast 55 - 67 Stetson Hatters
FT SMS 88 - 79 Eastern Illinois +225 -263
FT Lehigh 84 - 79 Boston Uni. Terries
FT Ohio Bobcats 80 - 87 Central Michigan +220 -256
FT Bryant Bulldogs 84 - 97 Fairleigh Dickinson
FT VMI Keydets 62 - 96 Furman Paladins
FT Lipscomb Bison 83 - 67 Kennesaw State Owls
FT Liberty Flames 80 - 70 North Alabama Lions
FT Bowling Green 87 - 67 Northern Illinois -120 +100
FT Stephen F. Austin 72 - 87 Northwestern State
FT Virginia Tech 70 - 64 Pittsburgh Panthers -256 +220
FT Campbell 71 - 76 Presbyterian
FT Austin Peay 73 - 70 Morehead State -217 +187
FT Texas-Arlington 79 - 83 Arkansas State -125 +105
AOT Northern Colorado 78 - 88 Eastern Washington -132 +112
FT Winthrop Eagles 60 - 64 Gardner-Webb
FT Vermont Catamounts 77 - 75 Hartford Hawks
FT South Dakota State 78 - 77 North Dakota State -217 +190
FT La Salle Explorers 49 - 62 St. Louis Billikens +305 -370
AOT Chattanooga Mocs 76 - 80 Samford Bulldogs +330 -400
FT UNLV Rebels 71 - 64 San Jose State -1000 +725
FT McNeese State 52 - 88 SLL
FT TCI 58 - 68 New Orleans
FT Radford Highlanders 52 - 53 Charleston Southern
FT Sam Houston State 72 - 75 Lamar Cardinals
FT Alcorn State Braves 68 - 76 MIS
FT IPFW Mastodons 71 - 74 Nebraska Omaha +155 -175
FT Alabama A&M 62 - 68 Alabama State
FT N.C. State Wolfpack 78 - 94 Duke Blue Devils
FT LSU Tigers 83 - 79 Georgia Bulldogs -370 +305
FT Texas Southern 86 - 85 Grambling Tigers
AOT High Point Panthers 86 - 81 Hampton Pirates
FT Iowa Hawkeyes 71 - 69 Rutgers -167 +147
AOT Temple Owls 70 - 69 South Florida Bulls +130 -149
FT Memphis Tigers 72 - 79 UCF +220 -256
FT Illinois-Chicago 73 - 81 Youngstown State -125 +105
FT Prairie View A&M 79 - 66 Jackson State
AOT NCC 71 - 75 Norfolk State
FT IUPUI Jaguars 86 - 89 Cleveland State -169 +150
FT Brown Bears 65 - 63 Columbia Lions -104 -116
FT Yale Bulldogs 98 - 92 Cornell Big Red -244 +205
FT William & Mary 84 - 74 Elon Phoenix -256 +215
FT Eastern Michigan 58 - 71 Kent State +163 -182
FT Oakland 89 - 73 Wisconsin-Milwaukee -118 -103
FT Fresno State 81 - 73 New Mexico Lobos -135 +115
AOT Harvard Crimson 75 - 68 Pennsylvania +101 -120
FT Dartmouth Big Green 68 - 69 Princeton Tigers +225 -263
FT Boise State Broncos 65 - 71 San Diego State +165 -189
FT Robert Morris 69 - 72 St. Francis (Pa.)
FT CSB 67 - 75 UMKC Kangaroos
FT Hofstra Pride 79 - 87 UNC-Wilmington -500 +405
FT NC-Greensboro 50 - 80 Wofford Terriers +235 -278
FT Murray State Racers 102 - 70 Eastern Kentucky -455 +375
FT Southern California 89 - 66 California -303 +250
FT DePaul Blue Demons 78 - 91 Butler Bulldogs +240 -286
FT Nicholls State 82 - 88 Houston Baptist
FT Bradley Braves 65 - 59 Illinois State +160 -179
FT Delaware 61 - 68 James Madison Dukes +112 -132
FT Tennessee State 65 - 84 Jacksonville State +875 -1250
FT Tennessee 69 - 86 Kentucky Wildcats +140 -161
FT Louisiana-Monroe 76 - 83 UL Lafayette -122 +102
FT Oral Roberts 73 - 85 North Dakota +130 -149
FT Florida A&M 78 - 74 SST
FT Washington Huskies 72 - 70 Washington State -345 +285
FT Mississippi State 77 - 67 Arkansas Razorbacks -130 +110
FT Southern Jaguars 45 - 61 Arkansas-Pine Bluff
FT Northwestern 50 - 59 Nebraska +185 -213
FT Belmont Bruins 93 - 65 Tennessee Tech
FT Seattle Redhawks 53 - 59 New Mexico State
FT Pacific Tigers 59 - 64 Santa Clara Broncos
FT Montana State 82 - 94 Weber State +195 -227
FT Montana Grizzlies 80 - 68 Idaho State Bengals -400 +330
FT Cal State Fullerton 78 - 71 Northridge Matadors -145 +125
AOT San Francisco Dons 68 - 63 Portland Pilots
FT Gonzaga Bulldogs 79 - 67 San Diego Torreros
FT UCLA Bruins 80 - 104 Stanford Cardinal +110 -130
FT Long Beach State 73 - 77 UC Davis +185 -213
FT Arizona State 98 - 87 Utah Utes +108 -128
FT Nevada Wolf Pack 82 - 49 Wyoming Cowboys
FT Southern Utah 69 - 78 Portland State +150 -169
FT Northern Arizona 78 - 66 Sacramento State +250 -303
FT Oregon Ducks 57 - 72 Oregon State +125 -145
FT Pepperdine Waves 65 - 72 St. Mary´s Gaels +875 -1250
Sunday 17 February
FT Santa Barbara 70 - 83 UC Irvine +230 -278
FT CAL 64 - 87 Hawaii Warriors +535 -714
FT Wichita State 62 - 72 Cincinnati Bearcats +635 -833
FT Albany Great Danes 63 - 54 Maine Black Bears
FT Ohio State Buckeyes 44 - 62 Michigan State +675 -909
115' Manhattan Jaspers 68 - 65 Canisius +225 -263
101' Tulsa 62 - 64 East Carolina -256 +215
FT Lefayette Leopards 69 - 64 Loyola-Maryland
28' Marist Red Foxes 75 - 64 Monmouth Hawks +140 -161
78' Fairfield Stags 69 - 74 Niagara +115 -135
161' Rider Broncs 62 - 49 St. Peter's -256 +220
5' Quinnipiac Bobcats 75 - 75 Siena Saints +140 -161
P2 George Mason 56 - 79 St. Bonaventure +170 -196
FT Houston Cougars 85 - 50 Tulane Green Wave
HT Seton Hall Pirates 30 - 33 Creighton Bluejays +195 -227
Norther Iowa 16:00 Evansville +108 -128
Missouri State 16:00 Loyola-Chicago +305 -370
Villanova Wildcats 17:00 St. John's -179 +160
Miami Hurricanes 18:00 Boston College -149 +130
Arizona Wildcats 20:00 Colorado Buffaloes +200 -238

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.