2022 March Madness Betting Odds

March Madness Betting Odds

Ultimate March Madness Betting Guide. Learn betting strategies for a profitable tournament season. Perfect bracket contests are for chumps! Read on.

Cached 2021-11-14 14:00:05

Chapters

  1. Bracket Contests Suck
  2. March Madness Bets
  3. Best Buzzer Beaters Video
  4. Betting Tips
  5. History
  6. Tables/Reference
  7. Live March Madness Odds – Tap Here




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Note: The entire 2021 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament will be contested in Indiana. The Elite 8 and Final 4 will both play in Indianapolis at Lucas Oil Stadium.

2021 March Madness Schedule
Event Site Activity
Date
Selection Sunday TBS 6:00PM ET
Live Stream
March 14, 2021
First Four Bloomington, IN March 18, 2021
First Round Begins Various Sites, IN March 19-20, 2021
Second Round Begins Various Sites, IN March 21-22, 2021
Sweet 16 Banker’s Life & Hinkle Fieldhouses March 27-28, 2021
Elite Eight Lucas Oil Stadium March 29-30, 2021
Final Four Lucas Oil Stadium April 3-5, 2021

Don’t Enter Perfect Bracket Contests

Don’t pay to enter a March Madness bracket contest! It’s a losing investment. And free contests just waste your time. The chances of a perfect March Madness bracket are almost none. Different prediction models reveal daunting odds.

Random pickers face impossible odds for a 64 team bracket, 1 in 9,223,372,036,854,777,808. That’s 1 in 9.2 quintillion, according to Forbes.

Knowledgeable pickers will do better, 1 in 128,000,000,000. That’s 1 in 128 billion, according to Professor Jeff Bergen of Depaul University. He describes the calculation in this video.

Slightly Better Options

FiveThirtyEight modeled predictions off the 2015 tournament field. Odds narrowed to 1 in 1,610,543,269. That’s still 1 in 1.6 million for highly capable sports handicappers!

Warren Buffet, the oracle of Omaha, famously offered $1 Billion to any Berkshire Hathaway employee with a perfect bracket. A consummate numbers man, Buffet knew he would never pay. And he was right!

You’re more likely to be killed by a vending machine than predict a perfect bracket. Find out other more likely occurrences in our odds tables below.

How to Win March Madness Betting

Profit from a host of March Madness betting opportunities.

1. Fade The Public Against the Spread

Recreational bettors frequently bet popular teams during March Madness. Lines are ignored. They believe big names like Duke, North Carolina, Kentucky will all have blowout wins. Money flows in for these teams.

Suppose Duke vs. Virginia opens Duke -10. Duke must win by 10 or more points.

First research Virginia’s record against the spread. Check how often they’ve covered as underdogs.

Second check the line. Suppose it’s just moved to Duke -13.5. This indicates the public likes Duke. Remember the sportsbook wants to balance its action. Making it harder for Duke to cover encourages action on Virginia. Should you still follow the public? No!

Take Virginia if they’ve consistently won against the spread. Bet against the public when line moves present an opportunity!

One 2008 bettor discovered a profitable relationship. A 0.5 pt line increase for the favorite with 65% or more public taking the favorite lost against the spread 80% or more. That means he took the underdog ATS to win.

Tip
Wait until 30 minutes before tipoff to see which underdogs get action. This is sharp money coming in. Bet with the sharps.

2. Spread and Total Straight Bets

Carefully shop sportsbook lines. Your efforts will be rewarded!

Identify good total betting opportunities from a sportsbook’s spread and total numbers. See our calculation here. An edge exists if the calculation reveals an inconsistency.

If the projected total is under the sportsbook’s total, bet the under. If the projected total is over the sportsbook’s total, bet the over.

Finding good spread bets isn’t hard if you can handicap college basketball. Look for matchups where the sportsbook’s spread overestimates a favorite’s ability to cover. Here you’ll take the underdog.

Also look for matchups where the sportsbook’s spread underestimates a favorite’s ability to cover. Here you’ll take the favorite. It’s OK to be a chalk eater. A small win is better than a big loss.

Tip
Review each team’s seasonal performance against the spread here.

3. March Madness Prop Bets

Will a #1 seed win the tournament?

Those numbers mean Yes bets $120 to win $100. No bets $100 to win $160.

Analyze historical trends and bet smart. Between 1985-2016 a #1 seed has won 61.2%, 19/31 times. It’s not a sure thing. #2 Villanova fans still celebrate upsetting #1 North Carolina 77-74 in 2016. 🙂

But it is more likely than not. 61.2% occurrence over 31 years is somewhat reliable. Bet Yes $120 to win $100.

How many #1 Seeds will make the final four?

  • 0 +450
  • 1 +150
  • 2 +180
  • 3 +500
  • 4 +2000

Through 2017 at least one #1 seed makes the Final Four 40.38% of the time. The bettor will collect $150 for risking $100. Note +450 for 0 teams making the Final Four. That means it is less likely and therefore more risky. Reorder the lines in your head. You’ll see 1 or 2 #1 teams are most likely.

Hoping all 4 #1 seeds make the Final Four? It’s happened once since 1985, 4% of the time. That’s why $100 wins $2,000. That’s a risky longshot.

These props combine three different elements which don’t rely on sportsbook lines.

One is the tournament seeding process. Stay on top of Selection Sunday! Minor rule changes have been made over the years. Understand why teams get top seeds.

Two are historical occurrences discussed above. Some are reliable. Some are not.

Three is each team’s potential regardless of its seed. If a #1 team is over-seeded don’t bet that all 4 #1 seeds will make the Final Four. If a #3 team is under-seeded bet at least 1 #3 team will make the Final Four.

Tip
Review past Final Four appearances by seed. See our table below.

4. Ignore Early Round #1 and #2 Seed Parlays

Not worth it: All #1 moneyline 4 team parlay. Might be worth it: All #1 and #2 moneyline 8 team parlay.

A #1 seed has only lost once. That was in 2018 when #16 UMBC beat #1 Virginia 74-54.

Otherwise, a 4 team moneyline parlay should be easy money, right?

Not if you want to bet $1000 to win $50. It’s nearly a sure thing. But it wastes your bankroll. Most sportsbooks don’t offer moneylines for these games.

A #1 and #2 seed 8 team parlay would pay better. This assumes ML odds are available for each game. Sharp books might offer them. Payout could be better, $100 to win $40.

Remember you run the risk of a #2 upset. This has happened! See tables below.

Consider reviewing your sportsbook’s March Madness prop bets. These obvious winners could be packaged differently with less favorable odds. Don’t bet them blindly.

Tip
Stick to early round straight bets or lower seed parlays. Oddsmakers are well aware which teams are likely to win. Obvious winning bets will pay nothing and tie up bank roll.

Best March Madness Buzzer Beaters

It ain’t over till it’s over!

March Madness Betting Tips

  1. Refresh your bankroll before the tournament begins. Deposit early to avoid last minute credit card processing glitches.
  2. Don’t take March Madness sportsbook bonuses if they’ll hurt your profit potential. Bonus play through requirements don’t justify the headache. This is another way sportsbooks claw back profit from recreational bettors.
  3. Shop college basketball lines at multiple sportsbooks. SB3 has live odds here.
  4. Search for under-seeded parlay opportunities during early rounds. #1 and #2 team parlays will not have favorable moneyline odds. Look at teams seeded #4-#12.
  5. Don’t ignore good prop bets. Some are favorable to savvy bettors. Always visit your sportsbook’s prop bet page before March Madness begins.

NCAA D1 Basketball Tournament History

The first NCAA Division 1 Men’s Basketball Tournament took place in 1939. Seeding began in 1979. Tournament format has changed over the years with gradual inclusion of more teams. 68 teams have participated since 2011.

32 teams receive automatic bids if they are conference champions. 36 additional teams are picked on Selection Sunday. The selection committee is comprised of 10 members serving 5 year terms.

Seeds are determined in sets of 4. Teams 60-68 must play-in to the tournament for seeds between 11-16 depending on selection committee ranking. These equally seeded teams, or “teams on the bubble”, battle each other for an automatic tournament berth.

In 2012 it was revealed the committee ranks teams 1 to 68. They assess the likelihood a team can win the tournament. Despite these expert predictions, the occasional Cinderella team has lasted longer than expected.

Most games are nationally televised. TV audiences for the Final Four are second only to the Super Bowl in annual viewership. This makes March Madness Betting particularly exciting. Popular sports commentators like Dick Vitale, known for his energy, insight and voluble banter have made their careers on March Madness. Vitale famously exclaimed, “It’s Awesome, Baby!”.

March Madness Betting Tables and Reference

More Likely Than a Perfect March Madness Bracket

More Likely Than a Perfect March Madness Bracket
What Odds
Killed by a falling coconut 1 in 250 million
Killed by a vending machine 1 in 112 million
Naturally having quintuplets 1 in 60 million
Killed by a shark 1 in 3.7 million
Struck by lightning this year 1 in 700,000
Royal flush in first poker hand 1 in 649,740
Having Conjoined Twins 1 in 115,300
Pogo stick injury requiring ER 1 in 200,000
Dating a Supermodel 1 in 88,000
Dating a millionaire 1 in 216

NCAA Div I Men’s Basketball Tournament Final Four Teams


NCAA Div I Men’s Basketball Tournament Final Four Teams
+ Taps out more teams
Year Winning Team Runner Up Final Four Final Four
2021 Baylor #1 Gonzaga #1 Houston #2 UCLA #11
2020 Canceled
2019 Virginia #1 Texas Tech #3 Michigan State #2 Auburn #5
2018 Villanova #1 Michigan #3 Kansas #1 Loyola-Chicago #11
2017 North Carolina #1 Gonzaga #1 Oregon #3 South Carolina #7
2016 Villanova #2 North Carolina #1 Oklahoma #2 Syracuse #10
2015 Duke #1 Wisconsin #1 Kentucky #1 Michigan State #7
2014 Connecticut #7 Kentucky #8 Florida #1 Wisconsin #2
2013 Louisville #1 Michigan #4 Wichita State #9 Syracuse #4
2012 Kentucky #1 Kansas #2 Louisville #4 Ohio State #2
2011 Connecticut #3 Butler #8 Kentucky #4 VCU #11
2010 Duke #1 Butler #5 West Virginia #2 Michigan State #5
2009 North Carolina #1 Michigan State #2 Villanova #3 Connecticut #1
2008 Kansas #1 Memphis #1 North Carolina #1 UCLA #1
2007 Florida #1 Ohio State #1 UCLA #2 Georgetown #2
2006 Florida #3 UCLA #2 George Mason #11 LSU #4
2005 North Carolina #1 Illinois #1 Michigan State #5 Louisville #4
2004 Connecticut #2 Georgia Tech #3 Duke #1 Oklahoma State #2
2003 Syracuse #3 Kansas #2 Texas #1 Marquette #3
2002 Maryland #1 Indiana #5 Kansas #1 Oklahoma #2
2001 Duke #1 Arizona #2 Maryland #3 Michigan State #1
2000 Michigan State #1 Florida #5 Wisconsin #8 North Carolina #8
1999 Connecticut #1 Duke #1 Ohio State #4 Michigan State #1
1998 Kentucky #2 Utah #3 Stanford #3 North Carolina #1
1997 Arizona #4 Kentucky #1 North Carolina #1 Minnesota #1
1996 Kentucky #1 Syracuse #4 Massachusetts #1 Mississippi State #5
1995 UCLA #1 Arkansas #2 Oklahoma State #4 North Carolina #2
1994 Arkansas #1 Duke #2 Arizona #2 Florida #3
1993 North Carolina #1 Michigan #1 Kansas #2 Kentucky #1
1992 Duke #1 Michigan #6 Indiana #2 Cincinnati #4
1991 Duke #1 Kansas #3 UNLV #1 North Carolina #2
1990 UNLV #1 Duke #3 Georgia Tech #4 Arkansas #4
1989 Michigan #3 Seton Hall #3 Illinois #1 Duke #2
1988 Kansas #6 Oklahoma #1 Duke #2 Arizona #1
1987 Indiana #1 Syracuse #2 UNLV #1 Providence #6
1986 Louisville #2 Duke #1 LSU #11 Kansas #1
1985 Villanova #8 Georgetown #1 Memphis #2 St. John’s #1
1984 Georgetown #1 Houston #2 Kentucky #1 Virginia #7
1983 NC State #6 Houston #1 Louisville #1 Georgia #4
1982 North Carolina #1 Georgetown #1 Houston #6 Louisville #3
1981 Indiana #3 North Carolina #2 Virginia #1 LSU #1
1980 Louisville #2 UCLA #8 Purdue #6 Iowa #5
1979 Michigan State #2 Indiana State #1 DePaul #2 Pennsylvania #9
1978 Kentucky Duke Arkansas Notre Dame
1977 Marquette North Carolina UNLV Charlotte
1976 Indiana Michigan UCLA Rutgers
1975 UCLA Kentucky Louisville Syracuse
1974 NC State Marquette UCLA Kansas
1973 UCLA Memphis Indiana Providence
1972 UCLA Florida State North Carolina Louisville
1971 UCLA Villanova Western Kentucky Kansas
1970 UCLA Jacksonville New Mexico State St. Bonaventure
1969 UCLA Purdue Drake North Carolina
1968 UCLA North Carolina Ohio State Houston
1967 UCLA Dayton Houston North Carolina
1966 UTEP Kentucky Duke Utah
1965 UCLA Michigan Princeton Wichita State
1964 UCLA Duke Michigan Kansas State
1963 Loyola-Chicago Cincinnati Duke Oregon State
1962 Cincinnati Ohio State Wake Forest UCLA
1961 Cincinnati Ohio State Saint Joseph’s Utah
1960 Ohio State California Cincinnati NYU
1959 California West Virginia Cincinnati Louisville
1958 Kentucky Seattle Temple Kansas State
1957 North Carolina Kansas San Francisco Michigan State
1956 San Francisco Iowa Temple SMU
1955 San Francisco LaSalle Colorado Iowa
1954 LaSalle Bradley Penn State USC
1953 Indiana Kansas Washington LSU
1952 Kansas St. John’s Illinois Santa Clara
1951 Kentucky Kansas State Illinois Oklahoma State
1950 CCNY Bradley NC State Baylor
1949 Kentucky Oklahoma State Illinois Oregon State
1948 Kentucky Baylor Holy Cross Kansas State
1947 Holy Cross Oklahoma Texas CCNY
1946 Oklahoma State North Carolina Ohio State California
1945 Oklahoma State NYU Arkansas Ohio State
1944 Utah Dartmouth Iowa State Ohio State
1943 Wyoming Georgetown DePaul Texas
1942 Stanford Dartmouth Colorado Kentucky
1941 Wisconsin Washington State Arkansas Pittsburgh
1940 Indiana Kansas Duquesne USC
1939 Oregon Ohio State Oklahoma Villanova

NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Seed Performance


Seed Performance Through All Tournament Rounds 1985-2018

(% of all seeds advancing to subsequent rounds)

+ Taps out more Rounds
# R2 S16 E8 F4 F2 Win Odds
1 99.3% 85.3% 69.1% 41.2% 24.3% 15.4% 61.8%
2 94.1% 62.5% 45.6% 20.6% 9.6% 3.7% 14.7%
3 84.6% 51.5% 25.0% 11.8% 7.4% 2.9% 11.8%
4 79.4% 47.1% 15.4% 9.6% 2.2% 0.7% 2.9%
5 65.4% 33.8% 5.9% 4.4% 2.2% 0.0% 0.0%
6 63.2% 30.9% 10.3% 2.2% 1.5% 0.7% 2.9%
7 61.8% 19.9% 7.4% 2.2% 0.7% 0.7% 2.9%
8 50.0% 9.6% 5.9% 3.7% 2.2% 0.7% 2.9%
9 50.0% 5.1% 2.9% 0.7% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
10 38.2% 16.9% 5.9% 0.7% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
11 36.8% 16.2% 5.9% 2.9% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
12 34.6% 14.7% 0.7% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
13 20.6% 4.4% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
14 15.4% 1.5% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
15 5.9% 0.7% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
16 0.7% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%

NCAA D1 Basketball Final Fours by Team


NCAA D1 Basketball Final Fours by Team
Team Final Fours
North Carolina 20
UCLA 19
Kentucky 17
Duke 16
Kansas 15
Ohio State 11
Louisville 10
Michigan State 10
Indiana 8
Michigan 8
Arkansas 6
Cincinnati 6
Houston 6
Oklahoma State 6
Syracuse 6
Villanova 6
Connecticut 5
Florida 5
Georgetown 5
Illinois 5
Oklahoma 5
Arizona 4
Kansas State 4
LSU 4
UNLV 4
Utah 4
Wisconsin 4
Baylor 3
California 3
Iowa 3
Marquette 3
Memphis 3
NC State 3
San Francisco 3
Texas 3
Virginia 3
Bradley 2
Butler 2
CCNY 2
Colorado 2
Dartmouth 2
DePaul 2
Georgia Tech 2
Gonzaga 2
Holy Cross 2
LaSalle 2
Loyola-Chicago 2
Maryland 2
NYU 2
Oregon 2
Oregon State 2
Providence 2
Purdue 2
St. John’s 2
Stanford 2
Temple 2
USC 2
West Virginia 2
Wichita State 2
Auburn 1
Charlotte 1
Dayton 1
Drake 1
Duquesne 1
Florida State 1
George Mason 1
Georgia 1
Indiana State 1
Iowa State 1
Jacksonville 1
Massachusetts 1
Minnesota 1
Mississippi State 1
New Mexico State 1
Notre Dame 1
Penn State 1
Pennsylvania 1
Pittsburgh 1
Princeton 1
Rutgers 1
Saint Joseph’s 1
Santa Clara 1
Seattle 1
Seton Hall 1
SMU 1
South Carolina 1
St. Bonaventure 1
Texas Tech 1
UTEP 1
VCU 1
Wake Forest 1
Washington 1
Washington State 1
Western Kentucky 1
Wyoming 1

NCAA D1 Basketball Championships by Team


NCAA D1 Basketball Championships by Team
Team Championships
UCLA 11
Kentucky 8
North Carolina 6
Duke 5
Indiana 5
Connecticut 4
Kansas 3
Louisville 3
Villanova 3
Cincinnati 2
Florida 2
Michigan State 2
NC State 2
Oklahoma State 2
San Francisco 2
Arizona 1
Arkansas 1
Baylor 1
California 1
CCNY 1
Georgetown 1
Holy Cross 1
LaSalle 1
Loyola-Chicago 1
Marquette 1
Maryland 1
Michigan 1
Ohio State 1
Oregon 1
Stanford 1
Syracuse 1
UNLV 1
Utah 1
UTEP 1
Virginia 1
Wisconsin 1
Wyoming 1

College Basketball Reading

References


https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2017/08/24/these-extremely-rare-things-are-more-likely-happen-you-than-winning-powerball-jackpot/pq0VeHn5PpAWkJhRP310nK/story.html
https://www.printyourbrackets.com/final-four-appearances-by-seed.html
https://www.betfirm.com/seeds-national-championship-odds/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NCAA_Division_I_Men%27s_Basketball_Tournament
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NCAA_basketball_tournament_selection_process
https://www.thoughtco.com/march-madness-statistics-3126162
https://www.vegas.com/gaming/gaming-tips/betting-glossary/
https://www.covers.com/postingforum/post01/showmessage.aspx?spt=40&sub=100705163
https://www.thoughtco.com/march-madness-statistics-3126162
https://www.teamrankings.com/ncb/trends/ats_trends/
https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-odds-of-a-perfect-march-madness-bracket/
https://www.forbes.com/sites/robertszczerba/2015/03/17/bracketology-101-picking-a-perfect-bracket-is-actually-easier-than-you-think/#1e3bb0482abd
http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-odds-youll-fill-out-a-perfect-bracket/
https://www.si.com/college-basketball/2017/03/12/perfect-ncaa-bracket-odds
https://www.si.com/college-basketball/2018/03/17/ncaa-tournament-march-madness-umbc-virginia-marshall

Author: Richard Lucas