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Looking to bet on March Madness? The 2023 NCAA Tournament bracket is set, with 68 teams ready to dance for a trip to the Final Four — college basketball’s ultimate prize.
If you’re on the hunt for a 2023 March Madness betting guide ahead of the Big Dance, look no further. You can find everything you need to know for wagering on the NCAA Tournament below.
March Madness 2023 key dates: What is March Madness and when is the NCAA Tournament?
March Madness takes place over a roughly three-week stretch beginning on Tuesday, March 14, whittling a 68-team field to the Final Four. A national champion will be crowned on April 3 in Houston.
From bracket challenges to wagering on March Madness games, the NCAA Tournament ranks as one of the top betting events of the year.
Billions of dollars are bet on March Madness by Americans — and that doesn’t include the endless number of bracket contests in play. Here are the key dates to remember:
- Selection Sunday: Sunday, March 12
- First Four: March 14-15 (Tuesday and Wednesday)
- First round: March 16-17 (Thursday and Friday)
- Second round: March 18-19 (Saturday and Sunday)
- Sweet 16: March 23-24 (Thursday and Friday)
- Elite Eight: March 25-26 (Saturday and Sunday)
- Final Four: April 1 (Saturday)
- NCAA championship game: April 3 (Monday)
2023 March Madness bonuses: Who has the Top March Madness betting promos?
College bettors can wager on March Madness, so long as they are not betting on colleges and universities in the Garden State. There are more than $5,000 in March Madness promos available to claim.
Best March Madness bonuses: Offers for all states, including New Jersey
March Madness Betting: Who are the favorites to win NCAA Tourney?
The selection committee on Sunday announced these programs are the No. 1 seeds for the NCAA Tournament:
Alabama Crimson Tide (South Region): The SEC champion Crimson Tide (29-5) will face the play-in game survivor (Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and Southeast Missouri State) on Thursday.
Houston Cougars (Midwest Region): The Cougars (31-3) play Northern Kentucky on Thursday. They’ll be motivated with the Final Four in their city.
Kansas (West Region): Recently released from the hospital, Bill Self figures to coach the reigning national champion Jayhawks (27-7) when they open play Thursday against Howard.
Purdue Boilermakers (East Region): The Big Ten champs (29-5) play either Texas Southern and Farleigh Dickinson on Friday.
Other teams that are popular picks to win the NCAA championship are: Arizona, the No. 2 seed in the South Region; Texas, the No. 2 seed in the Midwest Region; and UCLA, the No. 2 seed in the West Regional.
March Madness Cinderella picks: Popular underdog picks for NCAA Tournament
Part of the appeal of March Madness is the nation falling in love with a little-known program. New Jersey bettors know this well, with in-state Saint Peter’s making a run to the 2022 Elite Eight.
Here’s a look at the popular Cinderella picks for the 2023 NCAA Tournament.
Furman Paladins (South Region): Furman (27-7) drew Virginia (25-7), the fourth seed, and should be among the popular upset picks in the first round. In fact, CBS expert Seth Davis predicted Furman to knock off the Cavaliers.
Drake Bulldogs (Midwest Region): The 12th-seeded Bulldogs (27-7), led by the Missouri Valley’s top player in Tucker DeVries, have been hot lately and play fifth-seeded Miami (25-7) on Friday in the Midwest Region. Davis picked Drake to advance to the Sweet 16.
Iona Gaels (West Region): Rick Pitino and Iona (27-7) are a team that no higher seeds want to see. The MAAC champs are the No. 13 seed against fourth-seeded UConn (25-8).
How does March Madness betting work?
Following the announcement of the 68-team field on Selection Sunday, oddsmakers get to work generating betting lines for a variety of March Madness markets, beginning with the four “First Four” games and the 32 first-round matchups.
Once the bracket is released, sportsbooks will also have plenty of futures betting options which may include:
- NCAA Tournament winner
- To Reach Sweet 16
- To Reach Elite 8
- To Reach Final Four
Bettors can wager on a team to reach the Final Four or win the championship ahead of Selection Sunday as well, but the release of the bracket solidifies each team’s potential path and causes a dramatic shift in odds.
2023 March Madness odds: How to bet on March Madness
March Madness odds include money lines, point spreads, totals (over/under), and props for each and every game. Here’s how each one works:
- Moneyline: Simply betting on which team will win the game. Negative odds indicate a favorite while poisitive odds point to the underdog.
- Point Spread: Includes betting on a team to win or lose by a specific amount. It levels out the playing field from a betting perspective compared to moneylines, as spreads are equal on both sides.
- Totals: Involve simply picking whether the combined score goes over or under a predetermined number of points for the entire game.
- Live Betting: Wagering after the game has begun. Live options include the moneyline, spread, and total for NCAA basketball.
- Props: Wagers on in-game events tied to the game, a specific team, or individual players.
- Bracket pools: Select your winner for every game before the tournament begins, racking up points for each selection. The pool member with the most points wins the tournament and the associated prize.
2023 March Madness strategy: NCAA Tournament betting tips
There are a variety of March Madness betting strategies to employ, but here are some tips to keep in mind ahead of the 2023 NCAA Tournament:
March Madness Strategy #1: Bet on the top seeds to win
By the time we get to early April, the cream normally rises to the top and the end result is usually a 1 through 3 seed winning the whole thing.
Since the tournament expanded in 1985, 90 percent of champions have been a No. 1, 2, or 3 seed, so pick accordingly when it comes to placing futures bets or filling out a bracket.
History tends to repeat itself, especially when it comes to top seeds winning the big dance. You’d have to go back to UConn in 2014 (No. 7 seed) to find any result outside the top three.
March Madness Strategy #2: Expect early-round upsets
March Madness is known for upsets, particularly in the opening weekend, which covers rounds one and two. This is to say, don’t exclusively back favorites.
Underdogs are live, both against the spread and on the moneyline, and there’s tons of betting value.
When you think about it, most NCAA Tournament bettors are not watching all season and they revert to favorites and big-name schools.
The key is to look for reverse line movement, which happens when the line moves against the side the public is on. It’s usually an indication that sharp (professional) bettors are on the opposite side, and that’s where you’d rather be.
This is an unpredictable single-elimination format and even though we’ve only seen massive upsets like a No. 16 beating a No. 1 seed just once, there are No. 2, 3, 4, and 5 seeds regularly going down.
March Madness Strategy #3: Back teams that play well away from home
Most college basketball programs dominate at home, but this tournament is played at neutral sites and teams need to have success away from their own gym to win this event.
While these aren’t true road games either, teams that can’t play well away from their home floor may struggle in the unfamiliar territory of a tournament game.
March Madness Strategy #4: Who’s hot?
The conference tournaments ahead of March Madness can say a lot about a team.
For the smaller schools, these teams are obviously on a run since they earned a berth from a one-bid league. But for the at-large bids, there are certainly questions.
Are its star players playing well? Can they handle the pressure? How has this team performed against other top-tier teams this season? Do they have six more wins in them?
These (and more) are all questions to consider when you’re trying to nail down which team can catch fire and make a run to cut down the nets.
March Madness Strategy #5: Pace yourself
The first rounds may be exciting, but they are also unpredictable.
Upset-hungry underdogs can throw a wrench into game plans and young players can show nerves that lead to shocking results.
The point being that nothing is guaranteed and you don’t want to lose your whole bankroll for a three-week event in a couple of days.
While it’s fun to bet on the early rounds, there are 32 and then 16 games in the opening weekend.
That’s a ton of betting options, and you’re going to have to pick and choose where the best opportunities lie.
2023 March Madness betting: NCAA Tournament FAQs
When is March Madness?
The 2023 NCAA Tournament, as most think of it, begins on Thursday, March 16 with the first round following First Four games on March 14 and 15. The Final Four is on April 1 and the championship is April 3.
Can you bet on March Madness?
Yes, you can. You need to be in a legal betting state to wager on the games, but nearly any state with legal sports betting will offer lines for March Madness.
Where can I bet on NCAA basketball games?
You can bet on college basketball at a variety of betting sites, including top New Jersey sportsbooks such as:
How do you bet on March Madness brackets?
You can enter a pool with your friends and family, but you can also head to sites like DraftKings Sportsbook and fill out a free bracket of your own.
If you or a loved one has questions or needs to talk to a professional about gambling, call 1-800-GAMBLER or visit 1800gambler.net for more information.
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