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.

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March 31, 2019 11:00 pm March Madness Betting - Top 25 Teams
Teams Odds $100 Wins
1. Duke
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+450$450
2. Kentucky
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+500$500
3. Kansas
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+750$750
4. Gonzaga
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+800$800
5. Nevada
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+800$800
6. Villanova
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+1200$1200
7. North Carolina
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+1200$1200
8. Virginia
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+2200$2200
9. Michigan State
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+2800$2800
10. Michigan
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+3500$3500
11. Oregon
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+4000$4000
12. Tennessee
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+4000$4000
13. Auburn
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+5000$5000
14. West Virginia
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+5000$5000
15. UCLA
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+5000$5000
16. Indiana
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+5000$5000
17. Syracuse
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+5500$5500
18. Florida
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+6000$6000
19. Purdue
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+6000$6000
20. Wichita State
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+6000$6000
21. Texas Tech
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+7000$7000
22. Arizona
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+8500$8500
23. Arizona State
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+9000$9000
24. Cincinnati
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+9000$9000
25. Ohio State
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+9000$9000
Odds feed last modified: 09/24/2018 21:40:13 Eastern

Chapters

  1. Bracket Contests Suck
  2. Best Bets
  3. Best Buzzer Beaters Video
  4. Betting Tips
  5. History
  6. Tables/Reference
  7. Live March Madness Odds – Tap Here
2019 March Madness Schedule
Event Site 1st Game
Date
Selection Sunday TBS 6:00PM ET
Live Stream
TBD

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, 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. Read more here.

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

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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?

  • Yes +120
  • No -160

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.

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

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

No #1 seed has ever lost the first round. A 4 team money line 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 money lines for these games.

A #1 and #2 seed 8 team parlay will 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 searching 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 money line 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.
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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
YearWinning TeamRunner UpFinal FourFinal Four
2018Villanova #1Michigan #3Kansas #1Loyola-Chicago #11
2017N. Carolina #1Gonzaga #1Oregon #3South Carolina #7
2016Villanova #2N. Carolina #1Oklahoma #2Syracuse #10
2015Duke #1Wisconsin #1Kentucky #1Michigan St. #7
2014Connecticut #7Kentucky #8Florida #1Wisconsin #2
2013Louisville #1Michigan #4Wichita St. #9Syracuse #4
2012Kentucky #1Kansas #2Louisville #4Ohio St. #2
2011UConn #3Butler #8Kentucky #4VCU #11
2010Duke #1Butler #5West Virginia #2Michigan St. #5
2009N. Carolina #1Michigan St. #2Villanova #3UConn #1
2008Kansas #1Memphis #1N. Carolina #1UCLA #1
2007Florida #1Ohio St. #1UCLA #2Georgetown #2
2006Florida #3UCLA #2George Mason #11LSU #4
2005N. Carolina #1Illinois #1Michigan St. #5Louisville #4
2004UConn #2Ga. Tech #3Duke #1Oklahoma St. #2
2003Syracuse #3Kansas #2Texas #1Marquette #3
2002Maryland #1Indiana #5Kansas #1Oklahoma #2
2001Duke #1Arizona #2Maryland #3Michigan St. #1
2000Michigan St. #1Florida #5Wisconsin #8N. Carolina #8
1999UConn #1Duke #1Ohio St. #4Michigan St. #1
1998Kentucky #2Utah #3Stanford #3N. Carolina #1
1997Arizona #4Kentucky #1N. Carolina #1Minnesota #1
1996Kentucky #1Syracuse #4Umass #1Miss. St. #5
1995UCLA #1Arkansas #2Oklahoma St. #4N. Carolina #2
1994Arkansas #1Duke #2Arizona #2Florida #3
1993N. Carolina #1Michigan #1Kansas #2Kentucky #1
1992Duke #1Michigan #6Indiana #2Cincinnati #4
1991Duke #1Kansas #3UNLV #1N. Carolina #2
1990UNLV #1Duke #3Georgia Tech #4Arkansas #4
1989Michigan #3Seton Hall #3Illinois #1Duke #2
1988Kansas #6Oklahoma #1Duke #2Arizona #1
1987Indiana #1Syracuse #2UNLV #1Providence #6
1986Louisville #2Duke #1LSU #11Kansas #1
1985Villanova #8Georgetown #1Memphis St. #2St. John's #1
1984Georgetown #1Houston #2Kentucky #1Virginia #7
1983N.C. State #6Houston #1Louisville #1Georgia #4
1982N. Carolina #1Georgetown #1Houston #6Louisville #3
1981Indiana #3N. Carolina #2Virginia #1LSU #1
1980Louisville #2UCLA #8Purdue #6Iowa #5
1979Michigan St. #2Indiana St. #1DePaul #2Pennsylvania #9
1978KentuckyDukeArkansasNotre Dame
1977MarquetteN. CarolinaUNLVUNC-Charlotte
1976IndianaMichiganUCLARutgers
1975UCLAKentuckyLouisvilleSyracuse
1974N.C. St.MarquetteUCLAKansas
1973UCLAMemphis St.IndianaProvidence
1972UCLAFlorida St.N. CarolinaLouisville
1971UCLAVillanovaWestern KentuckyKansas
1970UCLAJacksonvilleNew Mexico St.St. Bonaventure
1969UCLAPurdueDrakeN. Carolina
1968UCLAN. CarolinaOhio St.Houston
1967UCLADaytonHoustonN. Carolina
1966Texas WesternKentuckyDukeUtah
1965UCLAMichiganPrincetonWichita St.
1964UCLADukeMichiganKansas St.
1963Loyola (IL)CincinnatiDukeOregon St.
1962CincinnatiOhio St.Wake ForestUCLA
1961CincinnatiOhio St.St. Joseph's (PA)Utah
1960Ohio St.CaliforniaCincinnatiNYU
1959CaliforniaWest VirginiaCincinnatiLouisville
1958KentuckySeattleTempleKansas St.
1957N. CarolinaKansasSan FranciscoMichigan St.
1956San FranciscoIowaTempleSMU
1955San FranciscoLaSalleColoradoIowa
1954LaSalleBradleyPenn St.USC
1953IndianaKansasWashingtonLSU
1952KansasSt. John'sIllinoisSanta Clara
1951KentuckyKansas St.IllinoisOklahoma St.
1950CCNYBradleyN.C. St.Baylor
1949KentuckyOklahoma St.IllinoisOregon St.
1948KentuckyBaylorHoly CrossKansas St.
1947Holy CrossOklahomaTexasCCNY
1946Oklahoma St.N. CarolinaOhio St.California
1945Oklahoma St.NYUArkansasOhio St.
1944UtahDartmouthIowa St.Ohio St.
1943WyomingGeorgetownDePaulTexas
1942StanfordDartmouthColoradoKentucky
1941WisconsinWashington St.ArkansasPittsburgh
1940IndianaKansasDuquesneUSC
1939OregonOhio St.Oklahoma StVillanova
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NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Seed Performance

Seed Performance Through All Tournament Rounds 1985-2017
(Exs. 93.9% #2 make 2nd Round. 86.4% #1 make Sweet 16)
+ Taps out more Rounds
#R2S16E8F4F2WinOdds
1100.0%86.4%69.7%40.9%24.2%15.2%60.6%
293.9%62.9%46.2%21.2%9.8%3.8%15.2%
384.1%50.8%24.2%11.4%6.8%3.0%12.1%
480.3%47.0%15.9%9.8%2.3%0.8%3.0%
564.4%32.6%6.1%4.5%2.3%0.0%0.0%
662.9%32.6%10.6%2.3%1.5%0.8%3.0%
761.4%18.9%7.6%2.3%0.8%0.8%3.0%
850.8%9.8%6.1%3.8%2.3%0.8%3.0%
949.2%3.8%1.5%0.8%0.0%0.0%0.0%
1038.6%18.2%6.1%0.8%0.0%0.0%0.0%
1137.1%15.2%5.3%2.3%0.0%0.0%0.0%
1235.6%15.2%0.8%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%
1319.7%4.5%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%
1415.9%1.5%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%
156.1%0.8%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%
160.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%
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NCAA D1 Basketball Final Fours by Team

NCAA D1 Basketball Final Fours by Team
TeamFinal Fours
North Carolina20
UCLA18
Kentucky17
Duke16
Kansas15
Ohio State11
Louisville10
Michigan State9
Indiana8
Michigan8
Arkansas6
Cincinnati6
Oklahoma State6
Syracuse6
Villanova6
Connecticut5
Florida5
Georgetown5
Houston5
Illinois5
Oklahoma5
Arizona4
Kansas State4
LSU4
UNLV4
Utah4
Wisconsin4
California3
Iowa3
Marquette3
Memphis3
NC State3
San Francisco3
Texas3
Baylor2
Bradley2
Butler2
CCNY2
Colorado2
Dartmouth2
DePaul2
Georgia Tech2
Holy Cross2
LaSalle2
Loyola-Chicago2
Maryland2
NYU2
Oregon2
Oregon State2
Providence2
Purdue2
St. John's2
Stanford2
Temple2
USC2
Virginia2
West Virginia2
Wichita State2
Charlotte1
Dayton1
Drake1
Duquesne1
Florida State1
George Mason1
Georgia1
Gonzaga1
Indiana State1
Iowa State1
Jacksonville1
Massachusetts1
Minnesota1
Mississippi State1
New Mexico State1
Notre Dame1
Penn State1
Pennsylvania1
Pittsburgh1
Princeton1
Rutgers1
Saint Joseph's1
Santa Clara1
Seattle1
Seton Hall1
SMU1
South Carolina1
St. Bonaventure1
UTEP1
VCU1
Wake Forest1
Washington1
Washington State1
Western Kentucky1
Wyoming1

NCAA D1 Basketball Championships by Team

NCAA D1 Basketball Championships by Team
TeamChampionships
UCLA11
Kentucky8
North Carolina6
Duke5
Indiana5
Connecticut4
Kansas3
Louisville3
Villanova3
Cincinnati2
Florida2
Michigan State2
NC State2
Oklahoma State2
San Francisco2
Arizona1
Arkansas1
California1
CCNY1
Georgetown1
Holy Cross1
LaSalle1
Loyola-Chicago1
Marquette1
Maryland1
Michigan1
Ohio State1
Oregon1
Stanford1
Syracuse1
UNLV1
Utah1
UTEP1
Wisconsin1
Wyoming1

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://www.sportsbookreview.com/picks/ncaa-basketball/march-madness-betting-101-why-you-should-fade-public/70095
https://www.sportsbookreview.com/forum/handicapper-think-tank/64349-fading-public-march-madness.html
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