Bet Now

The NCAA Tournament is finally here, and a slew of games tip off on Thursday and Friday. If you’re new to betting, here’s a guide on how you can get in on the madness.


Types of Bets

The most common bet to make is a single wager, which can be a moneyline, a spread or a total bet. With moneylines, you’re predicting who will win the game outright, whereas with spreads, a margin of victory is involved. For example, if a team is –2.5 points, that means they need to win by three or more for you to win. Alternatively, if you bet on a team with +2.5 odds, the team can lose by a maximum of two points, and you’ll still win your bet.

If you’re not sure who’ll win the game, you can bet on totals, which is the combined score of both teams. The total is a prediction, and you bet if the total score will go over the prediction or under the prediction. If you think the teams will play a high-scoring game, you bet the over. If you think the game will be more defensive, you bet the under.

For those who prefer some risk along with plenty of reward, look into parlays. When you parlay bets, you tie multiple predictions together. All of them have to win for you to win your bet, and if they do, your payout is bigger than if you had made individual bets.

Finally, live betting might be the most exciting way to get in on March Madness. There’s no pressure to make a decision before tip-off; you can bet on the action as it’s happening. If you think an underdog is going to make a big comeback or a favourite is going to roll, then bet live; you’ll feel like your part of the action.


First-Round Strategies

The Tournament is generally unpredictable, but we do have some good trends to work with. Start with the 12-5 matchup. Historically, No. 12 seeds have won this matchup 35.9% of the time. The same percentage can be attributed to the 11 vs. 6 matchup, as No. 11 seeds have won 46 of 128 matchups since 1985.

While a No. 16 seed has never beat a No. 1 seed, No. 15 seeds win their first game 6.25% of the time. The probabilities increase as you move to No. 14 seeds, which cash in 16.4% of the time, and No. 13 seeds, which win their first game 20.3% of the time.

The odds of upset increase with spreads. No. 15 seeds with at least 18 points are on a 7-1 ATS streak, and there are three of them this season: Troy (+20), Northern Kentucky (+20) and Jacksonville State (+20). As for No. 14 seeds who’ve received at least 12 points, they’re 6-2 ATS in the last three seasons. Teams like Kent State (+18.5), Florida Gulf Coast (+12) and New Mexico State (+12) are in that range this season.


Picking a Winner

If you’re betting the futures, here’s something to keep in mind: No. 1 seeds have won seven of the last 10 tournaments. A No. 1, No. 2 or No. 3 seed has won 18 of the last 19 tournaments. The cream ultimately rises to the top.