When it comes to betting events in North America, nothing beats March Madness.
What about the Super Bowl, you ask? Sure, billions of eyeballs across the globe are glued to the NFL championship game every year, whether it’s to sweat out bets they’ve got on the game, cheer for their props and Super Bowl squares, or simply to see which team will be crowned champion of pro football.
But if we’re talking total entertainment value, the Super Bowl’s got nothing on the NCAA Tournament. That’s because, unlike one football game that is played in a four-hour span, March Madness is spread out over several weeks. From the chaotic first few days when there’s a 68-team field until the champion cuts down the net three weeks later, the NCAA Tournament is non-stop drama, Cinderella stories and the emergence of tomorrow’s superstars.
You’ve probably been one of the zillions of people who have filled out a March Madness bracket before, or maybe you’ve entered a few office pools. But if you’ve never actually bet money on the NCAA Tournament, you don’t know what you’re missing. Here are five reasons you’ll want to give March Madness betting a try this spring.
Remember how our parents would say we shouldn’t just do something because everyone else is doing it? They’d point out that if someone jumped off a cliff, it doesn’t make sense for us to do it too. That’s true, but there are still times when there’s nothing wrong with joining in on all the fun everyone else is having.
Although the legalization of sports betting in the United States has made gambling more acceptable, there’s still a bit of a stigma out there that makes us talk about it in hushed tones. There aren’t many loud water cooler conversations at work about a February NBA game that got backdoored on a last-second bucket or a spring training baseball game that went Over thanks to a questionable pitching change.
March Madness is one of those times of the year, however, when everyone’s talking about sports betting.
Are on the tips of everyone’s tongue as they’re swapping stories about how their March Madness picks are going. Just like when everyone else has a bet on the Super Bowl, you don’t want to be the one on the sidelines who don’t have any skin in the game.
The NCAA Tournament likes to market itself as wall-to-wall buzzer beaters and huge underdog stories. But while it’s true that we see a lot of dramatic endings in March Madness, there’s a lot more games that are decided by wide amounts, including college basketball heavyweights blowing out smaller schools that don’t have the firepower to compete.
The great thing about betting on March Madness is that it makes every game more exciting — even the blowouts. You’re not going to turn away from a 70-40 game in the second half if you’re laying 31 points with the favorite. And even if one team holds a 10-point lead in the final minute, you’re going to stay on the edge of your seat if you need just a couple of more points to cash your bet on the Over.
After the first Thursday and Friday of the tournament (when there’s 16 games on each day), things start to settle down and March Madness isn’t nearly as exciting if you don’t have action on the games. By betting on single games in the NCAA Tournament, you’ll make sure the tournament is still riveting long after your bracket is crumpled up and in the trash.
Before the dawn of the Internet, it wasn’t easy at all to bet on sports. You either needed to board a plane to Nevada and bet on the games in one of the glitzy Vegas casinos, or you needed to deal with a shady back-alley bookmaker. Neither were great options, whether you were a small recreational player simply looking for some action on a game (it’s hard to justify spending $1,000 for a trip to Vegas when you just want to place a few $10 bets) or a big gambler who might end up getting into trouble owing money to the wrong people.
Nowadays, however, getting a bet down on March Madness or any other sports really couldn’t be any easier. All you need to have is Internet access and a credit card. Even if you’ve never placed a bet online in your life, it just takes a few minutes to sign up at a sports betting site, make a deposit and make your first wager.
Don’t do it too quickly, however. With the growth of popularity in sports betting lately, we’re seeing a lot of betting sites spring up online, all of them looking to get a piece of the action.
Before you sign up for an account with one of them and send them your money, you’ll want to make sure the site you’re using is safe, reliable, user-friendly, offers the types of bets you want to make and so on. If you’re considering joining a sports betting site but aren’t sure which are the best, be sure to check our reviews. With decades of experience in the betting industry, our experts know from personal experience which sites you can trust and which ones you should avoid.
It’s not easy to make money betting on sports, but it’s definitely possible. If you’re betting point spreads and totals at -110 odds (the standard juice on those types of bets, although some betting sites offer even better odds than that), you only need to win 53% of your wagers in order to turn a profit. In fact, if you were able to win 55% of your wagers long-term and had a big enough bankroll to consistently make four-figure bets, you could consider making sports betting your full-time job.
My point isn’t that you should quit your job tomorrow, invest all of your life savings into an online betting account and make huge bets on March Madness to pay the mortgage next month. Hitting 55% of your bets is harder than it sounds, and there’s probably a lot you need to learn about basketball handicapping, all the teams involved and even money management before you start risking huge amounts betting on the NCAA Tournament. (By the way, we’ve got sections on this site that offer betting advice every day and also give suggestions on what to look for in basketball handicapping.)
No, my point is that there aren’t many entertainment options out there in which you can break even, let alone make a few bucks. When you’re going to a concert or out to dinner, there’s a fixed cost that you don’t have a chance of getting back. But when you bet on things like March Madness, you’re going to be entertained just as much as you would if you went out on the town, and you might even make a little bit of money as well.
One final reason you should bet on March Madness is all of the different options that are available for gamblers, meaning that you’re virtually guaranteed to find a way that suits your preference, style, and ability.
Want to bet the traditional point spreads and Over/Unders? Every betting site offers those. More interested in niche markets like Team Totals or props? BetOnline, MyBookie and other sportsbooks have a ton of options.
Like to see some of the action before getting your bets down? Almost all betting sides offer live betting odds, or you can always place a second-half bet instead. Or if you love filling out a bracket and simply want to pick which team will win it all, you can bet the championship futures! All of this is a lot more appealing than having to beat out a huge field of players to win a bracket contest.
If you’re a non-gambling basketball fan that doesn’t think March Madness could possibly be any more exciting, think again.
Betting money on the games allows you to be part of the fun everyone else is having, and it adds suspense to even the most lopsided of games. It couldn’t be easier to try in today’s Internet age, you can win money and there’s no shortage of ways to bet that fit your style.
You won’t even need to risk much to get started. At this time of year, many betting sites are offering big sign-up bonuses for new players who might want to give March Madness betting a try. Check out our reviews of the best NCAA Tournament betting sites, join a sportsbook that fits your style and take your best shot!