Best March Madness Betting Strategies

March Madness is one of America's greatest sporting institutions. Each year, 68 of the best college basketball programs in the nation come together and fight it out to determine the NCAA National Champions.

March Madness betting can be overwhelming with so many teams all vying for the top title in NCAA Basketball. Let’s face it, most of us don’t watch all of the teams competing throughout the season, but we still want to win our wagers. How do we do that? Well, following's’ tips for wagering on March Madness is your best bet.

Consider momentum 

With March Madness being a knockout tournament, a school’s recent form is critical to its hopes of progressing. Teams who have performed well in their conference tournaments should be strongly considered in the early days of the tournament. 

The conference tourney winner isn’t always the best bet though. Sometimes it is the team who have performed consistently but flown under the radar. This is where you should put great stock in the eye test, not just what the win-loss column says. 

Don’t count out class 

With that being said, a powerhouse basketball school shouldn’t be dismissed, even if their form isn’t fantastic. Like the Golden State Warriors dynasty or the Kansas City Chiefs, elite Power Five schools can get bored during the regular season, particularly if they are far better than the competition. 

Experts will tell you that you can’t turn form on and off like a switch, but there are many cases where top-level players will move their game up a gear and completely take over a basketball game. We’ve seen LeBron James do it so many times once the NBA postseason arrives.

We mustn’t forget these kids are 18-22 years old. Complacency exists even in the pro sports, so it’s very easy to understand how traditional powers like Villanova, Gonzaga, Duke and Kentucky can get bored before March arrives. 

Bet the #1 seed to make the Elite 8 

Okay, it’s not an exact science but judging by recent history this is as close to a lock as you will get when betting on March Madness. 

Since 2014, there has only been two top-ranked teams to fall before the Sweet 16 stage — UNC, who were knocked out by a white-hot Auburn team, and Illinois, who were shocked by Loyola-Chicago in the second round in 2021's tournament.

When it comes to wagering on the favorite in the Elite 8, we’d warn you ever so slightly. Since 2012, #1 seeds have only won 12 times from 22 to advance into the Final Four.

Avoid CBB Royalty for the Final Four 

This may be seen as CBB bias, but the blue bloods of NCAA Basketball are far from the playoff powers they once were. Two of College Basketball’s most hated teams, Duke and North Carolina, have reached the most Final Fours — 12 and 11 respectively — since 1985. 

However both have struggled to live up to their enormous reputations and history in more recent years. Both schools possess undeniably brilliant players and staff and have the potential to go all the way, but both could be upset yet again. Given the betting public for March Madness are mostly casual fans at best, you should dig a little deeper than a school’s prestige before wagering. 

Our analytics driven probabilities are your best friend for every March Madness game, so be sure to keep our College Basketball Hub on lock.

Duke’s past five March Madness results:

  • 2021: Did Not Qualify
  • 2019: Elite Eight
  • 2018: Elite Eight
  • 2017: Round of 32
  • 2016: Sweet Sixteen 

UNC’s past five March Madness results:

  • 2021: First Round
  • 2019: First Four
  • 2018: Round of 32 
  • 2017: Champions 
  • 2016: Runner Up

Now you’re well-prepared to bet on March Madness, so what’s next?

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