How to Bet on March Madness

Current odds, favorites and how to bet online for the 2022 National Title

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March Madness is in the books for 2022. The NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament lived up to expectations and then some with plenty of surprises and upsets along the way. In the end, it was Kansas with a thrilling come from behind win over North Carolina to take the title.

As one of the biggest sporting events of the year, it’s never too early to look ahead to the next edition, what might happen, and how to wager on the action. Here are the latest March Madness odds along with information on where you can legally and safely bet on this year’s tournament.

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Contents


2022 March Madness odds

No matter how you want to bet on March Madness, the live odds feed below is a great tool to lean on. The tournament brings in plenty of betting action, which translates into constant movement on the odds board. We pull together the latest real-time numbers from top legal sportsbooks across the industry. You can see how it works below.

March Madness Futures Odds 2023: Familiar Names At The Top of the Board

As we look ahead to March Madness 2023, the top of the futures odds board is filled with familiar names. Here’s a look at the current top 10 as of this writing.

TeamCurrent OddsOpening Odds
Duke+900+900
North Carolina+1100+1100
Kansas +1200+1200
Kentucky+1200+1200
Arkansas+1400+1400
Gonzaga+1400+1400
Houston+1600+1600
UCLA+1600+1600
Arizona+1800+1800
Villanova+1800+1800

A lot can happen between now and Selection Sunday, but futures odds still give us a chance to look ahead and forecast the clubs that could be n the running. All of the Final Four teams from 2022 – Duke, North Carolina, Kansas, and Villanova – are in the current top 10, but we’ll have to wait and see if any can make a return trip.

Odds table was last updated on April 5, 2022. March Madness odds provided by TheLines.

Where and how to bet on March Madness

How to bet on March Madness OnlineYou can bet on March Madness at DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, PointsBet or BetRivers. All you need to do is live in a legal betting state and download the sportsbook app. From there, create a new sportsbook account, enter your personal details and claim the March Madness promo. From there, you’ll be ready to bet on the Big Dance.

1. DraftKings Sportsbook

DraftKings’ slick platform with lots of bells and whistles has been a hit with users. College basketball bettors will find an intuitive platform that makes it easy to browse potential wagers. DraftKings Sportsbook is available in the following states: AZ, CO, CT, IL, IN, IA, KS, LA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, PA, TN, VA, WV & WY

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2. FanDuel Sportsbook

The FanDuel platform is clean and easy to use while still having lots of features packed in. During March Madness, building multi-leg wagers is simple, with offerings like same-game parlays just a click away. The FanDuel app is available in the following states: AZ, CO, CT, IL, IN, IA, KS, LA, MI, NJ, NY, PA, TN, VA, WV & WY

Fanduel March Madness Promo: Bet $5, get $150 in site credits regardless if your bet wins or loses

3. BetMGM Sportsbook

The famous MGM name has helped this sportsbook gain attention, but users find there’s more to see. This includes competitive odds and lines for all available college basketball games, as well as a variety of bets as the tournament plays out. BetMGM Sports is available in the following states: AZ, CO, DC, IL, IN, IA, KS, LA, MI, MS, NJ, NV, NY, PA, TN, VA, WV & WY

BetMGM March Madness Promo: Bet $10, win $200 if any team hits a 3-pointer

4. PointsBet Sportsbook

PointsBet was an unknown quantity on our shores prior to entering the US market in 2019. That’s no longer the case. It has become a popular destination for bettors in several states. Careful attention to lines and the intriguing PointsBetting feature have helped it stand out. PointsBet Sportsbook is available in the following states: CO, IL, IN, IA, KS, LA, MI, NJ, NY, PA, VA & WV.

PointsBet March Madness Promo: Up to $2,000 risk-free bets promos, plus an extra $100 in free bets

5. BetRivers Sportsbook

BetRivers offers a solid platform that looks appealing and is easy to use. The company also features a solid rewards program that lets you earn points for placing wagers. BetRivers app is available in the following states: AZ, CO, IL, IN, IA, LA, MI, NJ, NY, PA, VA & WV.

Yes. In the below jurisdictions, you’ll find a combination of online, mobile and retail betting options, but not all three are available in each spot. For example, there are no brick-and-mortar shops for legal betting in Tennessee and Virginia.

Where you can legally betLegal ageLaunch date
Colorado Sportsbooks21May 2020
Illinois Sportsbooks21June 2020
Indiana Sportsbooks21October 2019
Iowa Sportsbooks21August 2019
Michigan Sportsbooks21January 2021
Nevada Sportsbooks212010
New Hampshire Sportsbooks18December 2019
New Jersey Sportsbooks21August 2018
New York Sportsbooks21January 2022
Oregon Sportsbooks21October 2019
Pennsylvania Sportsbooks21May 2019
Rhode Island Sportsbooks18September 2019
Tennessee Sportsbooks21November 2020
Virginia Sportsbooks21January 2021
Washington, DC Sportsbooks18June 2020
West Virginia Sportsbooks21August 2019
Wyoming Sportsbooks18September 2021

A few other states have legalized in-person betting for now but have yet to pass online and mobile betting legislation.

  • Arkansas
  • Mississippi
  • Montana
  • New Mexico

There are a number of other states that are working through legislation, and others that at least have their sights set on doing the same. The number of legal states has risen dramatically in a short period of time. Moving forward, the list will likely continue to grow with each passing year.

Rules and regulations for March Madness betting

States can set their own rules for sports betting. That means there’s not complete uniformity in the legal states. All states have prohibitions in place to prevent those with close ties to a sport from wagering on it. Some states, however, have set the legal sports betting age at 18 while most have it at 21.

Which states have rules around college betting?

Rules for wagering on college sports is one area with notable differences. There are no major restrictions in place in Indiana, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia, but many other states do have restrictions.

  • Colorado: No prop bets on college games.
  • Illinois: Betting on in-state college teams only in-person.
  • Iowa: No prop bets on individual college athletes.
  • New Hampshire: No prop bets on in-state college teams.
  • New Jersey: No betting on in-state college teams or on any college games taking place in the state.
  • Oregon: Wagering on college sports is only available in person.
  • Rhode Island: No betting on in-state college teams or on any college games taking place in the state.
  • Tennessee: No live betting on college games.
  • Virginia: No betting on in-state college teams. No live betting or props on college sports.
  • Washington, DC: No betting on any college games taking place in the district.

Beyond the actual state regulations, all legal sportsbooks have their own house rules in place. The rules cover what bettors need to know about the settlement and placement of bets, as well as things that can impact the proceedings. For March Madness and college hoops, here are a few points of note.

  • If the tournament is canceled, sportsbooks will void and refund all futures bets.
  • Pregame bets are live once the game tips off. They’ll remain action in the event of a slight delay, but a complete postponement or cancellation would lead to voids. Changes to previously announced locations will not impact wagers.
  • Settlement of all wagers is based on official data and statistics. The sportsbook will not entertain disputes on results that you disagree with, such as an outcome related to a specific officiating call.

You’ll want to have a full understanding of the rules in your state, and the same holds true for the legal sportsbooks where you choose to play. The majority of the top sites have dedicated sections for house rules, while others may include information in the help or FAQ sections.

How March Madness betting works

You can bet on the winner of March Madness nearly year-round thanks to the futures market. Additional options include betting on teams to make the Elite Eight or Final Four.

For now, let’s focus on how you can bet on each individual game as the tournament plays out. From the First Four to the national title tilt, there are 67 games spread across three weeks. The average listing will look something like this:

Baylor+188+5 (-110)Over 160 (-110)
Gonzaga-245-5 (-110)Under 160 (-110)

If you look next to the two team names, the default listing features the odds and lines for three main bets: the moneyline, point spread and total. The negative odds indicate the favorite, while positive numbers point out the underdog. In our example, Gonzaga is favored on the moneyline and a five-point favorite on the spread in a game with a projected total of 160 points.

Spreads and totals have the number set by oddsmakers, in this case 5 and 160 points, followed by the actual odds for the wager, which are -110 across the board for our example. Here are the basics for all three wagers.

  • Moneyline: Pick the side you think will be the winner.
  • Point spread: Choose the favorite minus the spread or the underdog plus the spread.
  • Totals: Bet whether the total score will be over or under the sportsbook’s line.

Live betting on March Madness

Also known as in-game betting, live betting affords the chance to hedge your initial position if a game breaks differently than you were expecting, or you can just wager on a standalone basis. Offerings will vary but may include the following:

  • Updated odds and lines on standard pregame bets.
  • Winners and totals for the first or second half.
  • Various prop-type scenarios.

If you like staying = engaged as a game plays out, then live betting could be an area to explore. For those who prefer to place their wagers and then relax and enjoy the game, this style of betting might not be for you.

March Madness prop betting

Prop betting is another popular item on the wagering menu. These are bets that involve things that might or might not happen during a contest or at its conclusion. As mentioned earlier, individual states might have restrictions in place for college props, so be sure to review the rules in your area. Here are some examples of props you might see:

  • Alternative spreads and totals.
  • Ranges of points for margin of victory.
  • Team performance by half or for the game as a whole.

Props on college athletes aren’t available everywhere, so the options can be scant in comparison to what you would find for an NBA game. When checking the game listings at online sportsbooks, you can find the available props by clicking on the individual contests.

How the March Madness futures market works

Odds for the winner of the next national championship will come out soon after the tournament is over. The board typically appears in descending order with favorites on top. The odds for a few favorites might look like this:

  • Villanova +700
  • Gonzaga +800
  • UCLA +1000
  • Michigan +1200

After the initial release, bets will begin coming in. The numbers will move in response to betting action. The teams that see a lot of interest can see their odds shorten, while the opposite can happen for squads that don’t attract as much attention. This will continue throughout the season as the betting market develops.

Winning futures bets can result in large returns. For example, a $100 winning bet on UCLA at odds of +1000 would result in a profit of $1,000. You can make one or multiple wagers on who will win, but remember that the bets require a long-term view as the sportsbook won’t settle them until the result is final.

Beyond the team to win it all, there will be other futures bets you can place on March Madness. Some will come out early, while others won’t appear until the bracket is finalized. As always, it’s wise to shop around for prices and markets. Depending on the sportsbook, you might find better odds for the bets you want to place.

March Madness brackets

In the world of sports, one of the biggest highlights of the early part of the year is the official unveiling of the March Madness bracket. The NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee sets the field. Thirty-six teams receive automatic bids for winning their conferences, while 32 spots go to at-large schools for a total of 68 teams.

When setting the field, the committee will consider the overall record, the strength of schedule, and various other performance metrics and stats. Determining which teams qualify is only part of the job. The committee also seeds the teams and sets the matchups. The bracket will have four regions: East, South, Midwest, and West.

Each region will have 16 teams, seeded from 1-16. The committee sets 60 seeds prior to release, while the final spots go to the winners of the First Four games. The tournament is single elimination. Here’s how that translates into games for each round.

  • First Four: Four games
  • First round: 32 games
  • Second round: 16 games
  • Sweet Sixteen: Eight games
  • Elite Eight: Four games
  • Final Four: Two games
  • National championship: One game

All told, it’s 67 games from start to finish. The committee does the heavy lifting in advance of the tournament, and there is inevitably a good amount of debate about which teams were snubbed for selection.

The odds of picking a perfect bracket correctly are 1 in 9.223 quintillion, according to the NCAA.

When is the 2023 NCAA Basketball Tournament?

The 2023 edition of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament is scheduled to begin on March 14 and wrap up on April 3. In between, it’ll be three weeks of action. Here are the key dates.

  • Selection Sunday: March 12
  • First Four: March 14-15
  • First and second rounds: March 16-19
  • Regionals: March 23-26
  • Final Four: April 1
  • National championship: April 3

NRG Stadium in Houston is the host for the next Final Four and title game. CBS and Turner Sports will be the broadcast home for the tournament, with games on CBS, TNT, TBS, and truTV, as well as on their digital platforms.

Which teams have performed the best at March Madness?

Each college basketball season is a separate event. That said, some programs have fantastic overall track records at March Madness. Here are the five clubs that have played the most games in the annual tournament:

  • Kentucky: 131-54 in 185 games
  • North Carolina: 126-47 in 173 games
  • Kansas: 108-47 in 155 games
  • Duke: 115-39 in 154 games
  • UCLA: 106-42 in 148 games

The same five teams also top the charts in a number of other categories surrounding March Madness:

  • Tournament appearances: Kentucky, 57
  • Consecutive tournaments: Kansas, 32 from 1990-present
  • Most Final Four appearances: North Carolina, 21
  • Most NCAA championships: UCLA, 11, last in 1995

While the past is no guarantee of future success, there’s a good chance that the programs that have lengthy March Madness resumes will continue adding lines as we move forward. Kentucky, Duke, and North Carolina have all won titles over the past decade, while Kansas is the defending champion.

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