Bracket pools used to be the highlight of March Madness. Make your predictions for each game, toss a few bucks into a community pot, and cross your fingers that you’re correct. There’s no point in caring if you burn out early.
Sports betting lets you invest emotionally (and financially) in whatever basketball game you choose, whether it’s during the regular season, Championship Week, or the NCAA Championship’s later rounds when your predictions are not looking so great.
Numerous punters have found methods to bet on games while sports betting was illegal in the United States, but the general legalization has resulted in its popularity booming.
A decade ago, the conversation revolved around brackets mostly. Now, things have built to such a fervor that people are wagering on almost every college game.
The Proof is in the Numbers
A look at any college basketball game lines would be proof of that. Sports bettors were in a rush to use online sportsbooks to make their bets for conference tournaments, where the majority of the handle was headlined by Kansas being the favorite to win the Big 12, Duke the favorite to win the ACC Tournament, Purdue looking good for the Big Ten and Villanova as the top pick for the Big East.
Types of Bets for College Basketball
College basketball is not, by and large, as sophisticated as the NBA overall, but most especially when it comes to college hoops betting. There is very little certainty in general about who is going to play in which teams, and too many teams that compete, so it’s not as manageable as the pro leagues.
So the market is a bit more restricted than that of the NBA. There still are money lines, spreads, totals, and future bets, but no real options when it comes to Same Game Parlays or props bets. That will only be seen in big tournaments and games.
How College Basketball Season is Arranged
In collegiate basketball, the regular season usually begins in November. Various tournaments and non-conference events take up the first part of the schedule. Conference play begins in earnest in January.
In Division 1, there are 32 conferences with more than 350 institutions competing. Conferences arrange events so as to declare a winner at the end of the regular season. In addition to bragging rights, the tournament winners are guaranteed a spot in March Madness.
NCAA basketball, like college football, has a distinct structure. Huge schools dominate the top conferences, which are followed by those at the semi level and a large number of smaller teams as well.
In terms of games, teams may expect to play between 25 and 35 games throughout the regular season. Individual teams will play an average of two times per week during the season, despite the fact that there are games every day.
March Madness Betting
After the conference tournaments are over, it’s time for one of the year’s biggest betting events. The NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament, sometimes known as March Madness, generates a significant amount of revenue for sportsbooks.
The winners of the conference tournaments qualify, while 36 other teams are chosen by a selection panel. The competition kicks off with a play-in round known as the First Four. After that, 64 teams compete in a single-elimination competition to determine the champion. March Madness can be bet on in a variety of ways:
- Betting on each game
- Winners in Brackets
- The Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player
- Winner of the National Championship
- The Final Four Teams
The tournament’s opening round is a whirlwind, with 32 games happening over two days. The second round is still jam-packed with 16 games spread out over two days, but things start to ease down after that. It’s the Sweet Sixteen — which is only eight matches — followed by the Elite Eight — four matches — at this stage.
These round’s winners proceed to the Final Four. The national title will be decided between the two winners.