How to bet on March Madness 2024
How to bet on March Madness 2024

March Madness will be here before we know it, leading college basketball enthusiasts worldwide to seek out the best places for placing bets on NCAAB. In this article we will highlight a selection of top-notch destinations for March Madness betting, explain the available welcome offers at the sportsbooks and provide some insight on how to bet on March Madness games.

Where is March Madness betting legal?

A question we are often asked is “Can I bet on NCAAB games online legally?” The answer is yes! Many states now offer legalized online sports betting, but March Madness betting is not legal everywhere.  The list below has all of the states in which you can participate in sports betting.

  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Mississippi
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York 
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • Tennessee
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • Washington, D.C.
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

As long as you are located in one of these eligible states, keep reading to learn how and where to bet on March Madness.

How to bet on March Madness

After successfully registering with a sportsbook, engaging in March Madness betting is simple. To provide you with clear guidance, we have developed a comprehensive, step-by-step guide to lead you through the entire process:

  1. Select a sportsbook that offers March Madness betting and complete the sign-up process.
  2. Redeem one of the available new-user promotions on this site, such as DraftKings
  3. Establish a personal account using either the mobile app or the desktop interface.
  4. Deposit funds into your account using one of the available deposit methods.
  5. Navigate to the NCAAB or March Madness betting section within the sportsbook’s interface.
  6. Choose a specific game and market for your inaugural bet.
  7. Confirm and submit your bet.

It’s truly that simple! Upon successful registration with your chosen sportsbook, you will gain access to all of the March Madness betting markets.

Where to bet on March Madness games online

March Madness is one of the most popular events for betting. College basketball bettors are joined by casual fans to bet on games during one of the most exciting times for sports betting. During this time, sportsbooks offer some incredible promotions and mold their mobile app to cater to March Madness. There are a ton of great sportsbooks on the market, including DraftKings, which is a Pickswise favorite.

March Madness at DraftKings 

DraftKings Sportsbook is a great place to bet on March Madness for several reasons. First, the mobile app is incredible and allows you to live-stream select games. Then there’s the welcome offer, which guarantees you $150 in bonus bets when making just a $5 wager. Once you join the “Bet $5, Get $150” promotion, you’ll receive $150 in bonus bets once your first bet settles, regardless of whether the bet wins or not.

How March Madness betting works

Don’t worry if you’re a first-time college basketball bettor; we have created a guide that walks you through how to bet on March Madness games.

  1. Log in to your sportsbook account.
  2. Click on the college basketball or March Madness tab.
  3. Select a game from the list. For example, you may choose the first-round matchup between Indiana and VCU.
  4. Pick an available market from the game, which could be Indiana -5.5 on the point spread.
  5. Enter the amount of your bet
  6. Submit the bet and enjoy the game

Popular March Madness betting types

March Madness betting brings excitement because there are a lot of options when it comes to how to bet on March Madness games. In this section, we will explain some of the most popular bet types during March Madness.

March Madness Parlays

Parlays are incredibly popular during March Madness bettors because they let you combine multiple bets for a chance at a huge payout. Parlays are especially popular during March Madness because there are several games occurring at once. For example, you could bet on a side of the point spread in multiple games at once. Both bets must win in order for you to win the parlay bet, but if they do win you’re in line for a big profit.

March Madness Same Game Parlay

Over the past few years the concept of the Same Game Parlay has garnered significant popularity as a type of parlay betting. This feature allows you to merge two separate wagers on different markets within a single March Madness game. To clarify, you might decide to bet on both the point spread outcome and the total points scored in the Michigan State vs. Northern Iowa game in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. If both legs win, you will receive a nice profit from just one game.

March Madness Teasers

Teasers encompass wagers that offer bettors the flexibility to adjust the point spread or total of a game, enhancing the chances of a winning bet. In exchange for this advantage, you’re required to combine multiple bets into a parlay. One of the most common March Madness Teasers is the two-team teaser, allowing you to shift the lines by four or points, as demonstrated in the example below.

Suppose the initial point spreads for the two games in your teaser are +5 and -6. With a four-point teaser, you can modify the point spreads on your wager to +9 and -2, respectively. This adjustment increases the likelihood of success for each segment of the teaser, though both segments must win for the entire bet to be successful.

March Madness Futures 

The futures market is yet another popular March Madness betting market. Unlike the bets mentioned earlier, futures bets do not settle on an immediate single game. Instead, they focus on outcomes that will be determined in the future, hence the name. In the futures market, you place bets on who will emerge victorious in certain milestones during March Madness. The most obvious is simply a future on the winner of the NCAA Tournament, but you can also place futures bets on a team to reach the Final Four. For example, you can bet on Kansas to make the Final Four at +300, which would profit $30 on a $10 bet if the Jayhawks are among the last four teams remaining.

Other popular March Madness bets

Apart from the aforementioned bet types, numerous sportsbooks provide an array of additional March Madness betting markets. One of these could include predicting the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player, which would be a type of future bet. In addition, sportsbooks may have prop markets for March Madness such as predicting the lowest seed to reach the Final Four.

March Madness odds & betting lines explained

In this section we will get into the details of how to bet on March Madness games. Let’s take a look at the traditional markets for a given college basketball game.

Point Spread: A bet on the point spread in a March Madness game is a bet on the margin of victory in the game, such as in the example below:

  • Kansas State -2.5 (-110) vs. Gonzaga +2.5 (-110)

Money line: A money line bet is simply picking the team that will win the game. Odds will be shown using the below format:

  • Missouri (-120) vs. Florida State (+110)

Total (Over/Under): Betting on the total in an NCAAB game is betting on the number of combined points the game will end with. You will see odds like this:

  • Virginia vs. USC: Over 125.5 (-115) vs. Under 125.5 (-105)

Halftime lines: All of the markets explained above will come in both full-game and halftime lines. Using an example, you could bet on Kentucky -2.5 on the first-half line instead of Kentucky -5 for the full game.

How to read March Madness odds & betting lines

Building on our prior section, you’ll want to know how to bet on March Madness games when you see them listed at your sportsbook. Let’s stick with the same examples from above to keep things easy.

Point Spread: Kansas State -2.5 (-110) vs. Gonzaga +2.5 (-110)

This line indicates that Kansas State is favored by 2.5 points against the underdog Gonzaga. If you like Kansas State to cover the spread, they would need to beat Gonzaga by at least three points for your bet to win. If you think Gonzaga is the right side, your bet would win if Gonzaga wins the game or if they lose by no more than two points.

In the parentheses, you will see the odds of each side of the point spread. Both Kansas State -2.5 and Gonzaga +2.5 have odds listed as (-110). This means a winning $11 bet on either team would profit $10. 

Moneyline: Missouri (-120) vs. Florida State (+110)

As mentioned earlier, betting on the moneyline is simply just picking the team that wins the game. There is no spread to be concerned with, but the odds become the most important aspect. In this example, you would need to wager $12 on Missouri to profit $10 but only have to bet $10 to profit $11 if Florida State beats Missouri.

Total (Over/Under): Virginia vs. USC: Over 125.5 (-115) vs. Under 125.5 (-105)

This total is listed at 125.5, meaning the over would be projecting the game to finish with at least 126 combined points, while the under would be a bet that less than 126 points will be scored. 

A $10.50 bet on Under 125.5 at -105 odds would profit $10 and a $11.50 bet would profit $10 as well. 

Why bet on March Madness?

March Madness is absolutely my favorite event of the year. I love betting on NCAAB throughout the season, but the excitement really ramps up during March. During the first round, there are 16 games on each of the first two days and I am glued to the TV for all of them. I select the bets I am most confident in first and bet those using my standard unit size. Once I have placed all those bets, I put a small amount of money on a 16-team parlay where I pick the winner of each game that day. 

If you haven’t yet experienced the thrill of March Madness betting, be sure to join one of our recommended sportsbooks before the action begins. All of them have a distinct welcome offer that would be a great way to get started.

March Madness betting trends

Certain sports bettors prefer integrating trends into their strategy for March Madness betting. Trends entail the examination of historical data to uncover patterns that could hold potential relevance for future bets. Credible trends usually showcase high success rates over a substantial data set, though it’s crucial to recognize that they don’t assure consistent winning.

One trend that has been relatively popular during March Madness is wagering on all of the first-half under in March Madness games. While there might be valid reasons behind this trend, such as players’ nerves or unfamiliar shooting environments, it’s important to reiterate that trends don’t necessarily ensure profitable bets, especially within a limited sample size.

March Madness betting strategies

There are different types of strategies that can be used for how to bet on March Madness games. There’s no singular strategy that guarantees winning bets, but perhaps using some of the tips below can be a great place for you to start.


A basic March Madness betting strategy could be simply using the thoughts and opinions of experts to place your own bets. You could listen to podcasts, read articles, or watch videos where experts will provide insight that might lead you to make a particular bet. Even simpler, you could directly follow our expert picks for March Madness – although even those are not guaranteed to profit.


Simply watching the March Madness games could be considered a form of an intermediate betting strategy. March Madness is different from the regular season because of its bracket format, so you will know the next matchups instantly and use what you just witnessed to make a bet. For example, you may think that a certain team got lucky to advance to the next round, while another was dominant in the first round. You could use your intel from that game to place a bet on the round-two matchup.


An advanced March Madness betting strategy would mostly revolve around the use of statistics. There are various statistical sites available that can help with how to bet on March Madness. Examples of these websites include Haslametric, ShotQuality, KenPom and Synergy. There’s no guarantee that using these stats will allow you to make winning bets, but they could help.

Things to avoid when betting on March Madness

Betting on March Madness requires a lot of time and effort, but also discipline. Successful bettors are ones that last, not ones that fall into the common pitfalls below.

  • Chasing losses: March Madness is fun to bet on because of how many games there are in a single day. However, this can also make March Madness dangerous. Let’s suppose that you begin your March Madness betting day by making $50 in profit during the morning wave of games. You’re feeling good and bet on the afternoon games, but fall into some bad luck and now are down a total of $200. You see the night games as a chance to win back your money, even though you don’t have a strong opinion on which team to bet on. But you feel that you need to win your money back, so you place a huge bet on the first half over. Unfortunately, the teams get off to a slow start and you lose your entire bankroll. Skilled March Madness bettors NEVER make this mistake.
  • Needing to bet on every March Madness game: Even though there are many games in a day, there’s no rule that says you must bet on all of them. Much like our featured bettor in the “Why bet on March Madness?” section, you should place almost all of your bets on games in which you have a strong opinion. You shouldn’t place bets just to have action on the game, unless they are small amounts. Always bet within your means.

Betting on March Madness games with mobile apps

We believe that the most convenient and optimal approach to March Madness betting involves utilizing the sportsbooks’ mobile applications. These apps can be effortlessly downloaded from either the App Store or Google Play Store, providing users with direct access to a diverse range of current betting markets directly from their mobile devices. The advantage of a mobile app also includes the ability to access the live-betting markets while watching the games.