The Excitement of March Madness
March Madness begins around March 13, leading up to the National Championship game on April 2nd. Selection Sunday is on March 11, and Monday the 12th is Bracket Day. There will be 67 games in total, offering tons of wagering opportunities.
Along with all of the typical March Madness betting options, there will be thousands of prop bets and live betting as well. Many sportsbooks also offer free & real money bracket competitions & promotions, making this an exciting time for college basketball fans.
For those of you looking for a place to bet, below is a list of our favorite sites for March Madness. They have the widest selection of betting options, and the best promotions as well. Each of the sites below accept US bettors, and credit card deposits. For mobile betting with iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry, and all other mobile phones & tablets, we recommend BetOnline.com and Bovada.lv. Yeah, you can bet from the bar, or even from the stands while the game is happening in front of you. How sick is that?
2012 March Madness Schedule
First Four: March 13-14
Second Round: March 15-16
Third Round: March 17-18
Sweet 16: March 22-23
Elite 8: March 24-25
Final Four: March 31
National Championship: April 2
As we get into the Sweet 16, Elite 8, Final Four, and to the National Championship, we’ll update the 2012 March Madness schedule each day. We’ll provide all the teams, along with game times and expert betting picks.
Bracket Tournaments & Promotions
If this is your first year following March Madness, we recommend that you get into some bracket tournaments. The Bovada Sportsbook has a great, free March Madness bracket tournament that pays out a ton of money every year. Although there are thousands of entries, anyone can win. There is a huge amount of luck involved, as favorites go down every year. Do you need to be an expert to win? President Obama’s bracket finished in the top 25 of ALL brackets at Bovada last year, and SBL had a bracket in the top 20. It can be done, and it can be really exciting.
Most betting sites also offer real money bracket tournaments for March Madness. Many of these are smaller and easier to win, while others are huge, offering seriously big cash prizes.
BetOnline.com and Bovada have some of the best free & real money March Madness promotions. Bovada has the best live betting (prop bets while the games are being played), while BetOnline offers the earliest basketball lines. Early lines = value that often can’t be found closer to game time.
Types of Bets You Can Make
March Madness is such a huge event that every sportsbook on the internet expands their betting options. Beyond all of the typical types of bets, there’s also a massive number of prop bets available. Live betting will be bigger in 2012 than ever before, and the same can be said for mobile betting. All of the same bets that can be made from your computer can be made from your mobile device.
The most common way to bet on March Madness basketball games is on the point spread of a game. A point spread handicaps the teams, theoretically making the games more competitive. Underdogs are given points, while favorites have to give up points.
For example, if team A is much better than team B, they might be listed as -12.5 (-110), meaning they have to win the game by 13 or more points for bets on them to win. The underdog would be listed as +12.5 (-110), and could lose the game by as many as 12 points. In either of these bets, it would require a wager of $110 to win $100.
Another popular way to bet on March Madness basketball is straight-up on the money line. A money line doesn’t use a handicap (point spread), which means the odds are much different. Money lines are based around the $100 figure, but negative (-) and positive (+) money lines are calculated differently. A negative money line shows us how much we would need to wager in order to win $100. A positive money line shows us how much would be won from a $100 wager. $100 is only used for calculation purposes, it doesn’t mean that bettors have to wager this amount.
For example, the favorite might have odds of something like -335, and the underdog would be listed at +250. In this case, it would require a bet of $335 to win $100 in profit on the favorite ($435 total payout). For the underdog, a bet of $100 would pay $250 in profit ($350 total payout).
The over/under (also called total) is also a very popular bet during March Madness. These are bets on the total combined score of a game. For example, if the score of a game is 80-70, the total is 150. Online sportsbooks post the over/under on a game, and the bettor needs to decide if the teams will combine for more or fewer total points.
Most sports betting sites offer over/under odds at -105 or -110 on both sides, but these can fluctuate based on where the money is going. On game day, Bovada and BetOnline typically offer 5% vig on March Madness over/unders.
During the entire 2012 March Madness tournament, bettors will be able to find a huge selection of player & team prop bets. Handicappers can wager on almost anything imaginable, with minimum bet amounts usually in the $1 – $2 range.
Some of the more common March Madness prop bets include player scoring, assists, and rebound totals. We can also bet on single team totals (over/under), player scoring matchups, team & player fouls, if games will go into overtime or not, and dozens of other things that might happen during a game.
As mentioned above, bettors can also wager on prop bets from their mobile phones or tablets. Combined with live prop betting, we can bet on anything, from anywhere, while the games are being played.