ByTim Heaney

Mar 20, 2024

2024 March Madness Betting Guide | How To Bet Men’s NCAA Tournament Basketball

The annual sports holiday known as March Madness tips off soon.

2024’s men’s basketball NCAA Tournament begins Tuesday, March 19, with the First Four games. The best sports day of the year, Day 1 of Round 1, ignites Thursday, March 21, around noon ET, then runs through the National Championship Game on Monday, April 8.

Among the headliners for this year’s field will be the UConn Huskies, who are battling for the No. 1 overall seed in an attempt to repeat their 2023 championship. However, should CBB bettors back Dan Hurley’s bunch to cut down the nets once again?

Online sports bettors of all experience levels will dive into betting on college basketball’s biggest event of the year.

Don’t forget to plan your Final Four and NCAA Tournament wagers where legal. Keep reading for our full March Madness betting guide and the most beneficial ways to use top sportsbook promos for your tourney wagers.

📱 How To Bet On Men’s March Madness 2024

From newbies to experienced players, anyone betting on March Madness should first take time for a lesson or fresher on the different bet types and the strategies behind them.

Use our March Madness schedule to lock in your PTO from work, then park in front of a TV or phone.

🏀 Men’s March Madness Betting Tips

The Game Day’s resident March Madness betting experts gathered their best tips and strategies:

Follow our round-by-round NCAA Tournament betting analysis:

ROUND 1: Madness Round 1 Predictions | Madness Round 1 Props | Parlays

📈 March Madness Betting Odds

Follow along with our NCAA Tournament men’s lines for all 67 games. The Game Day’s CBB odds feed updates frequently to give you fresh information to be on top of line movement.

Jump to the rest of our March Madness betting tips below the odds widget.

↕️ Men’s NCAA Tournament Lines

🏀 How To Read March Madness Odds

If you see odds, or “juice,” listed at (-110), that means you need to bet $110 to win an additional $100 on top of your “stake,” or the money you put in.

A $100 bet on -110 odds would net a total payout of $210.

🏀 Bet On NCAA Tournament Moneyline Winners

Playing March Madness moneylines is the easiest way to get in on the action.

To begin learning how to bet ahead of the 67-game party, start with simply picking the winner for your desired game.

For example, for a hypothetical bet market listing for North Carolina (-256) . If you bet UNC and they win, so does your bet. If the Tar Heels lose, so do you.

MARCH MADNESS SHARP BETTING TIP: Bet On Every Round 1 and Round 2 Moneyline Underdog

An open secret in the college basketball betting world: If you have the funds and can bet the same, pre-determined amount on every first-round underdog, you should capitalize on one or more significant upsets and potentially wind up with a sizable profit.

A prime example occurred in Round 1 of the 2023 Men’s NCAA Tournament. 16th-seeded Fairleigh Dickinson, priced with moneyline odds close to (+1500) at most operators, toppled No. 1 Purdue, a 23.5-point favorite.

The $10 bet I placed on FDU with those odds returned $160 (my initial $10 stake plus the $150 won money). While Round 1 wins like this are rare, the strategy still plays that your winning from an upset could help pay a significant portion of your investment and leave room for profit.

Given that the first round often witnesses a handful of higher seeds defeating juggernauts, even combining a few wins of odds around (+300) – targeting some 7 vs 10 and the typical 5 vs 12 upset specials – would likely lead to a profit across all 32 Round 1 contests.

For Round 2, the moneylines might generally move more closely toward 50/50 splits, but any underdogs who move on can still provide favorable juice.

🏀 Betting On NCAA Tournament Spreads

Looking for a bet that goes beyond merely picking the winning team? Here’s how spread betting works.

Betting against the spread (ATS) is one of the most popular ways to wager on sports because it offers an additional way to win beyond the straight moneyline.

You can bet on a team losing by a certain given amount of points; even if they lose but have a margin of defeat within your number, you win.

The favorite will have a designated “minus" spread, or “giving” points. The underdog will be listed with a “plus" spread, to note that bettors on that team “take” points, meaning they cannot lose by more than the nearest whole number above or equal to their amount of points.

For example: Let’s look at a hypothetical Houston -10.5 (-110) vs an underdog at +10.5 (+100).

The Cougars would need to win by at least 11 points if you “give” the points. If they only prevail by 10, anyone who “takes” the points with the underdog side would cash.

March Madness ATS Odds

🏀 Betting March Madness Over/Under Totals

If you want another bet or care to ignore wagering on the result, you can make a ticket for the March Madness Over/Under.

Wager whether the total points scored between both teams will finish higher or lower than the figure given by the sportsbook.

March Madness Total Points Odds

🏀 Betting March Madness Props

Arguably the fastest-growing bet type are prop bets — short for proposition bets — which allow us to bet on many facets of the game. The most popular bet markets for props involve player performance and other game elements (first-half spreads, etc.).

The endless parade of March Madness props gives plenty of chances to bet on just about anything revolving around the tourney.

(Caveat: The CBB March Madness props available for you to bet on vary by state and your status with an in-state college. For more information, check the section below on CBB prop betting restrictions; your favorite sportsbook; or your state’s legal site.)

March Madness Player Props

A player prop typically involves betting on a particular competitor’s statistical output in a game.

For example, a popular prop could be an Over/Under on Purdue center Zach Edey’s points plus rebounds total.

March Madness Game Props

NCAA Tournament game props apply to any other market that is not covered above.

This can present bets like first-half Over/Unders and spreads. A recent market that has grown in popularity is the First to 15 Prop, when you wager on which of the two schools hits 15 total points first in the game.

March Madness First Basket Props

A popular basketball player prop is to predict who will the first basket in the game, a half, or a quarter.

These are high-risk, high-reward tickets for which you should put down only what’s called a “sprinkle,” or a fraction of your typical betting unit.

🏀 Betting March Madness Parlays & Same Game Parlays (SGPs)

Another one of the most popular tickets to place is a parlay. This more advanced wager requires you to place two or more bets on a single ticket — and every “leg," or step in the overall bet, must hit for you to win.

Of course, the higher the risk, the higher the reward, though if you have the funds available, placing a March Madness parlay bet could add more fun to your Sunday.

A popular but riskier proposition would be placing a same-game parlay, which focuses on pairing 2+ bets from within an individual contest as one parlay. The more items you bet on, the higher the potential return.

🏀 Betting On NCAA Tournament Futures

Futures markets are typically listed before a sport’s season or event starts. The NCAA Tournament fits this category.

Before the tourney starts – and even before the regular season starts – sportsbooks will list odds for who will win March Madness.

NCAA Tournament odds will update during the tournament as teams advance and lose. Getting in early

MARCH MADNESS SHARP BETTING TIP: Don’t bet futures. Opt for progressive betting on your champion pick’s moneylines

Instead of tying up money for a few weeks — the biggest drawback of locking in futures — many sharp CBB bettors recommend simply placing moneyline wagers on your pick for each game to win the whole tournament.

Carry over your winnings from Round 1 to use as a wager for Round 2, and follow this pattern through the end of the team’s run for possible exponential returns.

💰 March Madness Betting Promo Codes & Bonuses

One of the ways to maximize the return on your March Madness picks promotional offers the top sportsbooks will provide for one of the biggest events of the sports gambling calendar.

Careful planning and some diligent research (we’ll help you with that) can lead to a fun, responsible, hopefully lucrative experience.

Here’s a list of The Game Day’s top March Madness betting bonus promos:

SportsbookWelcome BonusPromo Code
DraftKings Sportsbook$1,000 First Bet InsuranceNo promo code
Caesars Sportsbook$1,000 First-Bet Bonus WithGAMEDAY1000
FanDuel SportsbookBet $5, Get $150 in Bonus BetsNo promo code
bet365 SportsbookBet $5, Get $150 in Bonus Bets OR $1,000 Insurance OfferGAMEDAY
BetMGM Sportsbook$1,500 First Bet InsuranceGAMEDAY

Stick with us for the latest information. Sometimes, operators change offers as we get closer to the NCAA Tournament.

➕ BetMGM March Madness Promo Code

Our exclusive BetMGM March Madness bonus code GAMEDAY offers new users $158 in bonus bets for their first wager of $5 on any NCAA Tournament game.

Click here to download BetMGM’s mobile app or visit them on Desktop. Then, go to Register Now, enter your personal information, deposit at least $5, and start betting.

➕ bet365 March Madness Promo Code

The UK-based operator continues to thrive in the United States and offers a whopping $2,150 in available betting bonuses for The Game Day’s bet365 March Madness promo.

With the code GAMEDAY, new players can sign up to bet365 and choose their preferred reward: (1) “Bet $5, Get $150 in Bonus Bets” or (2) “First Bet Safety Net Bonus For $2000."

Sign up with bet365 bonus code GAMEDAY make a bet of at least $5 on any of your favorite sport. When the game is over, you will get $150 deposited back into your bet 365 account. Nothing like starting a new bankroll with on-the-house funds.

➕ Fanatics March Madness Promo Code

One of the world’s biggest sports apparel companies, Fanatics, has launched its sports betting platform. Fanatics Sportsbook is active in Connecticut, Ohio, Massachusetts, Maryland, Tennessee, Colorado, Virginia, West Virginia, and Kentucky.

Sign up today for the Fanatics March Madness promo and you’ll get up to $1,000 in bonus bets. Just bet $100 each day for 10 days and you’ll get $1,000 in bonus bets - win or lose. (You can bet a minimum of $5 to qualify for the matching bets.)

➕ Caesars March Madness Promo Code

With promo code GAMEDAY1000, Caesars Sportsbook’s new bettors can land a deal: If your first cash bet loses, you’ll get it back as a bonus bet up to $1,000.

Claim this Caesars March Madness promo: Get your first bet back by clicking here to sign up for Caesars.

➕ DraftKings March Madness Promo Code

The DraftKings March Madness betting promo offers new players a motto of Bet $5, Get $150 In Bonus Bets Instantly. Just bet $5, and you get $150 in bonus bets instantly.

No code required: Just go here to claim the offer before the tourney begins. The promotion runs from March 11 through April 14.

➕ FanDuel March Madness Promo Code

New FanDuel players who sign up before the big tourney will get our exclusive offer, with no promotional code required: Bet $5, Get $150 Bonus.

Want to start betting at FanDuel for the NCAA Tournament? Sign up for the FanDuel March Madness promo and deposit $10+. Then, place at least a $5 bet on that matchup. If that wager wins, you’ll receive $150 in bonus bets.

👉 How To Claim March Madness Promo Bonuses

  • ✅ Click the link above associated with the desired CBB sportsbook.
  • ✅ If a promo code is required, enter The Game Day’s code to acquire the March Madness offer.
  • ✅ Enter your personal information and legal banking details.
  • ✅ Upon completed registration, locate the bonus funds in your wallet.
  • ✅ Start betting on the NCAA Tournament.

🌎 Where You Can Bet On March Madness

Fans generally can place an online mobile bet on March Madness basketball in all 38 legal states.

However, betting on college athletes and teams that inhabit certain states can be prohibited by state legislatures.

⚠️ College Basketball State Betting Restrictions

Some states prohibit residents from wagering on in-state college teams, so plan accordingly when creating your March Madness bets for certain schools.

Updated as of March 2024, the below list outlines exceptions NCAA Tournament bettors will need to know:

  • No Game Bets For In-State College Teams: Connecticut, Delaware, Washington D.C., Maine, Massachusetts (some tournaments OK), New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Washington, Wisconsin
  • No Prop Bets For In-State College Teams: Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Washington D.C., Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin

🇳 🇨 North Carolina March Madness Betting

The Tar Heel State just joined the online betting world March 11, just in time for its crowded group of tournament-bound teams to become eligible for bet tickets.

Grab for our favorite North Carolina betting promos ahead of the NCAA Tournament.

💰 March Madness Stats & Strategy

Using KenPom For March Madness Betting & Bracket Picks

Ken Pomeroy has helped revolutionize college basketball handicapping with his Pomeroy College Basketball Ratings. The treasure that is provides valuable insight into neutralized, adjusted school ratings for offense, defense and more.

A key stat for March Madness brackets: Since 2002, every school that has won the men’s NCAA Tournament has ranked both in the top 40 of KenPom’s offensive ratings and the top 22 of the defensive metrics.

✍️ Fill Out Your NCAA Tournament Bracket

The tipoff of the NCAA Tournament means the return of the annual March Madness bracket tradition.

Filling out your bracket could work hand-in-hand with betting on the NCAA tourney. Connect your upset picks with a moneyline bet on that team — you might just be able to recoup your bracket pool entry fee in no time.

⬇️ Download & Print Our Men’s March Madness Bracket PDF

Keep track of all 67 of your NCAA Tournament game picks.

Click to access and download our March Madness printable bracket.

Promo TypeBet & Get
SportsBookBetMGM Sportsbook
How to EnterSign Up & Bet On March Madness


Tim Heaney

Before joining The Game Day, Tim spent more than a decade in the fantasy sports and betting industry. Having written for ESPN, RotoWire, and USA TODAY, Tim earned an FSWA award nomination for Best MLB Print Article and multiple Top-5 finishes in fantasy baseball rankings contests. Tim has competed in Tout Wars (1 championship), LABR, Scott Fish Bowl, NFBC/NFFC, TGFBI, and RazzBowl (recent 4th-overall finish out of 200+). Drop him a line about TV, music, craft beer & pro wrestling.

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