ByPat Pickens

Mar 20, 2024

First Four College Basketball Betting Promos | Get $5K+ Bonus on March Madness

March Madness is here, and the NCAA men’s basketball tournament will tip off as it always does with the First Four.

The First Four, colloquially known as the “play-in games," consists of four games over two days to decide which teams will be the 61st, 62nd, 63rd, and 64th teams into the four-region field. The first four teams are Colorado State, Virginia, Boise State, and Colorado.

Here’s a look at how the First Four works and how to bet on the two-night event.

How Does The First Four Work?

The First Four has been around for almost 15 years now, since the 65-team NCAA tournament was bumped up to 68 Division 1 teams in 2011.

Four games are played over two nights, with a pair of automatic-qualifying No. 16 seeds vying to win their first games before the two lowest-seeded at-large clubs play the night caps.

This year the First Four will be played, as it has been every year, at UD Arena in Dayton, Ohio. Dayton serves as a central location for most regions, since the winning Nos. 11/12 and 16 need to be whisked away to their first-round game fewer than 48 hours away.

2024 First Four schedule:

  • Tuesday, March 19
    • First Four Game, 6 p.m. ET- Wagner vs Howard
    • First Four Game, 30 minutes after first game ends- Virginia vs Colorado State
  • Wednesday, March 20
    • First Four Game, 6 p.m. ET- Grambling State vs Montana State
    • First Four Game, 30 minutes after first game ends- Boise State vs Colorado

First Four CBB Betting Promos At A Glance

💰 DraftKings Sportsbook PromotionBet$5, Get $150 Bonus
🎁 DraftKings Sportsbook Promo CodeNone needed
📔DraftKings Sportsbook Promotion TermsBet $5, Get 6 $25 bonus bets that expire in 7 days. Bonus bets have no cash value and come with a 1x rollover (you must bet your bonus bet 1x before winnings are withdrawable).
⚖️ DraftKings Legal StatesAZ, CO, CT, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, ME, MD, MA, MI, MS (retail), NH, NJ, NY, OH, OR, PA, TN, VA, WA, WV, WY

First Four College Basketball Betting Promos Details

Every sportsbook will produce a promotion for the NCAA Tournament, and those boosts and insurances tip off for the First Four. In 2021, FanDuel Sportsbook produced a “Spread the Love" promo that moved the initial spread between UCLA from +1.5 to over +90.

Betting promos like that may not be around for 2024, but here are some other new-user offers college basketball fans can take advantage of.

DraftKings Sportsbook First Four Betting Promos

DraftKings is the most widely available sportsbook in the United States, and it’s upping the ante as the sportsbook that is likely to get the most action on March Madness betting.

DraftKings has a Bet $5, Get $150 in Bonus Bets offer for new users with no promo code needed. In this promo, a new user need only sign up through the DraftKings Sportsbook review page then make a minimum deposit and first bet, and if it fails you’ll receive that amount back in site credit.

DraftKings loads up its sportsbook with excellent boosts for March Madness, so it’s integral to have funds in that sportsbook account for March.

FanDuel Sportsbook First Four Betting Promos

FanDuel is the No. 1 sportsbook in North America, and it’s giving smart new players valuable bonus bet credits.

With FanDuel, new players will get $200 in site credit if they deposit at least $10 and their initial $5 bet is successful. That puts some heat on your initial wager, but if you bet wisely you’ll get a bunch of bonus bets just in time for March.

FanDuel is constantly innovating and loads up its platform with promotions like the “Spread the Love" in 2021. There’s a reason why it’s the top dog in the U.S.

bet365 Sportsbook Betting Promos

The No. 1 sportsbook in the world is making a huge push at success in the United States thanks to its terrific interface and loads of promos.

With bet365, new users can choose between one of two offers. Players can either choose a Bet $5, Get $150 promotion or up to $1,000 in bonus bets if your initial wager is unsuccessful.

It may not have the same array of boosts as its competitors, but bet365 has Early Payout for every moneyline wager in all sports. If you’re a college-basketball bettor, and the team you placed a moneyline wager on takes an 18-point lead, your bet will be graded a win no matter how the game ends.

Based on the unpredictability of March, and how quickly teams can rally, Early Payout is a huge asset for the First Four and the entire NCAA tournament.

BetMGM Sportsbook First Four Betting Promos

Arguably the most recognizable name in sports betting, BetMGM is always on the front end of promos for major sporting events. BetMGM Sportsbook will offer parlay profit boosts or other ways of boosting a bankroll.

With BetMGM, new players who sign up and make a minimum $10 deposit and place a first $5 wager can get $150 in bonus bets.

Caesars Sportsbook First Four Betting Promos

The Caesars Sportsbook has been known to curate parlay boosts and other promotions designed at giving players more bang for their buck with the wagers they’re planning to make anyway.

Plus, Caesars is giving new users first-bet insurance up to $1,000 on their first wager. That means if you wager $1,000 on the initial First Four game and are wrong then you can place a $1,000 wager on the next First Four game.

Plus, all wagers with Caesars come with Caesars Rewards, the company’s VIP rewards program that give players points that can be redeemed for restaurant, dining, or hotel credits at Caesars properties nationwide.

First Four College Basketball Best Bets

It depends on which new-user offer you intend to use. If you’re placing an initial $5 wager for $150+ in bonus bets, take an underdog, like the last team into the field, on the moneyline.

March is all about betting underdogs, and there’s no greater feeling than successfully pegging a heavy underdog to advance. If that team has a sub-.500 record then it feels even more exciting.

But if you have to win your initial bet in order to cash in on bonus bets, do your homework and determine which team you believe will win. It’s much easier to bet on the at-large schools because they are higher profile and more easy-to-analyze resumes.

No matter the case, the First Four is the official start of March Madness. That means if you’re intending to bet on the men’s basketball tournament, it all starts in Dayton.

Promo TypeNew User Promo
SportsBookDraftKings Sportsbook
How to EnterSign Up & Bet


Pat Pickens

Pat Pickens is a seasoned sportswriter who has covered pro sports since 2013 for various websites, including The New York Times,, Bleacher Report,, USA Today, the Associated Press and many others. His debut book, titled "The Whalers" about the history of the NHL's Hartford Whalers, was released in October 2021.

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