March Madness Odds

The NCAA basketball tournament, affectionately nicknamed “March Madness,” is a massive sporting event, not just for sports fans in general, but for bettors in particular. After a thrilling tournament in March, fans and bettors already have their sights set on the next tournament. Numerous sportsbooks have futures odds available, and bettors can place their bets on who they think will go all the way. Here’s what you need to know.

Where Can I Bet On March Madness Online?

There are a number of online sportsbook options that Maryland bettors can choose from ahead of the NCAA Tournament. There is a risk to betting futures – as there is with any gambling endeavor – but those who do their work early have the chance to take advantage of odds that will shrink as the season progresses and as sleeper teams hit their stride throughout the winter.

While the odds at various sportsbooks will generally be similar, different sportsbooks will offer different prices for different teams. This is why it’s recommended that bettors take the time to peruse their options. For example, a bettor committed to placing a wager on Duke to win it all would prefer to place his or her wager through a sportsbook that is offering +1300 odds as opposed to one that is offering a less appealing +900.

With mobile betting now widely available in the state, Maryland residents looking to get in on the March Madness action will have access to a number of sportsbooks that include the following:

How To Bet On March Madness Online In Maryland

Mobile sports betting in Maryland launched in November. Maryland bettors can now place bets online from anywhere in the state and can place a wager through a number of sportsbooks. Whether it’s for the preferred odds or the most attractive welcome bonus or promotion, bettors have to start by selecting their sportsbook of choice, registering an account, making their first deposit, and proceeding to make their bet.

Bettors are required to provide personal information to complete registration and before placing any bets. This may include age, address, and Social Security number to verify identity. This may seem invasive, but it’s in the best interest of the sportsbooks and the users.

Deposit options vary across sportsbooks, but most allow deposits via bank transfers, credit and debit cards, Play+ cards, VIP Preferred e-checks, and PayPal.

Withdrawal requests may not be as quick as deposits, but bettors will select their method of choice and the amount they’d like to withdraw. It may take three to five business days before the money becomes available.

How March Madness Betting Odds Are Calculated

Betting odds on March Madness are fluid and are continually adjusted based on a number of factors that arise over the course of the season. Oddsmakers collect, interpret, and analyze a plethora of data to arrive at the odds they set on teams to win games and championships.

Futures bets involve the odds of a team winning a championship. Oddsmakers will also set the odds for the individual games during the tournament. And it’s the availability of a large number of betting opportunities that draws casual and serious bettors alike.

On a game-to-game basis, a minor event — injury, suspension, etc. — can encourage a substantial shift in odds. However, when futures bets are concerned, it could take more to significantly adjust a team’s odds. Developments such as significant injuries or long stretches of poor play could be required to turn a team from a betting favorite into a low-priced sleeper.

The most popular odds in the US are referred to as “money line” odds in which the number is accompanied by a minus (-) sign to indicate the favorite or a plus (+) sign to indicate the underdog.

For instance, in a game in which the Maryland Terrapins are favored to win, their moneyline odds may be -120. In this case, a bettor will be required to put up $120 for the chance to net $100 in the event of a Terrapins victory.

If Maryland is the underdog in a particular matchup, their odds may be +120. In this scenario, a bettor would put up $100 for the opportunity to net $120 for a Terps win.

What Kinds Of Bets Can Be Placed On March Madness?

Money line wagers may be the most popular, but college basketball fans can gamble on a number of different types of bets. Here are some examples:

Totals (aka “Over/Under”)

A bettor can wager on the total score of a game finishing over or under the set total. For example, consider a game in which the over/under between the University of Maryland and Nebraska is 142.5 on DraftKings. If you bet on the Over, you would need both teams to combine for at least 143 points for your bet to win. Conversely, a bet on the Under would need the two teams to combine for no more than 142 points for the bet to win.

Point Spread

A point spread bet takes a money line wager a step further. It requires a team to “cover” a set line. For example, consider a game in which Maryland is favored by 4.5 points over Nebraska. If you bet on Maryland (-4.5), you would need them to win the game by a margin of five points or more for your bet to be victorious. Conversely, Nebraska would be the underdog at +4.5, meaning they’ll need to lose by no more than four points or win outright to cover the spread.

Parlay Bets

In a parlay, a bettor will choose multiple bets for one ticket, and each will need to hit for the parlay to pay off. The potential winnings from a parlay are greater because the risk increases as more bets are added to the ticket.

Futures Bets

Different from individual game bets, a futures bet commonly focuses on the odds of a team winning a championship. For example, at the beginning of the 2022 season, the Maryland Terrapins’ March Madness odds were +4000 at FanDuel and +4500 at DraftKings. Futures odds are initially set following the conclusion of the previous season. These odds will fluctuate throughout the offseason and season based on a number of factors such as serious injuries to key players and long stretches of poor play, among others.

Strategies For Betting March Madness In Maryland

There are a number of strategies to consider when betting in general and betting on March Madness in particular. However, there is far too much to consider to provide a comprehensive “strategy guide” that takes into account all of the nuances of being successful at gambling.

Perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind above anything else is to not bet more than you’re willing to lose. The elation of winning is often only matched by the rush of chasing the next one. It can be easy to fall into a hole and to feel as though one big win is the answer.

Even those who are considered successful bettors struggle through rough stretches — weeks, months, or even seasons. It’s not a venture that should be pursued with expectations of sustained cash flow.

Betting Odds On March Madness FAQS

Is Betting On March Madness Legal In Maryland?

Yes, betting on March Madness is legal in Maryland both with online and retail sportsbooks.

How Old Do Maryland Bettors Have To Be To Bet On March Madness?

Bettors must be at least 21 to legally wager in Maryland.

Where Can I Bet On March Madness In Maryland?

With mobile sportsbook apps and websites open in Maryland, bettors can place wagers from anywhere within the state through their mobile or desktop devices. Bettors can also visit one of the retail sportsbooks in the state to place in-person bets.

Is Betting On March Madness Safe?

Yes. Sportsbooks are some of the most secure and regulated commercial products in the US. Their digital infrastructure is tested by the state’s gaming commission before launch, so bettors only have safe products to use. Sportsbooks also want to continue launching in new states, so they’re incentivized to prioritize data security.

Do Maryland Sportsbooks Offer Live In-Game Betting During March Madness?

Yes. Live betting is a popular feature included in many sportsbooks. Live betting is often put front and center on a sportsbook’s home page.

Who Is The Current Favorite To Win The NCAA Championship?

The best way to find the current favorite for the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament is to visit the NCAA basketball futures section of a sportsbook like DraftKings.

About the Author

Craig Williams

Craig Williams is a Charlotte-based sportswriter who has worked professionally in the gaming, fantasy, and sports business industries. He’s an avid fantasy football player, managing over 100 leagues across multiple formats. When he’s not pouring over Vegas odds and statistics, he’s indulging in soccer and enjoys anything from LigaMX to Champions League.