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. As far as bettors are concerned, the event begins March 13 on Selection Sunday and spans through the final on April 4. Once the field is set on that Sunday evening, bettors can begin shopping for the most appealing odds and lines.
Current March Madness Odds
A long journey lies ahead for college basketball teams eyeing a trip to the Final Four and an opportunity to cut down the nets as the confetti falls. However, early odds have pegged some of the game’s familiar programs among the favorites to be the last one standing when the music stops.
Gonzaga, the 2021 NCAA Tournament runner-up, is the favorite to push through and claim their program’s first title. BetMGM Sportsbook lists them atop their board with +600 odds. Meanwhile, Baylor, the team that put an end to Gonzaga’s dream run, draws +2000 odds at the sportsbook. Meanwhile, similar price differences can be found at DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook. Of course, bettors will want to shop for the price that most appeals to them.
Where Can I Bet On March Madness Online?
There are a number of online sportsbook options from which Maryland bettors can choose 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 books will generally be similar, different books will offer different prices for different teams. This is why it’s frequently suggested and recommended that bettors take the time to peruse the options available to them. A bettor committed to placing a wager on Gonzaga to clear that final hurdle and win it all would prefer to place his or her wager through FanDuel or DraftKings (+650) as opposed to BetMGM, where the Zags’ +600 odds are slightly less appealing.
Maryland residents looking to get in on the March Madness action will have access to a number of sportsbooks including the following:
- Caesars Sportsbook
- FOX Bet
- Barstool Sportsbook
- TwinSpires Sportsbook
How To Bet On March Madness Online In Maryland
Maryland bettors can place bets online from anywhere in-state and have a number of sportsbooks through which they can place a wager. Whether it’s the preferred odds or the most attractive welcome bonus or promotion, bettors have to start by selecting their book 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 this step is necessary before any bets can be placed. This may include age, address, and social security number to verify identity. This may seem pervasive, 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 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 in order to arrive at the price they set on teams to win games and championships.
Futures bets involve the odds of a team winning a championship or title game. However, oddsmakers will set the prices for the individual matchups during the tournament. And it’s the access to a large batch of betting opportunities that draws sports fans and gamblers alike.
On a game-to-game basis, a minor event — injury, suspension, etc. — can encourage a substantial shift in odds. However, when long-term accomplishments are concerned, it could take more to significantly adjust a team’s odds. Developments such as multiple 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 victory.
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.
Totals (Aka “Over/Under”)
A bettor can wager on the total score of a game finishing over or under the set total. If a particular game has an over/under of 120.5, a fan betting on the over will want to see the two teams combine for 121 points.
A point spread bet takes a money line wager a step further. It requires a team to “cover” a set line. For example, if the Terrapins’ line is set at -4.5 – remember, the “-” indicates a team is the favorite – they will need to win their game by a margin greater than 2.5 points. In reality, that means they need to win by 5 in order to cover the 2.5-point spread. Conversely, if the Terrapins are an underdog at +4.5, they’ll need to lose by no more than 4 points in order to cover.
A 74-70 victory at -2.5 covers the spread. A 74-72 victory does not.
Losing 74-72 at +2.5 covers the spread. Losing 74-70 does not.
In a parlay, a bettor will choose multiple bets for one ticket and each will need to hit in order 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.
What Is A March Madness Futures Bet?
Different from an individual game, a futures bet commonly focuses on the odds of a team winning a championship, i.e. the Maryland Terrapins’ March Madness odds are +4000 at FanDuel and +4500 at DraftKings. Futures odds are 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 strategy 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
Yes, betting on March Madness is legal in Maryland. However, bettors should read the fine print before expecting to place a wager on in-state college programs. It’s not uncommon for states to allow betting on college contests, but restrict betting on programs within the state.
Bettors must be 21 years of age to legally wager in the state of Maryland.
With mobile sportsbook apps and websites open in Maryland, bettors can place wagers from anywhere within the state through their phones or desktops. Bettors can also visit one of the retail sportsbooks in the state to place in-person bets.
Yes. Sportsbooks are some of the most secure and heavily 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.
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.
The Gonzaga Bulldogs are currently favored to win the 2022 NCAA Men’s basketball tournament.