March Madness Betting

March 2021

March Madness betting odds can be difficult to get the hang of, especially if you’re new to watching NCAA basketball. If you’re wanting to get in on the action and bet on March Madness 2021, this guide will teach you the basics of March Madness betting and prepare you to start placing bets.

It’s a good idea to take a look at the upcoming round and the match-ups. From there, you can pick a few games to do a little research about. You’ll want to look at how each team did in the regular season (wins, losses, and number of games played) and the shape they’re in heading into playoffs (recent win or loss streak, injuries, and the number of players or team staff self-isolating). This will give you a better idea of how well you can expect them to do in their playoff matches. Teams who ended the regular season on a string of losses likely won’t be in a good position to do well in the playoffs, but teams who picked up a lot of wins at the end of the season will have some momentum and confidence heading into playoffs.

You will also want to look at the seeding of each team. Each region seeds their teams 1-15, with the No 1 seed being the best team in the region and the No. 15 being the worst team in the region. The seeding shows which teams you can expect to do well in the tournament and which ones will likely be eliminated early. However, this does not mean the outcomes of each round are set in stone. It’s common in March Madness to see Cinderella stories — which essentially means big upsets — in round one and round two. Some low-seeded teams make it to the Sweet 16 because they picked up a round one win and were able to carry that victory momentum into their round two games two days later. Then, all teams wait six days for their round three games, and this is when teams reset and generally go back to performing in a manner that’s more reflective of their efforts in the regular season.

Round three, the Sweet 16, is when the remaining higher-seeded teams tend to defeat the lower-seeded teams who advanced to the third round. There were quite a few notable upsets in the first two rounds of March Madness 2021. These include No. 13 seed North Texas defeating No. 4 Purdue in the South Regional, No. 12 Oregon State knocking out No. 5 Tennessee, and No. 11 Syracuse eliminating No. 6 San Diego State. In the West Regional, No. 7 Oregon eliminated No. 2 Iowa in a shocking turn of events. The Midwest Regional has seen the most big upsets in the second round. No. 8 seed Loyola-Chicago took out No. 1 seed Illinois, No. 11 seed Syracuse defeated No. 3 seed West Virginia, and No. 4 seed Oklahoma State lost to No. 12 Oregon State. South Regional No. 15 seed Oral Roberts has unexpectedly knocked out both No. 2 seed Ohio State and No. 7 Florida, and it will be interesting to see if they can hold this momentum when they take on the No. 3 seed Arkansas in the Sweet 16.

As you can tell, the March Madness tournament is always a thrilling spectacle, making it one of the biggest sporting events of the year along with one of the most popular sporting events to bet on.

How to bet on March Madness

There are a few things you need to know when placing bets on March Madness 2021, especially with the odds available to you. The first odd available is the match result. When you bet on the match result, the odds are displayed next to the team. For example, if a team has 1.30 odds, it means if they win, you’ll get your bet times 1.30 back as your winnings. Lower numbers in the odds box show that outcome is more likely to happen, whereas higher numbers mean the outcome is less likely to happen. However, you can get a big pay out on the off chance that an unlikely victor emerges. You can also bet on handicaps and alternative handicaps.

The handicaps allow you to bet on a team winning by a specified point margin. So, if the Michigan Wolverines are listed as a -12 with 1.66 odds, it means that Michigan will have to win by over 12 points in order for you to win 1.66 times your bet. Alternative handicaps provide a variety of potential point margin scenarios you can bet on, all of which come with different odds — some low and some high.

Betting on the total number of points scored in a game is another popular betting choice. Similar to the alternative handicaps, there are alternative point totals you can bet on. Another bet you can make is on the winner of each region. These winners are determined in the Elite Eight round. The winners of each region will move on to the Final Four and be one step closer to the championship title. Betting on the winner of each individual region provides a little more security than betting on the championship winner alone, and may be the safer option for those new to betting on March Madness.

Top NCAA Teams

At the time of writing, the top NCAA teams most likely to qualify for the Final Four were the Gonzaga Bulldogs, Baylor Bears, and Houston Cougars. Gonzaga is a notorious powerhouse in the league, and is now the overall favourite to win the tournament. Odds of 1.28 are available for Gonzaga to qualify for the Final Four. You can also bet on Gonzaga winning the championship with odds of 2.50. However, Baylor is right on Gonzaga’s heels. Odds of Baylor making the Final Four are 1.50 and 4.50 for winning the tournament. Houston had a massive 87-56 first round victory over Cleveland State, but it appeared that their momentum slowed down when they took on Rutgers in the second round.

Houston just narrowly defeated the No. 10 seed 63-60. Odds of Houston making the Final Four are 1.85 while odds of them winning the tournament are 9.50. There are a couple of other lower-seeded teams who have recently become contenders to win the tournament or make an appearance in the Final Four. This is due to the many upsets that have taken place in just the first two rounds of the tournament. With powerhouses Illinois, Texas, and Ohio State out of the picture, some other teams now have a better chance at getting into the final, all of which you can bet on at PowerPlay.

The Michigan Wolverines are the No. 1 seed in the East Regional bracket and dominated their opponents — Texas Southern and LSU — in the first two rounds. Michigan is in good position to continue to lead the East Regional, and have 7.50 odds of clinching the championship. The Loyola-Chicago Ramblers have also proven they are contenders for the Final Four. Their impressive victory over No. 1 Illinois was a clear demonstration that Loyola-Chicago should not be counted out just yet. You can bet on Loyola-Chicago qualifying for the Final Four with odds of 2.37.

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March Madness Betting Strategy

The easiest aspect of March Madness betting is to bet on the match winner. It’s the most straightforward option because there are only two options to choose from. Teams with a strong defense typically do better in the playoff season, so if you’re torn between who to bet on in a particular match, you may want to consider which team has the better defensive track record.

Another important consideration is how a team’s regular season ended. If they picked up a lot of losses or barely made it into the bracket, they probably won’t make it very far. Don’t expect a team who picked up a lot of losses late in the season to all of a sudden get their act together in the first round of the playoffs. On the other hand, a team that experienced a lot of success at the end of the regular season could be a good team back in the playoffs since they’ll be motivated to keep winning.

Those who have more experience betting on March Madness might prefer to parlay their bets, which provides more of an opportunity to win big. Parlay bets involve betting on several outcomes, such as game winners, to improve your chances of winning big. However, to win a parlay bet, you have to win all the variables you bet on. If there is a specific team you are rooting for, it’s crucial to look at their chances of winning from a neutral perspective. Loyalty is great, but betting a lot of money on your favourite team when it’s a 15th seed and didn’t have a stellar regular season is not likely to have great returns on your initial bet, if any.


Our NCAA betting odds & fixtures are sure to help you find the best bet slip when it comes to betting on the National Collegiate Athletic Association. Browse PowerPlay’s wide range of NCAA betting odds, tips and fixtures below!


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