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March Madness Betting Odds: The Latest NCAA March Madness Favorites

Last Updated on 04/17/2024
Fact checked by: Vicky Winters

We’ve created this handy guide that tells you all you need to know about March Madness betting odds. Essential for anyone who wants to bet on this iconic college basketball tournament.

Not only will we tell you how NCAA March Madness betting odds work, but we’ve found some sportsbooks who can be counted on for your basketball bets. Plus with our picks for who could win this tournament, you’ll know exactly which NCAA basketball March Madness odds to bet on.

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What are March Madness sports betting odds?

Betting odds simply refer to the likelihood of something happening, and therefore March Madness betting odds refers to something happening in the NCAA Division I college basketball tournament.

It could be something as simple as the likelihood of Houston Cougars beating Gonzaga Bulldogs in the Final Four, or even a specific player like Drew Timme scoring a certain number of points.

You’ll be betting on these odds with a real money stake. If your prediction is wrong, you’ll lose your stake. However, if your prediction is right, you will win back your stake as well as returns that are determined by the odds.

Understanding the odds format

Sportsbooks typically display their odds in a numerical format with either a minus sign for the favorite and a plus sign for the underdog. So if you see a team with -200 odds, they will have a better chance of winning than a team with +200 odds.

Such odds also determine what kinds of payouts you get should you win your bet. For example, when wagering on +200 odds, you would have to bet $200 to get $100 back. Conversely, but when betting on -200 odds, you would receive $200 by winning a bet of $100.

From this we can see that you will get better returns by backing the riskier odds, but more chances of winning when backing the favorites.

An example of how March Madness final betting odds work

Let’s take an example from last year’s NCAA Championship game. It featured the number-one ranked NCAA team, Kansas Jayhawks, taking on the eighth-ranked team, North Carolina.

As they were the favorites, Kansas had money line odds of -190 odds to win the game outright. This means that you would have to bet $190 to get $100 back.

Conversely, North Carolina went into the game as underdogs and this gave them money line odds of +155 to win the game. This meant that if you wagered $100 and North Carolina won, you would win $155.

As things turned out Kansas won the game 72-69 which meant that the favorites won that year’s March Madness.

Different kinds of bookie betting odds for March Madness

The good news is that you will always get lots of different odds for March Madness. Here are just some of the different lines that you can expect to bet on:

  • Futures odds: This means betting something happening that won’t be decided in the immediate future such as the overall winner of March Madness. For example, will Alabama Crimson Tide win the 2023 NCAA Division I title?
  • Round odds: Here you could bet on whether a certain team will reach a specific round in March Madness. This could be a bet on Iowa Hawkeyes to reach the Sweet Sixteen round, or Providence Friars to reach the Elite Eight.
  • Money line odds: This is the most common bet where you will bet on the winner of a March Madness game such as whether UCLA Bruins beat USC Trojans.
  • Spread betting odds: Here you are betting on the winning margin. For example, it could mean that Dayton Flyers have to beat Mississippi State Bulldogs by three points or more for you to win your bet. Spread betting is useful as it evens out an unequal playing field.
  • Totals: This is where you bet on the total number of points scored in a game or whether a certain team will score a specific number of points. Such bets are usually in an over/under format, so you might have to predict whether a game between Michigan State Spartans and Pittsburgh Panthers will have over or under 210.5 points scored between the two teams.
  • Props: Prop odds are any kind of bets that are independent of the overall game results. You’ll usually be given lots of different player prop bets such as whether Oscar Tshiebwe will get a certain number of points, assists, rebounds, three-pointers or steals.
  • Halves and quarters: This is where there will be odds displayed for things like which team will be winning at the end of the first quarter, whether the full-time winner was also winning at half-time and so on.

A quick word about live NCAA betting odds for March Madness

All good online sportsbooks will give you live college basketball betting odds for each game at March Madness. This is where you get to bet live on the action after the game has already begun.

The live betting odds will be constantly changing in correspondence to the live action and it can be a great way of opening up some extra value as well as providing even more entertainment. Don’t forget to use the cash out option if you want to settle your bets early before anything goes horribly wrong.

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Who has the best odds for betting on March Madness?

Each of the sportsbooks featured on this page will be more than capable of giving you the best betting odds for March Madness. This is because the NCAA Division I tournament is easily one of the biggest highlights of the sporting calendar and lots of people will want to bet on the action.

The fact that so many people want to bet on March Madness will mean that many sportsbooks will lower their betting margins for certain games in the tournament. This has the effect of making the odds much more competitive which is good news for bettors as it means that they’ll get more returns from their winning bets.

All of this is a good reason why it’s smart to shop around different sportsbooks to see who has the best odds for the game that you want to bet on. But by visiting any of the sportsbooks featured in the banners of this page, you’ll be sure of getting competitive and fair odds from safe and legal sportsbooks.

Front-runners in the March Madness betting odds to win the tournament

March Madness is usually won by one of the teams with the best NCAA rankings. So think about betting on these teams if you want to win your bets:

  • Houston Cougars: The Cougars are top of the NCAA rankings with an incredible 27-2 record and a nine-game winning streak.
  • Alabama Crimson Tide: For a while Alabama were the favorites to win March Madness. While their odds may have slipped, they are still worth a look.
  • Kansas Jayhawks: Last year’s winners and well-placed to win March Madness again.
  • UCLA Bruins: No team has won March Madness more than UCLA and for good reason.

Beyond the betting odds for the March Madness winner

Of course, there is always the chance that one of the underdogs could cause a big shock in this year’s March Madness. Here are some sleeper picks to consider for betting on whether they can reach certain rounds like the Final Four and Elite Eight:

  • Purdue Boilermakers: With a 24-5 record, Purdue shouldn’t be overlooked.
  • Arizona Wildcats: Another team with a solid 24-5 record and sure to reach the later rounds.
  • Baylor Bears: Ranked seventh in the NCAA rankings, Baylor could cause a few upsets. 
  • Gonzaga Bulldogs: The Bulldogs have won their last six in a row and are in form for this year’s March Madness.

How to bet on March Madness champion betting odds

You can go from making your March Madness predictions to betting on the sportsbook odds in just a matter of minutes. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Sign up to a sportsbook
  2. Verify your account
  3. Get your welcome offer
  4. Make a deposit
  5. Browse the odds
  6. Submit your bets

Getting boosts on your March Madness championship betting odds

We should also mention the fact that many online sportsbooks will put on odds boosts for certain games in March Madness. This is where the odds are simply enhanced for specific markets.

For example, a sportsbook might boost its odds for Oklahoma State Cowboys to beat Missouri Tigers from -200 to -150. This will simply give you more returns with no strings attached. Just remember that many of these odds boost deals will tend to push you out of your comfort zone.

Advice for betting on March Madness odds

Betting on sportsbook odds is all about understanding risk and balancing this out with the potential rewards of winning your bets. So here are a few tips to get your started when betting on March Madness odds:

Research past form

It’s essential that you know the past form each team involved in your bet. For example, Houston Cougars are currently on a nine game winning streak which means that they have a good chance of beating most opposition.

Experiment with different betting lines

Don’t get stuck in just making bets on the overall game winner. Not that there’s anything wrong with just betting on the money line, just that alternative betting markets like totals and player props can frequently throw up more variance in the odds. 

Try live betting

Let’s say that you wanted to bet on a strong team like Baylor Bears to beat a relative underdog like Rutgers. If you bet on the Bears prematch you might not get very good odds, but just by waiting a few minutes into the game, you might find that the live betting odds had lengthened. 

Set yourself a budget

Finally, it’s important to note that March Madness is notoriously risky and so you should always set yourself a budget before betting - even if it's on a favorite with short odds. By doing this, you can suffer that big upset without it causing you any financial problems. 

Conclusion - All you need to know about college basketball odds for March Madness

We’ve shown you that betting odds for March madness are actually pretty easy to understand and that there are lots of great sportsbooks who’ll give you a fair price for your basketball bets. Plus with the help of our March Madness predictions odds like these won’t be so mysterious and you’ll know exactly who to bet on.

Of course, we have to remember that the NCAA March Madness betting odds will be constantly changing throughout the whole tournament. So check back to our regularly updated guide to make sure that you’re always playing with the best NCAA betting odds for March Madness.

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NCAA basketball March Madness odds FAQ

💪Who has the best odds to win March Madness 2023?

Make sure that you read our guide to see who has the best NCAA March Madness betting odds for winning this epic tournament. Don’t forget that we’ll also give you our March Madness picks so that you can bet on college basketball with confidence.

👀Which NCAA teams have the shortest Final Four odds?

Take a look at our guide to see who has the shortest March Madness betting odds to reach the Final Four. Once you’ve done this you can check out our guide to March Madness Finals gambling to see who are the favorites to win the competition overall.

❓What does NCAA basketball futures mean?

We’ve prepared a guide that tells you all you need to know about NCAA basketball Madness odds. This means letting you see what NCAA basketball futures mean and we can show you where to get some great March Madness betting apps while we are at it.

🏆Who will win March Madness 2023?

Our guide tells you all you need to know about NCAA March Madness betting odds. From seeing the odds for the favorites to win to revealing our March Madness sleeper picks, it’ll all take your college basketball bets to the next level. 

🏀Who has the shortest March Madness first round odds?

We’ve created a thorough guide to NCAA basketball March Madness odds that’ll give you the lowdown on who to bet on in the First Round. Plus at the other end of the scale we’ve even got a dedicated guide to March Madness Final 4 gambling.

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