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March Madness Betting Strategies Guide: How Can You Use The NCAA Calcutta Auction Strategy On March Madness?

Last Updated on 05/17/2024
Fact checked by: Allan Howe

Learning how to gamble on March Madness, one of the most highly wagered-on events in all sports betting, is valuable, especially with coming so soon.

Here at Ballislife, we value all things basketball. With that, we have a particular knack for not only relaying information about the sport but tips and tricks for how to set yourself up for the best possible betting outcomes. Below, we aim to accomplish that.

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March Madness Betting Strategies Explained

March Madness is the term used to describe the NCAA Tournament, which takes place every year. This 60+ team tournament determines the champion of college basketball. With that, it comes with its own set of betting parameters. As such, a specific March Madness betting guide is required.

Suppose you’re even remotely familiar with this tournament. In that case, you’ll know that upsets (lower seeds beating higher seeds) happen regularly.

Below, we’ll review multiple strategies in this March Madness betting guide, explore what types of college wagers are legal in particular states, and show you how to get started betting on NCAAB.

March Madness Betting Strategies to Follow

There are numerous popular March Madness strategies out there. Our experts have cultivated the best ones for you in the guide below. Explore the options to find which suits you best.

March Madness Calcutta Strategy

With the Calcutta system, you’ll engage in an auction draft for all the tournament teams. You might do this with friends, co-workers, or an online sportsbook if they offer it. With this strategy, you’ll want to identify teams that are valuable but are undervalued by the other participants in your draft. This will require some keen analysis on your part. Depending on the context of your draft, you may find that players bid higher on the top-seeded teams, which does make sense. However, you can potentially identify value and receive payouts based on your team’s performance.

Since 2000, the first or second seed has won 18 times, so the odds are in their favor. However, if you can find a diamond in the rough, that advances far but maybe not quite the championship winner; you can still receive a hefty payout based on the terms of your draft.

March Madness Survivor Strategy

A survivor pool is a mainstay at online sportsbooks. With this, you’ll take part in a contest where you’ll get eliminated when the team you choose loses in the tournament.

So, you’ll want to select a roster of teams that you think can do well, but again, keep upsets in mind.

Like the Calcutta strategy, you’ll need to have a grasp on all teams in the tournament and their strengths and weaknesses.

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More Tips to Refine Your Strategy

Review Injury Reports

While basketball is a team sport, one player can make a massive difference, especially if poised to be a top pick in the upcoming NBA Draft. So, before you make any bets, you’ll want to review the injury reports to see the status of players on the team. Having a grasp on the availability of the players playing is vital to creating the best March Madness strategy. 

Vegas March Madness Betting Strategy

Suppose you’re unsure how to wager on the NCAA Tournament. In that case, you can consult with picks and predictions from professional handicappers offering insight using particular betting odds. That’s something you can find here at Ballislife with our picks and predictions for each game. 

Set a Bankroll Budget

Instead of just depositing money and wagering it right away, we’d recommend evaluating your total budget, depositing it, and wagering between 1% and 10%. This amount depends on your budget, but the goal of it is to limit losses, diversify wagers, and preserve longevity. 

Momentum Matters

In the NCAA Tournament, we all know about lower-seeded teams making it further than expected. Some recent examples are No. 11 George Mason making it to the Final Four, No. 15 Saint Peter’s getting to the Elite Eight, and more.

With that, momentum matters. So, if a lower-seeded team rattles off a win or two, consider that when betting because the additional focus and adrenaline these teams get can catapult them to unexpected victories.

Fade The Public

Some online sportsbooks will show the distribution of money wagered on each side of a bet. With that, you’ll have direct data as to what the general betting population on that site is thinking. Generally speaking, we’d recommend potentially going against that, as this could allow for better odds or lines than previously attainable. 

Odds Shopping

Suppose you’re in a state with multiple online sportsbooks. In that case, you can compare and contrast the odds and lines between them to see which offers you more value for your desired wager. Sure, you can settle with whatever your favorite sportsbook is. Still, besides better odds, you’ll gain access to a new welcome bonus if you’ve never played there.

Live Betting Hedging

Not only do we recommend live betting as a standard way to bet on NCAA and other games, but it can also be used to hedge your pregame wagers. NCAAB Live betting odds change rapidly as the game unfolds, and with that, you can use these odds to your advantage if the bet you made before the game isn’t going so well. The idea of hedging is to limit losses, break even, or receive fewer winnings.

Additionally, if your pregame wager is going well, you can use live betting to double down and win even more.

Focus On Key Statistics

As with any sport, there are statistics to remember when making bets. This helps determine the strengths and weaknesses of each team. These include per-game statistics, which measure how well a team does on a game-by-game basis (points, rebounds, and assists). On top of this, we like to target teams that perform well in the offensive rebound category, as this creates second chances for that team. Lastly, another stat you can consider, among many, is the turnover margin. If a team is particularly bad with its turnovers, this could result in a loss of points for that team which could spell disaster in a high-stakes tournament. 

The No. 1 Seed And The Elite Eight

Since 1985, a No. 1 seed has made the Elite Eight every year. With that, if you bet on a team that’s a No. 1 seed to make the Elite Eight, it’s not really a matter of if they will, but which team will. 

Understand Blue Blood Bias

While Duke and North Carolina have historically been dominant programs in college basketball, they’ve not faired nearly as well in recent years. Neither has made it past the Elite Eight since 2016. While these are just two teams that are considered “blue bloods,” it’s an example of not betting on a team purely because of their historical results. 

March Madness Betting By State

While these NCAAB strategies can be used in any state where NCAAB betting is legal, there are some limits on what you can bet on in specific states.

  • New Jersey: You cannot bet on NJ-based teams.
  • Virginia: You can’t bet on Virginia-based teams, props, or live betting.
  • Illinois: You cannot bet on IL-based teams or props.
  • New York: You cannot bet on NY-based teams or games, including those in a tournament.
  • Arizona, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia: You cannot bet on props.

Getting Started Betting On How To Gamble March Madness

  • Find which sportsbook you want to play at. You can do so by examining our reviews of the sites and their welcome offers.
  • Download the mobile app for the platform or visit the desktop site.
  • Register for an account. You’ll need to provide information such as your name, address, last four digits of your social security number, and more.
  • After creating your account, make your first deposit while keeping the welcome bonus in mind.
  • Go back to the homepage and navigate to the NBA strategy section.
  • Select which game and bet you want to make.
  • Add it and the money you want to bet to your betslip.
  • Wait for the final results.

Conclusion on How to Gamble March Madness

Not only have we walked you through how to gamble on March Madness with our “getting started” guide above, but we’ve also provided 12 strategies that will make your March Madness betting experience better and more profitable.

On top of this, we’ve provided information about the various restrictions that each state has on college betting. These are important to know so you don’t spend time analyzing specific bets you can’t participate in.

From here, please bookmark this page, and continue to refer back to it as we enter March Madness season.

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