How to Win Your Bracket and Win Bets too

It's Tournament time, and we all know what that means: It’s time to start picking winners – both in your bracket and against the spread.

Strategies for filling out a winning bracket and selecting sharp plays at the window often go hand in hand. Solid bracket games with guaranteed cash prizing can be found at places such as SportsBetting.ag and Bovada.

When filling out your bracket, don’t be afraid to shy away from higher seeds, especially later on in the Big Dance. The chalk schools have done better in recent years, but no more than two No. 1 seeds will make it to Indianapolis.

Frame your bracket with two No. 1 seeds in mind, and fill out the Final Four with two teams from the No. 2-No. 6 range. Key on the No. 2 and No. 3 seeds, but don’t forget about teams slightly beyond that range.

No. 4 Purdue, No. 5 Michigan State, No. 5 Butler, No. 6 Tennessee, and No. 8 Texas have all been ranked in the top 10 in the national polls at some point this season. These schools are capable of making noise against higher seeds.

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Expect upsets in the first round. Every year, at least one No. 12 seed beats a No. 5 seed. This year, New Mexico State, UTEP, Cornell, and Utah State are all capable of providing an early upset.

Looking towards the betting side of March Madness, make sure to put emphasis on recent play. Teams can change a great deal from November to March, so lean on hot streaks and fade recent cold snaps.

It doesn’t really matter if a school was lighting it up in the preseason if it was mediocre in February and March.

Fatigue and injuries also play a huge role in the Dance. Which schools looked tired in their conference tournament? Who’s got injury issues? Which teams rely on a short rotation? Who’s got a deep bench? These factors might not be enough for an outright win, but they could very well be the difference against the spread.

College basketball is a game of matchups. Make sure to handicap styles, size, athleticism, and relative experience. Duke is a No. 1 seed, and rightfully so, but it could be in trouble against a team with tons of athleticism.

Finally, focus on road/neutral site records and statistics, and understand there’s increased public attention on the Madness. Square bettors up the price on the higher seeds, making plays on underdogs and small favorites worthwhile.

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