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March Madness: College Basketball Betting 2019

March Madness is an exhilarating, three-week betting frenzy when sports bettors will have the opportunity to wager on 67 win-or-go-home NCAA basketball games. While you may be filling out an NCAA Tournament bracket, you’ll also want to get in on some individual game betting action, futures bets and props wagers to boost your bankroll. We’ll give you a slew of information, tips and free picks so you can make the best bracket that’s ever been bracketed and, hopefully, make some cash with the betting knowledge you’ve gained here.

bet on ncaa basketball here!

March Madness QUICK LINKS

How Does March Madness Work?

The college basketball tournament is divided into four regions (East, West, Midwest, South) containing at least 16 teams, with four additional teams being added per the selection committee’s request. The tournament itself is played during March and April with 68 teams in total vying for the championship. A selection committee is responsible for determining the seeds of all 68 teams. Moreover, the committee tries to keep teams from the same conference from playing each other until the regional finals to keep things interesting. They also stay away from possible rematches of the regular season or the previous year’s tournament for the first and second rounds.

NCAA Division 1 Men’s Rounds

The men’s division of NCAA college basketball can be very good to bettors. Because the tournament is based on single-elimination – you lose, you’re out – there are seven rounds. This is done so that lower-seeded teams have a chance to advance or fizzle out like a dying star.

  1. The First Four, to determine which four additional teams will participate
  2. The first round, 64 teams participating
  3. The second round, 32 teams participating
  4. The regional semifinals, aka Sweet 16
  5. The regional finals, aka the Elite Eight
  6. The national semifinals, aka the Final Four
  7. The national championship game

Lower-seeded teams that prevail are called “Cinderella” teams because they lost one of their glass Nikes. We’re kidding, of course. “Cinderella” is another way to say “underdog” to designate a team that is seen as a long shot. The most recent example of a “Cinderella” story belongs to the Loyola-Chicago Ramblers. They went 0-for-32 from 1986 to 2017. However, in 2018, they made it all the way to the Final Four before being eliminated by Michigan.

“One-and-done” is another expression you’ll see when it comes to March Madness betting. This means that a team plays one game and then gets ousted from the single-elimination tournament.

Where is the Tournament Played?

No matter where the NCAA Division 1 men’s single-elimination tournament is played, it is considered a neutral site. The only time teams can play on their home court is the Final Four. Home court is considered any venue where the team hosts more than three regular-season games.

The venue for the Final Four is decided years in advance and will not be changed no matter which teams participate in that round of the tournament. It’s also rare that a college basketball team will play at home for the Final Four since the selected venue is usually larger than most NCAA arenas to allow for more spectators.

NCAA March Madness Betting Options

There are different betting options for college basketball. You can take your pick from the following or make as many bets as you want – as long as you check with your spouse first because you do not want to get yelled at over dinner for spending the Costco money on Duke and North Carolina.

  • Point Spread: Choosing a team to win or not lose by a certain number of points set by oddsmakers.
  • Moneyline: Picking a team to win straight up.
  • Totals: A bet on whether the total combined score will be OVER or UNDER the number set by oddsmakers.
  • Props: Bets related to brackets and player stats.
  • Parlay: Multiple bets on one ticket.
  • Live Betting: Making a bet while the game is going on.

March Madness Odds 2019 and Handicapping Info

When it comes to handicapping your college basketball bets, you’ll need our Odds page. This page features – drum roll please! – odds for each matchup in the tournament.

Which Teams and Conferences Usually Win?

As in any professional sport, there are certain teams and conferences that dominate like Beyoncé at the Grammys. Certain programs have the tools and talent to stave off elimination and win multiple national titles.

Titles Won
SchoolNumber of TitlesYearsCoach
University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) Bruins11

1964, 1965, 1967, 1968,

1969, 1970, 1971, 1972,

1973, 1975, 1995

John Wooden except for 1995 when Jim Harrick coached the team
University of Kentucky (UK) Wildcats8

1948, 1949, 1951, 1958,

1978, 1996, 1998, 2012

Adolph Rupp – that was his real first name (48-58),

Joe Hall (78), Rick Pitino (96), Tubby Smith (98), John Calipari (12)

University of North Carolina (UNC) Tar Heels6

1957, 1982, 1993,

2005, 2009, 2017

Frank McGuire (57), Dean Smith (82, 93), Roy Williams (05, 09, 17)
Duke University Blue Devils 51991, 1992, 2001, 2010, 2015Coach K – yes, he’s that good
Indiana University Hoosiers 51940, 1953, 1976, 1981, 1987Branch McCracken (40, 53), Bob Knight (76, 81, 87) 
University of Connecticut (UConn) Huskies41999, 2004, 2011, 2014Jim Calhoun, except 2014, when the team was coached by Kevin Ollie
Villanova University Wildcats31985, 2016, 2018Rollie Massimino (85), Jay Wright (16,18)
University of Kansas (KU) Wildcats 31952, 1988, 2008Phog Allen (52), Larry Brown (88), Bill Self (08)

Another reason these conferences continue to put other teams through the ringer during the March Madness tournament is their coaching staff. Many of the same programs win year after year because they’re led by some of the best coaches in college basketball history like Mike Krzyzewski (Duke, aka Coach K), Roy Williams (North Carolina) and John Calipari (UK). These coaches are adept at working with different (or slightly different) rosters every year and can manage each game to advance to the finals and win titles.

UCLA, on the other hand, may have 11 championships under its belt but that has more to do with coaching phenom John Wooden. But, he hasn’t coached the Bruins since 1975. Sad trombone!

Men’s Division 1 NCAA Elimination Tournament 2019

The 2019 NCAA Tournament offers up 67 games for bettors to handicap, starting with the First Four in Dayton, Ohio on March 19 and 20.

Tournament info
RoundSiteDate
Selection Sundayn/aMarch 17 
First FourDayton, OhioMarch 19-20
1st/2nd RoundHartford, ConnecticutMarch 21/23
1st/2nd RoundSalt Lake City, UtahMarch 21/23
1st/2nd RoundDes Moines, IowaMarch 21/23
1st/2nd RoundJacksonville, FloridaMarch 21/23
1st/2nd RoundTulsa, OklahomaMarch 22/24
1st/2nd RoundColumbus, OhioMarch 22/24
1st/2nd RoundColumbia, South CarolinaMarch 22/24
1st/2nd RoundSan Jose, CaliforniaMarch 22/24
South Regional Louisville, KentuckyMarch 28/30
West RegionalAnaheim, CaliforniaMarch 28/30
East Regional Washington, D.C.March 29/31
Midwest RegionalKansas City, MissouriMarch 29/31
Final Four, National ChampionshipMinneapolis, Minnesota April 6/8

Getting off to a hot start with your betting (or your bracket) can set the tone for your March Madness wagering experience. With that in mind, check out our opening-round Seed vs Seed results history pages:

Seed vs Seed Results

The 2019 NCAA Tournament starts on March 19 and 20 with the First Four in Dayton. The Villanova Wildcats claimed the 2018 championship title with a 79-62 win over the Michigan Wolverines. Reserve player Donte DiVincenzo scored 31 points and was named Most Outstanding Player, showing you that even players you’ve never heard of can make a huge impact in a big game.