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2021 March Madness Betting Games: News, Odds, Picks & Betting Tools

Check out March Madness Betting Games, Odds, Picks, and Where to Bet at Odds Shark!

March Madness is a three-week sports betting extravaganza. Sports bettors have 67 March Madness betting games to wager on, giving you the chance to make some major coin. And that’s on top of your bracket pool!

With a variety of different March Madness betting games and formats, Odds Shark’s NCAA college basketball experts have broken down each individual game (from the play-in games to the Final Four) and analyzed the odds to help you handicap your college basketball bets.

Odds Shark's experts are also competing against some of the best handicappers of the sports betting industry, in the 2021 March Madness "Best Bets Over Brackets" Contest. Be sure to check it out before placing your bets. 

Our Favorite March Madness Betting Sites

March Madness Betting Games

When it comes to betting on college basketball, you need a basic understanding of the sport and the types of March Madness betting games and formats you can take advantage of to be a winner. We’ve analyzed the regular season and conference tournaments to have you covered with free odds on every single March Madness betting option and in-depth analysis of each NCAA Tournament market.

Make Bets not Brackets

With a 1 in 9.2 quintillion shot at perfection, making and following a March Madness tournament bracket can be painful. We say, don’t bracket, BET. With spreads, props, moneylines, OVER/UNDERs and futures odds to bet on, your options are endless.

Find Out More

March Madness Picks

Regardless of what March Madness betting games or formats you choose to bet on, the NCAA Basketball Tournament is full of surprises. Will a 1 seed get eliminated early? Which team will write this year’s Cinderella story? Which teams play in the first round? We have everything you need to make smart picks on all your March Madness bets and identify those surprise upsets to boost your bankroll.

March Madness Betting for Dummies!

  • Need to learn the basics of college basketball betting?
  • Just looking for a place to play?

Our March Madness Betting Guide Has You Covered

How Does The March Madness Basketball Tournament Work?

The college b-ball event is typically divided into four regions: East, West, Midwest and South. Each contains at least 16 teams, with four additional teams added as per the selection committee, to produce a playing field consisting of 68 schools. This committee is also responsible for seeding and keeping squads from the same conferences from playing each other until the regional finals of the big dance. They do this to create an air of fairness. It’s also great for bettors since it makes your wagers way more interesting, especially if you can correctly pick a team to win the NCAA Tournament.

Single-Elimination Basketball Games

The NCAA Men’s Division 1 competition is to sports betting what the Super Bowl is to … sports betting. March Madness odds can be very good to bettors since the seven-round tournament operates on a single game “you lose, you’re out” basis. If you handicap your bets correctly, you could get a lower-seeded team at plus money (+) and clean up when the favored high seed they’re facing fizzles out like a dying star.

When a low seed prevails, they are referred to as “Cinderella” in basketball betting news because they have a group of talking mice helping them dress for the games. Just kidding! Cinderella is also another way to say that a team seeded lower than its opponent, or an “underdog” team, is performing better than expected.

March Madness Betting Games And Formats

This is how March Madness unfolds:

1. The First Four (to determine which four additional teams will participate)

2. The first round (64 teams)

3. The second round (32 teams)

4. The regional semifinals (Sweet 16)

5. The regional finals (Elite Eight)

6. The national semifinals (Final Four)

7. The national championship game

Betting On March Madness

Take your pick from the following online betting options:

  • Moneyline: Picking a team to win straight up. If the Duke Blue Devils are facing off against the Michigan State Spartans for an Elite Eight matchup, you would pick one squad over the other to triumph.
  • Point Spread: Choosing the favored team to win by more than a specified number of points set by oddsmakers, or the underdog to win outright or lose by fewer than that specific number of points.
  • Totals: A bet on whether the total combined final score will be OVER or UNDER the number set by oddsmakers.
  • Props: Bets related to brackets and player stats like rebounds, field goals, etc.
  • Futures: Bets that can be made weeks or even months in advance of the tournament. For instance, in October you could pick North Carolina to win the championship game.
  • Parlays: Multiple bets on one ticket.
  • Live Betting: Making a bet while the game is going on. Live betting odds disappear fast. If you see NCAA basketball lines you like, take the live odds quickly.

As in any professional sport, there are certain teams and conferences that dominate like Meryl Streep at the Oscars. Some programs have the tools, talent, and the best coaches in college basketball history to stave off elimination and win multiple national titles.

Titles Won
SchoolNumber of TitlesYearsWinning Coach/es
UCLA111964, 1965, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1995John Wooden (10), Jim Harrick (1)
Kentucky81948, 1949, 1951, 1958, 1978, 1996, 1998, 2012Adolph Rupp (4), Joe Hall (1), Rick Pitino (1) Tubby Smith (1), John Calipari (1)
UNC61957, 1982, 1993, 2005, 2009, 2017Frank McGuire (1), Dean Smith (2), Roy Williams (3)
Duke51991, 1992, 2001, 2010, 2015Mike Krzyzewski aka Coach K (5)
Indiana51940, 1953, 1976, 1981, 1987Branch McCracken (2), Bob Knight (3)
UConn41999, 2004, 2011, 2014Jim Calhoun (3), Kevin Ollie (1)
Villanova31985, 2016, 2018Rollie Massimino (1), Jay Wright (2)
Kansas31952, 1988, 2008Phog Allen (1), Larry Brown (1), Bill Self (1)
Louisville21980, 1986, 2013* (vacated)Denny Crum (2), Rick Pitino (1)* vacated
Cincinnati21961, 1962Ed Jucker (2)
Florida22006, 2007Billy Donovan (2)
Michigan State21979, 2000Jud Heathcote (1), Tom Izzo (1)
North Carolina State21974, 1983Norm Sloan (1), Jim Valvano (1)
Oklahoma State21945, 1946Henry Iba (2)
San Francisco21955, 1956Phil Woolpert (2)
Wisconsin11941Bud Foster
Oregon11939Howard Hobson
Stanford11942Everett Dean
Wyoming11943Everett Shelton
Utah11944Vadal Peterson
Holy Cross11947Doggie Julian
CCNY11950Nat Holman
La Salle11954Ken Loeffler
California11959Pete Newell
Ohio State11960Fred Taylor
Loyola Chicago11963George Ireland
UTEP11966Don Haskins
Marquette11977Al Maguire
Georgetown11984John Thompson
Michigan11989Steve Fisher
UNLV11990Jerry Tarkanian
Arkansas11994Nolan Richardson
Arizona11997Lute Olson
Maryland12002Gary Williams
Syracuse12003Jim Boeheim
Virginia12019Tony Bennett
Tournament info
Selection SundayN/AMarch 14
First FourIndianapolis, IndianaMarch 18
First RoundIndianapolis, IndianaMarch 19 & 20
Second RoundIndianapolis, IndianaMarch 21 & 22
Sweet 16Indianapolis, IndianaMarch 27 & 28
Elite EightIndianapolis, IndianaMarch 29 & 30
Final FourIndianapolis, IndianaApril 3
National ChampionshipIndianapolis, IndianaApril 5

All venues are considered neutral sites. The location of the Final Four is decided years in advance, regardless of standings, and won’t be changed no matter which teams participate in that part of the March Madness tournament.

Whether you’re making different bets or relying on your March Madness bracket to get you to the finish line, you can use our Seed vs Seed history results and trends pages as a handicapping device for your March Madness betting strategy.

Seed Vs Seed Results

The 2021 NCAA Tournament starts on March 18 at Lucas Oil Stadium with the First Four. The Virginia Cavaliers are the reigning champions. Their overtime win over the Texas Tech Red Raiders cemented their place in NCAA lore by turning around their previous season (when they were the first No. 1 seed to lose to a No. 16 seed). In 2019, Kyle Guy was the guy on the court, scoring 24 points in the final, and he was named the NCAA Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player, which goes to show that if you work hard, you too can be drafted 55th overall by the Knicks before being traded to the Kings. Believe in yourself.