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Betting on NCAA Basketball: March Madness Odds for 2020

March Madness is a three-week sports betting extravaganza. You have 67 win-or-go-home games to bet on, giving you the chance to make some major coin. And that’s on top of your bracket!

Odds Shark’s NCAA college basketball experts will break down each game, analyze the odds and help you handicap your college basketball bets.

bet on NCAA basketball here!

March Madness QUICK LINKS

How Does the March Madness Basketball Tournament Work?

The college b-ball event is 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. 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 “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” because they have a group of talking mice helping them dress for the games. Just kidding! Cinderella is also another way to say that an “underdog” team is performing better than expected.

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

Betting on March Madness

Take your pick from the following 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 a team to win outright, or lose by fewer than a specific number of points set by oddsmakers. Here, you would look at how many points per game a team is averaging to handicap this bet.

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 betting lines you like, take them 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 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) Jayhawks 31952, 1988, 2008Phog Allen (52), Larry Brown (88), Bill Self (08)

 

Tournament info
RoundSiteDate
Selection Sundayn/aMarch 15
First FourDayton, OhioMarch 17 & 18
1st/2nd RoundAlbany, New YorkMarch 19 & 21
1st/2nd RoundSpokane, WashingtonMarch 19 & 21
1st/2nd RoundSt. Louis, MissouriMarch 19 & 21
1st/2nd RoundTampa, FloridaMarch 19 & 21
1st/2nd RoundGreensboro, North CarolinaMarch 20 & 22
1st/2nd RoundOmaha, NebraskaMarch 20 & 22
1st/2nd RoundSacramento, CaliforniaMarch 20 & 22
1st/2nd RoundCleveland, OhioMarch 20 & 22
Midwest RegionalIndianapolis, IndianaMarch 26 & 28
West RegionalLos Angeles, CaliforniaMarch 26 & 28
South Regional Houston, TexasMarch 27 & 29
East RegionalNew York, New YorkMarch 27 & 29
Final Four, National ChampionshipAtlanta, GeorgiaApril 4 & 6

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

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

Seed vs Seed Results

The 2020 NCAA Tournament starts on March 17 and 18 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.