While everyone focuses on the massive handle the books take in on the Super Bowl, the wagering during March Madness blows that number away. For decades, corporate-teers have been filling out office pool brackets that cost $5 an entry. While everyone still loves to fill out their brackets, the game has changed. With sports gambling fever at an all-time high and 35 States/Territories open for legal action, there is no question that this year will break records for the March Madness take.
This year’s Big Dance will provide one of the most wide open tournaments in history, with as many as 15 teams having realistic shots at cutting down the nets. The Huston Cougars are the betting favorite at present, sitting at 6-1 in most books. They are followed by Alabama, UCLA, Purdue and defending champion Kansas, all who are going off at around 10-1. With 67 games over the course of two and half weeks, there will be plenty of opportunities for advantage plays. Here are some of KrackWins’ tips for cashing in on the Madness:
TIP NO. 1) FIRST HALF VALUE: The first half line offers more of a pure number than the game for a few reasons. First and foremost because the first half does not end with garbage desperate fouls being committed by losing teams trying to extend the game. I cannot tell you how many times I have lost tournament games that were winners for 39 minutes until fouling to the death by seniors playing their last game took my bet from a winner to a loser.
Staying with the first half theme, I like to bet the lower seeds (13-16) in the first round as these smaller-school kids, playing the biggest game of their lives, come out with a lot of emotion and in many cases, stick around longer than they should. While that adrenaline may carry them through the first 10-15 minutes, the talent and depth of the stronger teams usually takes over in the second half. I like to target some of these big underdogs in the first half. I also look at First Half Unders for the same reasons stated above.
TIP NO. 2) BIG NAMES = BIG ACTION: A lot of folks only really pay attention to college basketball in March. The big name schools (Kansas, Duke, UCLA) are public favorites to bet, so there is already some value on the underdog schools people may not be as familiar with. During the Sweet 16 and Elite 8 these big name favorites are bet down by the public enough that books are forced to move in favor of the dog.
TIP NO. 3) PROP ME UP: With more and more legal sportsbooks entering the proposition market, there are more bets than ever. This year’s player and team prop market for the NCAA Basketball Tournament will have the most options we’ve ever seen. There is no way the bookmaker can accurately set lines for this many options. Check out individual game player props across the board and look for +EV plays early before the books adjust.
TIP NO. 4) PROTECT YOUR BANKROLL: As we get into the second weekend, you should be reducing your wager volume. The lines get tighter as the tournament goes on. I like to only wager on high percentage plays. There are games on all day for the first two weeks and they are all on TV. As always, don’t bet a game just because it is next on the card. Bet with your head and not over it. March Madness is the most fun three weeks of the sports calendar. Cinderella’s, Buzzer Beaters, and cashing tickets all the way to that last One Shining Moment.