Betting Strategies to Profit From March Madness

A close up view of a March Madness official game ball. Jamie Squire/Getty Images/AFP

Once March Madness comes around, plenty of bettors have already profited on the season. But then there are those who only like to tune into college basketball for March Madness. Most will bet like the public and lose. But those who take the time to dig into the numbers and bet against the public, usually have the best shot at making a profit.

There are a couple of ways to profit from March Madness. The first one would be winning your March Madness bracket pool. The second way to profit would be to bet on actual games and futures bets. Let’s start with bracket pools. In a pool with a large number of people, you need to think about adding more potential upsets and taking outcomes not many others will think about taking. Again, you want to think like a sharp person but you also don’t want to overdo it and take too many upsets.

Usually, it’s best to stay away from taking the number one seeds however, Gonzaga and Baylor both made it in the finals this year as one seed. But again, most of the time, March Madness doesn’t have the top two teams playing in the finals against one another. There are usually shocking upsets and insane finishes throughout the postseason. Because of less fans in attendance, that could’ve played a role in a less than entertaining March Madness a year ago.

In a bracket, your job is to find a team or two that can make it to the Final Four or beyond and potentially win the NCAA Tournament that isn’t going to be selected by many opponents. If done successfully, you’ll rocket ahead of all your opponents in the standings when your “long shot” makes history.

Here’s how you can find a long shot in a bracket.

It’s important to look at offensive and defensive numbers. You want a team that is a top 20 team in offensive and defensive efficiency and you also want a team that has an experienced coach that has won over 60 percent of their regular-season games in his career. You’ll also want a team that has a reliable point guard that is junior or senior at the college level.

In addition, the team would need to hit threes consistently above 33 percent. That same team would also have to be consistent at the foul line. Beyond that, you’d look for a team that is able to limit turnovers on offense but can force turnovers on defense. Those attributes are something most former championship teams have had. If you lined up all teams this season based on those traits, you’d be left with Gonzaga, Baylor, Houston and Kansas.

Coincidentally enough, Houston found their way to the Final Four as a two seed. Kansas never had a chance due to COVID protocol. Their players weren’t around at the start of the tournament and that likely had something to do with Kansas’ poor performance. These factors truly help you when deciding who to pick as champions and who could pull off upsets.

Using those traits when betting, you would put money on Gonzaga and Baylor to win the Tournament at plus money but when you’re doing a bracket with plenty of people, you need to think about upsets and teams that nobody else will think about putting as champions.

In a small bracket pool, taking a team like Baylor and Gonzaga would be fine. But to stand out against other players in that small pool, picking upsets in the first and second round or beyond are even more important. Taking Loyola Chicago to beat Illinois would’ve been a massive booster in a small pool against others who likely had Illinois in their final four.

Recap

In a small pool of 10-15 people, you can take a favorite to win it all as long as you have potential upsets earlier in the tournament that can set you apart from the competition.

In a big pool of 50 or more, most people in the pool will still be taking the top favorites like Gonzaga or Baylor. It’s your job to find that potential team that can upset everyone and win the NCAA Tournament. This year, those two teams were UCLA and Houston but only Houston fell into the categories where they were a potential threat to win the tournament.

Maybe one or two people would’ve actually had Houston winning it all and if you did, people would’ve been sweating your bracket out knowing you had a chance to upset the entire field.

When it comes to sports betting, once you break everything down and find your favorite teams to win the NCAA Tournament, put a unit on all of your teams at plus money. If you find three or four teams you like that fit all of your categories, thoughts and ideas, put a unit on each one and if one of those wins, you’re going to be profitable. If a longshot ends up winning, like Houston, for example, you’d profit 15-20 units off the bet.

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