Every sports gambler’s favorite time of year is early spring, and we all know why: March Madness. The aptly-nicknamed NCAA Mens’ Basketball Tournament is a month-long gambler paradise with the great games, great matchups, and, most importantly, great odds. Three glorious weekends of seemingly endless hoops. As great as the Final Four and Championship Game are, nothing really compares to the first weekend of the March Madness. There are 56 games to be played before the Sweet Sixteen is decided, and these games are where all the action is. The big upsets, the buzzer-beaters, and the road to the Final Four all happen that first weekend. And with so much action crammed into one weekend, it is important to have a strong gambling strategy to employ. We’ve asked around for the best tips when betting the first weekend of March Madness and have everything you need to know right here.
On Moneyline Wagers, Stick to the Underdogs
One of the reasons for the tournament’s popularity is the number of upsets we see in the first weekend year in and year out. It is always exciting to see a small school come out of nowhere to knock off one of the big dogs. It happens so much you can almost set your watch to it. For this reason, taking favorites on the Moneyline becomes a non-starter. Sure, upsets happen during the regular season, and this is what makes the Moneyline wager a risky one—when betting on favorites, that is. If you are going to play the Moneyline during March Madness, you’d be wise to stay away from the favorites and try to predict a few of the upsets that are sure to come, especially in the first weekend. The odds will be longer, and you’ll be able to hit for more value. The upsets are coming, so be sure you are on the right side of those wagers by never taking a favorite on the Moneyline.
There Will Be Upsets, Just Tread Lightly
When wagering on the first week of March Madness, it is important to remember one important factor: keeping perspective. Yes, there will be plenty of upsets the first weekend. In fact, there will be several upsets the first afternoon of the first day of the first weekend. However, this doesn’t mean favorites don’t win, don’t cover, or don’t romp. The fact is that there are so many games, seeing three or four upsets will seem like a lot. But compared to the number of games being played, it’s not as much as you think. There are 16 games on the first Thursday of the tourney, and if there are three upsets, there are 13 games that went as expected. Keep things in proper perspective before placing a wager.
With all the excitement the first weekend of March Madness brings, it is very easy to get carried away. Beginning Thursday morning, there is game after game after game until late Sunday night, and wanting to get in on all the action is a natural reaction. Of course, this is a terrible idea. You want to be very picky about every game you wager on. When it comes to sports gambling, the first week of March Madness isn’t great because of the number of games you can wager on; it’s great because of the number of games you can choose from. To be a successful sports gambler, you are going to have to learn to pick the right game with the right line and the best odds. It is called finding the value and the first week of March Madness is the perfect opportunity to do so. You should not be betting on 16 different games on Thursday. However, you should be able to find five games to wager on which give you the best chance to finish the day in the black.
Don’t Bet for the Sake of Betting
This is a great tip for every month of the year, but it is especially true in March. Just because you are watching a game does not mean you should bet on it. This is a terrible way to gamble on sports, and it’s how many online sportsbooks make the majority of their money. A last-second wager on a game you know nothing about other than that it is televised is a losing wager. Sure, you may win a few but you will lose more. You’ve done your homework all year and have researched the wagers you want, don’t deviate at the last moment just to have a bet down. You’ll have the opportunity to do so over and over in the month of March, but it is a losing play in the long run and should be completely avoided.