The Super Bowl is over, and the start of baseball is still a couple months away. Both the NBA and the NHL seasons will wear on into the summer. But the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament is on the horizon, meaning that it’s time to start thinking about the best betting sites for 2019 March Madness.
It is hard to find any sporting event quite as unique and action-packed as March Madness, the unofficial nickname for the final month or so of the college basketball season. First there are the conference tournaments, which are set up so that teams can win and get into the Big Dance, even if their regular seasons were a bit on the lackluster side.
Next up is the actual tournament itself. 68 teams get in, and little by little the field gets winnowed down as the weeks go by. First there are 32, then a Sweet Sixteen, an Elite Eight, and, last of all, the Final Four. At each stop along the way, you can expect buzzer-beaters, stunning upsets, and a bunch of outstanding performances.
The fascinating thing about college basketball is that, the more many things about the sport change, the more that you can count on some things staying the same. Yes, there are new faces starring on the court, such as the freshmen who seem to more of an impact with each passing year. Yet there will also be plenty of familiar names among the top contenders, schools and programs that are always a major factor when the games count the most.
March Madness presents a myriad of betting opportunities for avid gamblers. Of course, you can bet individually on the games themselves, playing point spreads and over/unders. But you can also make bets along the way that attempt to predict how the bracket for the tournament will fill out, guessing how far each individual team will make it.
Knowing all of that, it is good to hear into March Madness with a good idea of how you are going to place your bets. And that means you should be scouting for the best gambling sites with which you can do your NCAA Tournament betting. You can take a look at the sites we have listed here, but it’s also a good idea if you go into the process knowing how to find some sites yourself.
In the following article, we’ll obviously be giving you pointer on how to find the best betting sites for 2019 March Madness. We’ll also talk about the NCAA season so far and look at the schedule for all the big events. And we’ll talk about the types of bets that you can make during this extremely exciting time of the season as well.
The 2018-2019 Season to Date
There are times when it feels like college basketball is struggling to get the attention it deserves in the sports world. It begins in October during the height of football season, after the pro basketball season has already begun. As it progresses through November and December and preseason tournaments, it has to compete with all of the holiday festivities for the public’s attention.
When conference play begins in earnest in the month of January, the NFL is right in the midst of its postseason. In many cases, people don’t really pay too much attention until the Super Bowl is over. Well, as anyone who witnessed that ugly 13-3 debacle on Sunday, a little breath of college hoops fresh air can be just what the doctor ordered.
And it might surprise them when they see that Tennessee is sitting atop the rankings. The Volunteers, led by standout All-American forward Grant Williams, are rare in this day and age of freshman sensations in that they are a veteran team. They’ve lost just once and have been rock-solid since ascending to the top of the charts in January.
In the meantime, it might no surprise absolutely no one to see that Duke is chasing Tennessee for the top spot. And they have definitely gone all-in with one-and-done types to fuel their success. Led by incendiary talent Zion Williamson, who has NBA teams thinking of tanking games just to get a chance to draft him, the Dukies start four freshmen, all of whom could be first-rounders a year from now.
Don’t look now, but Villanova, champion in two of the last three seasons, is playing its best basketball. So are traditional powers like North Carolina, Kentucky and Gonzaga. Bubbling beneath the surface are some surprises, however, teams like Houston (is Hakeem the Dream back in town?) and Buffalo lurking in the top 25 ready to shock the world.
As far as stars are concerned, Williams and Williamson have been brilliant, as mentioned, as have fellow Dukie’s R.J. Barrett and Cam Reddish, Virginia’s Kyle Guy, Nevada’s Caleb Martin, Marquette’s Markus Howard, Michigan State’s Cassius Winston, and many others. And you just know that more stars will emerge when the tournament takes center stage.
It is setting up for a typically wild and crazy race to the finish. With that in mind, let’s take a look at what’s ahead of us in terms of the upcoming schedule.
Making It to March Madness
As a bettor, it’s always a good idea to know what kind of schedule is coming up so you could make your preparations. That preparation might come in terms of the key games still left to play on the regular season, and it could also be related to knowing when the key dates are for March Madness.
Basically, just about every conference is coming up or already past the halfway point of their league schedule. Next up is the conference tournaments. Some of the biggies this year include:
- March 12-16: ACC Men’s Tournament
- March 13-16: Big East Men’s Tournament
- March 13-16: Big 12 Men’s Tournament
- March 13-16: Pac-12 Men’s Tournament
- March 13-17: Big Ten Men’s Tournament
- March 13-17: SEC Men’s Tournament
March 17 is another big day, because that is when the field of 68 for the Men’s Tournament will be selected. Of course, the field is comprised of the conference champions, who get in automatically, and the so-called “at-large” teams that will have to wait for an invitation based on the strength of their performance throughout the season.
After that, it’s time for the Big Dance. While you might debate on the merits of the so-called “First Four” games that take place on Tuesday and Wednesday, March 19 and 20, at least they give you some more betting opportunities.
The tournament gets underway in earnest with the first and second rounds from March 21-24. At the end of that weekend, the Sweet 16, the season-opening goal of so many programs (and a spot that saves a lot of coaches’ jobs) will be remaining. They battle it out on March 28th and 29th to get to the Elite Eight, held the weekend of the 30th and 31st.
All that is remaining at that point is the Final Four. This year, college basketball’s biggest showcase will be held in Minneapolis. The semifinals are on Saturday, April 6, with the finals scheduled for Monday night, April 8.
Now that you know when everything is taking place, it’s up to you to start preparing. And a good way to do that is to decide what kinds of bets you’ll be making.
Types of Bets on March Madness
There are a number of ways that you can take advantage of the best betting sites for the 2019 edition of March Madness. It depends on whether you want to take a single-game approach or bet on the fortunes of a team throughout the tournament.
Come the first few weeks of college basketball, you will be inundated with college basketball on a level like no other. During conference tournament play, or “Championship Week” as it sometimes known, dozens of tournaments from all over the country will be competing for your betting attention. Following that, the first two rounds of the Big Dance alone will feature 48 games over a four-day stretch.
If you’re betting on one of more of these games, you can simply take the money-line approach, which will let you bet on the team you think is going to win. There is also the point spread available to you. With a point spread, the underdog essentially starts with points added to their score so that the bet is essentially an even one between the two teams.
If you have an idea about how the game will be played, in terms of pace or scoring, you can bet on the over/under. That is when the oddsmakers for the various sites set a number that represents the predicted total score of the two teams playing. It’s your responsibility then to figure out whether that total score will go over or under that number.
One of the interesting things about the way the NCAA Tournament is set up is that you can look at it at the beginning and try to make sense about how far each team is going to go. You can conceivably do that for the tournaments at the end of professional sports seasons. But none of them allow 68 teams into the picture, making for a much bigger range of outcomes.
It’s for that reason that the bracket pools handed out around the office are so popular. But you can also bet in that respect as well with gambling websites, who will give you odds on teams reaching the Sweet Sixteen, Final Four, winning it all, and so on.
With bets like these, you are essentially trying to bet a few games ahead. It’s by no means an easy task. But, if you can pull it off, you will be able to get excellent odds and make solid money off of relatively small wagers.
How to Choose the Best Betting Sites for 2019 March Madness
If you choose one of the websites in the banners above, you can rest assured that it is an excellent choice. That’s because we’ve already done the homework for you, inspecting each for all of the important characteristics that a website should have. Any website that fails to meet the criteria isn’t listed.
Of course, you might have certain ideas about what you want out of your gambling website. That’s why you should know the key components of the top wagering sites on the web. With that in mind, take a look at the things that you should absolutely demand out of a website before you even consider making a March Madness wager of any type with them.
Undisputed Customer Service
You might not think that it’s too important that you have some sort of customer service relationship with the website with which you plan to bet. After all, you might just think it’s about making your bets and collecting your money. That might be the case until a problem arises, at which point you are going to have to hope that the site’s reputation for dealing with their clients is top-notch.
So what does that mean exactly? Well, first of all, it means that there should be contact information clearly listed. Ideally, there should be multiple methods with which you should be able to get in contact with a representative.
On top of that, you should make sure that the site is friendly in their dealings with you. Finally, and most important of all, you should be assured that they will do whatever is needed to rectify any problems you might have. Otherwise, your March Madness wagers could end up in disappointment even if you pick the winners.
In some cases, you might not to make you wager up until the very last moment. Many bettors like to see which way the lines or moving or wait to hear about injury news that can affect the game’s outcome. As a result, you need to know that the site you’re using allows you to navigate from page to page quickly and that your bets will be registered without a hitch.
It can be a good idea to see if you can find a site that allows you to do a little exploration before you decide to commit. In this way, you can get the lay of the land, so to speak. Since you’ll be dealing with college basketball, you’ll want to check out the section devoted to it.
You should also be aware of the policies that the site has for withdrawals and deposits. Ideally, you’ll find one that allows you to fund your account quickly and with the method that you choose. And you’ll want to know what it takes to get your money out once you have amassed some winnings.
Excellent Betting Variety
Having access to the games that you want to bet is obviously something that you should be seeking. Luckily, March Madness is a big enough event that most sites will provide great exposure to it. But what about some of the smaller conference tournament games that you have on your radar?
By the same token, some sites might give you more access to specialized bets than others. If you’re someone who likes to play proposition bets, you’ll need a site that allows them and includes a good variety of them. Don’t get caught wanting to make a bet and finding out that the site doesn’t give the chance to do it.
On top of that, you should decide what your gambling needs are beyond college basketball. Are you interested in an online casino atmosphere? The best sites will give you the chance to satisfy all your betting desires, even those beyond college hoops.
If this is your first time betting on college basketball and March Madness and you’re new to the world of online wagering, you might not realize that the websites are eager for your business. Most of them offer a vast variety of incentive programs and bonuses to draw you in. That’s why you should do a little comparison shopping before settling on a site.
The good news is that most sites will be gearing up for the March Madness rush by offering bonuses aimed at those betting the Big Dance specifically. These bonuses usually come in the form of a percentage of free wagering added to whatever you deposit on your account. You should, however, be aware of the concept of rollover before you commit.
Rollover is the amount that you must bet before you can collect any winnings from bets associated with your bonus. Basically, the lower the bonus, the better it is for the person betting on the game. Shop around to find the college basketball bonuses that come with the lowest rollover figure attached to it.
As always, March Madness is shaping to be an unpredictable time of the year. Just remember that unpredictability goes hand in hand with betting value. Make sure that you discover the best betting sites for 2019 March Madness before the games are upon us.