Sports betting has finally come out of the shadows in the United States. Since the Supreme Court decided to strike down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in May of 2018, states all over the country have already moved to legalize sports gambling. New Jersey, Mississippi and West Virginia have passed legalization laws already, and more and more will follow in the months and years to come.
It goes without saying that the Supreme Court’s ruling is music to the ears of sports bettors everywhere. Now, you don’t need to make a pilgrimage all the way to Las Vegas just to place a legal wager on your favorite team once March Madness rolls around. Las Vegas is nice in the springtime, but not everybody has the means to take a vacation in the middle of March just to watch some college hoops.
Fortunately, it has never been easier than it is now to place bets from your mobile device. Rather than spending the cash and taking the time necessary to travel all the way to Nevada, all you need to do is fire up your phone or tablet and let the fun begin.
NCAA Tournament Betting is Huge
The NCAA tournament may not quite be on par with huge singular events like the Super Bowl or the World Cup, but college basketball’s annual postseason competition still draws no shortage of interest from bettors and oddsmakers alike. The college basketball regular season isn’t as popular as it used to be, but the sport gains plenty of casual fans once the calendar flips to March and everybody starts busting out their brackets.
Unlike the Super Bowl, March Madness takes place over the span of several weeks, with a number of different games on most days. So, the overall amount wagered on the NCAA tournament every year has often exceeded the amount of legal bets placed on the Super Bowl in Las Vegas sportsbooks.
Super Bowl 53 in 2018 generated about $158 million in wagers at Vegas sportsbooks. Last year, experts estimated that about $10 billion in total would be bet on the NCAA tournament. Of course, only about 3 percent of that $10 billion was expected to be wagered legally at sportsbooks in Nevada. The rest of it was bet illegally online or casually between friends in home or office pools.
Regardless, March Madness is a massive event that attracts tons of attention from a betting perspective.
Convenience of Mobile Betting
Now that smartphones have been around for over a decade, it’s easy to forget what life was like before that. Nowadays, it’s not uncommon for people to use their personal phones for everything…except phone calls. Texts, emails, personal banking, entertainment, web browsing, you name it. The actual phone function of the smartphone feels secondary at times.
The advent of smartphones has also changed the way bettors place bets. Rather than having to get in your car and drive to a land-based casino just to get in on the fun, you can now just sit on your couch and place as many bets as you would like. Just about every reputable sportsbook on the planet offers either a mobile app or an easy-to-navigate website that can be accessed from your personal phone or tablet.
Plenty of the tournament games take place during the day. With so many games on the schedule, the NCAA essentially has no choice but to schedule some games during afternoon hours on Thursdays and Fridays. Obviously, leaving work to drive to a casino is a no-go for just about everybody. Now, you can place your bets via your phone without having to leave the office. So, you can count your winnings without having to make the boss angry. That sounds like a win-win.
Easy Sign-Up and Mobile Bonuses
In an attempt to keep existing customers happy while also working to attract new ones, most viable sportsbooks offer deposit and sign-up bonuses. The sign-up process is easy, and additional incentives make the process even more of a breeze.
Let’s use BetOnline.ag, one of the more well-known sportsbooks that operates in the U.S., as an example. Once you fire up BetOnline.ag from your mobile device, you will see the easily navigable interface. Right at the top of the screen, BetOnline advertises some of their bonuses. These will change from time-to-time, but in this example we can see a 50 percent bonus on deposits up to $1,000:
BetOnline will also reward you for getting your friends started. You can earn up to 200 percent on deposits up to $200 for referring others to their site:
Click the “join” button in the upper-right corner of your screen, and it will take you to the account creation page. All you have to do is enter your name, email and a few other personal details and you’re all set.
Next, you’ll want to deposit a little cash with which to play. This is where you can claim your initial deposit bonus, as well. BetOnline accepts a number of different forms of currency. You may deposit with a voucher, but the most common way to do so is with a credit/debit card or even with cryptocurrency. Yes, you can deposit on BetOnline with your Bitcoin, if that’s your preferred method.
How to Bet on March Madness
So, now you are set up and ready to roll. You’ve got a few bucks in your account, so it’s time to get in on the action. As you’ll see on the site, the interface on BetOnline.ag’s mobile page is simplified. At the very top of the page, you will see the different types of bets the site offers.
You can bet on entire game lines, or you can bet on first or second half lines. Betting on game lines is by far the most popular way to bet on March Madness, but having a variety is a nice option if you happen to be a bit more invested in the game.
You can also bet on the point spread, moneyline or implied total. Most people choose to bet on the point spread. Oddsmakers will try and predict the game’s margin, and bettors have to choose whether one team will cover said margin.
Let’s say that Kansas is a 2-point favorite to beat Duke in the NCAA tournament. Bettors can either bet on Kansas to win by at least 2 points, or they can bet on Duke to either lose by less than 2 or win the game outright.
The moneyline is simply picking one of the teams to win, regardless of margin of victory. The betting favorites and underdogs will be given different values that dictate how much you would win on a correct bet. If you placed $100 on Kansas to win as a -110 favorite, you would profit $90. If you bet $100 on Duke to win as a +110 underdog, you would profit $110.
The total is the total number of points projected to be scored in the game. BetOnline.ag lets you bet on individual team totals as well as the total number of points both teams will combine to score. If, for example, you think Duke and Kansas will combine to score more than 150 points, you would bet the “over.” If you think they won’t score that much, bet the “under.”
Futures and Props
Prop bets have become increasingly popular in recent years. Prop bets are most popular for the Super Bowl, but you can still find props available for March Madness, too. Will one team score at least 104 points in a game in the tournament? Which No. 1 seed will be eliminated first? Will a No. 12 seed upset a No. 5 seed in the first round? These are just a few examples of the types of props you’ll be able to find betting on your mobile device.
Betting on futures is also big, especially before the madness begins. Sportsbooks will have futures odds posted throughout the season in anticipation of the tournament. The odds will wax and wane all year, which gives bettors the chance to take advantage of odds that may change.
Obviously, most college basketball fans are optimistic that their favorite team will win, which makes futures bets a popular choice among wagerers. A Duke alum is almost always going to favor their Blue Devils. If you think your team has what it takes to win the championship, why not put some money on it?
As you can see, there are plenty of advantages to betting via your mobile device compared to having to do so in person. First of all, you don’t have to deal with the mess of fighting your way through big crowds that will gather to watch the games at your closest casino. March Madness is a popular event at sportsbooks, for obvious reasons.
Nowadays, all you need to do is open your web browser and be on your way.
It’s important that you shop around and find the right site before depositing. Reading the fine print can be tedious, but do your research before settling on a mobile sportsbook. Places like Bovada, MyBookie and BetOnline are just a few of the better options available to bettors. Don’t be shy about sifting through the different sites before making a decision on where you want to put your money when betting on March Madness.
Betting on the NCAA tournament makes a fun event even more thrilling. There is something to be said for watching the games with your friends at a sportsbook, but having the ability to place bets from your mobile phone or tablet is incredibly convenient.
Betting on March Madness from the comfort of home with your mobile device is the best way to get in on the action this season.
Taylor Smith has been a staff writer with GamblingSites.org since early 2017. Taylor is primarily a sports writer, though he will occasionally dabble in other things like politics and entertainment betting. His primary specialties are writing about the NBA, Major League Baseball, NFL and domestic and international soccer. Fringe sports like golf and horse racing aren’t exactly his cup of tea, bu ...
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