March Madness Prop Bets
To some bettors, there's no more exciting time of the year than March Madness. Including the play-in rounds, there are a full 65 games that players can wager on. The most popular way to bet on the NCAA Tournament is through moneylines and spread bets. However, there are also a seemingly endless amount of proposition bets too.
As many sports gamblers know, prop bets are made on events that aren't tied in with a game's actual outcome. For example, a wager made on how many points a star player scores is separate from the game's final score. Now that we've covered the basics, here's a look at some common March Madness prop bets.
Odds to win the National Title - This is offered before the NCAA Tournament starts, and it gives odds on several prominent teams that could win the tourney. In some cases, all 68 teams may be listed, but our example only shows four schools:
Odds to win a Specific Region - Just like the national title bet above, except that this wager deals with which team will win a region. For example, bettors will be given a list of teams in the East Region to pick from.
Who will win the Tournament MOP - This prop bet asks people to wager on who they think will win the tournament's Most Outstanding Player award. A list of star players is offered with various odds next to them.
Player to score First Point(s) of the Game - These are offered in individual games, and you're simply wagering on who'll score the first free throw/basket.
Will a Certain Player score Over/Under a Certain Total - Here you're asked if a star player will go over or under a given point total.
Which Conference will the Tournament Champion come from? - You're given a list of every conference in March Madness, and you pick which one you think the champion will come from? Here's an example:
Atlantic 10 +2100
Big 12 +375
Big East +425
Big Ten +525
Mountain West +1700
Any Other Conference +1400
Which Number One Seed will be eliminated from the Tournament First? - All four number one seeds are listed and you bet on which one will get knocked out of the tourney first. Assuming two number one seeds are knocked out in the same round, the wager is normally a push.
March Madness Prop Betting Strategy
One of the most difficult things about prop betting is that some of these wagers are so obscure that it's nearly impossible to research them. And so herein lies the first tip: don't wager on something just because it sounds fun or interesting. If you can't study the wager, then you definitely don't need to be wasting your money on it.
Sometimes historical data can be helpful in your prop betting research. For instance, if you know how many players have scored 20 points or more in a Final Four contest, it could help you with an over/under on a star player's scoring total. Likewise, if you know how many number one seeds have won the tournament, you can use this in a bet that asks which team will win it all.
Going beyond historical trends, just knowing stats and information from earlier in the season can help you with props. So if you know how a player performs in big games by looking at the regular season, this would definitely help you with a prop wager on them.
The overall point is to only stick with March Madness prop bets that you have a good understanding of and can study. That said, avoid any of the silly little wagers on mascots, opening tip-offs and anything else that sounds too non-basketball related.