NCAA Basketball Tournament: Betting Brackets

How to Approach the Daunting Task of Bracket Betting on the Big Dance

There are 68 teams that earn a berth in March Madness. Of the 68, a total of 31 win a spot through their conference tournaments, while a selection committee chooses the 37 others.  Bracket betting is the big thing when it comes to the Big Dance. More amateur bettors wager on this tournament than perhaps any other sporting event in the U.S. Here are some tips when it comes to betting the brackets.

The Basics

With bracket betting, you are wagering on which team will win each of the contests. Your bracket may include the four play-in games, which means you are choosing the outcome of all 37 games prior to the start of the tournament.

Playing the NCAA Basket brackets is about as tough as winning the lottery because you have to determine how each team will do in each round prior to any game being played. You’re not looking for perfection here. You’re trying to get as close to right as is possible.

With 16 seeds in four regions everyone needs some guidelines to help them through this maze of teams and games. Here are some trends and tips to consider.

NCAA Basketball Bracket Trends

  • No 16th seed has ever defeated a #1 seed. Enough said.
  • In 1985 eighth-seed Villanova became the lowest seed to win the title.
  • In that same year, they became the lowest seed to make it to the Final Four.
  • Only two #11 seeds have been to the Final Four. Besides Nova, they are the lowest to do so.
  • One #12 has been to the Elite Eight.
  • Two #14 seeds have been to the Sweet 16.
  • Four #15 seeds have been to round two.

NCAA Basketball Bracket Tips

  • The 1 through 4 seeds have the best shot at getting to round two.
  • Seeds 5 through 10 in the tournament tend to be less predictable in round two. Evaluate these very carefully. There will be a five upset by a 12, a six by an 11 and a seven by a 10.
  • Eight and nine matchups can simply go either way.
  • In determining round two matchups eliminate any 11, 12, 14 and 15 seeds left.
  • For the Sweet 16, you want to stay with number one seeds and eliminate any seed eight or lower. The games tend to be very close at this level.
  • With the Elite Eight you should choose at least two #1 seeds.
  • The Final Four and title game are simply up to you, but chances are you’ll have at least one #1 seed and some combination of #1 through #4 seeds.

NCAA Basketball Brackets are Fun!

The point of NCAA Tournament brackets is simply fun. Basically, you’re making one of the biggest futures bets in the world and it’s impossible to accurately predict what will happen. Don’t spend a boatload of cash or time on the brackets as they are mainly an amateur exercise in fortunetelling. The professional sports bettor is looking for wagering opportunities in each round of March Madness, utilizing the spread to its fullest.