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March Madness Prop Bets Explained: NCAA Tournament Prop Betting Strategy

<p>AP Photos</p>

AP Photos

The NCAA Tournament is one of the biggest sports betting events of the year. The Thursday and Friday March Madness slates have 16 games apiece and notoriously two of the days when the workforce most calls in “sick.”

With games from noon eastern time until midnight, bettors have an abundance of opportunities to sweat out their wagers.

March Madness isn’t just about betting moneylines, spreads and totals either. There are tons of different opportunities for bettors to get creative with tournament props, Calcutta auctions and more. 

The best part of these tournament props is that it’s something to keep in mind all tournament long. With these types of props, your bet won’t feel dead five minutes into any given game.

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Types of March Madness Prop Bets Explained

No matter what sportsbook accounts you have (here at OddsJam we strongly recommend as many as possible), they are sure to heavily promote all kinds of prop bets in the days leading up to the tournament. 

The props will likely be listed under tournament futures or tournament specials, as well as likely promoted on the home page. Let’s get into some of the best and most fun NCAA Tournament prop bets you can bet on.


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March Madness Props by Seed

One of the most popular types of NCAA Tournament props are based on how certain seeds perform. 

  • For example, will a No. 2 seed make the Final Four? 
  • Will a No. 12 seed upset a No. 5 seed? 
  • Will there be over or under 1.5 No. 1 seeds in the Final Four? 
  • What will the sum of the seeds in the Final Four be? 
  • Will a No. 15 or No. 16 seed win a game?

With bets on seeds, you have four chances at that bet so four teams to root for throughout the tournament.

March Madness Props by Team

Team props are another very popular way to bet on March Madness. These props are essentially how far you think a team will progress in the bracket. 

There typically aren’t props to make the Round of 32 because that would just be the opening game moneyline, but the props start at the Sweet 16.

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A No. 1 seed like Kansas to make the Sweet 16 will be heavily favored, probably in the -300 range. Elite Eight might be -150 and Final Four would likely be in the +150 to +180 range. 

Sweet 16 props can be more interesting with a lower seed that you feel has a great matchup in its first and potential second-round games. 

These team props are fun because you are invested in that team for multiple games, as well as how the bracket around them is shaping up. It’s more of a long-term investment than just spending two hours rooting for a team in any one game.

March Madness Conference Props

One of the most interesting aspects of March Madness and college sports, in general, is how much pride fanbases have in their conference. The performance of the conference in the postseason tends to validate or invalidate the league’s reputation. 

If you’re confident in a specific conference, you can bet the over/under of how many games that conference will win in March Madness. 

It’s fascinating to compare those conference win totals. For example, the Big Ten will probably get nine teams in the tournament, but only Purdue will be among the top contenders. 

Meanwhile, the Pac-12 will only get three or four teams into the tournament but UCLA and Arizona are both national title contenders expected to make deep runs. 

March Madness Prop Betting Strategies

Just like any type of sports betting, you always want to be sure you’re getting the best value possible on your prop bets.

Prop bets can be a little harder to identify value because of how inconsistent the markets can be. While OddsJam can easily identify profitable bets and spreads, totals and player props, books often come up with their own creative prop bets.

Even if several books have a similar prop, they may be worded differently or have their own separate terms with how the bet is graded.

Still shop around, but be sure to read carefully and be sure you understand the terms of your bet.


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