It’s no shock that the Super Bowl is the biggest betting event in the US every year. What might shock some people is that the NCAA men’s basketball tournament is the second biggest.
March Madness captivates the whole country, as 64 teams play over three consecutive weekends for the right to call themselves the best college basketball team in the country.
Everyone loves filling out brackets for pools with friends, family, and co-workers. But bracket pools only make up about half of the $10 billion in bets on March Madness each year. The rest comes from fans betting on team futures and March Madness games before and as they happen.
If you want to do more than just fill out your bracket and see it get busted on the first day of the tournament, Indiana online sportsbooks offer plenty of ways to bet on the action from the First Four to the Final Four. With up to 16 games a day during the first and second rounds, there’s no shortage of betting opportunities.
What are the best IN sportsbook apps to bet on March Madness? What Indiana schools can make a deep run this season? We’ve got you covered on this page.
Betting on sports in Indiana is now legal and live across the state. There are over a dozen physical sportsbooks and casinos where you can bet on the tournament. However, you don’t need to leave your couch to get in on the action.
If you’re physically within state lines and over the legal age, it couldn’t be easier to place a March Madness bet without having to leave the comfort of your home.
Signing up for an online sportsbook or betting app is quick and painless.
Whether you love filling out a bracket, betting game-by-game, or placing some exotic futures and prop bets, you can find it all on legal IN online sportsbooks. While they aren’t typically the most lucrative, sportsbooks do offer March Madness bracket pools and free contests.
Filling out a bracket requires picking the winner of every game for the whole tournament before the tournament begins. The winners of a bracket contest are the entrants with the most amount of points after the tournament. Usually, this requires picking the correct winner and having multiple Final Four teams correct. If teams you pick to go far are eliminated early in the tournament, your bracket is “busted.”
Game-by-game betting is betting on every game separately. You can bet on the team to win straight up, you can bet on a team to cover the spread, or you can bet over or under the total points in the game. March Madness games are no different than betting any regular NBA game or betting a college basketball game in this regard.
Prop bets are betting on whether or not a certain event will occur. Some examples include over/under rebounds for a player or which team will score first.
Futures bets are betting on the potential winner or potential Final Four teams in the tournament before the tournament starts. The returns on futures bets can be quite high, but you’re betting on what you think will happen in the future when the picture is murkier. The earlier you get your futures bets in, the better your odds will likely be – at least for the favorites.
March Madness occurs in March (obviously), but that doesn’t mean you have to wait until then to bet on it. If you think a team has what it takes to win the tournament, you can lock them in at better odds right now. The further away we are from March, and the more uncertainty there is, the better your live odds are across the board.
NCAA March Madness betting lines will change as teams’ performance changes. A team that had hype in the pre-season might start slowly, and their odds will go down. A team that didn’t have much hype before the season can string together wins and watch their odds go up.
Below are the live odds at IN online sportsbooks for teams to win or make the Final Four of the NCAA tournament. Use the drop-down menu to change odds boards; click on any odds to jump over to the sportsbook, claim your bonus, and get your bet down.
The teams in March Madness change every year, but Indiana-based colleges have proven to be fixtures in the tournament. Here are the teams you have a very good chance of seeing once the tournament gets underway.
Other Indiana teams which have occasionally appeared in the NCAA tournament include:
March Madness odds in Indiana and on Indiana teams will be very close (or the exact same) to the Vegas odds. However, don’t be surprised if the Indiana schools offer less value, as the hometown fans might bet more on their favorite school.
Many of you have filled out a March Madness bracket in the past. Your office probably does a yearly pool, or your friends create a bracket tournament to get in on the action. With the popularity of brackets rising each year, there are now more ways to bet money on them. Most sportsbooks will offer both free and paid bracket pools.
An example of a free bracket pool would be filling out a bracket through a sportsbook app. Some pools will have a cash prize to the top finishing bracket. Others will split the prize pool amongst a set amount of brackets at the top of the leaderboard. These prize pools usually come from sponsors and require no buy-in for the bettor submitting the bracket.
A paid bracket works very similarly to a free bracket. The only difference is you have to pay a buy-in fee to enter the contest. All of the buy-ins are then added to the prize pool, where a set amount of top finishers will take the winnings. Rules and pay-out breakdowns vary from contest to contest.
Winning a bracket pool is hard. Each game you predict accurately adds to your point total. As you get further along in the tournament, the games are worth more points. To win the contest, most times you will need to accurately pick the winner and also pick multiple final four teams accurately as well.
Brackets are usually busted early because of the number of upsets in the tournament. Big-name schools lose to small schools in the opening round every year. By the end of the first weekend, most people are already missing a team they had pegged to go deep.
Brackets can be frustrating. You might think you filled out a great bracket, but the team you had winning it all loses in the second round. Now what do you do?
Thankfully, you can still bet on March Madness on a game-by-game basis.
You can’t edit your bracket after it’s been submitted if you don’t like the way a certain team is playing. However, if you bet each game individually, you can adjust your handicap on teams and bet accordingly. Also, there are more options if you’re betting on the games individually.
A March Madness game is just another basketball game if you are betting each game individually. Below is an example of a typical line for a March Madness game.
|Indiana||-4.5 (-110)||-200||Over 137.5 (-110)|
|Ohio State||+4.5 (-110)||+160||Under 137.5 (-110)|
In the above example, Indiana is favored to win the game by 4.5 points. If you bet on the spread with Indiana, you win your bet if they win the game by 5 points or more. If Indiana loses the game or wins by 4 points or less, you lose your bet. If you bet Ohio State with the spread, you win your bet if Ohio State wins the game, or loses by 4 points or less.
Spreads usually come with -110 lines, meaning you have to bet $110 to win $100.
Moneylines are set based on the expected probability of a team to win the game. In this case, Indiana is the favorite to win the game and the -200 moneyline implies they have a nearly 67% chance to win this game.
If you bet on Indiana to win the game, you’d need to risk $200 to net a profit of $100. On the flip side, if you think Ohio State can pull off the upset, a $100 bet wins you a profit of $160. On moneyline bets, the winning margin doesn’t matter. If you bet Indiana on the moneyline, it doesn’t matter if they win by a point or if they win by 30, your bet pays out the same.
Sometimes you don’t have a feeling on who will cover the spread or win the game. However, you have a feeling that it’ll be a slow, defensive, grinding game. In that case, you can bet the total.
The total is set based on the number of points both teams combine to score for in the game. Maybe you think Indiana will stifle Ohio State and the final score will have both teams in the 60s. In that case, bet under 137.5.
Like spreads, totals come with a -110 line.
Prop bets are bets on whether a certain event will happen. In March Madness, you can bet game-by-game props or tournament-long props.
A game-by-game prop is a bet that will be decided in one game. For example, you can bet on which team will score the first points of the game. Another example of a game-by-game prop would be a certain player recording over 6.5 rebounds. If you think the big man will dominate the game on the boards, you might lean towards taking the over.
A tournament-long prop is a bet that will take longer than one game to be graded. An example of a NCAA March Madness tournament-long prop would be whether you think a one-seed will win the tournament.
The 1-seeds are deemed to be the best teams in the country, and there are four of them. If you think one of the four best teams will win the tournament, you can bet that they will win. If you don’t think a one-seed will win the whole thing, you can bet “no” and take your chance with the other teams.
Sometimes, you can see a certain team is sleep-walking through a game. Maybe you notice that a certain matchup is going to cause problems for one team all game long. Maybe you don’t believe the team that’s winning the game will continue shooting this well all night long.
That’s when you can turn to live betting. Live betting is betting on a game after it’s already started, with the odds being adjusted based off what is happening.
Maybe you want to wait and see whether one team will play at a faster tempo, or if the freshman point guard is showing any signs of nerves before the big game. In these situations, live betting is ideal.
March Madness is unpredictable, but that doesn’t mean it’s a free-for-all. Below are some trends from previous NCAA Championship bouts.
March Madness was canceled in 2020, so there is built up anticipation for the 2021 tournament. As long as there are no setbacks with the pandemic, the schedule is expected to be:
Due to the pandemic, the NCAA is currently in talks with Indianapolis to host the entire tournament in a bubble. We are expected to know more on this situation by January 2021.
Originally, the First Four play-in games were set take place in Dayton, Ohio. The first and second-round games were scheduled to take place in the following eight locations:
The Sweet 16 and Elite 8 were scheduled to take place at these locations:
The Final Four and National Championship were projected to take place at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
Indianapolis has been home to March Madness games for quite some time now, so moving the tournament there for 2021 should prove to be an easy transition.
The 68 teams will be selected on March 14, 2021. The play-in games will take place on March 16 and 17. The official 64 team tournament begins on March 18.
You can stream March Madness through the NCAA’s official platform called March Madness Live. Simply log in with your cable provider.
Teams either get an automatic bid by winning their conference, or they get an at-large bid. The selection committee decides who gets the at-large bids based on teams’ resumes including their record, big wins, and bad losses. The committee also seeds teams based on their resumes compared to the other teams in the tournament.
March Madness was canceled in 2020 due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
The Final Four will take place right here in Indiana at Lucas Oil Stadium.
You can, in theory, buy tickets through the NCAA’s website when they are made available. Note: Finding available Final Four tickets is a rarity. The NCAA has not decided if fans will be allowed in attendance for 2021.
The average price for tickets to all three games (the two Final Four games and the National Championship game) is $586. Tickets to just the National Championship average $266. These figures are via SeatGeek.