March Madness Odds 2023
March Madness (aka the NCAA Men’s Division I basketball tournament) is one of the most beloved annual sporting events with countless moments of drama, intrigue, and unlikely heroism.
According to Forbes, roughly 100 million people tune in each March to watch the games play out. Many also fill out brackets and participate in free March Madness bracket contests.
Since Michigan has now joined the legal online sports betting club, you can be a part of the annual sports betting frenzy too. Here’s how you can bet on March Madness online in Michigan.
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How to download a sports betting app to bet March Madness
If you already have a smartphone or mobile device, downloading a sportsbook app is similar to your other app experiences. Follow the instructions below:
- Find a link to your chosen sportsbook app above and click the “Play Now” button. It’s important to use our link — we often have exclusive bonus offers and deals that you can’t find elsewhere.
- Look for the appropriate download button for your device’s format. You will either need to download the Apple or Android version of the app.
- Apple users (iPhones, iPads, iPod Touches) can download their apps through the usual process. It’s no different at all.
- Android users should be able to find most apps available through the Google Play store. If you are having downloading troubles, you will need to allow “Unknown Sources” to download before they can get the .apk file for the app. You can complete this action by visiting the “Security” portion of your device’s settings.
- After downloading the app on your preferred platform, either register for a new account or log in with your existing username and password. Make sure to double-check our site for any promo codes to enter during registration.
Betting on March Madness
There will be a multitude of wagers available during March Madness. The sheer number of games played yields numerous permutations of bets that sportsbooks can offer.
One of the most common bets during March Madness is a futures wager. These bets are usually not as popular, but the format of the tournament lends itself to this kind of wagering.
A futures bet is a wager on whether a particular event will occur after a specific period of time. Typically, futures bets are for eventual champions or individual award winners.
Since 68 basketball teams make the field in March Madness (in one form or another), there are 68 different options for which team will be the national champion.
The top seeds (No. 1, No. 2 and so on) are more likely to win, but in the history of the tournament, teams seeded as low as No. 8 have become the champion.
There are also some expansions to the typical array of futures bets in March Madness. You can make futures wagers on the progress of any team in the field — in most cases, in terms of how far they go. That would include wagering on region winners (reaching the Final Four) or advancing to the regional (reaching the Sweet 16).
Futures bets are usually expressed as moneylines, but they are easily convertible into straight odds if you prefer.
Since they are all positive moneylines, simply divide the number by 100 to get the straight odds. For example, a team at +3000 is a 30-1 underdog, since 3000/100 = 30.
Other common types of March Madness bets
Of course, the other standard types of bets are available for individual March Madness games. The following types of wagers will be available for each tournament game:
- Point spreads: These are bets that concern themselves with the final margin of victory. Either the favorite will exceed the expected differential, or the underdog will cover the gap.
- Moneylines: Wagers that are interested only in the outcome of the game, regardless of the margin. Payouts vary according to which team the sportsbook expects to win.
- Totals: Bets regarding the combined number of points that the teams score. Players wager whether the teams will or won’t exceed the sportsbook’s estimate. Hence, this bet is nicknamed the “over/under.”
- Player Props: Bets regarding an individual player’s statistics in the game. These bets are typically listed with a total and the bettor picks whether the player will go over or under that number.
- Parlays: It is also possible to combine some of the wagers above into a single bet. All selections in a parlay must be correct in order to pay out, but the high-risk wager also bears the potential for a higher return.
- Live betting: A form of proposition wager that proposes bets after a game is already in progress. These bets are quick and rough but can add excitement to watching a game.
March Madness betting tips
For bettors in Michigan, March Madness could be among the first times you have tried to wager on sports. Here are a few strategies to maximize your results for March Madness wagering.
1. Keep track of lines
At the beginning of each bet, a sportsbook designates opening lines for the point spread, over/under, moneyline and other estimates for the game. However, these estimates are not always accurate, and sharp bettors often flood to lines that seem off.
This flood of cash will often provoke an adjustment from the sportsbook, which generally wants its potential payout liability balanced on each side of the bet. So, look for large swings from the opening position to the current mark.
If the smart money is going a certain way, there’s usually a pretty good reason.
2. Look for early value in middle seeds
One of the reasons that people love March Madness is the potential for upsets. The idea of a lesser-known school knocking off a perennial favorite excites even casual sports fans.
Nevertheless, the seedings in a tournament are usually fairly accurate — to a point. The higher-seeded teams (Nos. 1-4) are generally going to win their first game.
However, the games where the teams are seeded closer together offer a decent chance for upset value. For instance, the No. 12 seed has beaten the No. 5 seed around a third of the time.
So, look for lower-seeded (Nos. 9-12) teams who have strong records but are placed lower because of perceived schedule strength or a slight underperformance in the regular season. A mid-tier conference champion usually has a reasonable chance to beat the fourth- or fifth-best team in a power conference.
3. Stick to higher seeds late
That being said, the higher-seeded teams tend to win in the end. Only 14 teams seeded below No. 6 have ever made the Final Four.
The reason for the drop-off is twofold. For one thing, the depth of higher-seeded teams tends to take hold as fatigue and inconsistency sets in later in the tournament. A lower-seeded team can be undone if its star player has an off night.
The other factor is that the element of surprise for the lower-seeded team is lost. The higher seeds will have fully scouted a lesser-known college during the first week by the time the second week rolls around.
4. Watch for momentum
It’s tough to win six or seven games in a row. In some cases, it may seem like the only reason anybody won the national championship is that somebody had to win it.
However, a team that catches fire at the right moment can sometimes run through the competition, regardless of their seed or previous performance. So, as the tournament progresses, keep an eye out for teams who seem to be putting things together.
In this vein, it might be worthwhile to look for teams who were highly ranked early in the season but fell off because of injury or chemistry issues.
An underperforming team with loads of talent might only need a spark to become the group everyone expected them to be.
March Madness Bracket contests
The schedule by which the 68 teams in the tournament abide is known as a bracket. It depicts the collisions between the teams in a tree-like format.
Because the matchups are released about a week before the tournament begins, bracket contests (free or paid entry) are the best-known ways to place wagers on March Madness. Even people who don’t usually bet on sports fill out a bracket and participate in a pool.
In 2022, Statista Research Department estimated that 36.5 million U.S. adults filled out a bracket during March Madness. Many sites, including both Michigan sportsbooks and other sports-related entities, will host bracket challenges for March Madness, such as:
- DraftKings $30k Survivor Pool: Pick a team to win each day. Advance to the end for a chance at the top prize.
- BetMGM $100k Bracket Challenge: Earn points for each correct game pick with the top-scoring brackets winning prizes. A Michigan woman won in 2021.
- FanDuel $5k Bracket Pick’em: Make your picks as the tournament plays out with the highest-scoring entries winning prizes.
March Madness 2nd Chance Brackets
Many brackets get busted way before March Madness comes to a close. Thanks to second-chance contests, you can take another crack at the ring beginning with the Sweet 16. DraftKings has several options to choose from, including:
- Free State Farm $20k Second Chance Bracket: Pick the winner of each game and rack up points for correct selections. The highest-scoring entries win cash prizes.
- Free KFC $20k Second Chance Survivor: Make it to the end without losing and you’ll be able to share in the prize pool.
What’s the best spot for betting on March Madness in Michigan?
As one of the biggest sporting events of the year, March Madness is quite a festive time. You can now head out to watch the action while placing some bets in Michigan without missing out on the latest odds. Here’s where to go.
Hollywood Casino at Greektown
- Name: Barstool Sportsbook
- Address: 555 E Lafayette St, Detroit, MI 48226
- Phone: (313) 223-2999
- Sportsbook hours: 7 days: 10 a.m.-Midnight
- Online sportsbook: Barstool Sportsbook MI
If you head to the upper level of the casino, you’ll find Barstool Sportsbook. Along with an in-person betting window, there are also 40 betting kiosks located around the casino. The sportsbook also includes a 30′ video wall and 25 HDTVs located around the dining area.
MotorCity Casino Hotel
- Name: FanDuel Sportsbook
- Address: 2901 Grand River Ave, Detroit, MI 48201
- Phone: (866) 782-9622
- Sportsbook hours: 7 days: 9 a.m.-Midnight
- Online sportsbook: FanDuel Sportsbook MI
FanDuel is more than a big player in the online and mobile space. There’s a retail sportsbook at MotorCity Casino that continually gets rave reviews. Dozens of HDTVs, a sports ticker, eight betting windows and 44 self-service kiosks are among the amenities waiting for you. They also have a VIP Lounge available.
MGM Grand Detroit
- Name: BetMGM Sports Lounge
- Address: 1777 3rd Ave, Detroit, MI 48226
- Phone: (877) 888-2121
- Sportsbook hours: 7 days: 9 a.m.-Midnight
- Online sportsbook: BetMGM Michigan
Located inside the MGM Grand Detroit is the BetMGM Sports Lounge. Included in this sportsbook is six betting windows, 60 HDTVs and plush lounge seating, as well as high-top seating. A full bar is located inside while 33 self-service kiosks are located throughout the casino.
FireKeepers Casino Hotel
- Name: Dacey’s Sportsbook
- Address: 11177 Michigan Ave, Battle Creek, MI 49014
- Phone: (877) 352-8777
- Sportsbook hours: M-F: 11 a.m.-11 p.m.. Sa-Su: 9 a.m.-Midnight
- Online sportsbook: FireKeepers Sports Betting
Dacey’s Sportsbook features a full restaurant and bar, as well as three in-person betting windows and multiple self-service kiosks. Multiple big screen televisions, a sports ticker and over 42 taps of beer options gives customers all they need to enjoy the biggest sporting events.
Little River Casino Resort
- Name: River Rock Sportsbook & Grill
- Address: 2700 Orchard Hwy, Manistee, MI 49660
- Phone: (231) 398-3976
- Sportsbook hours: M-Th: 2 p.m.-Midnight. F: Noon-Midnight. Sa-Su: 10 a.m.-Midnight
- Online sportsbook: BetRivers Sportsbook MI
A full bar and food menu await visitors, and you’ll even find betting windows right inside of the restaurant, along with 60 different HDTVs. You can also get your bets in on the self-serve kiosks, which are open around the clock.
For other options to consider come March Madness, check out DraftKings Sportsbook inside Bay Mills Resort & Casino, or Ascend Sportsbook at Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort.
A brief history of March Madness
The NCAA men’s Division 1 basketball tournament began in 1939. At the time, only eight teams competed for the title, and the Oregon Ducks claimed the inaugural championship.
Since then, the field has expanded dramatically. It is now possible for 68 teams to boast that they made the “Big Dance.”
However, since four teams are knocked out through play-in games, the tournament itself is effectively a 64-team, single-elimination contest.
Teams in the main field receive seeds numbered 1 through 16, and the eight teams competing in play-in games have the same seeds as their initial opponents.
The UCLA remains the most successful program in history, with 11 titles to its name. Under legendary coach John Wooden, the UCLA Bruins won the title each year from 1967-73.
Other highly successful programs include the University of Kentucky (eight wins), the University of North Carolina (six wins), Duke University (five wins) and Indiana University (five wins).
Each conference tournament winner receives an automatic bid to the tournament, regardless of record. The remaining 36 teams are at-large bids and are determined by the NCAA Selection Committee, which uses multiple variables to select the strongest competitors.
According to the American Gaming Association, in 2022, 45 million Americans wagered an estimated $3.1 billion on the NCAA Tournament.
Photo by Dreamstime
March Madness FAQ
The Final Four consists of the four teams who meet on the final weekend of play. Reaching the Final Four requires a team to win their respective region of the bracket. To do so, a team must win four or five games in a row against tournament competition, which is considered to be a substantial achievement even if the team does not win the national championship.
There are 68 teams in the NCAA Tournament. The proper bracket for the tournament features 64 slots, but beginning in 2001, the NCAA started adding play-in games to the event.
Eight teams play games that lead up to the actual tournament itself. This round of games is called the First Four.
The tournament lasts for three weekends in the months of March and early April.
One. March Madness is a single-elimination format, so teams play until they either lose or go all the way and win the national championship.
Of the 68 teams, 32 receive automatic bids based on their respective conference’s criteria. The NCAA Selection Committee selects the remaining 38 at-large teams to play in March Madness on Sunday before the tournament begins. The committee also handles the seeding of all 68 teams. Although there is always a bit of contention near the bubble, almost every good team makes the bracket.
Yes. Michigan residents and visitors can bet on March Madness games at both online and retail sportsbooks.
Yes. Top daily fantasy sports operators, such as DraftKings and FanDuel, will host contests for March Madness games.
No. Although they are ranked the highest, a No. 1-seeded team is not guaranteed success. In fact, only one Final Four (2008) has featured all four No. 1 seeds.
Yes, once. In 2018, Virginia became the first No. 1 seed to lose its first game. The University of Maryland-Baltimore County became the first No. 16 seed in history to advance.
Shockingly, the game was not particularly close. The top-seeded Cavaliers ended up losing by 20 points, 74-54.
With that said, you should still bet the No. 1 seeds to beat the No. 16 seeds. A single occurrence in history does not constitute a pattern, and the top-seeded teams are usually given that status for a reason.
Villanova won the 1985 national championship as a No. 8 seed. The Wildcats defeated two No. 1 seeds and two No. 2 seeds en route to their historic victory.
Five No. 11 seeds have managed to make the Final Four. They are:
- LSU (1986)
- George Mason (2006)
- VCU (2011)
- Loyola Chicago (2018)
- UCLA (2021)
It’s astronomical. Estimates have varied from 1 in 128 billion to a staggering 1 in 9.2 quintillion. To put that in perspective, you are 438 times more likely to win a Powerball jackpot than pick a perfect bracket.
Forty-nine straight games. In 2019, a bracket challenge player managed to rip off an incredible string of predictions before a loss. However, bear in mind that 67 games end up taking place each year. So, even the best anyone has ever done still isn’t all that close to perfection.