How Bettors Should Fill Out Their March Madness Brackets

This is how bettors should fill out their March Madness brackets.

Key Points

– Work backwards when filling out your March Madness brackets.

– Bettors can use a number of tools to help them fill out their March Madness brackets.

How Bettors Should Fill Out Their March Madness Brackets

March is often associated with madness, as in March Madness. It’s the time of year when the NCAA tournament begins. That means that many people will be creating their March Madness brackets in an effort to win their office or online pool. 

Winning a bracket contest requires some luck, but it also requires a certain amount of skill. You have a better chance for success if you make good decisions. In filling out your brackets, you should have a significant advantage over the general public. 

The betting public will fall for the same traps every year. Public bettors like favorites. They like teams with star players. They like popular teams and higher seeds. To gain an edge, you have to evaluate games using some different criteria. 

That’s what we look at here. Use the following to fill out your March Madness brackets and finish in the money this year.


Use Point Spreads

For bettors, point spreads serve as a sort of cheat sheet for the opening round. Point spreads are an excellent method to learn what the bookies are thinking about the matchups. They can also give some clues as to whether or not an upset might be in the making.

Point spreads are much more effective than seeds. Looking at seeding helps and hurts March Madness bettors, but that’s a topic for another day.

When you examine point spreads shortly after they are set, you could see some true surprises in addition to some that immediately make sense to you. While the surprises help you focus on the games that require more attention, the ones that make sense can serve as confirmation of your beliefs. 

Use those to help fill out your bracket.

Use First Round Line Movement 

As a college basketball handicapper, you should pay close attention to line movement in the first round. As the tournament is announced on CBS, books scramble to get the lines out as soon as possible. 

That implies that some of the lines will be less accurate than others. Sharp bettors will be keeping a close eye on the odds and will quickly and aggressively leap on any that appear vulnerable. 

Substantial early line movement frequently highlights upsets. That can significantly alter bracket placement. You can also look at moneyline movement for help in filling out your March Madness brackets.

Championship Futures Help Fill Out March Madness Brackets

Future odds are an excellent approach to distinguish between teams that you believe to be very comparable. Futures betting has been available to bettors the entire season. 

When the tournament arrives, the numbers are pretty accurate. If two teams appear to be roughly equal to you but are very different in the futures pool, you might need to reconsider your assumptions. 

Props Can Be a Guide

Props can serve as a guide in filling out your bracket. Prop bets receive less attention from the general public than do point spreads. Therefore there is a better possibility that they are an accurate reflection of what sportsbooks.

Bookies don’t have to be as attentive to what the betting public is likely to do in the props market. It’s one of the keys to success betting the NCAA tournament.

Work Backwards in Your March Madness Brackets

When you fill out your bracket, you should actually start with the Final Four. You get more points as you go through each round of the tourney. Correctly picking the Final Four teams will give you a chance at making money at the end.

Go back and check your picks for each game, beginning with the last one. Make sure you are satisfied. Working backwards, you can better spot an upset opportunity. You can also find out if you have picked too many upsets.

Set Odds for Every Game

SAfter filling out an NCAA Tournament bracket, spend some time setting odds for each game before submitting it. It has two effects. First, it can assist you in identifying games where you incorrectly predicted the winner. 

It also gives you a means of determining whether the pairings you make for the later rounds make sense. Games in the final three rounds should be reasonably tight because teams that advance that far are performing really well, at least on paper. 

You may want to review your bracket again to make sure you are comfortable with it if the lines you set for one of those games are particularly one-sided. You might be giving a team too much credit. 

Think Like the Public

If you’ve been betting for some time, you probably have a solid idea of the general public’s betting patterns and inclinations. If you don’t, well, maybe you are part of the public!

Remember, the public likes the hot teams and in the tournament they will love the Cinderella teams. Keep in mind that you will win your March Madness brackets when you disagree with the majority and are correct. When you agree with everyone else, you likely won’t win. 

Don’t be foolish, but think like the public as it will help you finish your NCAA tournament bracket.