March Madness > Betting Sites

The Best March Madness Betting Sites

Basketball betting kicks into a frenzy with the tipoff of March Madness, the most entertaining competition in college basketball. The increase in available legal betting markets means that it has never been easier to lay down action on the tourney.

With so much riding on your wagers, you need a trusted sportsbook to keep your funds safe and odds sharp. Our guide to the best March Madness betting sites spotlights the most reputable sportsbooks, each of which has been thoroughly vetted and backed by the BetSmart Logo Covers BetSmart System™.

Best sportsbooks for March Madness betting

Covers Seal #1 Top-rated sportsbook
BetSmart Logo BetSmart Rating: 4.7/5
  • Competitive pricing across the board
  • Good welcome bonus for new users
  • Legitimate sportsbook in the USA
Payout Speed: 1-7 days

Deposits and Withdrawals:

BetSmart Logo BetSmart Rating: 4.6/5
  • Legitimate, licensed sportsbook
  • Good live betting section on the site
  • Safe and secure banking transactions
Payout Speed: 1-3 days

Deposits and Withdrawals:

BetSmart Logo BetSmart Rating: 4.4/5
  • Launched by MGM and GVC Holdings
  • User-friendly interface and mobile apps
  • Good range of options for deposits
Payout Speed: 2-7 days

Deposits and Withdrawals:

BetSmart Logo BetSmart Rating: 4.4/5
  • Weekly promotions and a dedicated rewards program
  • Over 20 sports available for betting
  • Fully licensed and regulated in multiple states
Payout Speed: 1-14 days

Deposits and Withdrawals:

BetSmart Logo BetSmart Rating: 4.4/5
  • Licensed sports betting in 11 states
  • High-end online sports betting platform and interface
  • 100% risk-free bet for new customers
Payout Speed: 1-5 days

Deposits and Withdrawals:

BetSmart Logo BetSmart Rating: 4.3/5
  • Licensed in nearly a dozen states
  • Hundreds of betting options
  • Generous welcome bonus
Payout Speed: 1-5 days

Deposits and Withdrawals:

BetSmart Logo BetSmart Rating: 4.2/5
  • Awesome welcome bonus
  • Consistently good pricing
  • Known sports betting brand
Payout speed 3-10 days

Deposits and Withdrawals:

BetSmart Logo BetSmart Rating: 4.2/5
  • Great mobile apps for iOS and Android
  • Licensed and regulated in multiple states
  • Renowned and established betting brand
Payout Speed 2-7 days

Deposits and Withdrawals:

BetSmart Logo BetSmart Rating: 4.1/5
  • Famed and licensed operator
  • Premium SBTech-powered platform
  • Impressive range of betting markets
Payout Speed: 2-7 days

Deposits and Withdrawals:

BetSmart Logo BetSmart Rating: 4.0/5
  • Trusted and licensed U.S. betting brand
  • Good odds for the major leagues
  • User-friendly mobile apps
Payout Speed: 1-5 days

Deposits and Withdrawals:

Full court press: where to bet on March Madness in 2021

The proliferation of new legal sports betting markets, available online and in retail locations, makes it easier than ever to start betting on March Madness. Every betting site listed within this guide offers online sports betting on the 68-team postseason tournament, along with complete coverage and a variety of props and individual game betting lines. Several also serve up cash prizes for making the right picks.

The ability to place live bets is the biggest difference between wagering with an online sportsbook versus doing so at a land-based or retail outlet. Some retail sportsbooks allow players to bet live, but the odds update frequently making betting apps a necessity.

Sportsbooks also offer boosted odds and free bets. We combed through the bunch and have identified the best offers. When it comes to finding the best March Madness betting site, you’ll want to explore the special promos and competitions available.

Hedge your bets with a diversified bracket

We’re not here to cast judgment on the number of brackets you fill out but be warned that others in your office pool will chastise you for filling out too many. Regardless of the route you take, we encourage you to head to our bracket page for a printable bracket and tips from professional bettors on how to fill yours out.

Mix and match Final Four selections

Gonzaga looks like a lock on paper, but do not pick the Bulldogs to reach the semifinals in more than 50% of the pools you enter. Why? Well, they could get bounced early in the tourney or not make it to the Elite Eight. Choose different combinations for later rounds and mix up your national champion picks, too.

Don’t get so upset, because there will be upsets

It is a virtual certainty that one or more heavy favorites will fall. Picking a No. 16 seed over No. 1 can happen but remember it has only happened once in tournament history. Do not make the same selections across each of the pools you enter. Going against the grain can help you make up ground against others in the pool but try to be selective.

Method to the March Madness

Going with your gut is a tried, tested and often true form of picking a winning bracket. In the end, it is up to you as to which preferred method to roll with. Much like investing, a diversified portfolio mitigates your exposure to risk. Going down that road leaves you with a good chance to win at least one of your pools this year.

If the mundane office or group chat pool is not cutting it, consider entering a free March Madness bracket contest. The subsequent bragging rights and big money prizes could be all yours.

March Madness tips and trends: choose a betting starting lineup

One of the biggest annual sports events in the United States attracts millions of spectators and bettors alike. Point spreads, Over/Under totals, and moneylines are the most popular bets placed during the NCAA tournament.

Check out our how to bet on March Madness guide for a full rundown on the various types and their supported strategies. Meanwhile, here are several tourney-friendly tips to employ along with the most common bet types used for March Madness betting.


Early rounds and equal footing

Parity is starting to emerge as a noticeable March Madness trend. Look no further than the Loyola Ramblers. The 11th-seeded Chicago-based school made it to the 2018 Final Four, marking one of the most incredible Cinderella runs in recent history. Bettors should take advantage of this new-found parity during the early rounds of the tournament when there tend to be larger point spreads.


Winning propositions

The much-loved prop bets are sports’ answer to coloring outside of the lines. These alternative, and often obscure wagers are not tied directly to the outcome of any game. Instead, they focus on elements of an individual game rather than the outcome. Think things like, the number of 3-pointers made in a game or the number of times a commentator mentions ‘Cinderella.’ Ultimately, these March Madness props are a great way to add variety to your betting portfolio.


Spreading the love

Most of the money bet during the tourney comes from betting the spread. The point spread takes into account the final score and accompanying margin of victory. You will likely see larger point spreads during the tournament’s opening rounds. This is a result of higher-ranked teams playing a lower-ranked opponent, like No. 1 vs. No. 16. The spreads start to shrink as the competition tightens.

March Madness title odds

Fan and school allegiances run high, which is why big money is bet on their team to win the national title. Betting on the odds to win March Madness remains one of the most popular markets that gets bet into 365 days a year. Keep in mind, however, that not many teams outside of a No. 3 seed have won the national championship.

Recent NCAA men’s basketball national champions

  • 2020: No tournament
  • 2019: Virginia (+675)
  • 2018: Villanova (+570)
  • 2017: North Carolina (+535)
  • 2016: Villanova (+1,500)
  • 2015: Duke (+1,000)
  • 2014: Connecticut (+9,500)
  • 2013: Louisville (+450)
  • 2012: Kentucky (+185)
  • 2011: Connecticut (+2,500)
  • 2010: Duke (+650)
  • 2009: North Carolina (+400)

Tips for choosing a March Madness betting site

Covers Bonuses Icon
Bonuses and Promotions
No bettor should leave free money on the table. Read the terms and conditions tied to special offers to make sure that you are getting the most out of your college basketball betting experience.
Covers banking Icon
Banking and Payout Speed
Securing your winnings in a timely fashion is important. Stick to sportsbooks which offer quick payout and processing times. The regulated operators listed here offer several deposit and withdrawal options.
Covers banking Icon
Covers Key Features Icon
Key Features
Look for sportsbooks which go the distance with a robust lineup of features, not a one-and-done scenario. Today’s beginner or experienced bettors want mobile apps, live betting, and statistical breakdowns, among the preferred details.
Covers Security Icon
Security and Trust
In the grand scheme of things, a busted bracket is not the worst thing that can happen to you during the tournament. Eliminate unnecessary risk by registering with sportsbooks who hold a valid license for the jurisdiction from the appropriate regulators.
Covers Security Icon
Covers Customer Service Icon
Customer Support
Customer service agents can’t help you to predict upsets, but they can prevent you from getting upset about your sportsbook registration. Top March Madness betting sites typically offer 24/7 customer service, detailed FAQs and contact channels via email and/or social media.

Betting sites to avoid during March Madness

Despite the increase in legal betting markets stateside, there are bettors who still leverage offshore sportsbooks for their respective wagers. We strongly advise prospective players to avoid these illegal offshore sites at all costs. There is little to no recourse for recouping any unpaid winnings with these unregulated sportsbooks, which is why they have found their way onto our blacklist.

Blacklist Star Rating
  • Allegations of withdrawal issues
  • No license information available on site
  • Poor customer service
Blacklist Star Rating
  • Multiple reports of slow payments
  • Allegations of non-payments
  • Risk of account closure simply for winning bets
Blacklist Star Rating
  • Reports of confiscated winnings
  • Slow customer support response times

Why trust Covers?

Covers is the proven authority on betting information and statistical analysis, with more than 25 years of industry experience and counting. Our team of seasoned writers and analysts takes a step-by-step approach to the online betting process, providing our valuable community with comprehensive reviews, breaking news, and detailed information. Learn all about how we rate sportsbooks with our unique and trusted BetSmart Logo Covers BetSmart System™.

Instant replay: Best March Madness betting sites

Your search for a trusted betting site for March Madness led you here. Let us quickly recap how you can cash in safely on your bets for the Big Dance.

  • Only wager with reputable and regulated sportsbooks.
  • Seeding matters, but parity has leveled the playing field to a degree.
  • Point spreads, Over/Under totals, and moneylines are the most popular bets placed during the tournament.
  • Sports betting is now legal in 20 states, meaning there is no shortage of places to bet.
  • Fill out as many brackets as you would like but remember to diversify your Final Four and national champion picks.

March Madness betting sites FAQs

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