March Madness Betting 2021

Don’t look now, but March Madness 2021 is just around the corner. And after taking a one-year hiatus due to the pandemic, betting on the Big Dance promises to be more popular than ever in 2021. 

The tournament will look a bit different this year (more on that below) but one thing is certain: March Madness will be full of buzzer beaters, surprises, and hopefully, betting tickets being cashed. 

March Madness odds

One of the most popular ways to bet on March Madness is simply picking which team will win it all. These odds have been on the move since the season began, with Gonzaga and Baylor pulling away as favorites in the second half.

March Madness bracket

It's never too early to start thinking about how you'll fill out your NCAA Tournament bracket. Check out our March Madness bracket page for a printable blank bracket and expert tips from professional bettors on how to fill out your bracket.

March Madness props

Prop betting is becoming more and more popular by the day as regulated sports betting expands throughout the US. We're excited for the variety of March Madness props that will be offered in 2021 — and we can't wait to cash in on the First to 15 prop

March Madness details

The Big Dance will look very different this year, but we’re not complaining after not having a tournament in 2020. Here’s a look at how this year’s dance will differ from past years.


In an attempt to not let COVID-19 interfere with this year’s tournament, the NCAA decided that the entire tournament would be played in Indiana. Most games will be played in Indianapolis, although West Lafayette and Bloomington will also host games.


This year does not feature the traditional Thursday-Sunday games on the first two weekends. Here are the key dates, per

  • Selection Sunday — 6 p.m. ET March 14
  • First Four — 4 p.m. start on Thursday, March 18
  • First-round — 12 p.m. start on Friday, March 19, and Saturday, March 20
  • Second-round — 12 p.m. start on Sunday, March 21, and Monday, March 22
  • Sweet 16 — 2 p.m. start on Saturday, March 27, and 1 p.m. start on Sunday, March 28
  • Elite Eight — 7 p.m. start on Monday, March 29, and 6 p.m. start on Tuesday, March 30
  • Final Four — 5 p.m. start on Saturday, April 3
  • NCAA championship game — 9 p.m. Monday, April 5

All dates, of course, are tentative due to the risks that COVID-19 brings. Be sure to check our college basketball scores & matchups for updated games and times. 

Will fans be allowed?

The NCAA has not yet made a final decision as to whether fans will be permitted to attend March Madness games in 2021. Regardless, the good news is that the buildings will not be completely empty as each participating player will be allowed up to six family members per game.

March Madness picks

With so many games and so many betting markets available, there are always value picks to be found. March Madness features 67 games and Covers’ betting analysts will deliver 67 picks articles full of smart betting options for you to consider. Be sure to check back once the field is set.

March Madness upsets

A big upset in the early rounds is a staple of March Madness. And there is no better feeling than holding a ticket on a massive underdog and then watching as it cashes in. That's why we've put together a dedicated March Madness upsets page, with the Top 10 betting upsets this century and tips on how to spot an upset before it happens. 

March Madness for beginners

New to March Madness betting? We've got you covered. Learn how to bet on March Madness with our beginner's guide and then dig deeper with intermediate and advanced strategies so that you're making the smartest bets possible.

Best bracket contests

There are so many options for bracket contests. Our advice? Enter as many free ones as possible! We've compiled a list of the best free bracket contests out there — so start registering today!  

March Madness betting FAQs

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