March Madness Betting Guide

The 2012 March Madness will begin on March 11th 2012 and run until the 2012 NCAA Basketball Finals on April 2nd 2012. Festivities will begin on March 11th, which is when Selection Sunday will be hosted. Most college basketball fans don’t even pay attention to the season until Selection Sunday every year. We’ve spent hours constructing our 2012 March Madness betting guide and have included everything you could imagine including the tournament format, schedule, odds, predictions and much more.

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2012 March Madness Tournament Format

The March Madness tournament format was changed in 2011, but the format won’t be changed this season. A total of 68 teams will qualify for a spot in the 2012 March Madness tournament including 31 automatic bids (Conference Champions) and 37 at-large bids, which are selected by a committee. The committee will also rank each of the 68 teams and set-up each of the four brackets. One of the reasons March Madness is so exciting is because of the single elimination format.

Due to the changes made in 2011 there are now seven rounds during the March Madness tournament. The 1st round was just added last year and is called “The First Four”. This round is played between the four lowest ranked automatic bids and four lowest ranked at-large bids. Once “The First Four” round is complete the Round of 64 will be finalized and the brackets will be completed. Take a look below to find out more about each round of the 2012 March Madness tournament.

1. First Four
2. Round of 64
3. Round of 32
4. Sweet Sixteen
5. Elite Eight
6. Final Four
7. National Final

2012 March Madness Schedule

March Madness will be broadcasted on television with Turner Sports and CBS Sports plus you’ll also be able to watch the action online if you don’t have the games through your television provider. The 1st tip-off is on March 13th and the action doesn’t stop until the National Finals on April 2nd in New Orleans.

• First Four – March 13th & March 14th (Host – Dayton)
• Round of 64 – March 15h & March 17th (Hosts – New Mexico, Louisville, Duquesne & Oregon)
• Round of 32 – March 16th & March 18th (Hosts – Ohio State, ACC, Ohio Valley Conference & Creighton)
• Sweet Sixteen – March 22nd & March 24th – (Hosts – Boston College & Arizona State)
• Elite Eight – March 23rd & March 25th – (Hosts – Georgia Tech & Texas – San Antonio)
• Final Four – March 31st – (Host – Tulane)
• National Finals – April 2nd – (Host – Tulane)

For 2012 the Final Four and National Final rounds will be hosted at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans. Drew Brees won’t be setting records on the turf, but there could be some records broken on the hardwood in the Superdome come March/April. The full 2012 March Madness schedule won’t be released until after Selection Sunday. You can watch Selection Sunday on CBS on TV or online on March 11th 2012 at 6PM ET.

How to Bet on the 2012 NCAAB March Madness Tournament

This guide is designed for new bettors that will be betting on the March Madness tournament for the first time. Everyone knows that they can wager on teams to win straight-up (Moneyline), but there are lots of other types of March Madness bets. Before we show you the types of bets available during March Madness we’re going to teach you how to read odds quickly.

Understanding March Madness Odds

We’re going to be using American odds throughout our 2012 March Madness Guide, but converting odds is easy to do using one of the many free odds converter tools. When you bet on college hoops you’re going to deal with a lot of point spreads, but once you understand what you’re looking at betting at an online sportsbook couldn’t be any easier.

1. Moneyline Odds – Saint Mary’s CA -185 vs. BYU +160

You’ll deal with moneyline odds a lot throughout the 2012 March Madness tournament. When you look at the odds you can quickly determine how much you need to risk to win X amount of money. With moneyline odds the favourite will have (-) odds while the underdog will have (+) odds. When you bet on a favourite the odds tell you how much you need to risk to win $100 and when you bet on an underdog the odds tell you how much you can win on a $100 bet.

Using our example above between Saint Mary’s and BYU we can determine that Saint Mary’s is the favourite in the game. We can also determine that we’d need to wager $185 to win $100 on Saint Mary’s or we’d need to wager $100 to win $160 on BYU.

2. Point Spread Odds – Saint Mary’s CA -4.5 -110 vs. BYU +4.5 -110

Many bettors prefer betting on point spreads during March Madness because you don’t need to risk as much juice on your bets. The sportsbook you bet with will set a point spread to make the game as close to a 50:50 proposition as possible. Most sportsbooks will have $.10 cent lines on point spread bets, which means that you need to bet $110 to win $100 on most point spread bets.

The difference between a moneyline bet and point spread bet is that one team needs to win by X amount of points while the other team can lose by X amount of points whereas in a moneyline bet both teams just have to win the game. In our example Saint Mary’s is favoured by -4.5 points, which means they need to win by 5 points to cover the spread and win the bet. BYU is +4.5 in this game and that means BYU could win the game or lose by 4 or less points and still stay within the point spread, which would be a win.

2012 March Madness Types of Bets

Every single year millions of Americans and people from many countries around the world fill out their March Madness brackets. In this guide we’re going to take a look at some of the best online 2012 March Madness bracket contests, but for now we’re going to take a look at the various types of bets offered by online sportsbooks during the March Madness tournament.

Moneyline Bet – Betting on one team to win the game outright by at least 1 point. Betting on the moneyline is great when you bet on underdogs or when a game is being played between two evenly matched teams.

Point Spread Bet – Betting on the favourite to win by more than the point spread set by your bookie or betting on the underdog to not lose by more than the point spread.

Over/Under Bet – During March Madness you’ll be able to bet the over/under of a full game, half of a game or a quarter of a game. You need to decide whether both teams will score over or under the posted total. You’ll also be able to bet on team totals at some sportsbooks during March Madness, which is betting on the over/under of a single team’s score only.

Parlay Betting – A parlay is a great way to bet a small amount while having the chance to win a lot of money. You can combine any straight bets on a parlay. A parlay is any 2+ straight bets on the same ticket, but in order to win the payout on your parlay every bet on your ticket needs to win.

Futures Betting – During March Madness there are tons of futures bets to wager on at online sportsbooks. In fact, you can bet on what team you think is going to win the National Final right now. During March Madness you can bet on what team you think will win the Finals among other bets such as betting on what team you think will win each regional bracket once the brackets are set.

Props Betting – Prop bets can vary greatly, but they’re the most exciting bets. During the 2012 March Madness tourney bettors will be able to bet on lots of tournament props and single game props. A tournament prop could be betting on what conference the National Champion will be from. Single game props are also fun, as you can bet on whether you think a player will score over/under a certain amount of points or many other single game prop bets during March Madness.

Tournament MVP – One of the most popular bets for casual bettors during March Madness is betting on the player that you think will win the 2012 March Madness tournament MVP award.

2012 NCAAB March Madness Tournament Futures Odds & Predictions

If you’re not planning on betting too much on the 2012 March Madness tournament I recommend betting on at least the team that you think is going to win the National Championship. Several of the biggest online sportsbooks have futures odds already posted and betting on the team you think is going to win the National Title now is your best bet. The reason you want to bet now is due to the odds being the best because of all the uncertainty this early in the season.

2012 NCAAB National Champions Futures Predictions

Each team has played about a dozen regular season games up to this point and some teams have definitely showed that this year’s championship race in March is wide open. The sportsbooks have North Carolina and Kentucky listed as the odds-on favourites right now, but the Wildcats are 3rd while the Tar Heels are 5th on the AP Top 25 Poll. If you want to bet on the big favourites you should bet on them now because once Selection Sunday is close the public teams will have their odds bet down heavily.

• Syracuse Orange +600

Syracuse is 14-0 right now with a 1-0 record in Big East conference play thus far (End of December). I really like what the Orange have been able to do this season and I think they have a great shot to make a run this year. Syracuse has a lot of tough games that are coming up on the schedule, but they already beat the Gators 72-68 this season.

Syracuse has a very deep line-up and they’ve received balanced scoring from everyone all season. Kris Joseph and Dion Waiters are both averaging double digits in the PPG department right now plus there are a handful of other players that have been contributing on a nightly basis. The Orange are near the top in most offensive categories, but they’re not in the top 100 for rebounds right now.

• Duke Blue Devils +1200

Duke is currently 10-1 on the season with their only loss coming against #2 Ohio State. Duke played terrible in the game and it has been the only road game for the team so far this season. Duke passed tests against the #15 Wolverines and #14 Jayhawks earlier in the season. Duke will play the Tar Heels twice still this season and those two games will be a good gauge of what to expect from the Blue Devils in March.

Duke is going to be able to put up points in March and they should be difficult to beat this year. Right now the Blue Devils have five players averaging double digits in PPG including Mason Plumlee, Austin Rivers, Ryan Kelly, Seth Curry and Andre Dawkins. Having so much depth on the roster is going to help Duke in March and at +1200 I don’t mind taking a shot on them.

• Baylor Bears +1000

Baylor Bears are sitting at a perfect 12-0 right now and I’ve been impressed with the Bears. Baylor has a team with experience in the big tournament and I think they’ll make a strong push. Baylor could also get a #1 seed this year and that would give them a few easy games to kick-off their March Madness tournament. Baylor has survived scares over BYU, WVU and MSST already this year plus the Bears have over a handful of tough games left on the schedule to get them ready for the big dance.

Baylor is another deep team this season with plenty of scoring and I have a feeling that the experience some of the players have this year is going to help the Bears out tremendously. Perry Jones III, Quincy Acy, Pierre Jackson, Quincy Miller and Brady Heslip are all averaging over 10+ PPG right now and three of them (Jones, Acy & Jackson) are shooting over 50% from the field.

The one thing I love about March Madness is that any team can win the tournament due to the single elimination format. We’ll be taking a lot of some sleeper picks to win the championship or at least win an upset or two later in our 2012 March Madness Guide.

Where to Bet on the 2012 NCAAB March Madness Tournament

The best way to bet on the 2012 NCAAB March Madness tournament is through an online sportsbook. You can bet on every single game during the tournament, you can bet on futures bets and you can bet on 1000’s of prop bets. Some of the best sportsbooks will also host a 2012 March Madness Bracket Contest with lots of prizes up for grabs.

Unfortunately when it comes to betting online in the United States the options Americans have are limited. We’ve posted the top 3 March Madness Sportsbooks for 2012 at the top of this page.To claim one of the March Madness bonuses you simply need to open an account at the corresponding sportsbook and make your first deposit.