Best March Madness betting sites in Canada
- Win Rate: 97.17%
- Payout Speed: 24 hrs
- Very modern sportsbook
- Low bonus wager requirement
- Personalized sports betting
- Promotions aren’t so regular
- Dozens of sports to bet on
- Dedicated sports betting app
- Specific esports promotions
- FAQs section is lacking
- 1,000 daily sports events
- Dedicated esports section
- 24/7 customer support
- Limited VIP program
- Games: 1,500+
- Win Rate: 96.20%
- Payout Speed: 1-5 days
- Mobile apps for Android and iOS
- eSports betting markets
- 24/7 live chat
- Poor VIP program
- Live chat only in English
- Not many payment methods
- Lowest margin sports odds
- Dedicated esports section
- Multi View live betting option
- Lack of bonuses & promos
- No horse racing betting
- Refer-a-friend bonus offer
- Stylish sportsbook design
- Separate racebook section
- Few esports betting options
- Multiple live betting options
- Very appealing site design
- Quick payout times
- Deposit & withdrawal fees
- Customer support is not 24/7
- Big variety of sports markets
- Award-winning mobile app
- Great sports betting promos
- Slightly confusing sports page
- Large sports betting selection
- Dedicated sports betting app
- Huge selection of promotions
- No live chat support
- Leading sports odds
- Fast and easy to navigate
- Daily promos & free bets
- No live streaming available
How March Madness odds work
You'll find that March Madness odds work in pretty much the same way as any other sport. Of course, some of you may be entirely new to sports betting, so let's take a look at an example to help you understand how odds work.
In this example taken from the NCAA March Madness 2021, Gonzaga are the clear favourites to win as their odds are lower (the favourite always has the lowest odds), while the Baylor Bears are the underdogs.
The higher the odds, the more money you stand to win, but betting on the underdog naturally comes with more risk. In this instance, Baylor went on to win the March Madness final, meaning the risk would have paid off.
To work out how much the payout would be, you simply need to multiply the odds for the team you're placing the bet on with the amount you want to wager. So, for instance, if you wanted to place a C$10 bet on Gonzaga to win, the payout if they were to win would be C$15 (1.50 x 10 = 15).
To figure out how much of that is profit, you simply need to subtract your wager (in this case, C$10) from the total payout (C$15), leaving you with C$5 as the profit (C$15 - C$10 = C$5).
You'll see that bookmakers in Canada and Europe typically display college basketball odds in this decimal format. But you can also find odds displayed in moneyline – the most popular format in America – as well as fractions (popularly used in the UK).
Have a play around with our odds calculator to see the different styles of odds and calculate potential winnings.
Popular March Madness bets
There are a number of different bet types you can choose from when it comes to NCAA March Madness. Here are some of the most common and how they work.
Which college team will come out on top? For example, Virginia to beat Connecticut at 2.75. Note the odds will usually be expressed in American format, or alternatively decimal.
Also known as handicap betting, this is when the favourite team (indicated by a minus sign) must win by a certain number of points set by oddsmakers, while the underdog team (represented by a plus sign) must either win outright or lose by fewer than the designated number of points. So, this case, Villanova are the favourites, so they must win by at least 37.5 points.
Also known as totals betting, here you're betting on the combined score of the game. The oddsmakers will set a number (in this example, 110.5) and you have to predict whether the final combined score will be 'over' or 'under' this set number.
March Madness winner
Those who are feeling confident may like to take a shot at futures betting, which allows you to place bets on various markets days, weeks or months in advance of the actual event. In this instance, you could bet on who you think will be the crowned champions of March Madness, eg Virginia to win March Madness at 10.00.
This gives bettors the option to make multiple bets in a single ticket, so you could pick different bet types, bet on different teams, or even bet on different sports – all in the same wager. Find out more in our parlay guide.
Prop, or proposition bets, are bets you can make on aspects of the game that do not necessarily affect the final outcome. Examples of props bets in March Madness betting include things like how many points will Player A vs Player B score; how many minutes will Player C play, and will the game go into overtime.
March Madness brackets
Some people confuse March Madness brackets with props, but they are in fact different bet types. The NCAA March Madness bracket is essentially a contest involving a grid where bettors try to accurately determine the results of each March Madness game, from the first round right through to the final.
Networks like ESPN hold an ESPN March Madness Bracket Challenge, whereby fans get to pick each match-up throughout the tournament. There's also a CBS March Madness Bracket Challenge, among others.
March Madness betting is available when matches are live, or in-play. Odds will move throughout the game depending on what happens on the court. Live betting will allow you to bet on certain markets such as: teams to win a certain quarter, total match points and full-time result.
It's possible to secure better odds in-play rather than taking fixed odds beforehand depending on how the game plays out.
Sal Vetri's expert March Madness betting tips
Our sports expert Sal Vetri has provided the following NCAA betting tips, to help you place smart bets and find the best NCAA March Madness picks:
As with any sports betting endeavour, your greatest odds of long-term profitability are by repeatedly beating the closing number. Let me show an example. Beating the closing number means betting early in the day / week once the lines come out.
This is a time when the lines are the 'softest', meaning they have not been influenced much by wagers. The spread and Over/Under will move throughout the day / week based on betting action.
If the line moves in your favour (Ex: You bet Duke -14 and the line moves to -16) then you have beat the closing line. In other words, the bet you placed early was better than the bet you would have placed later in the week.
Let's look at the stock market for a loose comparison. If you are continuously late to the party on your investments, and you buy at high points, your room for upside does not outmatch the potential downturn. But if you have arrived early via calculated and objective research then your potential upside becomes greater than your potential downsides. Bet your numbers early.
Historically, great two-way teams have outperformed expectations more than teams that strive more on just one side of the court. This means you should look to back teams that are balanced on both the defensive end and the offensive side of the court.
Now – usually these teams are favourites but that is not always the case. When choosing between two similarly ranked teams, or shorter spread games, consider backing the more balanced team.
It is now easier than ever to shop for your lines since the legalization of sports betting in 2018. Before placing your bet, be sure to look at a few other sportsbooks and compare the 'price' of your bet.
For example, if you like Duke -14 at (-110) vig then you should look around and see if another sportsbook has any Duke -13.5 or -13 numbers out there. Perhaps you will find a book that is offering better 'vig' on your bet.
You may not be able to find anything better than Duke -14, but you may be able to find a better payout opportunity such as Duke -14 at (-105) as opposed to your original option of Duke -14 at (-110). These may seem like such minor differences, but over the long run they will prove to be major.
Be sure to take advantage of live betting opportunities. One of the more underutilized strategies is to seek out a line you like before the game starts and wait until the game actually begins to place a wager, also known as live betting. For example, if you like Duke -14 you may consider waiting for tipoff and seeing if you can quickly get a better number.
If Duke was to go down 6-0 early, that -14 number would likely move down to -13 or -12. The first few minutes of the basketball game rarely decide the outcome, but the live betting odds will change based on those minutes. Remember what the line was before tipoff and use it as a baseline during those first few minutes. If a more favourable number pops up, consider taking that number.
Pro Tip: I would only recommend using this strategy when backing big favourites and not when backing big underdogs. Underdogs that fall behind early struggle to make up that ground throughout the game.
Do not make your decisions based off of other individuals and their 'bracket picks'. Biases are hard to control. Biases fuel emotional betting. Betting via emotions is a proven way to become a losing sports bettor.
Understand that most March Madness brackets you see are created by people who have pre-conceived biases and so are selecting their 'picks' emotionally.
Let that information guide you into your decision(s). Human reasoning will always need to be added to statistics / data to make sense of it all – but that is a far more reputable approach than simply backing your favourite talk show hosts bracket picks.
March Madness stats & info
Here's a breakdown of everything you need to know about the 2023 March Madness: Men's NCAA tournament, including the complete schedule and key dates.
- Selection Sunday: March 12
- First Four: March 14-15
- First Round: March 16-17
- Second Round: March 18-19
- Sweet 16: March 23-24
- Elite Eight: March 25-26
- Final Four: April 1
- NCAA Championship Game: April 3
Recent March Madness winners
Check out which college teams have won the national title in the last 12 years (excluding March Madness 2020, when both the men's and women's March Madness tournaments were cancelled due to Covid-19):
More on basketball betting
March Madness is a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) straight knockout tournament held annually across March and April.