How Many Sports Fans Plan to Wager on March Madness?
This year’s NFL Super Bowl set records all across the US when it came to the betting handle for that one single football game. It is safe to say that the annual Super Bowl is the biggest single-day sports betting event of the year.
With the start of another NCAA Tournament for men’s college basketball right around the corner, it makes you wonder how does this three-week betting event stack up when it comes to major sports betting events.
According to a recent survey by the American Gaming Association (AGA), roughly 17% of US adults 21 and older plan to place some kind of money wager on this year’s NCAA Tournament. To put this figure in its proper perspective, this should add up to a total betting handle of $3.1 billion by the time the winning team is cutting down the nets at Caesars Superdome in New Orleans on Monday, April 4 in the national title game.
As part of the AGA survey, President and CEO Bill Miller added his thoughts:
“Americans continue to make it clear: they want to wager with the protections of the legal, regulated market. There’s no doubt that this year will generate the highest legal handle in March Madness history.”
Doc’s Sports offers college basketball expert picks for every game on our NCAA basketball predictions page.
March Madness Bracket Contests
One of the most popular ways to bet on March Madness is through any of the various NCAA Tournament bracket contests. Many of the national contests are free to enter through sports sites such as ESPN, CBS Sports and Yahoo Sports.
Just about every US-based sportsbook operator along with dozens of major offshore sportsbooks are offering a March Madness bracket contests with real cash prizes for the winning entries. Some of these contests are free to enter while others come with a preset entry fee to help build the overall prize pool.
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the number actual bracket contests that are held in conjunction with the NCAA Tournament. This group includes millions of office pools, private bookie bracket contests and March Madness bracket pools among family and friends.
The AGA survey estimates that as many as 36.5 Americans plan to place NCAA Tournament wager through a bracket contest or tournament betting pool.
March Madness Sportsbook Betting
With more than 30 states plus the District of Columbia offering legal sports betting in some form, there are more than enough ways to bet on NCAA Tournament games across much of the country.
In states that do not offer legal retail and online sportsbooks, bettors still have ample access to betting the NCAA Tournament through offshore betting sites.
Overall, the total number of Americans 21 and older that plan to wager on March Madness is estimated to be 45 million. Of that number, 20.9 million bettor plan to wager on the NCAA Tournament outside of bracket contests. These bets will be placed through retail sportsbooks in casinos, race tracks and other land-based venues. Bettors will also turn to private bookies and stand-alone sources. The largest number of wagers will be placed online through sportsbook sites and mobile betting apps.
It was estimated that 55% of all bets on the 2021 NCAA Tournament were placed outside of March Madness bracket contests. The AGA estimates that 76% of this year’s NCAA Tournament wagers will be placed outside of bracket contests and other money pools.
New legal US markets for the 2022 NCAA Tournament include Arizona, Connecticut, Louisiana, Maryland, North Dakota, South Dakota, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming. These are the states that have launched legal sports betting since last March.
Most Recent March Madness Betting
- Free Final Four Betting Picks
- Sweet 16 Free Betting Picks
- Mastermind Survival Guide for Betting the Sweet 16
- Upset Picks for the Sweet 16
- Sweet 16 Bracket Predictions
- March Madness Sweet 16 Betting Trends
- 2022 March Madness Bracket Predictions: West Region
- March Madness Betting for Dummies and Novice Bettors
- 2022 March Madness Bracket Predictions: South Region
- 2022 March Madness Prop Bets and Predictions