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bookies prepare for march madness 2020

Per Head Bookies Prepare for March Madness 2020

March Madness betting is big business for any PayPerHead bookmaker big or small.  To prepare our agents, let’s take a look at some history, betting trends and current contenders to get your book ready.

March Madness has become one of the most beloved, and wagered, sporting events in the United States, and 2020 is no different.  Created in 1939, the tournament has expanded and evolved quite a bit over the last eight decades. In the beginning, only eight teams would qualify for a chance at the crown.  Once the 1980s rolled around the stable grew to 48 teams and then to 64 in 2001.  While the league has added a form of ‘Wild Card” games with the First-Four, the real tournament still admits just 64 teams each year.

32 of those teams receive automatic entry into the tournament after winning their respective conference titles.  Regardless of anything leading up to that point, if you win your conference you punch your ticket to the show. A selection committee then decides on the remaining teams with the announcements coming on Sunday, March 15.

Historically, the UCLA Bruins are the most prolific winners of the tournament, taking the title 11 times in their school’s history.  Kentucky comes in a close second with eight and UNC rounds out the top three with Six. 

Any NCAAB bettor worth his weight in salt in 2020 knows why most people watch March Madness with such excitement.  The brutal, shocking and sometimes profitable, buzzer-beating upsets.  Traditionally those don’t start until the second round but in 2018 we were treated to a record-breaking upset. 

Before 2018, not a single 16 seed had ever beaten a 1 seed.  Good for a perfect record of 0-132.   Heck, there have only been a few instances of a 1vs16 game finishing within double digits and a single overtime game.  But that all changed two years back when UMBC took down No. 1 Virginia, making history and breaking a lot of hearts along the way.  So betting against number one seeds may seem fun, but it has less than a tenth of a percent chance of paying out.

No. 1 seeds are a great bet in the second round too, winning 86% of the time, going 116-19 since 1985.  That is a big step up from No. 2 seeds, who won their second-round games just 66.4% of the time.  No. 1 seeds also cover spreads of less than 20 at a rate of 80% in the early rounds.  They are the top seeds for a reason after all. 

Other strong bets based on historical data would include No. 10 seeds who make it past the Round of 64.  As far as outright wins go, ten seeds in the second round are 24-29 all-time (45.2%)

On the flip side, the No. 8 & No. 9 seeded teams have proven awful bets in the second round.  Eight seeds win at just a 19.1% rate while Nine seeds win a staggeringly low (10.3%) of those games historically.

2020 March Madness Preview

In what could turn out to be the most wide-open field we have seen in the last decade, we do currently have a logjam as favorite to hoist the hardware come April 6th.  Currently, The Baylor Bears, Kansas Jayhawks, and Gonzaga Bulldogs are all 7/1 to be cutting down the nets of the Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

The Virginia Cavaliers aren’t expected to make it two in a row with their odds at 60/1 as of this writing.  Texas Tech, last years runner up, are just 45/1 to win it all.

With such a mix of power conference teams, perineal contenders and mid-major dark horses, this could prove to be one of the most exciting tournaments in recent memory.

Let’s take a look at the March Madness 2020 odds for the top-25 teams and dissect some of the potential value winners among them.

Odds to win 2020 College Basketball National Championship:

Baylor Bears +700

Gonzaga Bulldogs +700

Kansas Jayhawks +700

Duke Blue Devis +800

Dayton Flyers +1200

Maryland Terrapins +1400

Seton Hall Pirates +1600

Auburn Tigers +2000

Louisville Cardinals +2000

Michigan State Spartans +2000

San Diego State Aztecs +2000

Kentucky Wildcats +2500

Arizona Wildcats +3000

Oregon Ducks +3000

Penn State Nittany Lions +3000

West Virginia Mountaineers +3000

Creighton Bluejays

Florida State Seminoles +4000

Ohio State Buckeyes +4000

Texas Tech Red Raiders +4000

Villanova Wildcats +4000

Michigan Wolverines +5000

Colorado Buffaloes +6000

Iowa Hawkeyes +6000

Marquette Golden Eagles +6000

Gonzaga Bulldogs +700

They are the current chalk and for good reason.  With the No. 1 adjusted offense in the nation, a 40% rate from deep and a defense that is in the top-35 Gonzaga might be the team to beat come March.  Some will point to their soft schedule, which is not entirely untrue, but they have also won some big-time games to earn their spot atop the odds. Aside from an early loss to Michigan in the Bahamas, they have beaten all comers, on the road, on neutral courts, you name it.  They have just one member left from their 2017 national championship appearance, Killian Tillie, but have done well to build around him.  They are almost a lock at this point to head into the tournament as a No. 1 seed and are going to wreak havoc on any team that steps in front of them.

Baylor Bears +700

Another chalky pick to win the tournament, Baylor has really upped their game as this season progresses.  They are well known for being the most physical and athletic team in the league.  But they seem to have learned how to drain threes.  And that makes them very dangerous.  They have a higher ceiling than Gonzaga and could become nearly unbeatable with a deep game.  If they can shoot close to 40% from behind the arc while their defense shuts down all but the most elite of offenses, they might be the best chalk bet on board.

San Diego State Aztecs +2000

While the odds on SDSU suggest they might be a dark horse candidate, that is really selling this team short.  They are a No. 1 seed, who are 26-0 with 16 of those wins coming from within the Mountain West.  So this sleep status is really based more on the price being offered at 20/1 and not their ability to win basketball games.  This will likely make them a favorite sharp bet as we near the tournament tip-off and should be monitored to avoid getting exposed.

Iowa Hawkeyes +6000

A true darkhorse team, the Iowa Hawkeyes are more of a talented one-man band than a true team.  Starting center, Luka Garza has taken the league by storm and has proven to be flat out unguardable when on his game.  He plays hard down low, has a silky smooth three-point shot and is a force on defense.  If they can get their sharpshooter C.J. Fredrick back, this is a group that can knock off a higher seed with ease.  This is one of the teams that nobody wants to play but might want the one to bet on.

How Much Will America Bet On March Madness 2020?

So why should bookies make it a point to promote March Madness 2020 betting to their clients?  Simply because of the sheer numbers involved with NCAAB wagering.  The American Gaming Association estimates that $8.5 billion dollars were wagered during last season’s 67 games of March Madness. That number is expected to rise to over $10B in 2020.  That breaks down to roughly $150M per game.  Those betting figures are expected to rise again next year as sports betting becomes more accepted nationwide. 

According to the AGA, in 2020, 47 million adults in the USA will wager on the NCAA tournament.  How many will be betting with you?

PayPerHead Bracket Challenge- download your bracket sheet and play!

The NCAA Tournament presents fans many ways to make a few extra bucks on college basketball in March. One of the more popular options for casual fans is to fill out tournament brackets and compete with friends or strangers nationwide.

March Madness technically begins on March 15th 2020, or Selection Sunday, when the entire field of teams will be announced.  It is at that point when bracket mania begins!

This year we wanted to join in the fun and are providing readers the chance to compete with our master Pay Per Head agents with a bracket challenge of our own.

Click on the link below to download and print yours today for a shot at being out winning submission.

Downloadable Bracket Sheet

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