March Madness Betting Tips & Strategies for 2024: Three Tips to Consider for the 2024 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament

Eddie Griffin

Written by: Eddie Griffin

Last Updated:

Read Time: 7 minutes

Caleb Love Arizona basketball

Whether you are betting on each March Madness game or making March Madness futures bets, there is a lot to take into consideration as you determine which direction to go with your picks.

There is no perfect science to making winning bets. That applies to all sports and sporting events, whether it’s March Madness, the Super Bowl, the Kentucky Derby, college football, MMA, or NASCAR.

However, there are a lot of notable trends, tips, and strategies, some general and some sport or event-specific, that can help maximize your chances of coming out a winner.

What are some tips and strategies that can help with your March Madness betting this year? Read on.

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Men’s March Madness Betting Tips and Strategies to Consider This Year

63% of Men’s March Madness Winners Have Been #1 Seeds

Are you wagering on tournament futures odds? Backing a #1 seed might be your best betting strategy. However, there might be one team to avoid out of the quartet.

In 2023, UConn, who cut down the nets in Houston, Texas with a championship game win over San Diego State, emerged victorious after being the #4 seed in the West Regional.

That was first time since 2016, when Villanova (South #2) defeated North Carolina on Kris Jenkins’ buzzer-beating three, that a #1 seed did not win the title.

In fact, of the seven times it has happened in the last 20 editions of men’s March Madness, four have been by UConn (2004 as the Phoenix #2, 2011 as the West #3, 2014 as the East #7, and last year), and two of the other three have been by Big East schools (Syracuse as the East #3 in 2003 and Villanova in 2016).

This year, UConn is likely to be a #1 seed (potentially the #1 overall seed). Historically, the overall percentages favor one of the #1 seeds (UConn? Purdue? Houston? Arizona? Kansas? Tennessee? North Carolina?) coming out on top on April 8 in Glendale, Arizona.

However, the Huskies have won the title only once in five attempts as a #1 seed (1999), So, you might have a tough decision on your hands about whether or not to back the Huskies to achieve glory again.

Here is the breakdown of championship winners by seed since the field expanded to 64 teams in 1985 (no tournament was held in 2020 due to COVID-19).

NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball National Champions by Seed (1985-Present)

  • #1 seed: 24 times (1987, 1990, 1992-96, 1999-2002, 2005, 2007-10, 2012-13, 2015, 2017-19, 2021-22 – 63.2%)
  • #2 seed: 5 times (1986, 1991, 1998, 2004, 2016 – 13.2%)
  • #3 seed: 4 times (1989, 2003, 2006, 2011 – 10.5%)
  • #4 seed: 2 times (1997, 2023 – 5.3%)
  • #6 seed: 1 time (1988 – 2.6%)
  • #7 seed: 1 time (2014 – 2.6%)
  • #8 seed: 1 time (1985 – 2.6%)

Cam Spencer UConn men's basketball

Selection Sunday is approaching–who are the favorites to take home the title on the men’s side? Keep track of the latest 2024 men’s March Madness future odds.

History Indicates to Fade Arizona

The Wildcats, in their final year in the Pac-12, are on track to be a #1 seed for the eighth time.

If they are to win their first national championship since 1997, Arizona must buck some serious history.

In the previous seven times they were a #1 seed, the Wildcats’ best result was a Final Four appearance in 1988. They were a top seed for the first time that year, and they lost to Oklahoma in the national semifinals.

Since then, their results have been Sweet Sixteen (1989), Elite Eight (1998), second round (2000), Elite Eight (2003), Elite Eight (2014), and Sweet Sixteen (2022).

Additionally, no team has won the national championship when the Final Four was held in their home state since UCLA in 1975. That year, the Bruins defeated Kentucky in San Diego to send out the retiring John Wooden with his 10th and final national title.

No home state team has even reached the championship game since Butler in 2010, when the Final Four was held in their home city of Indianapolis. Since UCLA’s title in 1975, only three home state teams have reached the championship game: Butler in 2010 (lost to Duke), Duke in 1994 (lost to Arkansas in Charlotte), and Michigan State in 2009 (lost to North Carolina in Detroit).

Home State Teams to Reach the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament Championship Game

  • 1945 (New York City): NYU (lost to Oklahoma A&M – now Oklahoma State)
  • 1950 (New York City): CCNY (defeated Bradley)
  • 1958 (Louisville, Kentucky): Kentucky (defeated Seattle University)
  • 1960 (Daly City, California): Cal (lost to Ohio State)
  • 1968 (Los Angeles, California): UCLA (defeated North Carolina)
  • 1972 (Los Angeles, California): UCLA (defeated Florida State)
  • 1974 (Greensboro, North Carolina): North Carolina State (defeated Marquette)
  • 1975 (San Diego, California): UCLA (defeated Kentucky)
  • 1994 (Charlotte, North Carolina): Duke (lost to Arkansas)
  • 2009 (Detroit, Michigan): Michigan State (lost to North Carolina)
  • 2010 (Indianapolis, Indiana): Butler (lost to Duke)

Oumar Ballo Arizona basketball

Even though history isn’t on Arizona’s side, college basketball odds will still have the Wildcats as favorites in most, if not all, of their March Madness games. But will college basketball computer picks be in their favor? It will be interesting to see what the numbers say.

Don’t Bank on All Four #1 Seeds to Reach the Final Four

If you think are betting on Final Four futures odds and feel that the four number one seeds are the likeliest group to make it to Glendale, you might want to pause before locking in your bets.

Since the men’s tournament expanded to 64 teams, all four top seeds have reached the Final Four in a tournament only once. In 2008, Kansas, Memphis, North Carolina, and UCLA all made the Final Four in San Antonio, Texas.

It also isn’t likely that #1 seeds will make up three-fourths of the 2024 men’s Final Four teams. The last time three #1 seeds reached the Final Four was 2015. That year, East #2 Michigan State was the out only non-#1 in the Final Four field. The other three teams were Duke (won the title), Kentucky, and Wisconsin (who lost in the title game),

Here is the rundown of how many number one seeds have reached the men’s Final Four in the 64+ team era:

How Many Number One Seeds Have Reached the Men’s Final Four? (1985-Present)

  • All four #1 seeds: 1 time (1985 – 2.6%)
  • Three #1 seeds: 4 times (1993, 1997, 1999, 2015 – 10.5%)
  • Two #1 seeds: 14 times (1985-88, 1991, 1996, 2001-02, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2017-18, 2021 – 36.8%)
  • One #1 seed: 17 times (1989-90, 1992, 1994-95, 1998, 2000, 2003-04, 2006, 2010, 2012-14, 2016, 2019, 2022 – 44.7%)
  • No #1 seeds: 2 times (2011, 2023 – 5.3%)

Zach Edey Purdue basketball

Is UConn going to become the first back-to-back men’s national champion since Florida in 2006 and 2007? Will Purdue or Houston cut down the nets for the first time? Will top seeds be shut out of the Final Four for the second straight year? Don’t miss any of our mass of our college basketball and March Madness coverage over the coming weeks.

More March Madness Betting Information

Where Can You Bet on March Madness This Year?

Each year, millions upon of millions of March Madness bets are placed at the top online sports betting sites.

Most March Madness betting takes place around and at tournament time, which is from mid-March to early April. But throughout the year, you can bet on who you think will win the college basketball national championship.

Along with men’s college basketball odds, most good sportsbooks now carry women’s college basketball national championship odds, which are drawing a lot of attention this season with the likes of South Carolina, Iowa, and LSU vying to cut down the nets in Cleveland, Ohio on April 7.

Numerous sportsbooks are good for March Madness betting, but in addition to BetOnline, here are some of the books that we have reviewed and highly recommend:

If you are unfamiliar with any of the above sites, check out our sportsbook reviews to learn more about what they offer. Speaking of offers, keep an eye on the latest sportsbook offers from these books and others as the countdown to the opening tip of March Madness continues. That way, you will not miss out on any special sports betting promos and bonuses to pad your bankroll for March Madness betting.

New to betting on March Madness? Check out our March Madness guide and college basketball betting guide to learn more about wagering on March Madness and NCAA basketball in general.

March Madness Betting Tips & Strategies FAQ

What is the best way to bet on March Madness?
There are many great ways to bet on March Madness, which refers to both the men’s and women’s NCAA Division I basketball postseason tournaments.

March Madness odds are widely available, and you can make moneyline, spread, and over/under picks on many of the 60+ games in each tournament or bet on March Madness futures odds.

Who has the best odds to win the NCAA Tournament this year?
UConn, who won the national championship last year, is one of the favorites to win the men’s title this year, along with the likes of Purdue, Houston, and Arizona.

On the women’s side, South Carolina, Iowa, and LSU, who won last year’s title, are the favorites.

How do you win big in basketball betting?
There is no one formula for turning a profit betting on college and/or professional basketball. But doing your research, being responsible with your bankroll, and utilizing trustworthy sources for betting picks and information all can help maximize your chances of long-term success.