Let’s take a look at how to read the March Madness betting line and a few things to keep in mind.
March Madness odds are just like other basketball odds in that you are wagering on one team or another against the pointspread. For example, let’s say that North Carolina was playing Duke. If one gambler bets on Duke at +3, they risk the standard $110 to win $100. Another gambler takes North Carolina at -3 for the same $110 to win $100. The sportsbook makes $10 regardless of who wins the game as long as Duke doesn’t win by exactly 3 points.
What happens in reality when we talk about March Madness odds is that very rarely are sportsbooks equally balanced on a game. When the March Madness betting action is not balanced the books have a few choices. They could do nothing but most of the time the sportsbook moves the March Madness odds based upon the action. This can get very tricky with money in the hundreds of thousands. One sportsbook might move to -2.5 in March Madness odds while another sportsbook might be comfortable at -3. It all depends upon the sportsbook, their tolerance for risk, and their opinion on the March Madness odds. Some sportsbooks may have already handicapped the March Madness odds themselves and may shade the March Madness odds a half point or more in a direction to generate more wagering on the team they think will not cover.
So why don’t sportsbooks just keep moving the March Madness betting line until they get balanced action? The simple answer to that is that they don’t want to get middled in March Madness odds.
It is that risk of getting middled that keep books from moving March Madness odds too much but at the same time it is the risk of being on the wrong side of a game that forces them to move the line.
March Madness odds are definitely fascinating to wager on and to watch at online sportsbooks.
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