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  • OTG Staff

A Guide on How to Read March Madness Odds

March Madness is fast approaching, and many bettors are starting to improve their betting skills or look for a better betting strategy to earn an edge on this year's betting. Moreover, some still need to improve at reading the March Madness odds, which can jeopardize their chance of winning.

That's why we must continue to discuss how to properly read March Madness odds to help those who want to upskill on betting and those who aren't good at it. So, we have created a simple guide that everyone who wants to learn how to read a March Madness odds can use.

Whether you are refreshing your skills or just starting in the NCAA basketball betting scene, you check out the guide below:

Understanding Moneyline, Point Spreads, and Total

When betting on March Madness, it's vital that you thoroughly understand the Moneyline, point spread, and total if you want to become a pro in this field. Therefore these three will be the first topic of our discussion.

Point Spread

One of the things that you might notice when looking at a march madness odds is the point spread. The favored team is handicapped using the point spread, commonly known as "the line" or "the spread." It is the number of points a team should win by or remain within for a wager on that particular team to be paid out.

You will see the point spread as the number next to the team's name with a plus or minus sign. For example, Houston Cougar -5.5 or UConn Huskies +5.5.

The favorite team will always have a point spread indicated by a minus sign, while the underdog will have a plus sign. Like with the example given, it is shown that the Houston Cougars are the favorite, and the UConn Huskies are the underdog.

By looking at the point spread, you will instantly know who is the favorite to win amongst the team playing.


Moneyline is a type of bet that only consists of odds meaning "odds to win." It is when you wager on the team you believe will win the match. There will be no point spreads or other requirements to cover in Moneyline. It entirely depends on who wins the game.

For instance, a Moneyline of +150 means that the team indicated has just +150 odds ($100 to win $150) of winning. A Moneyline of -150 means that the stated team has just -150 odds ($150 to win $100) of winning.

In Moneyline, it won't matter when the team you bet on wins by 1 or 100 points. You will win your bet fair and square if they win the match. So, if they lose, no matter how many points, then you lose. It's very straightforward.

It represents the key distinction between Moneyline and point spread wagers. Each sort of bet is doing something unique to equalize the playing field and make a bet fairer. In a point spread, the wagers are adjusted by influencing the points indicating the favorite or underdog team.

Meanwhile, payouts are manipulated to level out the betting field on a Moneyline bet. For instance, betting on the favorite will give you a lesser payout than risking and placing your wager in favor of the underdog.


Another incredibly well-liked method of wagering on March Madness is the totals. Wagering on the point total is often called over/under and is as easy as it sounds. You're making a bet based on whether the two teams playing on the court will surpass or fall short of a predetermined combined score.

In total, the oddsmaker will establish a line before a game. They will select a sum that reflects the combined points of both teams. If you want to bet on the total, you will need to predict whether the total score from both teams at the end of the game will be greater or lesser than the set number predicted by the oddsmaker.

What Do the Numbers With Plus and minus Mean?

Have you seen an odds list? If yes, you might already have noticed that there are numbers next to the team's spread number. For example, you will find a number -110 beside the Houston Cougars spread of -23.5.

This number represents the "juice" or "vig" on a standard bet. The juice or vig is the amount a sportsbook charges the losing bettors. The given above means that for every $100 you want to win, you will need to wager $110.

Although you can still bet higher or lower, the $100 is used as a benchmark in betting. For example, if you bet $110 on the Cougars with a point spread of -23.5, expect a payout of $100 if they win the game by at least 24 points.

What Are Future Odds?

As the name implies, future odds correspond to a future result of a game. In March Madness, you will notice that the odds are readily available upon each team that triumphs the March Madness.

Most sports betting is focused on matches that will be performed very shortly. Future odds include things that will happen months from now. These outcomes involve teams that will prevail in their conference, division, or championship.

Final Words

Understanding the odds will help you in increasing your chance of making the right decision when betting on March Madness. It will have a significant impact on the strategy that you will prefer. Therefore, you must carefully study the abovementioned things and keep them in mind before betting for this year's NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament.

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