Looking Ahead to A Historic March Madness Betting Season
Posted by: Anthony Yaylor
There are few events that can compete with the unrivaled action that March Madness betting provides. In fact, with the NCAA men’s basketball tournament inching nearer every day, the American Gaming Association (AGA) has predicted that Americans will wager $9.2 billion betting on March Madness this year. In fact, the total number of bracket predictions that the American populous will complete this year is expected to be in excess of 70 million – more than the number of ballots cast for any presidential candidate this past election, or in any election cycle for that matter. There’s no doubt about it, this year’s March Madness is shaping up to be one of the most auspicious events of the century.
“American’ passion for betting fuels the unmatched popularity of March Madness,” Geoff Freeman, AGA president and CEO stated publically. “Betting increasingly drives sports fans – and even casual observers – to invest in the tournament, offering further evidence that sports betting is the new national pastime.”
March Madness betting is so embraced by American culture, that even President Obama got involved in the insanity that is betting on March Madness. Throughout his tenure, Obama filled out brackets on ESPN in the Oval Office before the tournament began each year. Out of all 44 presidents Obama has indubitably been the one most engaged in the sports community, oftentimes going as far as to call and congratulate the winners of the Super Bowl. Whether Trump will continue Obama’s tradition remains to be seen, but it’s hard to imagine Trump taking time away from his Twitter tirades to congratulate someone, let alone a sports team he has no emotional investment in.
There’s no arguing that March Madness has a huge following which makes making successful predictions all that much sweeter. Being right over a handful of friends is enticing, but being right in front of an entire nation is unimaginable. But at the end of the day that’s the opportunity that betting on March Madness provides. So, with that in mind, which schools are likely to win this year’s NCAA men’s basketball tournament?
Last year’s tournament was won in the most dramatic fashion by Villanova. Heading into the New Year, Villanova currently leads the AP Poll rankings after delivering an unblemished 14-0 record. But even though they have been flawless so far this season, and are even coming off a tough road win over Creighton that confirmed their status as No. 1 in the nation, most sportsbooks have Duke pegged as the team most likely to win the tournament. The Blue Devils may have the better head coach and they were making a lot of buzz during the offseason for having one of the best recruiting classes that we’ve seen in quite some time. But at 12-2 do the Blue Devils truly deserve to be the March Madness betting favorites? Some sportsbooks seem to think so. But after seeing how Villanova won it last year and how they’ve been establishing themselves this season; sportsbook fans might find better fortune sticking with the Wildcats.