Attention K-Mart shoppers and sports gamblers alike!
There will be a March Madness this year! I repeat… there will be a March Madness this year!
I don’t need to remind everyone currently reading this website that there was no Final Four last year… for obvious reasons.
The pandemic known as Coronavirus shut down the entire college basketball season, and more importantly, post-season. There were no brackets filled out, no one shining moment song sung, no buzzer beaters and no upsets. Not a single bucket transpired. While other sports powered through, the collegiate athletes remained precautionarily basketless.
Fortunately, 2021 is a different year. While safety measures are still being taken, the entire 64-team tournament will transpire in the bubble they call Indianapolis. There will be a tournament, which will make not only the college athlete happy but also the degenerate gambler, present company included.
You see, March Madness is one of the most bet-upon sporting events of the calendar year. According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, an estimated $350 million was wagered on college basketball in March 2019 in Nevada casinos alone. That’s twice as much as the Super Bowl.
Betting college basketball is equally important for online gambling sites simply because there are so many games. March for the amateur gambler is sportsbook bliss for the mere fact that, as we’ve seen year after year, anything can happen.
2021 will be no different. With so many people still locked in their houses and March Madness coming welcomely back into our lives, rest assured television ratings should be at an all-time high. Combine that with online sports gambling legal now in 25 states and don’t be surprised when you see another record-setting year for wagers placed.
This year’s field is wide open with many traditional blue bloods not a factor. Duke is 11-9, Michigan State is 13-10 and Kentucky is 8-14. Making the tournament this year with those records will be based strictly on what they’ve done in the past.
On the other hand, you have three programs, i.e., Gonzaga, Baylor and Michigan, that have combined for a 60-2 record on the regular season. Those three teams will be your number one seeds with a handful of other schools fighting for the fourth honor. Gonzaga currently has the best odds to win the NCAA Championship but the other two teams are not far behind.
As we all know, you have to be in it to win it. Come tourney time, especially in that relatively neutral atmosphere, confined to enclosed spaces, some players will undoubtedly want to experience life outside the bubble. It’s March and anything can happen. COVID-testing will take place and any violations will result in temporary and immediate suspensions. With games compacted so tightly into a three-week schedule, the wrong player out could spell disaster for teams trying to advance.
If you don’t like the three favorites, there is definite value in futures elsewhere. You can find Villanova, Iowa, Ohio State and Texas between eleven-and-seventeen to one. Or how about FSU, Houston, Alabama, Illinois, Virginia, Kansas and Oklahoma State at twenty-to-one. You can grab UNC, Louisville, Tennessee, West Virginia and UConn at more profitable numbers than that.
In the next few days, gamblers will pay attention to what gamblers traditionally pay attention to. With all games being played in the same arena and so many unknowns, we are bound to see the unexpected, which is what March Madness is all about, this time perhaps a little different.
Here’s to having our tournament back. Happy wagering, my friends.