There are few sporting events in the world that match the excitement of March Madness, the three-week, 68-team, single-elimination NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament that comes around each spring.
Bettors especially look forward to the huge number of sports betting opportunities the tournament brings. While those in New York can hit up upstate retail sportsbooks to bet on the tourney, a large number of residents prefer to place bets via online sportsbook apps.
If they’re willing to make the trip, eager March Madness bettors can simply travel to New Jersey and get their March Madness bets in while they wait for NY online sports betting to launch. Whether you enjoy filling out brackets or betting on individual games, futures or props, here’s all you need to know about March Madness betting in the Empire State.
Bettors looking to get in on tournament games will have access to common markets such as moneylines, point spreads and point totals for individual games. While those lines obviously won’t be set until the tournament field is filled out, bettors can place futures bets on which team they think will be cutting down the nets in that final “One Shining Moment” montage.
Below, check out the latest 2021 March Madness betting odds as posted at New Jersey online sportsbooks. Lines for these prospective national champions may differ at retail sportsbooks in New York. When the bracket is set, check the Game Odds tab for current lines on each game. To bet, just click on the odds to go to the online sportsbook and get started.
You can’t place real money online bet on March Madness (or any event) from New York — not yet, anyway. However, New Yorkers are able to create accounts with online sportsbooks in neighboring New Jersey. Not only that, but they can also make deposits and cash out winnings from the Empire State.
To actually place bets, you need to travel to New Jersey. But that hasn’t been an obstacle for thousands of NY bettors who make the trip weekly. In fact almost 20% of New Jersey sportsbook action is being laid down by NY bettors.
Making bets via online sportsbooks in NJ is easy. Each will have a web-based version accessible via a browser on your laptop or desktop. The books will also have betting apps you can download for free to your tablet or smartphone. Most sportsbook apps are available for iPhone and Android devices.
Download NJ sports betting apps from anywhere, even outside New Jersey. And as noted, you can also go ahead and register an account. You can do this either on the web-based version of the sportsbook or via the app.
Registering an account at an online sportsbook is a simple process. First, visit the sportsbook’s website or download the app to your mobile device.
Typically there is a prominent button that, once clicked, will take you to another screen. There, you’ll need to provide some information about yourself, including:
These details help the sportsbook verify your identity and check your eligibility to participate in legalized wagering. For NJ online sportsbooks, users must be at least 21 years old.
After agreeing to terms, you’re all set. Be sure to find out about any promo codes you might need to submit in order to receive welcome bonuses.
When you decide to deposit funds, you’ll need to enter further information depending on which payment method you choose. Most sportsbooks accept the following forms of payment:
Again, you can’t place bets at NJ online sportsbooks unless you are in New Jersey. But it’s worth it to sign up for an account even from New York, as you can then familiarize yourself with the sportsbooks and see what types of bets they offer.
Just by signing up for an online account with a New Jersey sportsbook, you can participate in various free-to-play March Madness bracket contests. Most online sportsbooks offer them. They cost nothing to play, award real cash prizes and are open to anyone in the United States.
You simply complete a bracket much as you would for your office pool. The play-in “first four” games aren’t considered, so you fill in winners from the Round of 64 on down to the championship, 63 games in all. Later-round picks are weighted more heavily, and whichever player finishes with the most points earns the win.
In the past, DraftKings Sportsbook has featured a free NCAA bracket contest offering $64,000 in prizes. The most recent version paid $5,000 to the first-place finisher and rewarded the top 6,475 places.
For those whose brackets busted early, DraftKings also offered a free second-chance bracket contest with $16,000 in prizes. This game begins with the Sweet 16 and requires picks for each game through the championship for a shot at the cash.
In addition, DraftKings has offered a $250,000 March Madness Survivor Pool. This involves picking one winner each day of the tournament through the Sweet 16 (six days total). Then, starting with the Elite Eight, you pick one team per round.
Like other survivor pools, you can’t pick the same team twice, which can get tricky as, obviously, the number of teams left decreases each round. Those who survive the longest split the $250K prize.
FanDuel Sportsbook did DraftKings even better last time around with a free-to-play $250,000 Bracket Madness contest. The winner pocketed $100,000, the runner-up $50,000, and the top 1,000 finishers earned cash prizes.
Sportsbooks also generally run real-money bracket contests. For these, you’ll need to submit your entries after the drawing on Sunday night but before the first-round games tip off Thursday. You will also need to be physically located in New Jersey.
Many college basketball fans are used to filling out their brackets every March. That said, some bettors prefer to wager on individual games. Certainly, there are pros and cons to betting brackets. Some of the pros include:
On the flip side, some of the cons include:
There are many ways to bet on individual games during the three weeks of March Madness. Here are a few of the common types of bets at every legal sportsbook.
The simplest way to bet a March Madness game is to place a moneyline wager. That’s a “straight-up” bet on one team to win.
For moneyline bets, you’ll see odds listed as positive or negative numbers. For example, “Buffalo (+190)” or “Arizona State (-240).”
Those numbers reflect what the payouts are for winning bets while indicating which team is favored in the matchup and which is the underdog. In the above example, Arizona State is the favorite, meaning a bettor would have to bet $240 to profit $100. Meanwhile, a $100 wager on underdog Buffalo would profit $190 if the Bulls pulled off the upset.
Betting on the point spread means “giving” points when betting the favorite and “taking” points when betting the underdog.
In the above example, Arizona State entered as a 5.5-point favorite, meaning a point spread bet on “Arizona State -5.5” would only pay out if the Sun Devils won by six points or more. A wager on “Buffalo +5.5” would win if the team upset Arizona State or lost by no more than five points.
These bets also have odds written as “-110” or similar to reflect what a winning bet pays.
You can also bet the “over/under” line on the total number of points both teams will score in the game. The over/under for March Madness games can vary widely, from the high 110s to the low 160s.
Besides betting on the outcome of a game, you can also wager on proposition bets (or “props”) surrounding particular teams or individual players. These markets typically concern results within the game rather than the game’s outcome.
For example, you could bet on a Syracuse player to score over or under 15.5 points in a specific game. Or you could wager on the Orangemen as a team to finish with over or under 48.5 rebounds.
There are many types of prop bets, such as betting on a player or team to score the first basket. Final Four games usually feature a huge variety of these betting opportunities.
Speaking of alternative types of betting, live betting or “in game” wagering, is another popular March Madness betting method.
Live betting involves placing all sorts of bets — moneyline, point spreads, totals, props — as the game is in progress, with odds constantly adjusting with every play.
When it comes to March Madness, you should know that New Jersey law does not permit betting on New Jersey colleges or universities. So if Rutgers, Seton Hall or Princeton make the tournament, don’t expect NJ sportsbooks to offer wagers on their games.
The law also doesn’t allow betting on games that are hosted in New Jersey, as sometimes happens with early-round games. However, none of the 2021 March Madness games are scheduled to be played in the Garden State.
There are nearly two dozen NCAA Division I men’s basketball programs in New York. Almost all of them have participated in March Madness before. They include:
|Team||Appearances (most recent)||Notes|
|Albany Great Danes||5 (2015)|
|Army Black Knights||0|
|Binghamton Bearcats||1 (2009)|
|Buffalo Bulls||4 (2019)|
|Canisius Golden Griffins||4 (1996)||Elite Eight (1956)|
|Colgate Raiders||3 (2019)|
|Columbia Lions||3 (1968)||Elite Eight (1948)|
|Cornell Big Red||5 (2010)||Sweet 16 (1954, 2010)|
|Fordham Rams||4 (1992)||Sweet 16 (1971)|
|Hofstra Pride||4 (2001)|
|Iona Gaels||14 (2019)|
|Long Island University Sharks||7 (2018)|
|Manhattan Jaspers||8 (2015)||Sweet 16 (1958)|
|Marist Red Foxes||2 (1987)|
|Niagara Purple Eagles||3 (2007)||Sweet 16 (1970)|
|Siena Saints||6 (2010)|
|St. Bonaventure Bonnies||7 (2018)||Final Four (1970)|
|St. Francis Brooklyn Terriers||0|
|St. John’s Red Storm||29 (2019)||Runner-up (1952)|
|Stony Brook Seawolves||1 (2016)|
|Syracuse Orange||40 (2019)||National champ (2003)|
|Wagner Seahawks||1 (2003)|
From this list only Army and St. Francis have never played in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, two of four programs to have never appeared in the tourney. Syracuse is the only current Division I program from New York with an NCAA title (2003).
One other New York school won the tournament before, City College of New York in 1950. In fact, CCNY won both the NCAA and NIT tournaments that year, the only school ever to have performed that feat.
Initially, the 2021 NCAA men’s basketball tournament expected to stage 67 games across 14 states, culminating with the Final Four and national championship played in Indianapolis. That included the East Regional, part of the Elite Eight, being held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
However, with the ongoing pandemic, the NCAA chose to move the entire tournament to Indiana. All 67 games will be played in the Indianapolis area:
Dates for Selection Sunday and the Final Four remain set in stone. But every game in between could be rescheduled or relocated. As it stands, here are the current dates as they relate to NCAA March Madness 2021:
|Selection Sunday||March 14|
|First Four||March 18||Mackey Arena
Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall
|First round||March 19-20||Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Indiana Farmers Coliseum
Lucas Oil Stadium
Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall
|Second round||March 21-22||Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Indiana Farmers Coliseum
Lucas Oil Stadium
|Sweet 16||March 27-28||Bankers Life Fieldhouse
|Elite Eight||March 29-30||Lucas Oil Stadium|
|Final Four||April 3||Lucas Oil Stadium|
|National Championship||April 5||Lucas Oil Stadium|
Happening alongside the NCAA tournament, the National Invitation Tournament will invite 32 teams that did not qualify for the NCAA tourney to compete in a single-elimination tournament from March 16 to April 1.
During the first three rounds, teams with the higher seeds will host games (unless COVID-19 alters that plan). Then, the semifinals and finals will play out at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
In many ways, the NIT is just as appealing as the NCAA tournament for sports bettors, offering lots of interesting matchups and the same variety of betting opportunities.
The 2021 Final Four will take place April 3, followed by the national championship April 5. All three games will be played at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
Originally, yes. The East Regional semifinals (Sweet Sixteen) and finals (Elite Eight) were scheduled to take place at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The NCAA, however, decided to host the entire 2021 NCAA Tournament in and around Indianapolis.
All of the games will be aired on CBS as well as on the Turner family of networks: TBS, TNT and TruTV.
Games will also stream online at cbssports.com. And on top of that, fans can watch the action via the March Madness Live app available for iOS and Android devices.
If at a retail sportsbook in New York, no. Sports betting regulations prohibit wagering on universities and colleges from the Empire State and on any event taking place in New York.
However, that changes when you head to New Jersey, which has a similar rule in place but specific to New Jersey. New York teams and events are available to bet on in the Garden State.