March Madness First Round Odds

Publish Date: 26.02.2024
Fact checked by: Adan Cabal

March Madness First Round Odds 2024: Here’s My Handpicked Selection of the Best Bets for March Madness of 2024

The best bets for the March Madness first round can be placed at top-rated sportsbooks like Stake.com, BC.Game, and Bet365. Why? Because they have the best odds and lines out there.

In this guide, I’ll explain the March Madness first round in more detail. Plus, I’ve got some expert tips for you. These nuggets of wisdom are based on common patterns we’ve seen in the tournament’s first round over the years, giving you the insights needed to make well-informed wagers.

March Madness first round explained

The first round of March Madness is where the tournament really kicks into gear. After the dust settles from the First Four, the field narrows down to 64 teams, and this is where every college basketball fan’s bracket starts to take shape. It’s the most action-packed stage of the tournament, with 32 games played over two days. Talk about March Madness…

This round is famous for its upsets, buzzer-beaters, and the birth of Cinderella stories that we chat about for years to come, such as when UCLA went from the First Four to the Final Four in 2021. Every year, without fail, there’s at least one lower-seeded team that defies the odds and busts brackets across the nation. It’s what puts the “mad” in “March Madness.”

The best bets for the March Madness first round: My top tips and tricks

Based on common trends and patterns that we’ve seen over the years, here are the best bets for the March Madness first round.

Favor #1 seeds to reach the sweet 16

One of the best bets for the NCAA tournament first round is to favor #1 seeds to reach the Sweet 16. Historically, #1 seeds have dominated the first two rounds. Since 1985, their win-rate in the second round is over 85%. This makes them a safer bet to reach the Sweet 16 compared to #2 seeds, which have a much lower win-rate in the same round.

Look for the dark horses

UCLA’s journey from the First Four to the Final Four in 2021 will be remembered for years to come. They defeated a #6 seed Alabama on their journey, proving that First Four teams can be viable dark horses worth betting on for higher potential returns.

Bet on #1 seeds, and watch the spread

In 2018, #16 UMBC made history by defeating #1 Virginia, marking the first time a #1 seed lost in the first round. Despite this outlier, #1 seeds have a stellar record against #16 seeds. When betting, if the spread is under 20 points, history shows #1 seeds are very likely to cover, so this is always one of the best bets for the March Madness first round.

#7 vs #10 matchups: Not the upset you might expect

Contrary to popular belief, #7 seeds hold a significant win-rate advantage over #10 seeds, winning around 60% of their matchups. This trend suggests that betting on #7 seeds might offer a better return than expected, despite their perceived closeness.

#8 vs #9 games: First round betting odds worth considering

The #8 and #9 seed matchups are historically close, with #9 seeds slightly edging out #8 seeds since 1985. However, underdogs in these matchups have covered the spread over 50% of the time over the last 13+ tournaments, making them NCAA first round betting odds worth considering.

#11 Seeds: Famous in the first-round

#11 seeds have a knack for first-round upsets, like when Xavier, USC, and Rhode Island all won as #11 seeds in 2017. These seeds have performed well against #6 seeds in the past, making them prime candidates for upsets in the first round.

Tread carefully with #13 seeds and beyond

While #12 seeds have a respectable upset rate against #5 seeds, the story is different for #13 seeds and beyond. The win-rate plummets for #13 seeds in the Round of 64, so you should tread carefully here.

The best social sportsbooks and DFS sites for First Round betting

I’ve chosen my favorite social sportsbooks and fantasy sports brands who can be counted on for betting on the First Round of March Madness. Each of these brands will give you a different way to play, but they can all help you celebrate the arrival of this epic college basketball tournament:

Fliff – Quality social betting platform

Fliff sports betting
Pros & Cons of Fliff
  • Great NCAA First Round coverage
  • Redeem real money prizes
  • Play for free
  • Generous welcome offer
  • Only available in certain states

I have found that Fliff is a great social sportsbook for March Madness, and it’s particularly good for the First Round. Here you will find plenty of betting lines for all of the massive number of games taking place so that no one gets left out. Plus you can use that welcome offer that gives you 600,000 Fliff Coins and 100 Fliff Cash to play for fun and potentially redeem cash prizes. A good example of what you should be looking for in a social betting platform.

Fliff
Social Betting Bonus
4.6/5
100% Match up to $49.99 + FREE 5000 Coins and 1.00 Fliff Cash + 100 Fliff Cash
Welcome Bonus
|
T&Cs apply, 18+
Go to Fliff
Go to Fliff
Fliff Highlights
  • Completely free sporting predictions.
  • Climb the leaderboard and achieve legendary status!
  • Real cash rewards available

Sportzino – Full range of NCAA social betting options

sportzino-pro-contra-us
Pros & Cons of Sportzino
  • Good range of NCAA betting lines
  • Big welcome offer
  • Redeemable cash prizes
  • No purchase necessary
  • Lacking a Sportzino app

This is another great social sportsbook who can be counted on for every round in March Madness. As a result, you can sign up here and enjoy money lines, spreads and totals for all of the massive number of First Round games. All of these bets can be made for free at Sportzino and you can even redeem cash prizes here. There’s also a welcome offer to give you a great start with your GC 150,000 and six SC.

Sportzino
Social Betting Bonus
4.7/5
Get 1.570.000 GC + 45 FREE Sweeps Coins
Welcome Bonus
|
T&Cs apply, 18+
Go to Sportzino
Go to Sportzino
Sportzino Highlights
  • More than 40 sports to play
  • Frequent rewards
  • Free sportsbook

ParlayPlay – Super-simple DFS provider

ParlayPlay
Pros & Cons of ParlayPlay
  • User-friendly DFS platform
  • Matched deposit sign up offer
  • Two simple fantasy modes
  • Full coverage of March Madness
  • No Android app

I have had plenty of fun using the More or Less and Hit It DFS options at ParlayPlay, and the good news is that you can do it on the First Round of March Madness. These fantasy betting options just require you to make some stat-based predictions and the whole thing gives you a fair chance of winning – definitely not something that’ll happen at some DFS sites I can think of. Sign up to ParlayPlay and you can get your first deposit matched by 100% up to $100 and see why this is the rising star of the DFS scene.

Fliff
Social Betting Bonus
4.6/5
100% Match up to $49.99 + FREE 5000 Coins and 1.00 Fliff Cash + 100 Fliff Cash
Welcome Bonus
|
T&Cs apply, 18+
Go to Fliff
Go to Fliff
Fliff Highlights
  • Completely free sporting predictions.
  • Climb the leaderboard and achieve legendary status!
  • Real cash rewards available

OwnersBox – Two ways to enjoy fantasy First Round betting

ownersbox mobile
Pros & Cons of OwnersBox
  • Quality SuperFlex DFS format
  • Entertaining LightningLineups option
  • Good fantasy basketball service
  • Competitive matched deposit bonus
  • DFS might not be available in your state

OwnersBox has assembled a formidable fantasy sports platform that you can use for college basketball. Most players will opt to use the SuperFlex DFS option, but there are also some great Lightning Lineups that offer you a whole new way to play. Signing up here will let you get your opening deposit matched by 100% up to $500 which could give you plenty of extra credit to use on all of those paid tournaments. Perfect for getting a better chance of winning one of those prize pools.

OwnersBox
DFS Bonus
4.6/5
100% up to $500
Deposit Bonus
|
T&Cs apply, 21+
Go to OwnersBox
Play now
OwnersBox Highlights
  • 2 x $5 free DFS entries no deposit
  • 100% deposit match up to $500
  • Two unique takes on traditional DFS contests

Sleeper – Good choice of tournaments for your First Round fantasy bets

Sleeper main
Pros & Cons of Sleeper
  • Top NCAA daily drafts
  • Innovative Sleeper Picks
  • 100% matched deposit bonus
  • Quality fantasy basketball platform
  • Few promos for existing customers

This is a fantasy sports platform that has already commanded an impressive reputation for the NBA, and there’s no reason why it can’t do the same for the First Round of March Madness. The brand has just revamped its welcome offer to match your first qualifying deposits by 100% up to $100, and from here you’ll find a broad range of tournaments – often with some refreshingly modest entry fees. So that whether you are doing your daily drafts or are checking out the Sleeper Picks option, you’ll have great fun here.

Sleeper
DFS Bonus
4.5/5
100% up to $100
Deposit Bonus
|
T&Cs apply, 21+
Copy
Play now
Sleeper Highlights
  • Free-to-play and paid contests
  • Daily picks for multiplier winnings
  • 100% deposit match for new players

Sites with the best first-round bets for March Madness outside the US

Looking for the best NCAA first round bets and odds available? I’ve got you covered. After carrying out thorough reviews and weighing all the options, I’ve handpicked Stake.com, BC.Game, and Roobet as the best options for anyone who is living outside of the US.

SportsbookWelcome offerBest for
Stake.com200% up to $2,000 (Code: GAMECHAMPIONS)Live streaming
BC.Game180% up to $20,000Large bonuses and betting limits
Bet365$100 in bet creditsMobile betting

Stake.com – Best bets for the March Madness first round

Stake pro contra
Pros & Cons
  • Live betting and streaming
  • Some of the best odds available
  • Claim an exclusive bonus code
  • No mobile app

If I could only recommend one sportsbook for the March Madness first round, it would be Stake.com. Why? It’s because you’ll find some of the best first round betting odds, and they stay consistent throughout the tournament.

From the First Four to the Final Four bets and the Championship Game, Stake.com offers some of the best returns on your successful wagers. Haven’t joined this sportsbook yet? Dive in with an exclusive offer – use the promo code CHAMPIONS to claim a cool 200% bonus up to $2,000 on your first deposit.

BC.Game – Plenty of NCAA first round betting lines

BC.Game pros and cons
Pros & Cons
  • Loads of March Madness lines
  • No maximum bet limits
  • Huge welcome offer
  • Only accepts crypto

BC.Game has got you covered with a ton of March Madness first round betting lines, and let me tell you, their odds are on point. One thing I really like about BC.Game is how they don’t cap your bets, whether it’s for NCAA or any other sports betting markets.

Plus, they’re throwing in a massive March Madness betting promotion that can go up to $20,000. This makes BC.Game a top pick if you’re looking to go big on the best NCAA first round bets. The only catch? It’s all about crypto here, no regular cash allowed. So, if that’s a dealbreaker for you, you might want to check out Stake.com. It’s still in the crypto betting scene but gives you the option to deposit regular money too.

Bet365 – Great for March Madness first round betting on mobile

Bet365 sports USA
Pros & Cons
  • Intuitive mobile app
  • Extensive betting lines
  • Highly competitive odds
  • Generous bonus offers
  • Crypto is not supported

As you’d expect from one of the most well-known and recognizable gambling brands in the world, the March Madness first round betting odds at Bet365 are some of the best out there. It’s a betting odds March Madness winner, and you’ve got a wide range of betting lines to choose from.

What really caught my eye, though, is their mobile app. It’s slick, responsive, and a breeze to navigate. And with cool features like live betting and streaming right at your fingertips, it’s ideal for laying down your March Madness first round bets on the go.

You’re ready to bet on the March Madness first round

And there you have it, just about everything you need to know about the best bets for the March Madness first round. When you’re ready to get in on the action, I’d highly recommend sticking with Stake.com, BC.Game, and Bet365. This way, you’ll be able to get the best odds and bonuses, which results in even bigger wins.

Pick a top bonus to get started

Sportzino
1.
Favicon
4.7/5
Get 1.570.000 GC + 45 FREE Sweeps Coins
United States of America
Players from United States of America accepted
Go to Sportzino
Get Bonus
T&Cs apply, 18+
Fliff
2.
Favicon
4.6/5
100% Match up to $49.99 + FREE 5000 Coins and 1.00 Fliff Cash + 100 Fliff Cash
United States of America
Players from United States of America accepted
Go to Fliff
Get Bonus
T&Cs apply, 18+
Thrillzz
3.
Favicon
3.8/5
100% match up to $25 in Coins + $3 Free Coins
United States of America
Players from United States of America accepted
Copy
Get Bonus
T&Cs apply, 18+
BetRivers.net
4.
Favicon
Daily Rewards up to 10k VC$
United States of America
Players from United States of America accepted
Go to BetRivers.net
Get Bonus
T&Cs apply, 18+
Rebet
5.
Favicon
United States of America
Players from United States of America accepted
Best Alternative
Sportzino Go to Sportzino

Best bets for the March Madness first round FAQ

❓ How do I choose the best bets for the March Madness first round?

Choose the best bets by studying past performances, such as the dominance of #1 seeds and the upset potential of lower seeds, and consider the current form and matchups. Also, it’s best to choose sportsbooks with competitive odds for the best returns.

👍 Which sites have the best betting odds for the March Madness first round?

Stake.com, BC.Game, and Bet365 stand out with some of the best betting odds for March Madness. Also, they have live betting features and generous bonuses to enhance your betting experience.

✍️ What are the best first round bets on March Madness?

The best bets include favoring #1 seeds, betting on potential dark horses from the First Four, and identifying value in #7 vs. #10 and #8 vs. #9 matchups. Betting on #11 seeds is also worth considering because the trends show that they have a knack for first-round upsets.

Our Recommendation of the Month
Stake.us - Get your Extra Bonus! Get your Extra Bonus!
Top Online Casinos
Top Casinos Bonuses
Wow Vegas
Wow Vegas
Wow Vegas Review
4.6/5
McLuck
McLuck
McLuck Review
4.6/5
Stake.us
Stake.us
Stake.us Review
4.5/5
Sweeptastic
Sweeptastic
Sweeptastic Review
4.5/5
Vegas Gems
Vegas Gems
Vegas Gems Review
4.5/5
Wow Vegas
Wow Vegas Bonus
35 SC FREE and 1.75M WOW Coins
T&Cs apply
4.6/5
McLuck
McLuck Bonus
27.5 SC FREE and 57,5K Gold Coins
T&Cs apply
4.6/5
Stake.us
Stake.us Bonus
$55 Stake Cash + 260K Gold Coins + 5% Rakeback
T&Cs apply
4.5/5
Sweeptastic
Sweeptastic Bonus
44 SC FREE and 70K Lucky Coins
T&Cs apply
4.5/5
Vegas Gems
Vegas Gems Bonus
1000 Gems + 50% Extra gems On Your First Shards Purchase
T&Cs apply
4.5/5
Our Team
Adan CabalAlex CabalAngel C. Noriega
Adan Cabal
Editor - Esports Journalist
Alex Cabal
Editor - Casino Expert
Angel C. Noriega
Editor - Responsible Gambling

Players must be 21 years of age or older or reach the minimum age for gambling in their respective state and located in jurisdictions where online gambling is legal. Please play responsibly. Bet with your head, not over it. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, and wants help, call or visit: (a) the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey at 1-800-Gambler or www.800gambler.org; or (b) Gamblers Anonymous at 855-2-CALL-GA or www.gamblersanonymous.org.

This site is using Cloudflare and adheres to the Google Safe Browsing Program. We adapted Google's Privacy Guidelines to keep your data safe at all times.
21+NCPGGamblers Anonymous
Close
Experience Elite Gaming! Click Here for VIP Casino Promotions.
Stake.us
Stake.us Bonus
$55 Stake Cash + 260K Gold Coins + 5% Rakeback
T&Cs apply, 18+
Promo Code:
Go to Stake.us
Get Bonus
McLuck
McLuck Bonus
27.5 SC FREE and 57,5K Gold Coins
T&Cs apply, 18+
Promo Code:
Go to McLuck
Get Bonus
High5Casino
High5Casino Bonus
5 Sweeps Coins + 250 Game Coins + 600 Diamonds
T&Cs apply, 18+
Promo Code:
Go to High5Casino
Get Bonus
×
Your Promo Code:
The bonus offer of was already opened in an additional window. If not, you can open it also by clicking the following link:
Visit Site