How to Survive March Madness Without Losing Everything

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March is nearly upon us, and you know what that means. The madness is about to begin. Yes, it's almost time for the NCAA tournament that fans both love and hate. Each March everyone loves watching their favorite teams compete, especially if they win a few games. Then once they lose it's just a depressing mess. But it's an even more challenging quest for those looking to earn a few bucks off the event. The NCAA basketball tournament is perhaps the most upset-prone sporting event in the world, meaning huge payouts are available to the winners, while the losers can really suffer some huge losses. It's okay though, there are ways to compete while not making yourself too vulnerable to disaster.

Set a Financial Limit

Before the tournament begins, set a total financial commitment for yourself and stick to it. This way, you won't be enticed to impulsively throw lots of money at a final four game because you like the match-up. Instead, you can allocate your bets to account for those late round decisions. Although this begs the question, why aren't you only betting in the early rounds?

Bet on Underdogs for the First Day

The first day of the tournament is like the first day of school. Teams are nervous, uncomfortable, and in many cases they are unprepared for the high-quality of their lower-ranked opponents. Lower-ranked teams tend to play looser in the first round because, well what have they got to lose? Many have never competed in the NCAA tournament and have never been broadcast on national TV, so they are simply enjoying the moment. As we've witnessed over the years, this combination of factors can result in some pretty tremendous early round upsets. Statistically speaking, if you were to pick every underdog in the first round of the tournament you'd probably come away on top. Over the past 15 years, betting on all underdogs in the first round has yielded 60% winners. There have even been a few close 16 vs 1 games of late. Check the spreads, these may be your best bets for the whole tourney.

Who is the Hot Team?

Villanova was definitely that team last year. Who will it be this time around? Gonzaga? It's tough to predict. But one area that always holds true is the 12 vs 5 upset. In the last 16 games over four past tournaments, 12s are 10-6 over the 5s.

Beyond that, be safe this year. Don't give your credit card information to a questionable site or gambling facilitator. Only use accredited sources for your March Madness experience. If you can survive March, you'll probably make it through the rest of the year unscathed.

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