Millions of Americans will bid to compile the perfect March Madness bracket in the days leading up to the NCAA Tournament. There has never been a verified perfect bracket, according to the NCAA, but some fans have come close in recent years. You can win some huge prizes by making strong bracket predictions, so it is a very popular pastime.

This guide will explain the concept of March Madness bracket gambling. We have started out by providing our own March Madness bracket predictions for 2023. You will then discover the best sites for betting on the NCAA Tournament, followed by a detailed guide to bracket contests and sourcing expert picks to help you out.

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Top 10 Sportsbooks to Bet on March Madness 

Our experts have reviewed all the leading sportsbooks covering this year’s NCAA Tournament. They identified 10 high-quality, legit sports betting sites that offer appealing odds and always pay out on time. These are the top 10 betting sites for March Madness:

  1. These are the top 10 sites for March Madness betting this year:
    1. BetOnline – Best All-Round NCAAB Betting Site
    2. Bovada – Best Selection of College Basketball Props
    3. BetUS – Huge Bonuses for Basketball Bettors
    4. BC.Game – Crypto Betting Site with Lucrative Contests
    5. XBet – Beginner-Friendly Site for Bracket Gambling
    6. Lucky Block – Crypto Sportsbook for NCAAB Fans
    7. – Offers March Madness Bracket Contests
    8. Everygame – Trusted Online Sportsbook for Basketball Fans
    9. MyBookie – Provides MM Tournament News and Analysis
    10. BUSR – Large Sign-up Bonus for Basketball bettors

Most of these sportsbooks offer bracket contests on the NCAA Tournament. Some require an entry fee, while others are free-to-play. Many of them offer very generous top prizes and lots of additional prizes for players that put strong brackets together. For more details on wagering on the NCAA Tournament, you can read our in-depth March Madness betting guide.

March Madness Bracket Predictions

The 2023 bracket has now been revealed after an eagerly anticipated Selection Sunday. We know which teams will face one another in the First Four, and everyone can now put their brackets together.

If you are looking for inspiration, these are our predictions for each round:

First Four Selections

We believe that Mississippi State, Arizona State, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and Fairleigh Dickinson have what it takes to get through the First Four. Mississippi State, Arizona State, Texas A&M-Corpus are moneyline favorites, and we do not see them suffering upsets.

However, we can see Fairleigh Dickinson pulling off a surprise win against Texas Southern. It is the 3-point underdog, who never previously won an NCAA Tournament game, but this could be the year to shake off that unwanted record.

First Round Winners

There are always major upsets in the first round of March Madness. A No. 13 seed typically secures an upset against a No. 4 seed, and a few No. 11 and No. 12 seeds tend to advance to the second round, too. These are our 32 projections for the first round:


  • Purdue (No. 1) to beat Fairleigh Dickinson
  • FAU (No. 9) to beat Memphis
  • Duke (No. 5) to beat Oral Roberts
  • Tennessee (No. 4) to beat Louisiana
  • Providence (No. 11) to beat Kentucky
  • Kansas State (No. 3) to beat Montana State
  • USC (No. 10) to beat Michigan State
  • Marquette (No. 2) to beat Vermont


  • Kansas (No. 1) to beat Howard
  • Illinois (No. 9) to beat Illinois
  • VCU (No. 12) to beat Saint Mary’s
  • UConn (No. 4) to beat Iona
  • TCU (No. 6) to beat AZ State
  • Gonzaga (No. 3) to beat Grand Canyon
  • Boise State (No. 10) to beat Northwestern
  • UCLA (No. 2) to beat UNC Asheville


  • Alabama (No. 1) to beat Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
  • Maryland (No. 8) to beat West Virginia
  • San Diego State (No. 5) to beat Charleston
  • Furman (No. 13) to beat Virginia
  • Creighton (No. 6) to beat NC State
  • Baylor (No. 3) to beat UCSB
  • Missouri (No. 7) Utah State
  • Arizona (No. 2) to beat Princeton


  • Houston (No. 1) to beat Northern Kentucky
  • Iowa (No. 8) to beat Auburn
  • Miami (FL) (No. 5) to beat Drake
  • Indiana (No. 4) to beat Kent State
  • Iowa State (No. 6) to beat Mississippi State
  • Xavier (No. 3) to beat Kennesaw State
  • Penn State (No. 10) to beat Texas A&M
  • Texas (No. 2) to beat Colgate

Second Round Winners

The chances of correctly predicting all 32 teams for the March Madness second round would be 1 in 4,294,967,296 if selected at random. If you make educated guesses when selecting your March Madness Bracket Predictions, your chances are around one in 12.6 million. A few players typically still have a perfect bracket at this stage. If all of our first round picks are correct, these are our second round projections:

  • Purdue to beat FAU
  • Tennessee to beat Duke
  • Providence to beat Kansas State
  • Marquette to beat USC
  • Kansas to beat Illinois
  • UConn to beat VCU
  • Gonzaga to beat TCU
  • UCLA to beat Boise State
  • Alabama to beat Maryland
  • Furman to beat San Diego State
  • Creighton to beat Baylor
  • Arizona to beat Missouri
  • Houston to beat Iowa
  • Indiana to beat Miami (FL)
  • Xavier to beat Iowa State
  • Texas to beat Penn State

Sweet 16 Results

Just a quarter of the teams will be left standing by the Sweet 16 of March Madness. In 2019, a college basketball fan from Ohio nailed a correct bracket all the way to the Elite Eight by providing correct predictions in every Sweet 16 matchup. This is how we see the Sweet 16 unfolding:

  • Purdue to beat Tennessee
  • Marquette to beat Providence
  • UConn to beat Kansas
  • UCLA to beat Gonzaga
  • Alabama to beat Furman
  • Arizona to beat Creighton
  • Houston to beat Indiana
  • Texas to beat Xavier

Elite Eight Winners

Players will have to battle mental and physical fatigue by the time the March Madness Elite Eight rolls around. This is how we see the round developing:

  • Purdue to beat Marquette
  • UCLA to beat UConn
  • Alabama to beat Arizona
  • Houston to beat Texas

Final Four Results

Several expert brackets – from handicappers and AI models alike – are going for Houston to beat Alabama in the National Championship Game. However, we are going against the grain with our selections for the March Madness Final Four:

  • Purdue to beat Alabama
  • UCLA to beat Houston

National Championship Winner

While many expect Houston and Alabama – the two favorites for the NCAA Tournament – to beat in the National Championship Game, we envisage an equally exciting contest between Purdue and UCLA. It would be a terrific game, but our final pick is as follows:

  • Purdue to beat UCLA in the National Championship Game

Best of luck filling in your own bracket – if you are tailing or fading.

What are March Madness Brackets?

A March Madness bracket requires you to predict the outcome of every single matchup at the NCAA Tournament. You start out by predicting which teams will advance from the First Four. You can then predict the winner of each first round game, leaving you with 32 teams in the second round of your hypothetical bracket.

Pick the winner of each game to form your anticipated Sweet 16, and repeat the process for the Elite Eight and the Final Four. You will then be left with just two teams still standing, and you can complete your bracket by guessing which of those teams will be crowned the national champion.

Historically, NCAA Tournament brackets were printed off, allowing you to write down your predictions. Nowadays, they are generally compiled electronically. You can take part in a range of bracket contests in a bid to earn cash or other prizes. Some are free-to-play, while others require an entry fee.

Certain contests are informal, but sportsbooks, news outlets and other organizations host official bracket challenges with strict rules and large prizes. Even Warren Buffett has run large March Madness Bracket Predictions contests.

How to Compile a March Madness Bracket?

An NCAA Division 1 Men’s Basketball Tournament bracket requires you to make 67 predictions:

  • The four teams that will prevail in the First Four.
  • The 32 teams that will make it through the first round.
  • The 16 teams still standing at the end of the second round.
  • The eight teams that will win in the Sweet 16.
  • The four teams that will win in the Elite Eight.
  • The two teams that will reach the National Championship Game.
  • The team that will be crowned the National Champion.

As explained in our FAQ section, the odds of nailing all 67 predictions are 120.2 billion to 1. There are more chances of a family of four all being hit by lightning. However, you do not need to get every single prediction right to win big prizes. Bracket contests offer handsome rewards to the entrants that compile the strongest brackets, so you just need to come closer to the perfect bracket than most of your peers.

It is helpful to browse historical data about the number of upsets that typically take place in each round. For example, it is extremely rare for No. 16 or No. 15 seeds to win in the first round. However, a No. 13 seed will upset a No. 4 seed almost every year, while there are usually one or two upsets for No. 12 seeds and No. 11 seeds.

Try to figure out which high seeds really deserve their status and which unheralded teams are the most likely contenders to cause upsets. Use statistical analysis, gut instinct and expert picks to guide your decisions. Also consider entering multiple brackets with significantly different scenarios in the same contest if possible.

March Madness Bracket Contests

March Madness bracket gambling is available at a series of leading online sportsbooks. These are examples of some of the high-profile bracket contests you can enter this year:

  • BetOnline and are running a $250,000 bracket challenge. It costs $25 to enter, but a second entry costs just $20, a third is $15, and you can then buy subsequent entries for $10 or $5. The first prize is $75,000, the runner-up gets $30,000, third place is awarded $15,000, fourth place gets $7,500, fifth place receives $5,000 and so on, until the player in 1,000th receives $50.
  • BetUS is running a bracket challenge, with prizes paid in free play credits, with a 10x rollover requirement. The top prize is $5,000 in bonus credits, and there are four runner-up prizes. You will receive a special $1 million prize if you can compile a perfect bracket.
  • MyBookie is running a $150,000 MyBracket contest. Entry costs $10 and you can purchase a maximum of 50 entries. The top prize in the guaranteed prize pool is $25,000, the runner-up gets $20,000, third place gets $15,000 and they continue to grow smaller until the 750th place gets $75. Cash winnings will be paid into players’ accounts approximately 72 hours after the NCAA National Championship game concludes.
  • XBet will give you free entry into a $5,000 NCAA Tournament bracket contest if you sign up for a new account today.

Some other sportsbooks have launched contests too, so there are lots for you to choose from. You can check the March Madness bracket scoring rules, as they can change from one site to the next. This is an example of the point system used by MyBookie:

  • 1 point for every correct selection in the first round
  • 2 points for every correct selection in the second round
  • 4 points for every correct selection in the Sweet 16
  • 8 points for every correct selection in the Elite 8
  • 16 points for every correct selection in the Final Four
  • 32 points for picking the winner of the Championship Game

How to Use March Madness Bracket Predictions

When you have figured out your March Madness bracket predictions, you can enter a contest. Just follow these steps:

Step 1: Sign Up with a Reputable Sportsbook

Click here to open the BetOnline homepage. It is currently the best sports betting site for college basketball fans, and it is running a $250,000 contest this year. When you land on the page, click the green “JOIN” to open the sign-up form. Fill your details and submit the form.

Step 2: Make a Deposit

It costs $25 for your first contest entry at BetOnline, and subsequent entries are cheaper. You will need to fund your account to take part in a bracket challenge, so click the “DEPOSIT” button at the top of the page. Choose a method, type in your deposit amount, provide your details and complete the deposit.

Step 3: Claim a Welcome Bonus

You will be given a welcome bonus worth up to $1,000. It offers a 50% deposit match free play for fiat based payments and a 100% deposit match free play if you use crypto.

Step 4: Enter a ContestBetOnline contest entry

Head to the “Contests” section of the site, which you can access from the toolbar menu on the homepage. Locate the March Madness contest and click “Buy Entries.” You will then be able to fill in your bracket in a bid to win the top prize of $75,000.

Step 5: Place Some Traditional Sports Bets

You can also place more traditional bets on any matchup at the NCAA Tournament. Choose “Basketball” from the “Main Sports” section and then click on “NCAA” followed by “NCAA Game.” You will see a list of all the games at the tournament. Click on the market you like to add it to the betslip, and you can then choose a bet amount and place the wager.

Who provides NCAA March Madness Bracket Picks?

As mentioned earlier, millions of people make March Madness bracket predictions at this time of the year. You will find a huge volume of people posting their brackets on social media and YouTube. However, it is important to cut through the noise and identify high-quality predictions from trusted sources.

Handicapper Predictions

Professional handicappers publish bracket picks at this time of year. Some sell their picks, whereas others give them away for free. You will notice that some give out picks on their own websites or social media pages, whereas others provide them at major news sites.

It is helpful to establish the credentials of a handicapper before taking his or her predictions on board. If the capper has a positive, transparent record for the season, you might be more inclined to follow the picks. However, it is always helpful to conduct your own research to back up the predictions.

Computer Predictions

You will also find computer bracket predictions at this time of year. A sophisticated AI model is fed a wealth of data about each team’s performances over the course of the season. It runs simulations for each potential matchup at the NCAA Tournament – focusing on each team’s offensive and defensive capabilities – and it suggests which team will win.

This continues from the First Four all the way through to the National Championship Game, so you can benefit from full brackets featuring computer picks. Some people like these predictions, as they have zero human bias or emotion. However, they can only analyze past performance data, and they cannot account for injuries, freak results or other variables.

March Madness Bracket Strategy for Predictions

These are our top March Madness bracket tips when compiling your predictions this year:

1. Conduct Thorough Research:

Take expert predictions on board, but also take the time to research each team’s performances throughout the season. Look at each team’s win-loss record, strength of schedule, and any notable wins or losses they have delivered. This insight will help you make more educated decisions when filling out your bracket.

2. Look for Upsets

March Madness is renowned for its upsets, and predicting which lower-seeded teams will pull off the shock victories is vital when putting your bracket together. Look for matchups where a lower-seeded team has a potentially significant advantage in a particular area, such as a strong defense or a star player.

3. Consider Momentum

A team’s performances leading up to the NCAA Tournament can be a strong indicator of how it will perform when the action begins. Take note of any recent winning or losing streaks, and analyze how well each team has played in recent games.

4. Pay Attention to Injuries

Injuries can have a major bearing on a team’s results, so make sure you keep up with any news about injured players. While you cannot foresee certain injuries, you can make a note of star players that are currently coming off an injury and playing through the pain, or look at teams that have been injury-prone throughout the year.

5. Trust Your Gut

No matter how much research you do and how many expert March Madness bracket predictions you soak up, there is always an element of unpredictability about this tournament. Do not be afraid to trust your instincts and make bold predictions based on what your gut tells you. You can improve your chances of making strong, instinctive picks by watching as much college basketball as possible.

Where to Watch March Madness Unfold

You can watch NCAA Tournament matchups via the live streaming service at BetOnline. It is the No. 1 sportsbook for college basketball betting, and it has a very strong in-play section.

Just click on the “Live Betting” option on the main toolbar menu and scroll down to the NCAA Basketball games. Click on any game and then hit the “Watch Live” button. Press “Play” and a live stream of the action will appear. You can watch on and see if your bracket predictions are correct, and you can also bet in-play while the game unfolds.

Bracket Predictions – Conclusion 

Entering a bracket contest can really heighten the excitement of the NCAA Tournament. It gives you an interest in every game, and it is fun to cheer on your chosen teams in each round. However, it can also be very lucrative if you make intelligent projections.

You can boost your chances of doing so by sourcing picks and predictions from trustworthy sources. Seek out proven experts that can provide a strong track record, either in handicapping college basketball or in regularly compiling strong brackets in the past. When you are ready to enter a bracket challenge or bet on the action, click the link below to visit BetOnline, the best online sportsbook for NCAA basketball.


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