The 2023 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament tips off in earnest on Thursday, with 64 teams looking to cut the nets down at the Final Four in Houston. March Madness prop bets are among the most popular ways to gamble on the tourney, as a wager on just one of them can provide rooting interest in a whole host of games.
We take a look at the best March Madness tournament prop bets to place before the Round of 64 begins with West Virginia vs. Maryland on Thursday afternoon. This year’s regular season and conference tournaments were as chaotic as ever, and the Tournament is bound to have its share of surprises and upsets.
March Madness Props: To Make Final Four
A great way to bet on a team you think is underrated is to take them to make the Final Four. Depending on which sportsbook you’re looking at, this March Madness prop may be listed as either the regional winner or ‘To Make the Final Four’. Both are the same bet.
Marquette To Win East Region (+400 with BetRivers)
It’s hard not to like the Golden Eagles’ chances heading into the tournament. Marquette should deal with Vermont handily to open play on Friday and will be favored against whoever emerges from Michigan State vs. USC. Sixth-seeded Kentucky is a potential Sweet 16 matchup and may be Marquette’s first big challenge.
Heavyweight Purdue (+250) is the region’s No. 1 seed and the favorite to emerge from the quadrant. The Boilermakers’ over-dependence on standout center and likely player of the year Zach Edey may be a detriment down the stretch.
As for the other challengers in the East, Tennessee (+500) has injury concerns, and Duke (+700) is overvalued. Michigan State (+1500) has shown some March magic in the past, but they’ll have their hands full from the get-go against USC.
UConn To Win West Region (+500 with FanDuel)
On paper, the West Region looks to be one of the most challenging quadrants in the Tournament. The region is stacked with talent, and the Huskies are getting the least amount of love from oddsmakers. Consider making UConn to reach the Final
Four one of your March Madness prop bets.
A couple of bluebloods — Kansas (+325) and UCLA (+300) — sit atop the odds boards in the region. As for Gonzaga (+350), they have been a consistent threat in the Tournament for years.
Kansas has an uphill climb to repeat as champions (a feat that hasn’t been completed since Florida in 2006 and 2007), and the Bruins are without Defensive Player of the Year finalist Jaylen Clark due to a torn Achilles.
As for the long-shot March Madness prop bets, these are some sleeper teams that may make some noise in the tournament this year — and potentially a nice boost to your bankroll.
- Creighton To Make Final Four (+700)
- Auburn To Make Final Four (+3000)
- VCU To Make Final Four (+5000)
Memphis To Reach Sweet 16 (+360 with FanDuel)
The Memphis Tigers enter this year’s tournament undervalued as an 8 seed. They’re a balanced roster with an offense and defense that can keep up with the best teams in the nation. They played Houston — arguably the best team in the country — pretty closely in the American Conference Championship, despite ultimately falling short.
Memphis is a short favorite in their opening-round game against FAU. The Tigers’ biggest hurdle to reaching the Sweet 16 is a potential second-round bout against Purdue. Although a No. 1 seed, Purdue is one-dimensional, and the Tigers matchup well against the Boilermakers. If Memphis plays up to its potential, they have a fighter’s chance to reach the Sweet 16 and cash on this March Madness tournament prop.
Consider taking these other tournament prop bets on this year’s potential Cinderella teams.
- Drake To Make the Sweet 16 (+400)
- Furman To Make the Sweet 16 (+750)
- Oral Roberts To Make the Sweet 16 (+1200)
Best Seed Props for March Madness
Betting on teams to reach the Final Four, Elite Eight, or Sweet 16 isn’t the only way to get action down on NCAA Tournament props. Although the exact catalog of available bets varies by state jurisdiction and from book to book, these novelty March Madness prop bets are a unique and exciting way to watch the tournament.
Will a No. 2 Seed Win the NCAA Tournament? Yes (+300 with Caesars)
We already discussed our affinity for coach Shaka Smart and No. 2 seed Marquette, whom we like to reach the Final Four in this year’s Tournament. Beyond the Golden Eagles, both Arizona and Texas have legitimate chances to cut down the rope in Houston. We’ve mentioned UCLA’s injury concerns, but that whole division could be a bloodbath, and the Bruins were one of the trendiest championship picks just a month ago.
Will a No. 14 Seed Win a First-Round Game? Yes (-110 with Caesars)
Who doesn’t like rooting for a huge upset? There’s always a couple of bracket-busters each year, and there’s a decent chance that team is a 14 seed. The most likely candidate is Montana State as an eight-point underdog to Kansas State on Friday night.
Grand Canyon is the biggest longshot of the No. 14 seeds, unfortunately drawing Gonzaga in the first round of the tournament. Kennesaw State (+11) vs. Xavier and UC Santa Barbara (+10.5) could both pull off the upset and make this tournament prop bet cash.