With the 2022 March Madness tournament right around the corner, North Carolinians are unfortunately going to have to wait at least one more year before online sports betting is launched in the state. On the plus side, the state of North Carolina should be more highly represented than in 2021. Last year, only the University of North Carolina and UNC-Greensboro made “The Big Dance,” with both losing in the first round. Will the Baylor Bears repeat as March Madness champions? Let’s analyze March Madness betting odds for 2022.
Current 2022 March Madness Betting Odds In North Carolina
Since both North Carolina retail sportsbooks are provided odds via Caesars Sportsbook, we’ll feature their odds exclusively. Below are the ten teams with the shortest odds of winning this year’s tournament as of February 15.
|Duke Blue Devils||+1300|
After losing in the championship to Baylor, Gonzaga is in the driver’s seat with the shortest NCAA March Madness odds. One of the nation’s best players Drew Timme returned to the Zags and they also added Chet Holmgren, the top recruit in the nation.
One of the blue-chip basketball programs in the country, Kentucky has lost just two games since the calendar switched to 2022.
After opening the season ranked 22nd in the AP Poll, Bruce Pearl’s Auburn Tigers haven’t been outside of the top 10 since the beginning of January and have spent the last several weeks as a top 2 team.
Arizona has been a team on the rise all year after opening up the 2021-2022 season not even ranked. In the month of February, the Wildcats have back-to-back wins against UCLA (ranked 3rd) and USC (ranked 19th).
The Boilermakers have been a top team all year long, having only three weeks spent outside of the top 5 in the AP Poll. After a stunning loss to North Texas in the opening round of last year’s tournament, Purdue has returned nearly 91% of their minutes played and almost 95% of their scoring from last year’s roster.
How To Bet On March Madness In North Carolina
Unfortunately for North Carolina bettors, the only legal option available for those in the Tar Heel State is the two retail sportsbooks called “The Book,” which is part of the Harrah’s Casinos located in Cherokee and Murphy. If you want to bet on Duke or UNC-Wilmington, you’ll have to visit one of these sportsbooks in person.
Types Of Bets
The odds above are part of what’s called futures bets, which is exactly what it sounds like. With futures, you’re wagering on something you won’t know the outcome of until late in the season. In addition to betting on who will win the NCAA tournament, some sportsbooks also offer odds on teams to make the Final Four.
Moneyline bets are the most straightforward wager types, as you’re picking who you think will win the game outright. With these bets, you’ll see odds like -150 or +125. The – next to a number indicates that team is favored to win, while a + indicates the underdog. The higher the number, the bigger favorites or underdogs the team is.
Point Spread Bets
With March Madness point spreads, or simply “spread” bets, each team is assigned a point margin. Let’s say Duke is favored by 8.5 points (-8.5) and you want to bet on them to cover the spread. This means the Blue Devils would have to win the game by 9 or more points for you to win the wager. If they win by 8 or fewer (or lose the game), your bet loses. In this same scenario, the odds for a Duke moneyline bet would be less favorable to bet than the point spread, which is why bettors will choose spread bets instead of moneyline.
Point Total Bets
Point totals are what they sound like – you’re betting on the combined amount of points scored. A particular line will be set, and your wager is betting on whether the point total will be over or under the line, such as 136.5.
NCAA Final Four Odds
March Madness Final Four odds are set by each sportsbook, with most relying on algorithms and some human influence. Each initial line is set with the goal of getting equal action on each side of the bet and then lines will move based on the number of bets and amount of money wagered on each game.
Odds for each Final Four game will typically be posted as soon as each game is set following the Elite Eight. Last year, the moneyline odds and spread for Gonzaga were -1050 and -13, respectively. For UCLA, it was +720 and +13.
Gonzaga was heavily favored in this matchup as seen by the moneyline odds and spread. In order to win $100 on the Zags moneyline, you would have to wager $1,050. This game ended with Gonzaga winning 93-90, meaning UCLA +13 was the winning bet.
NCAA Final Four Futures Odds
Some sportsbooks will allow you to place speculative bets on what teams make it to the Final Four. How early these come out will vary by sportsbook. As of mid-February, DraftKings and FanDuel sportsbooks have future Final Four odds out whereas BetMGM and Caesars do not.
What Affects March Madness Predictions And Odds
Leading up to The Big Dance, odds will sway heavily at the beginning of the season depending on which teams are playing the best. Arizona, who wasn’t ranked at the beginning of the year, started as +5000 odds to win the tournament and is currently listed at +1000. On the flip side, we have a team like Michigan who opened with +1400 odds and is now at +10000.
Injuries to key players, current performances, and strength of schedule are some of the things that affect March Madness odds throughout the year leading up to the tournament. The closer we get to March, the odds will start tightening up as the path to March Madness gets clearer.
NCAA Basketball Odds
Odds and bets for games outside of March Madness are offered all season long for North Carolina bettors. The things that affect March Madness odds outlined above will also determine odds in individual games NCAA basketball games throughout the year. Each team’s individual strengths and weaknesses will have a large impact as well. If a team struggles defending three-point shots is going up against a team known for their ability beyond the arc, you can expect to see that reflected in the odds for that game.
At the two retail sportsbooks in North Carolina, you have the ability to place some bets other than moneyline, spread, and point totals.
Did you get to the casino after the game tipped off? No worries. Live, or in-game betting, is offered at The Book in North Carolina. This is also a strategy used by profitable bettors as you can get better odds at times on teams who were favored before the game started. Let’s say UNC are heavy favorites against a team like Georgia Tech, but at the beginning of the game the Yellow Jackets jumped out to a 10-0 lead. In this scenario, you could get much more favorable odds if you think the Tar Heels will still win.
You can also place wagers on specific portions of a game. If you knew the App State Mountaineers started games off slowly but tend to heat up in the second half, you could bet against them in the first quarter but then place bets in favor of them in the third quarter.
Restrictions On College Betting
As things stand right now, North Carolina does not have any college betting restrictions like some other states have. In neighboring Virginia, for example, there are restrictions against wagering on Virginia-based schools. It remains to be seen, however, if any similar restrictions will make their way into law once North Carolina legalizes mobile sports betting.
March Madness Odds In North Carolina FAQs
No. North Carolina currently completely prohibits online wagering, regardless of sport.
Some sportsbooks set their own lines, while others use services provided by other oddsmakers.
For North Carolina, its retail sportsbooks are provided odds by Caesars, so you can look at its odds prior to visiting The Book at Harrah’s Casinos at 777 Casino Dr. in Cherokee.
Extremely low. If you were just flipping a coin, the odds are 1 in 9.2 quintillion. If you have some knowledge, your odds are slightly better but not great at 1 in 120 billion.
Yes. Every sportsbook will have some in-game offerings for March Madness. The depth and variety of these bets, however, will vary across each sportsbook.