March is here, Selection Sunday is in the books, and the NCAA Tournament bracket is set. College basketball is about to take center stage in the American sports world. The NCAA Tournament action gets underway on Thursday with the First Four play-in games and then the First Round begins on Friday. I hope you have your vacation or sick day ready for Friday.
March Madness is consistently one of the most wagered on sporting events in the United States every year. This year, with sport betting going main stream, and the tournament back after being cancelled last year, I’m expecting a huge amount of betting on this years NCAA Tournament.
On this page I will recommend two betting sites for California residents, look at the betting options for March Madness, and finish up with a simple 3 step guide you can follow to get March Madness wagers placed online in minutes.
Best Sportsbooks for California Residents
- Built for American bettors
- Wide variety of competitive betting lines
- Easy to navigate betting platform
Bovada and BetOnline are our two top rated betting sites for California residents. Both sites are focused on the American market and provide a great betting experience for US bettors. They are each popular and trusted across the United States.
For the rest of this guide I will be using Bovada.lv for all examples.
March Madness Betting in California
At this time it is not legal to operate a sportsbook in the state of California.
That said, it’s not illegal for California residents to place bets through an offshore betting site that is licensed and regulated outside of the USA. Bovada falls into this category, which is why they have served the USA betting market for over the past decade.
Check out our California sports betting section to learn more about sports betting in the state.
March Madness Betting Options
First of all let’s look at the odds to win the NCAA Tournament outright, and then we’ll look at some of the bets you can make on individual games during March Madness.
Here are the tournament winner odds from Bovada.lv (taken March 15th). I included all of the favorites with odds of 40/1 or better.
You can also bet on the winner of each region on the College Basketball Futures page.
Now let’s look at a screenshot from a typical NCAA basketball game to see the three popular bets you can make on a March Madness game:
These odds are from the First Four play-in game between SMU and Boise State.
The spread, win (money line) and total (over/under) are the three common bets you can make on a game.
- Spread – In the example, Boise State must win by 2 or more to cover the 1.5 point spread. SMU can win the game outright or lose by 1 point.
- Win – Also known as the money line, with this bet you are simply wagering on which team will win the game. The odds change depending on each teams chances to win. In the above example you would have to risk $125 to win $100 betting on Boise State, while a $100 on SMU would win $105 if they pulled off the minor upset.
- Total – The oddsmaker will set a total and you can can wager on whether the total points scored in the game by both teams will be over or under the set amount.
Bet On March Madness in California – 3 Step Guide
Complete these three steps to get your March Madness bets placed online.
Step 1. Open a Bovada.lv Account
Click the above link and then fill out the short overlay sign up form to open your account.
Step 2. Deposit
After logging into your new account click on the ‘Deposit’ button. Select your preferred deposit method (Visa, MasterCard or bitcoin) and complete the instructions to fund your account.
You will receive a 50% matching bonus up to $250 on your first deposit. You do need to claim this bonus in the “My Rewards” section of your account.
Step 3. Place Your March Madness Bets
Click ‘Sports’ from the top menu bar, and select ‘Basketball’ from the secondary sports menu.
Select ‘College Basketball’ from the ‘All Basketball’ drop down menu and select ‘Game Lines’ or ‘Futures’ depending on which type of bet you want to make.
Select the odds of the bet you want to make and enter your risk amounts on the Bet Slip. Click ‘Place Bets’ to confirm your wagers.
Here’s a screenshot to show you the clicks:
That’s it. Ready to bet? Click here to visit Bovada.lv.