With only a few days left before one of the biggest college sporting events begins, the casinos in Las Vegas have been preparing for the enormous amount of people that will be flocking to their hotels and sportsbooks. Last year during the NCAA March Madness tournament, almost every single hotel room had been booked, and there were crowds even bigger than that capacity going to place a few bucks on their favorite college team.
Millions of Brackets and Millions of Dollars
With 64 official teams playing in the tournament, they are anticipating that more than 70 million brackets will be made. They have the attention of the nation, as college basketball is more popular than ever. The American Gaming Association (AGA) believes that roughly $262 million will be wagered legally during the two-week tournament, and that is only in the Las Vegas area; Nevada is one of the only states where sports betting is legal.
In the rest of the United States, the AGA believes that there will be $9.2 billion wagered in total on March Madness. Last year it got up to $9 billion, so this would be a big increase. Seeing as the bulk of the money wagered will be through illegal sports betting, it will add on to the $148.8 billion dollar US market in 2015. This is exactly the reason why New Jersey wants to join the family and make sportsbooks legal in their state.
Casinos Win More with No Clear Favorite
Seeing as how during the entire season there have been multiple upsets, this has led to having brackets and odds where there are no clear favorites to win the 2016 men’s basketball championship this year. During the 77-year history of March Madness, never has every single team had four losses or more. The number one rank was passed around to seven different schools during the regular season. With no obvious favorites, it means that Las Vegas casinos will have the chance to win even more money. People will usually place multiple bets when there is a high chance for upsets.
Pat Forde, a Yahoo Sports writer, says it best,
“If you thought picking a presidential nominee you truly love was difficult this year, try picking an NCAA tournament champion. Just as you could argue that there are no ideal candidates, you also could assert that there have been no ideal teams.”
Top 5 College Teams in March Madness
Despite there being no clear favorite, there will always be strong contenders. This is why looking at which teams rank better will give you some perspective on which side fans will lean on.
|#1||Michigan St. Spartans||29-5||Bet Against|
|#2||Kansas Jayhawks||30-4||Bet On|
|#3||North Carolina Tar Heels||28-6||Bet Against|
|#4||Virginia Cavaliers||26-7||Bet On|
|#5||Oklahoma Sooners||25-7||Bet Against|
Remember that even some of the best teams have been beaten during March Madness, so it is worth it to see who their opponents are. The tournament officially start on March 17-18 with the first 64 teams, and will end on April 4th for the Championship game in Houston. Las Vegas casinos will be swamped during these few weeks.