2022 NCAA Tournament, “Madness” in Nationwide Betting Approach
The 2022 NCAA Tournament is less than one month away from its first extended weekend of action, which will officially start Sunday, March 13.
The American Gaming Association estimated before last year’s tournament that $8.4 billion would be bet on the thrilling spectacle, and now that more states have legalized sports betting and gambling is more accessible than ever before, that number is only going to increase this time around.
New York betting has been at the forefront of the online betting revolution, claiming nearly $2 billion in total handle during its first 30 days of operation from January-February of this year. This unprecedented amount generated over $70 million in tax revenue, again, in just its first month of existence.
“March Madness” to Extend Off the Court
Many states are in the process of pushing for online legalization— Louisiana and Maryland being the most prominent— while many others are looking to add to their list of qualified legal operators.
March Madness is an excellent time for many states to push different forms of betting legislation, whether that be basic legalization, expansion in offerings, or new legal, online sportsbooks.
Last year’s national championship game, a contest between number-one seeds Baylor and Gonzaga that ended in 86-70 favor of the Bears, drew 16.9 million viewers to CBS Sports. All of the attention on the grand event is only going to promote special deals and opportunities in the betting world.
2022 NCAA Tournament Field
The favorite heading into the 2022 NCAA Tournament is last year’s runner-up, the Gonzaga Bulldogs. At +410 odds and with two National Player of the Year candidates in Drew Timme and freshman Chet Holmgren, they are the clear favorite. No other team in America is as disciplined or well-drilled as Zaga is, which is why they are ranked number-one in the nation.
Arizona is next in the oddsmakers’ pecking order with +850 odds; the Wildcats have dominated the Pacific-12 Conference this season as a part of a revolution out West, largely behind the efforts of star Bennedict Mathurin. Arizona is great on the glass and has playmakers all over the court.
Tied at +850 odds is another school of Wildcats, the University of Kentucky. A familiar face among the top basketball programs, UK has come on strong lately, rallying behind another POTY candidate and double-double machine in forward Oscar Tshiebwe.
Auburn, Purdue, Kansas, Duke, and Baylor headline the list of the next closest challengers, all of which have a viable case as to why they will end up winning this year’s title.
The Impact of March Madness
As if states had not seen enough evidence of sports betting success in America, the Super Bowl returns have continued to push the idea that legal gambling is beneficial to the entertainment sectors, fans, and the state itself for its creation of tax dollars.
Once the March Madness numbers eventually come out, there will be overwhelming urges all around the country to join the betting market. Nobody wants to be the one to take the plunge first, but with the incredible returns that these major events will continue to produce, it will be impossible to ignore what is now the future and present of sports entertainment.