Investing in one team long term is the opposite of making a smart March Madness bet in my opinion. You have to spread the field because it’s so large, there are always upsets and the odds on almost every team are profitable. But you just have to know how to build your portfolio, and I use language like this purposefully because you’re risking your money. Managing that risk is of the utmost importance.
Consider that the outright favorite to win the national title is Florida at +550. No matter what, that’s a 5-to-1 payout on the very best team in the country, which is insanely handsome. Compare that to other futures where favorites have negative odds or tighter numbers and you start to see why it’s not insane to bet multiple teams. The other top teams include Kansas at +600 and Arizona at +750.
So there has to be at least two favorites logged in to your portfolio, and in this case that includes any team that is less than +1500. You can consider this any number of ways. Making smart March Madness bets requires you to gauge the value of the commodity, and in that regard I’d say that the best two favorites to include in your portfolio are Wichita State at +900 and Florida at +550.
Now, how you leverage these investment is a personal decision. I would say that a heavy lean on Wichita State and a hedge play on Florida are recommended. Decide how much you’re going to spread around first and then make a smart Mach Madness bet on either of the favorites to recover that money. If you’re going to bet, say, $500 on the tournament futures then at least $100 of that has to go to Florida. It’s your best way of insulating yourself against any real damage, which is rampant in March Madness betting.
So where do you go from there? Well it’s all about spreading around chip shots at this point. The odds start to stretch out much longer the farther down you go and this is legitimately anyone’s title to grab. Keep in mind that the seeding matters in terms of historical trends because the Final Four usually doesn’t have teams lower than 8th (a few sneak in but it’s highly improbable).
Rounding out your smart March Madness bet could include moderate plays like Syracuse at +1600 or longer odds like that of the Oregon Ducks at +7500. I also like the san Diego Aztecs at +4000 and Creighton at +3000. How much I love those teams (i.e. how much I want to wager) just depends on how much of your bankroll you’re willing to throw. You can spend at lot less on Oregon to make a lot than you have to on Syracuse, for example.
This gives you a general idea of how to invest a specific budget. Again, I’d go with about five bets total: two favorites, one mid play and two longshots. The mid-play is anything between +1500 to +3500 just so you understand the language I’m trying to use. Throwing $200 or $2000 at Creighton at win three times that amount is pretty attractive, and a worthy investment this year considering how well they’ve played, but the final numbers simply depend on what money you have available to you. No matter what your budget is, the manner in which you build your long term portfolio should be the same. Spread the money intelligently, take risks on the assets you feel are worthy and use the favorites to hedge. That’s how you can safely and intelligently make money with a handful of smart March Madness bets.
Or you could throw your savings at Florida.