Sports & Casino: Luke Garrison
Luke Garrison is a professional writer who grew up just outside of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He currently works at the Canadian Press and enjoys the outdoors in his free time.
Following that is the ‘First Four’ play-in round that takes place on Tuesday March 19th and Wednesday March 20th. The bottom-eight teams compete against one another in a one-game playoff, with the winner of each game (four total) earning a spot in the top 64 teams.
Read on to learn more about how to bet on March Madness in Canada and good luck if you decide to place any wagers! Be sure to refer back to this guide if you have any questions.
When and Where to Watch March Madness in Canada
In Canada, TSN has exclusive March Madness broadcasting rights. If you already have a cable package that includes TSN then you’re all set but if not, there are streaming plans available via TSN direct.
Once you’ve established a way to access TSN, you should be able to access most games. With five different channels at its disposal, there are literally games on at all hours every single day.
Those who have regular cable packages and live near American borders may also be able to watch certain games on American channels. For example, those in southern Ontario sometimes get Buffalo sports networks including ABC, CBS, NBC, and FOX.
For more information about March Madness dates and times, please refer to the table below.
March Madness Event
NCAA Championship Game
Popular Ways to Bet on March Madness in Canada
There are certainly some unique ways to bet on March Madness compared to other basketball leagues. Here are the bet types that Canadians typically focus on during March Madness.
Filling Out A Bracket
A staple of March Madness betting is filling out what’s called a tournament bracket. Essentially, the 64 teams chosen to participate are strategically subdivided into four 16-team divisions – South, East, West, and Midwest.
It’s called a ‘bracket’ because two divisions (16 teams) are placed on each side, with each winning team advancing to the next stage (refer to the table in the previous section for a refresher on the stages and when they occur).
Many Canadians fill out brackets every year despite not following much college basketball outside of March Madness. It’s a fun way for every fan to get involved, whether casual or hardcore, because brackets are unpredictable and upsets happen all the time.
In fact, no one has EVER filled out a perfect bracket in the history of the tournament. Perhaps this will be the year, and perhaps it will be you! Look below for an example of a March Madness bracket.
Futures betting concerns wagers attached to the outcome of future events. Often times, this pertains to a championship or some kind of individual award. For example, ‘Outright Championship Winner’ and ‘MVP’ would be futures markets.
This variety of bet is often placed before the tournament, but they can be placed any time before the Final Four. Technically they can be placed ahead of the championship game as well, but there’s little point as the odds will be exactly the same as the moneyline (outright single-game winner) market.
A prop bet usually focuses on a statistic of an individual player. For example, betting markets such as “First Basket Scorer” or “Zac Edey Over/Under 22.5 Points”.
When it comes to NCAA basketball, the most popular props usually concern points, rebounds, and assists. For those looking to wager on defensive metrics, there are blocks and steals.
Which Team is Most Likely to Win March Madness?
Predicting the winner of March Madness is a very difficult task, with a variety of different schools viewed as championship contenders. That said, there are a handful of teams that have established themselves as perennial powerhouses and are often amongst the most likely to win in terms of March Madness betting odds.
One example of this is last year’s winners – the University of Connecticut Huskies. The team’s championship win during the finals of March Madness 2023 marked the school’s fifth since 1999. This season, the Huskies have only lost a pair of games and look well-positioned to win in consecutive years.
Another team that’s firmly in the mix is the Purdue Boilermakers. Last season, the school suffered a devastating loss as then-ranked No. 1 Purdue fell to No. 16 FDU in the first round. The Boilermakers current roster, led by Toronto-born Zach Edey, is raring to show the NCAA that they have what it takes to win it all.
What Else Should I Know About Betting on March Madness in Canada?
If you’ve read all of the previous sections (feel free to refer back to them any time for guidance), you’re now well on your way to betting on March Madness from Canada. The only thing left to consider is limiting yourself, as you should never spend outside your financial means when it comes to sports betting.
Some of Canada’s main sportsbooks including DraftKings, FanDuel, and others have equipped their sports betting sites and apps with responsible gaming tools. If you find yourself struggling to withhold from excessive betting, be sure to use these tools to set limits on daily/weekly spending and/or total spending.
Another key piece of advice is to make a habit of doing a quick news check before placing any bets. Sportsbooks will sometimes refund bets that fall short due to an early game injury, but not always, and certainly not if a player has been deemed ‘injured’ or ‘suspended’ prior to tipoff. Stay in the know, place smart bets, and enjoy the tournament!