Ready for the Madness: 39 Percent of Hoops Fans to Bet on NCAA Tourney

Our survey shows that almost two in five basketball fans plan on placing a bet this season.

March 14, 2024

Your team may be going to the NCAA Men’s Tournament this year. Or they may not be. But the question is: are YOU going to be in the Dance?

Last year, Americans laid down $15.5 billion on the NCAA Tournament, just a half-billion less than the $16 billion wagered on the Super Bowl.

Needless to say, that’s a lot of folks betting a lot of money on college basketball over a three-week period. It’s a huge event, with a huge amount of money being wagered by people to looking for a payout. OnePoll conducted a survey on behalf of Tipico to anticipate what bettors’ habits might be this time around. And there’s plenty of excitement.

Survey Says: Bettors are Ready

We surveyed 2,000 college basketball fans 21 years of age and older, and 39 percent – nearly two in five – said they plan to place a bet during this year’s NCAA Tournament.

We also measured their confidence, and these prospective bettors said they expect to win 59 percent of their bets and win an average of $261 total on their wagers.


Here at Tipico, we’re all about bet, earn, win. We’ve got college basketball odds to check out — as well as odds for nearly every other sport you can think of — including futures for the tournament.

“March Madness is a cultural phenomenon unlike any other because anyone can be a hero; every year, new storylines captivate a diverse audience and define the fabric of the college basketball world,” said Brian Becker, Tipico Sportsbook SVP of Marketing. “For fans nationwide, it is a battle between knowledge and pure luck, but this survey data highlights that basketball fans are overwhelmingly loyal and trust that the time they spend educating themselves will give them an edge.”

Loyalty Runs Deep

Now, back to our survey. Call it loyalty, call it superstition, call it whatever, but we found out that over half of our 2,000 respondents – 54 percent – have never bet against their favorite team and never would.

The loyalty of the folks we surveyed runs even deeper: 57 percent of them said they thought their team could win the whole enchilada. But that loyalty doesn’t quite go all the way to our bettors’ pocketbooks – only 30 percent of those surveyed said they would bet on their team to go all the way and win the title this season.


Finally, our survey revealed that a lot of folks catch the “madness” in a big way: a bit more than a quarter (26 percent) said they have skipped work to watch NCAA Tournament games.

It IS rather tempting to play hooky from your job. In the first round of the tournament, there are a whopping 32 games – 16 on Thursday and 16 on Friday. We don’t encourage blowing off your job to watch hoops, but apparently it is a reality for many of us.

“It’s encouraging to see that basketball fans are feeling optimistic about their betting prospects and are taking advantage of the chance to win big money during the March Madness tournament,” said Andre Zammit, VP of Sportsbook at Tipico. “Whether it’s your first time betting or a yearly tradition, we’re excited to see where the bets fall during the pinnacle sports saga of the year.”

Dance with Tipico

Of course, we’ve got our usual array of widespread betting options on college basketball and many other sports — moneylines, spreads, over/unders, player props, you name it, we’ve got it.

We’ve also added our Rewards incentive, with cash back of up to 5 percent of your betting totals. Read the details on that here. We’ve also introduced our Imperfect Parlay, with which you can still win even if you don’t hit on all the legs of your parlay. Read about that here.

All of this is to say — there are plenty of opportunities to jump into the Big Dance as so many of our survey respondents are going to do. Bet here with Tipico!

Who knows, maybe you’ll be the one cutting down the nets when all is said and done. Just bet responsibly and stay within your limits.

Alex Valdes
Alex Valdes is Web Content Manager at Tipico North America. He has written, edited and performed user and site analysis at MoneyTalksNews, NBC Sports, MSN, Bing, MSNBC, as well as newspapers and magazines.