Filling out a March Madness bracket ahead of Thursday’s first-round NCAA Tournament tip-off can be a daunting task.

After all, you have to pick winners in 63 games and you’ve got just a few days (or sometimes a few hours) to do it. It’s enough to make the heads of even the most dedicated college basketball fans spin.

Thankfully, even without that NCAA knowledge, NJ sportsbook apps are here to help.

How oddsmakers can help with bracket picks

In fact, the moneyline odds and point spread information that NJ sportsbooks post for every single NCAA Tournament game can actually give you all the help you need in filling out a bracket.

These moneyline odds and point spreads are put together by oddsmakers with in-depth knowledge about the world of college basketball.

Think of them as NCAA experts. Then, lean on their expertise to help you make your picks.

Of course, oddsmakers aren’t always right, but they’ll be out of a job if they’re wrong too often. So, you can feel confident in using the information available at legal New Jersey sports betting sites to help you make the majority of your March Madness picks.

Then, identify some of the closer games made pick’ems by oddsmakers and go with your gut.

Start with spreads

Start with the biggest point spreads.

Look for the teams that oddsmakers are making massive first-round favorites, then pencil them into the second round at the very least.

For example, FanDuel Sportsbook has Kentucky posted as 22.5-point favorites over Abilene Christian in the first round. That means before you even learn how to spell Abilene Christian correctly you should be slotting Kentucky’s name into the second round on your bracket.

In fact, knowing Kentucky is such a huge first-round favorite might make you want to think about writing them into the Sweet 16 at least.

In the meantime, over on BetStars NJ, you’ll find Michigan State as 18.5-point favorites over Bradley.

Basically, anything over 10 points means oddsmakers think a team is a lock to win and win big. That means writing the words Michigan State in permanent ink in the second round slot on your bracket is far from a bad idea.

Move to the moneylines

The same oddsmakers are using the same information to put together moneylines as well. Therefore, you can just as easily lean on the moneylines to help you fill out your NCAA Tournament bracket.

Most NJ sportsbooks apps have moneylines posted for more than just the individual games.

For example, you can bet on No. 1 seed Duke to win the East Region at -182 on DraftKings Sportsbook.

That means you’d have to bet $182 just to win $100 plus your $182 back. No team is more of a favorite to win its region.

So, that should give you some indication that slotting Duke in all the way to the Final Four on your bracket is likely a sharp move.

Of course, browsing through the odds you’re bound to run into games with much tighter lines.

Sometimes the odds say go with your gut

Taking a look at the 8/9 matchup of Baylor versus Syracuse, we can see BetStars has Syracuse as two-point favorites and -137 on the moneyline. Baylor gets the two points and sits at +120.

Lines like this indicate oddsmakers figure there isn’t much to choose between the two teams. Syracuse is the favorite, but it’s a lot closer to being a pick’em game than most.

If you’re looking to fill out your bracket using NJ sportsbook app odds you can do one of two things here.

The first is to shop around to see if any other New Jersey gambling sites have much different odds posted on the game.

The second is to just go with your gut. Is the voice inside your head telling you a traditional college basketball powerhouse like Syracuse is ready to make another NCCA Tournament run?

Or, is it saying a team that hasn’t made the Final Four since 1950 is finally due?

Finish with futures

Finally, stand back and take a look at the big picture.

It’s a good idea to go game-by-game when first filling out your bracket using NJ sportsbook app odds. Then, compare the teams you have running deep to the futures odds posted by those sportsbooks.

NCAA futures are bets on a single team to win the national championship this year and a good way to tell who oddsmakers think are the favorites to go all the way.

If you find your bracket contains three Final Four teams posted at +100000 right now, you might want to rethink things a little. The teams with a realistic chance of making the Final Four probably have futures odds sitting at less than +10000 currently.

The final thing to note is that in New Jersey, sportsbooks are prohibited from taking action on any game involving an NJ college or university team.

So since Fairleigh Dickinson and Seton Hall have made it into the First Round of play, be advised that they are off the board (OTB) at all 23 sports betting sites.

Good luck putting together your NCAA Tournament bracket with a little help from the best NJ sportsbook apps in the business.

In the meantime, here’s a look at the NCAA futures odds at the top three sportsbook apps in NJ to get you started:

East Region

2019 NCAA TeamsDraftKings SportsbookFanDuel SportsbookBetStars NJ
No. 1 North Carolina+750 +950+750
No. 2 Kentucky+1300+1700+1200
No 3. Houston+4000+4800+4000
No. 4 Kansas+6000+6000+5000
No. 5 Auburn+4500+4000+4000
No. 6 Iowa State+5000+4200+3300
No. 7 Wofford+10000+10000+12500
No. 8 Utah State+15000+16000+50000
No. 9 Washington+25000+19000+20000
No. 10 Seton HallOTBOTBOTB
No. 11 Ohio State+25000+19000+35000
No. 12 New Mexico State+25000+24000+25000
No. 13 Northeastern+35000+50000+100000
No. 14 Georgia State+50000+25000+50000
No. 15 Abilene Christian+100000+100000+250000
No. 16 Iona+75000+70000+100000

West Region

2019 NCAA TeamsDraftKings SportsbookFanDuel SportsbookBetStars NJ
No. 1 Gonzaga
+575 +600+600
No. 2 Michigan+2000+2200+1600
No. 3 Texas Tech+3000+3300+2200
No. 4 Florida State+4000+6500+3300
No. 5 Marquette+8000+10000+6600
No. 6 Buffalo+10000+10000+10000
No. 7 Nevada+6000+7000+8000
No. 8 Syracuse+15000+16000+8000
No. 9 Baylor+50000+19000+35000
No. 10 Florida+20000+18000+15000
No. 11 Arizona State/St. John’s+30000/35000+25000/25000+35000/35000
No. 12 Murray State+25000+20000+20000
No. 13 Vermont+50000+25000+100000
No. 14 Northern Kentucky+50000+50000+50000
No. 15 Montana+50000+50000+100000
No. 16 Fairleigh DickinsonOTBOTBOTB

Midwest Region

2019 NCAA TeamsDraftKings SportsbookFanDuel SportsbookBetStars NJ
No. 1 Duke+225 +220+200
No. 2 Michigan State+1700+1400+1600
No 3. LSU+5000+4000+6600
No. 4 Virginia Tech+3000+4900+6000
No. 5 Mississippi State+10000+12000+12000
No. 6 Maryland+15000+16000+10000
No. 7 Louisville+8000+10000+6600
No. 8 VCU+20000+19000+35000
No. 9 Washington+25000+19000+20000
No. 10 Minnesota+30000+19000+30000
No. 11 Belmont+35000+16000+25000
No. 12 Liberty+35000+25000+100000
No. 13 St. Louis+50000+25000+75000
No. 14 Yale+50000+25000+100000
No. 15 Bradley+50000+25000+200000
No. 16 North Carolina Central/ North Dakota State

South Region

2019 NCAA TeamsDraftKings SportsbookFanDuel SportsbookBetStars NJ
No. 1 Virginia+700 +700 +750
No. 2 Tennessee
No 3. Purdue+3300+3500+3300
No. 4 Kansas State
No. 5 Wisconsin
No. 6 Villanova
No. 7 Cincinnati+10000+10000+8000
No. 8 Mississippi
No. 9 Oklahoma+20000+18000+30000
No. 10 Iowa+20000+19000+15000
No. 11 St. Mary’s+25000+19000+35000
No. 12 Oregon+25000+13000+15000
No. 13 UC Irvine+35000+25000+100000
No. 14 Old Dominion+50000+25000+50000
No. 15 Colgate
No. 16 Gardner-Webb
Martin Derbyshire


In his over 10 years covering the US online poker, legal NJ online gambling, and land-based casino industries, Martin Derbyshire has worn the hats of award-winning journalist and video and film producer. He has logged countless miles reporting on the world of high stakes gambling.