Analysts at TheLines.com have issued their take on the potential handle for this year’s NCAA basketball tournament across the US, highlighting Nevada and New Jersey as potentially topping $375m. More holistically, it stated that March Madness could draw $400m in legal wagers at online and retail sportsbooks across the US.
The NCAA Tournament bracket was revealed on Sunday, officially kick starting one of the largest sports betting holidays in the United States. In seven of the eight legal sports betting jurisdictions in the US, this will mark the first time bettors will get a chance to make a legal March Madness bet and the fervor, said TheLines, should be “significant”.
“In Nevada, the NCAA Tournament trails only the Super Bowl in popularity for sports bettors and actually generates more bets because of the number of games,” said lead analyst Dustin Gouker. “New Jersey, which is the second-largest legal sports betting market, is not as event-driven as the Silver State. But the overall handle should propel the state into a record month for handle.”
In 2018 and as the country’s only legal sports betting jurisdiction, Nevada accepted a record $459m in bets in March 2018, and about $300m of that came on NCAA Tournament wagers. By comparison, the Super Bowl in 2018 generated a record $158.6m in bets.
Nevada should see similar interest this year. Using the Super Bowl as a guide, New Jersey could draw about 25 percent of Nevada’s March Madness handle. Delaware, Mississippi, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and West Virginia should generate around $25m in NCAA Tournament bets.
“I am particularly bullish on New Jersey, where the interest in NBA and college basketball betting has been high,” Gouker said. “Basketball has drawn a higher share of wagering in New Jersey than it has in Nevada this season, and that will likely translate well to the NCAA Tournament.”