LAS VEGAS, March 13, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The NCAA basketball tournament is the largest sports betting event in North America. Nevada sportsbooks have watched the popularity of basketball betting in March explode in recent years, growing from $324.3 million in in basketball bets in March 2013 to a record $422.2 million in March 2016.
With the NCAA selection committee setting the field of 68 teams this Sunday and the tournament's play-in games tipping off Tuesday, sportsbook operators in Las Vegas and across Nevada are optimistic that March 2017 will once again reach new heights in terms of basketball betting action.
Data analysts at Covers, the industry's foremost experts on sports betting information, expect March's basketball betting handle to grow by 15 percent in 2017, shattering the previous high with a projected handle of $485.5 million wagered on hoops statewide for the month.
Covers will be inside Las Vegas sportsbooks throughout the NCAA tournament, interviewing the most renowned oddsmakers and sportsbook managers in the industry while providing exclusive insight into the college basketball odds, record betting action, and electric atmosphere around Sin City from the First Four to the Final Four. Give your NCAA tournament coverage an edge with Covers.com for odds, insights and expert interviews.
As oddsmakers respond to this growing popularity and wagering options increase dramatically, Covers expands its analysis, stats and services to provide information for every NCAA tournament bet on the board: from pointspreads to player props to odds to win the NCAA National Championship. You can also download and print you own NCAA tournament bracket from Covers to track your predictions throughout the postseason.
Covers analysts offer the broadest insights in the sports betting industry. Want to know which Cinderella team is getting surprise action to win it all this year, or who the Las Vegas sharps have their bankrolls riding on? Covers personalities are some of the most connected insiders in the gaming industry, with their fingers on the global pulse of sports betting.
While the pro football championship may be the heaviest-bet single game on the sports betting calendar, with a record $138.5 million wagered on the title game at Nevada sportsbooks this past February, the NCAA tournament helped bring in $375.5 million in 2015 and celebrated an 11 percent growth to $422.2 million last year.
The Nevada State Gaming Control Board, which collects this data, does not differentiate professional from college in the overall basketball betting handle, but estimates 70 percent of basketball bets made in March are placed on NCAA games. That equals more than $295.5 million wagered on last year's tournament and could translate into nearly $340 million in NCAA basketball bets over the next three weeks.
Covers has mirrored that expanding popularity of the NCAA tournament with over 4 million picks placed on NCAA postseason tournaments in their free-to-play platform, Covers Contests, and are predicting close to 5 million selections during their unique 2017 college basketball campaigns.
"The betting volume is staggering, but even outside of the sportsbook you have more than 70 million people filling out a NCAA bracket and taking part in pools and contests in North America," says Covers senior managing editor Jason Logan. "This is one of the most exciting events in all of sports, what with all the upsets and Cinderella runs. You don't have to be a sports bettor or even a basketball fan to enjoy the drama of the tournament."
"Last year, 1.8 million basketball enthusiasts visited Covers to research their NCAA tournament predictions during that three-week span," says Logan. "Given the frenzied demand around the tournament, and just how mainstream betting and brackets have become, it will easily eclipse 2 million in 2017."
Give your NCAA tournament coverage an edge. Contact Covers.com for odds, insights and expert interviews.
MEET OUR EXPERT TEAM:
Jason Logan – Senior Managing Editor
Jason Logan is one of the most connected writers in the sports betting industry, with contacts and sources at the biggest books in Nevada, overseas and online. Covers' Senior Managing Editor has been breaking down the betting action since 2005, providing unrivaled insight into the oddsmakers' process as well as first-hand reports from the bookmakers. Jason's informative and always entertaining commentary spans everything from the NFL, college hoops, and the wacky and wonderful world of exotic prop betting.
Patrick Everson – Senior Writer Las Vegas
Patrick Everson is Covers' man on the scene, which means he's usually in the middle of the action at the biggest and best sportsbooks in Las Vegas. Patrick not only talks with some of the sharpest bettors and most renowned oddsmakers in town but also profiles you - the average bettor - with his popular "Scenes from Sin City". Who knows? The next time you're visiting a Vegas book, you might just bump into Mr. Everson.
About Covers Media Group: Covers Media Group is an online publisher, providing sports gaming enthusiasts with valuable news, editorial and analysis as well as accurate and up-to-date scores, odds, matchups and statistics information. The Covers.com property was originally launched in 1995 and continues to be recognized as an industry leader, reaching several million passionate and engaged worldwide users every month. Find Covers on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube.
Covers is also well known across sports media for its innovative game matchups, live odds for all major and college sports, in-depth betting trends, oddsmaking insight, Las Vegas insiders and action reports straight from the sportsbooks. With 4.8 million unique site visitors over the past three months – a record for Covers – Nevada sportsbooks aren't the only ones predicting all-time highs come tournament time.
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SOURCE Tribune Company