Last Updated: March 21, 2019
Brackets will allow DraftKings customers to fill out their selections directly on the sportsbook app. Players can join public or private contests to pit their prognostication skills against others.
These contests are not necessarily a quest for bragging rights either. DraftKings is hosting a free nationwide contest that will award $64,000 in cash prizes.
New Jersey residents will have an additional option on top of that. For a $20 buy-in, Garden Staters can play Brackets for a $100,000 prize pool.
“As American sports fans during March Madness, we are all playing bracket contests with our friends, family and co-workers,” said DraftKings Chief Revenue Officer Matt Kalish, in a statement.
“By launching Brackets on DraftKings Sportsbook, we are bringing the number one-way fans engage with March Madness to the biggest stage—DraftKings’ industry-leading fantasy sports and sportsbook apps.”
Players across the country can access and fill out their brackets through iOS or Android devices. Bracket access is also available at sportsbook.draftkings.com.
Partial bracket play will keep fans interested
One problem that bracket contests face is the conundrum of upsets. The NCAA Basketball Tournament has become almost synonymous with the underdog victory.
Unfortunately, these kinds of victories can and do wreak havoc upon predictions. A first-round loss from a player’s Final Four can kill their chances of any type of success.
The 2018 NCAA tournament had a perfect example of this kind of outcome. The University of Maryland – Baltimore County’s historic win as a 16-seed over the University of Virginia doomed thousands of prognostications across the country.
Many fans will simply throw up their hands when their initial predictions go down in flames. However, DraftKings has come up with a solution that will hopefully keep customers logged in.
Instead of one single tournament, DraftKings will host smaller contests after the tournament has already begun. Players will be able to fill out new brackets for both the Round of 32 and the Sweet 16.
In its press release, DraftKings also alluded that more contests for sports bettors and basketball fans are to come. So, all may not be lost if Cinderella comes knocking.
What are the smart selections for March Madness?
Of course, the difficulty is knowing when and where an underdog will rise.
The tournament’s single-elimination format means that there are no second chances, and a flat performance from a great team can be deadly.
Nevertheless, DraftKings Sportsbook in NJ has published odds for teams it expects to go far in the tournament.
Here are some of DraftKings’ frontrunners (with odds in parenthesis) as of March 12:
To reach the Final Four
- Duke (-200)
- Gonzaga (-118)
- Virginia (+100)
- Kentucky (+200)
- Michigan State (+200)
- North Carolina (+200)
- Tennessee (+200)
To win the NCAA Championship
- Duke (+250)
- Gonzaga (+550)
- Virginia (+600)
- Kentucky (+1200)
- Michigan State (+1200)
- North Carolina (+1200)
- Tennessee (+1200)
However, these seven selections can only get players so far. In order to pick the winners, one must study each matchup intensely and make the smart statistical selection.
Or, one can simply choose their favorite mascot or school colors of each game. That works, too. Sometimes.