Americans Set To Bet Billions On 2022 March Madness Tournament

Written By Nicole Russo on March 17, 2022
March Madness AGA

How many people will bet on March Madness? The American Gaming Association (AGA) released new research stating 45 million Americans plan to wager on the 2022 NCAA men’s basketball tournament, totaling an estimated $3.1 billion dollars.

While millions will wager by filling out a tournament bracket, a good chunk plan to place a different type of bet on tournament events this year.

BetMGM March Madness Special Offer! Bet $10 on a moneyline and win $200 if either team makes a 3-pointer!

2022 March Madness Odds

Americans Look To Bet Outside Of Brackets

According to the AGA’s research, more Americans are looking toward non-bracket channels to wager on the NCAA tournament in 2022 compared to prior years.

Approximately 20.9 million Americans will wager on March Madness either through a retail sportsbook, online sportsbook, with a bookie, or casually with friends.

American bettors plan to place 75% of their bets outside of brackets, a big increase from 55% last year.

These numbers continue to grow as legal betting expands across the country. Compared to the 2021 March Madness tournament, 29 million more Americans have access to legal wagering in their home state.

The following states have launched legal betting options since then:

  • Arizona
  • Connecticut
  • Lousiana
  • Maryland
  • North Dakota
  • South Dakota
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

Betting also expanded in a key market. New York had retail wagering for last year’s tournament, but the expansion of online wagering in the state will undoubtedly boost betting handle for the tournament this year.

And if you love brackets, don’t worry, those aren’t going anywhere. The report estimates 36.5 million Americans will also fill out a bracket, many in addition to other forms of wagering.

Which March Madness Team Is Everyone Wagering On?

Now that Selection Sunday has come and gone we know which teams got the coveted No. 1 seeds in the tournament.

Gonzaga, Arizona, Kansas, and Baylor snagged the four No. 1 seeds for March Madness.

Of those polled by the AGA, 17% of bettors identified Gonzaga as their favorite to win the tournament. Duke, which snagged a No.2 seed got 12% of the bettors’ votes.

Kansas took third place, with 11% of people polled wagering on them to go all the way.

For some of those in the study, a 2022 March Madness tournament bet may be the first bet they ever place. Nine states have adopted legal wagering since the last tournament, leaving a lot of new college basketball bettors out there on the market.

Before you bet on March Madness, check out all of the new-user offers and bonuses below from legal online sportsbook options in your state.

UP TO $1,250
On Caesars
Up to $1,250 On Caesars
+ get 1,000 Caesars Reward Credits 
+ also get 1,000 Tier Credits 
Redeem for free bets, hotel stays, & more!
Use Promo Code: LEGALFULL
No Sweat First Bet
Up to $1,000 No Sweat First Bet
Available on iOS, Android & Desktop
To Claim: Click Bet Now
Risk Free Bet
Exclusive Offer:
$100 Risk Free Bet
Use Promo Code: BETBONUS

Photo by Associated Press
Nicole Russo Avatar
Written by
Nicole Russo

Nicole Russo is the Brand Content Strategist for Previously, she covered the gambling industries in Tennessee and Indiana as a content editor for and She comes from the world of poker, leading the marketing efforts for online poker in Nevada and New Jersey with the WSOP. Russo also assisted with the marketing efforts for the Caesars Sportsbook launch in 2019.

View all posts by Nicole Russo