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Fewer brackets but same number plan bets on March Madness

Sports Betting-March Madness
Posted at 5:51 AM, Mar 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-15 05:54:25-04

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — Fewer Americans expect to fill out brackets for the NCAA's college basketball tournament this year, but the overall number of people making bets on March Madness is likely to remain about the same as the last time the tournament was held, in 2019.

The American Gaming Association says 47 million Americans plan to bet this year.

The coronavirus pandemic is a big reason that 8% fewer Americans likely will fill out brackets because many offices remain closed.

But the slack is expected to be made up for by the rapid expansion of legal sports betting in the U.S.

The association says 30.6 million Americans will bet in other ways on this year's tournament, up from 17.8 million in 2019.

Fivethirtyeight.com lets you see the odds in every round if you need help picking your teams. ESPN and Yahoo offer free brackets.