NJ Online Sportsbooks Roll Out NCAA Tournament Pools And Big Money Promos

Written By Dave Bontempo on March 18, 2021 - Last Updated on December 12, 2023
NCAA Tournament

NCAA Tournament pools and promos form “Moolah Mania” surrounding March Madness wagering.

Sportsbooks dangle some eye-opening seven-figure payouts and impressive six-figure ones for New Jersey online sportsbook gamblers, albeit at long betting odds.

DraftKings Sportsbook presents a Millionaire’s Bracket featuring rising point values in each tournament round. It also offers two Survivor Pools. One is free with an avalanche of participants. The other has an entry fee and a smaller field.

Bet MGM offers $2 million for a perfect bracket pool.

FanDuel Sportsbook will award $1 million via random draw for tournament bettors.

All of these run the length of the tournament.

It’s an electrified gambling format, augmenting the betting drama of the first 36 games, played between Thursday (First Four) and Saturday.  There are 16 more between Sunday and Monday.

Here is a look at some of the top March Madness bracket contests and betting promos available at NJ online sportsbooks.

DraftKings and  the millionaire mind

Can you deliver the best bracket for all DraftKings properties?

The top prize of $1 million awaits the Championship Series Millionaire Bracket.

Here’s how it works:

Contestants can make from one to 20 entries at $100 apiece. Players might make multiple entries because of the prize breakdown:

  • $1 million for first place
  • $250,000 for second
  • $125,000 for third place
  • $75,000 for fourth
  • $50,000 for fifth.

For 10th place, contestants receive $12,500. The payout from 661-1500 is $150 and will likely be split several ways, so anything in this range will yield a near push or slight profit.

New Jersey bettors do not compete against gamblers from the whole country, just those in Colorado, New Hampshire, West Virginia, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, and Michigan. Registration cutoff is 12:15 p.m. on Friday (March 19). If the recent pace of 100 entries per hour is maintained, the pool would finish in the vicinity of 10,000, ensuring about a 1-in-7 chance of cashing.  That’s pretty good.

Brackets do not include Thursday’s First Four Games.

How Rutgers factors into New Jersey equation

Garden State gamblers observe a bittersweet twist with Rutgers. Because of state regulations, New Jersey bettors can’t gamble on the Scarlet Knights at New Jersey books. All New Jersey entries will automatically be given Clemson, Rutgers’ first-round opponent, in Friday’s game.  It’s bittersweet because Rutgers is a live dog in that contest. Any game involving Rutgers will follow this formula.

The contest is weighted, rewarding the championship level. Here is the points breakdown for correct selections:

  • First-round: 10 points.
  • Second round: 20 points
  • Sweet 16: 40 points
  • Elite Eight:  80 points
  • Final Four 160 points
  • National Championship: 320 points

The winner will most likely have the national champion. And a tiebreak would likely occur in the Final Four round. This is a balanced field. There is no obvious Final Four list.

DraftKings offering NCAA Tournament survivor pools

Here’s a nice one, the free-to-play Survivor Pool at DraftKings. But it still pays out $1 million to the last contestant standing. No wonder there were more than 205, 000 entries, and rising as of early Thursday morning.

Pick one team each day to win (except for the Round of 8, where you select one team from across the Monday and Tuesday Games).  You may only pick each team once per entry. One wrong pick and you’re out.

That may seem easy enough to avoid early, but choosing top-ranked Gonzaga right away means you can’t take the Bulldogs later, say in the Final Four. It seems logical to take some three and four seeds in the early days and hope to survive.

The winner earns $1 million. There are no tiebreakers. Multiple winners create a split of the pot.

There’s another bonus with this competition.  For every upset in the first two rounds, a win by any underdog, even a one-pointer, DraftKings will randomly select one player to win $10,000. There will be enough upsets to keep this aspect interesting.

DraftKings is offering a variation of the same concept, just with a $333 entry fee.

Same rules as the free pool, with the winner taking home the  $100,000 top prize. It will discourage the veritable avalanche of contestants. The field had over 150 players early Thursday morning. And with the entry fee it draws a more serious brand of contestants.

Every pick, essentially, costs money.

Many players will compete in both Survivor Pools.  What happens if you are alive late in both contests and a slate of 50/50 games come up? There’s the option of taking two different games in the two separate pools.

Placed together, the DraftKings pools are an exceptional three-pack.


BetMGM is ready to payout for NCAA Tournament perfection

There’s $2 million waiting for Bet MGM patrons. All anyone has to do is, well, pick a perfect bracket.

Sounds easy, right?

Will someone hit all 67?

Being that it’s free to play, there’s nothing to lose.

Here’s how it works:

  • Register for a BetMGM sportsbook account or login to your existing account
  • Sign into the 2 Million Dollar Bracket Challenge on the promotions page.
  • Create your free bracket

And if yours is perfect, you win the $2 million grand prize.

There’s a $100,000 guaranteed prize for the player(s) that predict the most correct selections throughout the entire tournament.

No purchase is necessary. It is free to set up a BetMGM sports account. There is a limit of one eligible bracket per user.

Even if perfection is unattainable, the $100,000 prize is an excellent consolation for picking the most winners.

FanDuel Sportsbook and random millions

It pays to enter.

That’s the essence of FanDuel’s March Million Sweepstakes: All customers who bet on the tournament with FanDuel Sportsbook have a chance to win a March Million.

Here’s how it works:

  • Place a wager on any of the NCAA Division I Men’s Tournament basketball games and receive an entry for the $1,000,000 drawing.
  • Participants may earn one entry every day until April 4th.
  • Wagers must be placed prior to 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time to be deemed eligible for the day.

All markets, including future outright wagers, are eligible

No minimum wager amount required, Maximum of 22 entries per person

Throughout the industry, sportsbooks have cranked up the music for the Big Dance. And some New Jersey bettors will be dancing with their winning dough.





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Dave Bontempo

Dave Bontempo, a multiple national award-winning boxing commentator and writer, authors NFL betting columns for the Press of Atlantic City and others. He writes about all major sports in the booming legal New Jersey sports betting industry. Dave also hosts the Why Eagles Why podcast. Dave is a member of the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame and the Atlantic City International Boxing Hall of Fame.

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