March Madness 2017: 70 Million Brackets, $10.4 Billion in Bets Expected

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMarch 14, 2017

The official Wilson game ball that will be used for the for the NCAA Final Four college basketball games beginning April 4, is shown in front of a giant tournament bracket on the side of the JW Marriott Hotel in Indianapolis, Monday, March 30, 2015. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Michael Conroy/Associated Press

The NCAA tournament is always important for the teams involved, but it may be even bigger for office pools and sports books around the country.

According to David Purdum of ESPN.com, the American Gaming Association estimates 70 million brackets will be filled out to total $10.4 billion overall in bets.

The total money expected to be on the line is up 13 percent from last year's figure.

Darren Rovell of ESPN provided some perspective of the money involved:

Interestingly, only three percent of bets are wagered legally with $10.1 billion coming into offshore or local books. The $295 million expected to be bet at Nevada casinos is more than the $138.4 million gambled at Super Bowl LI, a new record, according to Purdum.

Per OddsShark, Duke and North Carolina are the two favorites to win the title, both listed at 6-1. No. 1 overall seed Villanova is listed at 15-2 to defend its title.

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