How To Legally Bet On 2022 March Madness Online In New Jersey

Written By Derek Helling on March 14, 2022

NCAA women’s basketball fans have reached another D1 national championship tournament, which for the first time will feature 68 of the best teams in the division from around the country. For that reason, March Madness betting in 2022 looks jam-packed with opportunities.

New Jersey remains one of the epicenters in North America for online sports betting, featuring a highly competitive market. For NJ residents new to mobile sports betting altogether or experienced bettors who have yet to give betting on college women’s basketball a try, we have everything you need to know here.

How to get started with March Madness betting in New Jersey

March Madness is a great time to get in on legal online betting in NJ if you haven’t already. It’s one of the biggest events of the year for New Jersey sportsbooks, so they pull out all the stops to get your attention.

There are over 20 different licensed online books available for use in NJ. All of them will have some markets on March Madness available. Yes, that will include the men’s tournament as well.

Before you start looking at what apps you might want to try, however, it’s important to note if you’re eligible to bet on sports legally in the Garden State. That’s a simple question to answer.

First, you need to be at least 21 years of age. Secondly, if you take part in any of the state’s gambling self-exclusion programs, this is off-limits to you. Finally, you must be within the state’s borders when you place your bets.

There are some special circumstances around wagering on college sports in NJ that you should be aware of, too. A look at the law will explain why you might not be able to find some markets you want later.

What NJ law says about betting on college sports

The state’s gambling law bans all wagering on college sports that either involves an in-state team or involves a contest that is taking place in the state. So, for example, legal books in NJ can’t take any action on Rutgers games regardless of where they take place because that’s an in-state team.

They also can’t accept bets on any collegiate events that happen anywhere in the state, no matter the teams involved. For instance, if the Penn State Nittany Lions and Connecticut Huskies played each other at the Prudential Center that would be off-limits for NJ sports betting apps because of the venue even though neither team is an NJ team.

All other collegiate events are fair game for NJ apps, though. None of the regional sites for the tournament in 2022 are in New Jersey, so that’s good news for bettors. Also good news for bettors is that signing up for NJ sportsbook apps is easy, free, and quick.

How to sign up for an NJ online sportsbook

In order to comply with federal and state laws, each NJ sportsbook has to verify your eligibility to bet on sports using an online account. There are also several benefits to you in this, too, though, like providing an easy-to-access statement of your activity each year for tax purposes.

Getting started with one of the NJ apps is the same as any other app on your smartphone or tablet. Visit the Google Play Store on Android devices or the App Store on iOS devices and search for the name of the sportsbook you want to try out.

Then, let your device download and install the app. Once that’s done, the app should walk you right through the process of registering for an account. You’ll just have to provide the sportsbook with some pertinent information so it can identify you and verify your eligibility.

As soon as the sportsbook confirms your account, then you’re ready to make a deposit into your ledger so you can make some bets. This is where you really need to pay attention to your emails and notifications, though. You might miss out on some bonuses otherwise.

Don’t miss out on new user bonuses

Most NJ sportsbooks have standard welcome offers for new customers. One of the great things about March Madness betting, though, is those can get even better at this time of year.

Many new-user bonuses are tied to your first deposit with a sportsbook. These take many forms, like:

  • Free bets issued after deposit
  • Guarantees against losing your first bet
  • Matches of your deposit in site credit

At the same time, tournament time is also when sportsbooks run a lot of promos for all users, not just new ones. These can include more risk-free bets and odds boosts. There are things bettors should note about these deals, though.

Bonus funds rarely amount to free money

It’s important to read the conditions and terms of offers when considering them so you know what to expect. For example, many free bets come with expiration terms. A common misunderstanding is when people confuse free bets or site credit with real money.

Both free bets and site credit are as good as cash on the apps but they only really exist within the apps. You can’t withdraw any of those promotional values as actual dollars unless and until you use them to successfully place winning wagers.

Even at that point, it will be the winnings from your bet, not the promotional value, you are cashing out. In fact, sportsbooks often exclude free bet values from payouts in those situations. In those cases, you’ll just get the profit from your wagers as winnings.

Other terms to look for include specifications on which markets you can use free bets on, such as a minimum odds requirement. It’s also important to consider responsible gambling when considering these offers. If you have to risk more than your budget allows to get a bonus, it’s not a good play for you.

Still, if it’s within your budget, betting with the house’s money instead of your own can be a great play. There are plenty of ways to do so before and when the games start taking place.

Ways to bet on March Madness at NJ sportsbooks

Most tournament wagering falls into one of three categories:

  • Futures
  • In-game
  • Pre-game

Futures include things like betting on whether a team will reach the Final Four or national championship. Of course, that also entails betting on a team to win it all or a player to win the Nancy Lieberman Award.

Involving individual games, there are two main ways to bet them. Those are before the game starts and after it begins. Many NJ books will offer a lot of different ways to do both, which can envelop:

  • Moneylines
  • Player props
  • Spreads
  • Team props
  • Totals

The most important thing to keep in mind as you consider the bevy of markets is to stay within your budget and keep a level head when gambling. Within those parameters, betting on March Madness in NJ can be a slam dunk.

Derek Helling Avatar
Written by
Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a lead writer for PlayUSA and the manager of BetHer. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa and covers the intersections of sports with business and the law.

View all posts by Derek Helling