By Dave Schwab

Championship Week is in the books and hopefully your independent sportsbook is off to a strong start this March in what is clearly one of the best months of the year to be a private bookie. With the 68-team field set for the 2017 men’s basketball NCAA Tournament now set, this is the time of the month where you have to turn a great deal of your attention to making sure that the betting lines for this onslaught of college basketball action remain as sharp as possible.

Oddsmakers are over taxed in March with so much betting action on the board that the possibility of a few soft lines getting released needs to be constantly monitored. As a private bookie, you have the ability to move your own betting lines to best suit the action that you are taking in, but you really have to be wary about the opening lines for all of these games, especially in the first week of this tournament. You also have to pay close attention to the betting lines for everything else on your board over the next few weeks, since this is where some of the softest lines can be found.

Hopefully your bookie business has access to the right business analytics that can make the whole process of adjusting betting lines much easier to manage. You primary goal as an independent sports bookmaker is gaining as high a level of control as possible over the daily action coming in. Even if you only have a handful of players, this becomes a much easier task to manage with the right player activity reports at your fingertips. Even a small amount unwanted negative exposure can have a big impact on weekly cash flow and overall bottom-line profits. Staying as far out in front of the action coming in is still your best defense against finding yourself in a bad situation as the month of March wears on.

On the positive side of March Madness is the sheer amount of betting volume the NCAA Tournament can generate. You should be exploiting this unique betting event to its fullest with a full set of prop bets and futures odds to go along with all the betting lines for the games themselves. Bracket pool contests can be found at many of the biggest offshore sportsbooks operating online and this may be another way for you cash in on the games. Whatever you think will be of interest to your sports betting customer base as a whole should be part of your marketing campaign to make this the best March ever.

While the NCAA Tournament will garner the lion’s share of the betting action you take in over the next few weeks, do not forget about other betting opportunities such as the annual NIT basketball tournament as well as any other smaller tournaments that may be on the slate. There is also a wealth of other betting action in the NBA, NHL and MLS professional leagues and the excitement for the start of another season of MLB games continues to build as we get closer and closer to opening day.

This is truly one of the best times of the year to run and manage your own sportsbook. While it may take some longer hours right now with so much extra action on the board, the added effort can pay some even bigger dividends down the road if you take this time to also try to grow and expand your overall sports betting customer base. Ramping up your marketing efforts right now makes all the sense in the world considering just how many people there are looking to bet on college basketball over the next few weeks.