Here Are The Best Free-To-Play March Madness Bracket Pools 2021

Written By Brant James on March 17, 2021 - Last Updated on December 7, 2023
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For those without legal sports betting in their state, the March Madness betting pool remains a staple of American sports fandom.

This year there’s not a whole lot of actual offices to hold an office pool in, and not much use for those paper brackets anymore, but there remain numerous online cash contests available online on your phone or computer. You can still pick your winners by uniform color, but we’d recommend against using the dartboard these days if you get stuck on a big game.

PlayUSA has assembled a few of the more interesting online pools, all of which are free to play.

Free to play NCAA bracket pools via sportsbooks

These are available and free to play even if your state doesn’t have legal sports betting. You’ll need an account, though, which means being at least 21 years of age.


Maybe it’s the $2 million grand prize that makes the BetMGM Perfect Bracket Challenge the best of the free-to-play contests? … Well, of course it is. In all honestly, you’ll probably be moving on from dreaming of whether to hire The Weeknd or Post Malone for your birthday party by Friday, but so will everyone else. If there is no perfect entrant, and if you can string together the best March Madness bracket overall, that’s still worth $100,000.


Pick one team per day through each round (you can’t repeat). If you don’t have any picking options remaining in the tournament at any point, there go your million dollars.

There’s also a more traditional bracket selection contest, also under ‘pools.’

Daily fantasy sites offering free to play NCAA bracket pools


Yahoo is one of the more well-known tourney pool hosts, and this year’s version features multiple options. There’s the option to create your own group, join an anonymous one or hop in with some like-minded folks from your alma mater (although you know who they’re taking to the Final Four.)

Players can choose between numerous groups, from “Rivals Beat The Experts,” or taking on some media personalities such as Andy Behrens or Krysten Peek. The prize is $50,000 and an MGM Resort Vegas Getaway, and $50,000 will be spread over 10,000 placers.


CBS is the television home of the tournament laying out a traditional tourney bracket. The eventual winner gets a Nissan Rogue.


ESPN and its Men’s Tournament Challenge is a familiar host for casual and competitive players alike, with all the normal features displayed nicely on the home page. Create an Entry. Create a group. Join a Group. It doesn’t get much simpler than that. And then it gets very difficult – picking winners.

Players can win a trip for two to the Maui Invitational or $10,000 in gift cards.


Bokampers. You may not be familiar with the sports bar unless you live in South Florida or are a fan of long-ago Miami Dolphins. It doesn’t matter, the place has some serious money to give away. You can have $1 million of it simply but completing a perfect bracket. So you should aspire to that.

Anyone with ‘only’ 60 correct picks wins $25,000. The overall winner also claims a 60-inch HDTV, and second and third place earn gift cards. You’re probably going to get a lot of emails from Bokampers in the future, but with your million dollars, you can hire someone to delete it for you.

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Brant James

Brant James is a veteran journalist who has twice been recognized in the Associated Press Sports Editors Awards, most recently in 2020. He's covered motorsports, the National Hockey League and Major League Baseball among a myriad of others beats and written enterprise and sports business for publications including USA TODAY,,

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