When people talk about betting on basketball they usually refer to high-profile NBA games, but there’s no denying the fact that NCAA events have become fairly popular on most major sportsbooks over the past few years, particularly in the United States.
As you’ve probably already guessed, wagering real money on NCAA Basketball is very similar to betting on NBA in terms of the available bet types, bonuses and promotions. Consequently, if you already have some online betting experience, you shouldn’t have any problems with taking advantage of all the NCAA lines offered by online bookmakers these days.
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Point Spread Betting
Most people who wager on basketball prefer to bet against the spread – and NCAA fans are no different in this regard. The idea behind this type of wager is to provide the people who’d like to put their money on the underdogs with better odds of cashing in on their investment by giving the favorites a small handicap. Consequently, each line of this kind is listed with the amount of points which modifies the score of both teams. Usually, betting against the spread requires you to risk $110 for a chance to win $100. Consider the following example:
Syracuse -5.5 -110
Stanford +5.5 -110
In our hypothetical scenario, Syracuse is the favorite and loses 5.5 points for the purpose of determining the outcome of the bet. This means that if you bet on the Syracuse, your teams to win by six points or more. Conversely, if you put your money on Stanford, you’re going to win the bet even if your team ends up losing by five points.
Money Line Betting
Betting the money line isn’t as popular as betting against the spread, but it’s still fairly popular among inexperienced and casual bettors due to its simplicity. When you bet the money line, your goal is to predict which team will win the game outright – there are no handicaps, so the exact scores simply don’t matter when it comes to determining whether you receive a payout or not. Money lines use $100 for the purpose of expressing the odds. Positive lines are used to indicate which team is the underdog and are marked with a plus symbol. Betting on such a line means that you have to wager $100 for a chance to win the amount of money listed on the site. Conversely, betting on a line marked with a minus symbol means that you have to risk a pre-determined amount for a chance to win $100. For example:
In this case, Florida is the favorite, so you have to pay $220 for every $100 that you could win. Harvard on the other hand is the underdog, which means that every $100 you wager gives you a shot at winning $180.
Over/under bet are also known as totals. Wagers of this type are different from betting the money line or against the spread, as they require you to estimate to combined score of both teams instead of guessing who will win the match. Each bet of this kind come with a total determined by the bookmaker – betting that the actual score will be higher is called placing an over bet, while wagering that the score will be lower is often referred to as an under bet. Keep in mind that many people consider betting the under somewhat safer, but in the end wagers of this kind tend to be very reliant on luck instead of handicapping efforts, which makes them somewhat less popular with seasoned punters.
Parlays are often referred to as accumulators or multipliers, as they allow you to combine multiple straight wagers of various types into a single bet. Please note that placing a parlay is very different from placing each of those bets separately, as the odds offered on parlays are significantly higher – two team parlays tend to pay as high as 13/5. However, there’s a catch here, as losing a single sub-bet results in losing the entire wager. For example, if you place a four team parlay and only three of your predictions are right, your money stays with the site and you won’t receive any money. Consequently, parlays are considered to be very risky, which makes them best suited for veteran bettors and adrenaline-thirsty high-rollers.
Much like in the case of NBA, many sports betting sites allow you to put your money on NCAA futures. The most popular wagering options are almost always tied to the outcome of March Madness. Most bets of this kind have to be placed before the season starts and offer excellent odds, but you should keep in mind that the money you invest in betting on NCAA futures won’t be available until the end of the season, which means that you should be very careful to avoid wagering more than you can afford.