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NCAA College Basketball Betting Online: an Expert Guide

Posted by Chris Spencer on
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Not only does is basketball one the most popular NCAA sports to watch in the United States, it’s also one of the most popular sports, and home to some of the biggest events for sports bettors—March Madness, anyone?

With so many college basketball betting options, it can be difficult to know where to start—That’s why we’re here. Read on to discover the best NCAA basketball spreads, overs/unders’ and more.

Our NCAA Basketball betting guide covers:

  • The best NCAAB betting sites for US players
  • Different college basketball bet types
  • Recommended NCAA betting strategies
  • FAQ about how to bet on NBA games

Best NCAA Basketball Betting Sites for US Players

Our experts have compiled a list of the industry’s best sites for US players to bet on college basketball:

Online NCAA Basketball Bet Types

NCAA Basketball Point Spreads

NCAA Basketball Point Spreads

Wager on the winning margin

NCAA basketball point spread bets involve placing a wager on which team you think will win the game and the points margin they’ll win by.

Most bettors who wager on basketball prefer to place bets against the spread (ATS) and college basketball fans are no different. The idea behind this type of bet is to provide bettors an equal playing field between the opponents and give each team a small handicap.

Bookmakers use the point spread as a way of leveling out the chances of either team winning the game by providing an advantage or disadvantage based on the margin of victory or defeat for a given team. Bettors then need to choose if a team wins by a certain amount of points (the favorite) or doesn’t lose by a certain amount of points (the underdog).

Usually, betting against the spread requires you to risk $110 for a chance to win $100. Consider the following example:

  • North Carolina -5.5 (-110)
  • Duke +5.5 (-110)

In our hypothetical scenario, North Carolina is the favorite which means if bettors take North Carolina, they need to win by 6 or more points to cash the bet. On the flipside, if you put your money on Duke, you’re going to win the bet if they win the game outright or only lose by five points or less.

NCAAB Moneyline Betting

NCAAB Moneyline Betting

Wager on the overall game winner

An NCAAB moneyline bet is a type of bet that provides betting odds focused on who will win the game, regardless of how many points. The more uneven the game, the larger the numbers you’ll see.

Betting the moneyline isn’t as popular as betting against the spread, but it’s still popular among casual bettors due to its simplicity. When you bet the moneyline, your goal is to predict which team will win the game outright – the number of points doesn’t matter. Moneylines use $100 increments to express the odds and determine payouts and the more uneven the game, the bigger the numbers you’ll see.

A minus sign (-) in front of the odds indicates the favorite and the number listed shows how much money you must wager to win $100. A positive sign (+) in front of the odds indicates the underdog and the number show how much money you will win for a $100 wager. It is rare, but sometimes if the matchup is too extreme or one-sided, a book will take the moneyline option off the board.

Here is an NCAA moneyline example:

  • Kentucky -220
  • Kansas +180

In this case, Kentucky is the favorite, so if you bet $220, you would win $320 which is your $220 from your original bet along with $100 in profit. Kansas, on the other hand, is the underdog, which means that if you bet $100, you would win $280 which is $100 from your original bet and $180 in profit.

College Basketball Over/Under Betting (Also known as Totals Bets)

College Basketball Over/Under Betting (Also known as Totals Bets)

Wager on the total number of points scored by both teams

Essentially, an over/unders NCAA basketball bet is when you wager on the final combined score of both teams, and if the score will be under or over a certain number.

Totals in basketball is different from betting the moneyline or against the spread as it requires you to pick the final combined score of both teams. This wager is strictly scoring based with nothing to do with the final match outcome. The bookmakers determine this number through past performance along with current matchups and the bettor must choose if the final combined score will land on either side of this number.

For example, if the total for an NCAA game is set at 141.5 and a bettor wagers on the under, this means that if the final combined score is 142 or more, the bet loses. If the teams combine to score 141 or less, the bet wins. As a sports bettor, there are many factors to consider before wagering on totals such as injury reports, matchups, recent schedule and performance.

NCAA Parlays

NCAA Parlays

An NCAA parlay is a combination bet which combines the outcome of many games

Parlays let you place different types of bets, in one single bet.

Parlays are often referred to as accumulators or multipliers, as they allow you to combine many straight wagers of various types into a single bet. Wagering on a parlay is different from placing each of those bets separately as the odds offered on parlays are significantly higher.

In order for a parlay bet to cash, all single bets within the parlay need to be a success. For example, if you place a four-team parlay (four bets in one) and only three of your predictions are correct, your bet loses. Consequently, parlays are much riskier which makes them best suited for veteran bettors and high rollers.

NCAA Basketball Futures Betting

NCAA Basketball Futures Betting

Bet on the future outcome of an NCAA basketball event

Bet on the future outcome of a college basketball event, like a championship or draft.

Much like in the case of NBA, many betting sites allow you to put your money on NCAA futures. The most popular wagering options are almost always tied to the outcome of the NCAA championship or March Madness.

Bets of this kind can be placed before the season starts and throughout the season with the odds varying on many factors. With a futures’ bet, keep in mind that the money you invest in this will be tied up until the result happens, which can take weeks and months. That’s also why you need to be able to go to the safest online sportsbooks.

Recommended NCAA College Basketball Betting Strategies

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How does the team score points?

Obviously we know how to score a point in basketball, however it’s helpful to know which types of points teams usually score—For example, does Kentucky usually score points from free throws, the three-point line or field goals?

Being familiar with this information can help you, especially since there are far more teams than the NBA—353 teams, to be exact.

a green coach's playbook icon

NCAA Tournaments—Know them well.

Players love to go through the wagering options that are almost always tied to the outcome of the NCAA championship, or March Madness. 64 teams make up the tournament, and over three weeks, the college hoops champion is determined.

However, the Tournament is a ripe ground for upsets from the very beginning, which is part of the fun of March Madness. Navigate betting on the NCAA Tournament carefully, and do plenty of research prior to tip-off.

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Is the court neutral?

Like we mentioned above, NCAA basketball teams play less games per season than NBA athletes—Therefore, it goes without saying that neutral courts they haven’t played on yet might provide some sort of disadvantage.

Usually, neutral courts are played during the Maui Invitational, which means placing unders wagers could be a good strategy for placing well-informed bets.

NCAA Basketball FAQs

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