How to Bet on College Basketball

How to Bet on College Basketball

Published Date · Oct. 26, 2022 · Last Updated · Feb. 22, 2023 ·Read Time · 4 mins

How to Bet on College Basketball

This guide to betting on college basketball at a sportsbook, contains everything that you need to know. We’re going to provide the information that any beginner requires on their journey to become experts in this field. You’ll learn how money line betting works and understand point spreads. We’ll also look at other types of bets available for college basketball, such as player props. Finally, we’ll analyze the techniques used by experienced sports bettors, who record profits year after year. Let’s tip-off with an important place to start.

Pick a Good Sportsbook

The first thing you need to begin is a reliable online sportsbook. Select one of our recommended sites for betting on college basketball games, with generous bonuses available. It’s important to sign-up with a legit legal sportsbook. You are going to entrust them with your personal details, payment information and money.

College Basketball and March Madness

There are several organizations that run college basketball with the NCAAB (National Collegiate Athletic Association Basketball) organizing the top-tier competition. The NCAA Division 1 basketball tournaments for men and women are commonly known as ‘March Madness’. There is also a Division 2 and Division 3, for smaller colleges.

March Madness sees 32 Division I conference tournament champions and 36 teams chosen by a selection committee compete against each other. The competition takes the form of a single-elimination tournament played each spring, with the 68 schools divided into four regional brackets. Millions of Americans look to predict the results of these college basketball games, with many betting on them at sportsbook websites.

Understanding the Moneyline

This market is the most basic of those enjoyed by college basketball bettors. You are simply betting on which team will win a game. Sportsbook oddsmakers will calculate the Moneyline odds, based on the probability of each team winning. American odds are based on winning or wagering $100 on a bet. They show the favorite represented by a negative value and the underdog with a positive.

So say that North Carolina are underdogs in a game against the favorites Kansas. The money line shows North Carolina with odds of +115 and Kansas -150. This means that you’d have to bet $145 on the favorites Kansas to win $100. Were you to bet on the underdogs North Carolina, you’d stand to win $115 if you placed a $100 wager.

With so much basketball action taking place each spring, there are a wide variety of lines to bet on every week at sportsbook sites. Yet with some schools being much better than others, money line markets can be very uneven. This is why the points spread exists.


Point Spread Bets Explained

A sportsbook uses a point spread to make the markets for college basketball games more even. They will assign the favorite with a negative point spread. They must win the game by a bigger margin than the spread to win the bet.

The underdogs are given a head start of positive points for their spread. To win the bet they need to either win the game, or merely lose by a smaller margin than the spread.

So to return to our previous example, the favorites, Kansas could be given a spread of -2.5, with the underdogs, North Carolina given +2.5. This allows the sportsbook to give both teams perfectly even odds of -110.

This can be more appealing for college basketball bettors. If a team is a huge favorite, the odds will be very small. With points spreads the bettor is given a more even option.

Other Types of College Basketball Bets

You can find plenty of other types of college basketball bets at sportsbook sites. One of the most popular is the over/under totals. An estimated number of total points for a game is set. Bettors have to decide whether the accumulated score will be over or under that figure.

Another popular type of bet are player props. You can bet on individual player statistics. These include how many points they’ll score, the amount of assists they’ll make, rebounds and steals.

College Basketball Strategies Used by Expert Sports Bettors

Here is some advice that should come in handy when betting on college basketball at your chosen sportsbook.

  • Do Your Research – You can never know enough. If you’re going to stand any chance of beating the bookie, you need to do your homework. Invest in time researching the stats, and it will pay off.
  • Become a Specialist – The Division 1 season begins with over 350 teams in contention. You can’t be an expert in all of them. The bookies will be most interested in the conferences and leagues that have the biggest teams. Become an expert in a smaller conference and you’ll likely know more than the oddsmaker that you’re competing against.
  • Find Value – A value bet is where the odds are greater than they really should be, based on the true probability of the event occurring. Calculating that true probability is the tricky part. It’s not an exact science, but do your research and in time you’ll spot odds that represent good value.
  • Don’t Get Greedy With Parlays – Parlay bets allow you to add several selections together to form one wager. It’s easy to get carried away and choose too many selections, as you see the potential winning odds get bigger. Don’t get greedy.
  • Follow Tipsters – Make a record of the tips from college basketball handicappers to see how many times they are right. Once you’ve established that a tipster is profitable, you can follow their betting advice.

What Sportsbook to Bet on College Basketball?

We hope you enjoyed our guide to betting on college basketball. There are many quality sportsbook sites that cover basketball in great detail, including the college scene. Most bookies will provide a decent service around the time of March Madness, but you’ll want an online sportsbook that can deliver throughout the season. Our recommended sites for college basketball all deliver in this regard.


Phoebe Greenwood

Content Writer