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NCAA – College Basketball Betting Odds


Without a doubt, college basketball betting is one of the more popular sportsbook options available. Apart from college football and NFL betting, college basketball betting is the more popular option amongst bettors. The reason being, NCAA basketball offers a myriad of games and betting options as well as plenty of opportunities to turn a profit. With a lengthy regular season filled with a ton of matchups, as well as early season tournaments and the massively popular March Madness, there is something to captivate your attention around every corner. So let’s find out what makes college basketball betting so great and how you can make it work for you!

NCAA Basketball Betting in a Nutshell

The College Basketball Betting Season

Generally speaking, the college basketball betting season will begin in the 1st week of November and will run to the 1st week of March. Afterwards, the NCAA Tournament will commence and run up to the 1st week of April, culminating in the national championship. Additionally, there are a myriad of early season tournaments that run through November and December to get college basketball betting fans excited about the year’s action. It’s also important to mention that conference tournaments take place before the NCAA tournament. Also, teams that win their respective conference get an automatic bid for the National Tournament.

March Madness

The March Madness tournament is undoubtedly one of the biggest betting events of the calendar year. The tournament in of itself if a single-elimination tournament consisting of 68 teams to determine who the best program in the nation is. There are 32 automatic bids to the tournament for teams that win their respective conference tournaments. Additionally there are 36 at-large bids that are awarded by the NCAA Selection Committee to fill the remaining positions.

The tournament begins with the First Four, which are 4 matchups that give some teams a final opportunity to enter the tournament. Afterwards the action begins with the First Round, which includes a total of 34 teams. Once the First Round is over, the teams that advanced will face each other in the second round. And then we get the rounds with the catchy names to finish the tournament.

Following the second round, college basketball betting players can wager on the Sweet Sixteen, then the Elite Eight, the Final Four and then the National Championship. Now that you have some basic understanding of how the season and tournament run, you can begin to make college basketball betting predictions. But first, it’s important to have some understanding of how college basketball betting lines work and the type of sportsbook odds available.

Types of College Basketball Betting Lines

It goes without saying that the most common types of college basketball betting lines consist of betting straight up (money line), betting against the spread, or betting on the over/under. We’ll be taking a look at these more in depth below but first we’ll be taking a look at a normal college basketball betting line. The line begins on the left with the name of the team followed by the spread, the TOTALs (over/under), and lastly the money line. The spread and over/under have a number that represents the line followed by the odds. The money line only has the odds.

Houston U                  +2½ (-110)                  134 (-110)                   +135

Kentucky                    -2½ (-110)                   134 (-110)                   -155

Money Line

The money line is the simplest college basketball betting line to understand. Here you are simply picking one team over another, or picking one team to win the game. As you can see above, Kentucky is pegged as a slight favorite over Kentucky. We can see this because Kentucky’s odds have a (-) in front of them while Houston U has a (+).

Generally speaking, the odds on a money line start at -110. This means that you need to wager $110 in order to be eligible for $100 if you’re correct. Additionally, the number will continue to rise if a team is heavily favored. Ultimately this means that you need to put more money down on your initial wager to still be eligible for that $100. Using the example above, we can see that Kentucky is facing -155 odds. This means that, if you’re looking to back Kentucky on the money line, you would need to wager $155 in order to be eligible to win $100. It’s important to note that a winning bet returns your initial investment. So a $155 winning bet on Kentucky would net you $255 (the original $155 + the $100 in winnings).

On the other hand, the payout on the underdog is much higher. This is because they are not likely to win so the bookies have to make the option more alluring. To put it shortly, the bigger the number following the +, the bigger the payout. Using the example above, we can see that Houston U is facing +135 odds. What this means is that a $100 bet on Houston U would sign you up for a $135 if you’re right. In short, a $135 winning bet on Houston U would net you $235 (the original $100 wager + the $135 in winnings).

ATS

Betting against the spread can be a little more complicated. Here you’re not betting on a team to beat the other but rather to cover the spread. So how does a team cover the college basketball betting spread?

The spread is a number which teams must cover. Using the example above, we can see that the spread is set at 2 ½ points. So in order for Kentucky, the favorite, to cover the spread, they must beat Houston U by more than 2 ½ points. On the other hand, if Houston U can avoid losing by less than 2 ½ points, then they would have covered the spread. We’ll go over some examples below so you can feel confident about what covering the spread means.

Kentucky Wins 98-96 || Here Kentucky won by 2-points, so they did not cover the 2 ½ point spread.

Kentucky Wins 99-96 || Here Kentucky won by 3-points, so they did cover the 2 ½ point spread.

Houston U Wins 99-98 || Here Houston U avoided losing, so they did cover the 2 ½ point spread.

TOTALs

When you bet on the over/under, you are simply betting on how many points in total will be scored in a given matchup. Obviously this is calculated by taking the points one team scored and adding it to the points the other scored. Using the example above, we can see that the over/under is set at 134 points. So if you think there will be more than 134 points scored in total, you would take the over. The over on the TOTALs line is always the top line, Houston U in this situation. On the other hand, if you think less than 134 points will be scored, you would take the UNDER or the bottom line.

Teasers, Parlays & Props Betting

Teaser

Teaser betting is an option available to fans. By placing a teaser bet, you are allowed to buy points off the spread. This in turn makes it easier for your prediction to come true. However, in turn, you must place a wager on at least two teams. So below we’ll be taking a look at the odds and some theoretical college basketball teaser bets.

Houston U      +2½ (-110)      || Virginia Tech +7 (-110)

Kentucky        -2½ (-110)       || Duke -7 (-110)

On the left hand side we have the same spread lines we covered before. On the right, we have a matchup between Virginia Tech and Duke in which Duke is pegged as a 7-point favorite on the spread. So to make a 2-team teaser, you would take one team against the spread on each side.

As aforementioned, choosing a teaser bet allows you to play with the spread. Depending on which option you choose, you’re able to either lower the spread or raise the spread. For example, Kentucky is a 2 ½ point favorite on the spread. If you’d like, you can lower that figure to 1 ½ points or even a ½ point spread. To do so, you must take either Virginia Tech or Duke against the spread.  Duke is the favorite so if you take them you can lower the spread. On the other hand, you can choose to raise Virginia Tech’s spread in order to give them a better chance to cover it.

The bottom line is that teasers allow you to play around with the spread as long as you make predictions on more than one team. You can choose to have 2, 3, even 8 team teasers. The most important thing to understand is that sportsbooks allow you to play with the spread as long as you pick multiple teams. This is because having multiple predictions come true is quite difficult. The odds and payouts on teasers vary depending on how many teams you’re picking.

Parlays

Parlays an extremely popular option because of the huge payouts they offer. Unlike teasers that don’t offer the best odds, parlays allow you to make small bets with huge payoffs. In essence, you are taking several small bets and combining them into one large bet. The only kicker is that all of your predictions must come true. Nevertheless, hitting a large parlay is undoubtedly one of the best bets you could possibly make.

Props Betting

Props betting has been growing in popularity in recent years. Props betting is sort of a wild card that allows you to wager on seemingly random events. Prop lines range from who will have the lead at halftime to who will win the opening coin toss. There are seemingly innumerable props betting options so it’s important to check these out yourself to see how wild they can truly get. Also, BetNow recently introduced the option to make your own props line so you can have even more say in the matter!

Live Betting

College basketball live betting allows you to place bets on the game as it unfolds. This is a thrilling new venture that is coming onto the scene. The odds change throughout the game so there’re multiple opportunities to coming out on top.

Futures Betting

Futures betting is another popular option that allows you to cash in on some pretty lucrative odds. What you’re doing here is making a prediction way in advance. This includes who will win certain conferences, who will win the national championship, or who will have a Final Four berth. Because these can be made way in advance, you can take a chance on a team who you think will have success but the bookies aren’t favoring much. The closer you get to the end of the season, the less appealing these college basketball futures betting odds will become.


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