College Basketball Betting Guide

College basketball isn’t the most popular sport to bet on most of the year, but once March rolls around the entire country goes crazy in the United States for March Madness. Chances are you’ve filled out March Madness brackets in the past, but have you ever bet on a college basketball game using an online sportsbook? Today bettors from around the world can use online sportsbooks to bet on college basketball throughout the entire season.

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Understanding College Basketball Odds

Betting on college basketball isn’t the easiest sport to win money in during most of the season because it’s hard to handicap how college kids will play on a nightly basis. Once March Madness rolls around betting on college basketball is much easier because the teams know that once they lose their season is over and that usually translates into teams playing up to their potential. After going through our college basketball betting guide you’ll be prepared to bet on college basketball during the entire season.

  • Moneyline Bets – Indiana Hoosiers -170 vs. Nebraska Cornhuskers +150

College basketball fans can wager on what team they think will win the game and this is known as a moneyline bet. The team you bet on needs to just win the game for your bet to payout. Online sportsbooks allow bettors to bet on what team they think will win the full game or each half of the game. If you thought the Cornhuskers will come out strong and win the 1st half you could bet on them winning the 1st half only rather than betting on them to win the full game.

college basketball money line bets

In our moneyline bet above the Hoosiers are expected to beat the Cornhuskers. By looking at the odds we can tell that we’d need to bet $170 to win $100 on the Hoosiers or bet $100 to win $150 on the Cornhuskers. When a team has (-) odds the odds represent how much you need to bet to win $100 and when a team has (+) odds the odds represent how much you can win on a $100 bet. You don’t need to bet $100, but it quickly gives you an idea of how much you’ll be able to win based on your unit size.

  • Point Spread Bets – Indiana Hoosiers -3.5 -110 vs. Nebraska Cornhuskers +3.5 -110

The most popular way to bet on college basketball is by betting on the point spread. The point spread is used by the bookies to make the game as close to even as possible in order to offer -110 odds on both sides. College basketball bettors need to decide if the favourite team will win by the point spread set by the sportsbook.

In our example above the Hoosiers are favoured by -3.5, which means that they need to win the game by 4 or more points. If you bet on the Cornhuskers you can win the point spread bet at +3.5 if the Cornhuskers win the game or lose by 3 points or less. Once you bet on college basketball regularly you’ll notice a lot of big point spreads. Don’t assume because the point spread is so big that the favourite won’t cover the spread because the ranked teams often will cover big spreads against a lot of mid-majors.

  • Game Total Over/Under Bets – Indiana Hoosiers vs. Nebraska Cornhuskers – O131.5 -110 / U131.5 -110

Betting on college basketball game totals isn’t for everyone, but it can be profitable. Sportsbooks offer over/under lines on full games and each half of the game. You can also bet on both teams scores combined or you can bet on a single team’s over/under in a game if you feel that you have a bigger edge. With an over/under bet you simply need to decide if the game will go over or under the posted total. In our example over bettors would win if 132 points or more are scored and if 131 points or less are scored under backers will win the bet.

  • Parlay Bets – Indiana -3.5 / Buffalo -2.5 / Xavier -7

When you want to try and gamble and get lucky you should bet on a parlay. A parlay is any bet with 2 or more outcomes and in order to win the parlay every outcome has to be correct. By betting on parlays you increase your payout potential, but you need to read up on parlay strategy before wasting too much money on parlay bets. Ideally you should only bet on parlays with 2-3 teams because with 4+ teams on a parlay the true odds are higher than the parlay payout.

  • Teaser Bets – Indiana +1 / Buffalo +2 / Xavier -2.5

I don’t recommend betting on teasers in college basketball because there simple isn’t any value. The most common teaser in college basketball is a 4.5 point teaser, which simply moves the point spread or game total in your favor by 4.5 points. Rather than betting on Indiana at -3.5 you could bet on them at +1 in a teaser. In a teaser you need to bet a minimum out 2 games. The problem with teasers in college basketball is that 4.5 points isn’t much and typically won’t help.

  • Prop Bets – Will the Tar Heels have over or under 9.5 offensive rebounds

A prop bet can basically be any type of wager on an event that isn’t described above. Sportsbooks offer tons of prop bets on big college basketball games and on most March Madness games. You can bet on how many points a player will score, how many rebounds a player will have, what team will win the tip-off and tons of other unique bets. You can find +EV prop bets in college basketball, but you need to do your homework and avoid bets that are 100% gambles such as what team will win the tip-off.

  • Future Bets – Will the Tar Heels win the National Championship

Futures bets in college basketball are popular right at the beginning of March Madness although you can bet on futures bet throughout the entire season. You can bet on what team you think will win their respective conference, you can bet on what team you think will win the National Championship and many other futures bets. To find out what futures bet you can bet on at your sportsbooks simply look for the “Futures” tab under the college basketball odds.

Best College Basketball Sportsbooks

There really isn’t a “best” college basketball sportsbook. To be successful betting college basketball you need to have accounts at multiple bookies because the odds fluctuate a lot in college basketball. It isn’t uncommon for 1 bookie to have a team favoured by 1-2 points more/less than another sportsbook and that’s why you need to have accounts at a few of our recommended sportsbooks for college hoops.