College Basketball Betting

College Basketball is amongst one of the most popular sports to bet on. The March Madness NCAA college basketball tournament brings in a lot of action for the online and Vegas sportsbooks, as it is one of the most exciting sports events of the year. If you are familiar with NBA Betting you will probably already know everything you need to know about college basketball betting, but for new bettors we have explained how to bet on college basketball below.

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How To Bet on College Basketball

Like mentioned earlier, college basketball betting is very similar to NBA basketball betting. There are three main types of college basketball bets – spread betting, money line betting and over under or game total betting. In addition there is also college basketball prop betting that can be done. Below we will explain how each type of NCAA college basketball betting works.

College Basketball Spread Betting

Spread betting involves picking sides, but it is more complicated than just picking which team you think will win the basketball game. In spread betting the oddsmakers will set a number of points (called the spread) that the favored team is favored by. In order for a bet placed on the team which is favored to win they must win by more than the number of points set as the spread. For a bet on the underdog team to win they can lose by less than the amount of the spread, or win the game outright. For example, if Michigan State was 5.5 point favorites they would need to win by 6 or more points in order to “cover the spread”. If they only won by 3 points than the underdog team would win on the spread.


Above you can see a screenshot from (one of the best college basketball betting sites).  As you can see we have Cincinnati vs Providence.  On the right side the spread is listed, with Cincinnati favored at -3.5 and Providence 3.5 point underdogs – both paying -110 ($110 wins $100 or $200 total).  So for this example if you bet on Cincinnati to cover the spread they would need to win by 4 or more points for you to win the bet.  If you bet on Providence they could lose by 3 or less or win outright for your spread bet to cash.

College Basketball Money Line Betting

Money line betting is just picking which NCAA team you think will win the game. It won’t matter by how many points they win by, as long as the team you bet on wins the game. Of course, with money line betting, the team that is expected to win will payout less money than the team who isn’t as likely to win the game.

money line betting

We are going to stick with the same match up from our example above, but we’ve just blurred out the spread and are only showing the money line odds for the example.  Here you will see Cincinnati, who were 3.5 point favorites, are listed at -165 on the moneyline.  That means you would need to risk $165 to win $100 on Cincinnati to win the game outright (it doesn’t matter if they win by 2 points or 10 points).  Providence, being 3.5 point underdogs, are listed at +145 on the money line.  Every $100 bet on Providence to win will payout $145 in profits.

Over Under Betting for College Basketball

Over Under betting (sometimes referred to as Game Total betting) involves betting on the number of points both teams score in a game combined. The oddsmakers will set a game total or over under number, and bettors can either choose for the total number of points scored by both teams to go over or under the set number. An example would be if the number was set at 156.5, bettors could bet on there being 157 or more points (the over), or 156 or fewer points (the under).

over under betting

Above we have blurred out the spread and money line odds so that we can focus on the over/under.  As you can see the over/under is listed at 122 for this game.  The o122 stands for “OVER 122” as you could have probable figured out, and the u122 stands for “UNDER 122”.  The odds for either side of this total are set at -110.  So for this game you can choose either over or under 122.  Of course if the final score was 65-60 for a total of 125 points that would make any “over” bets winners.  If the final score was 62-60 for a total of 122 points all bets would be refunded, as it landed right on the total.

NCAA Basketball Prop Betting

Prop betting in NCAA basketball includes any type of betting that is not based on the final outcome of a game. There are a variety of different types of prop bets you can make for basketball. Prop bets would include halftime or quarter scores and individual player performances. An example of a prop bet for an individual player performance would be “Will John Wall have over or under 18.5 points tonight?” You will also be able to make future prop bets. A common future college basketball bet would be betting on who will win the National Championship, which can be bet on before and throughout the NCAA season.

What Next? If you are ready to bet on college basketball I highly recommend you check out where you will get a $100 free bet on your first deposit.

If you want to read some more advanced college basketball betting articles check our strategy section of The Sports Geek. Good Luck!