Our team of experts at The Sports Geek has spent countless hours combing through online sportsbooks that offer college basketball betting lines and odds, and they have narrowed down the sea of options to this definitive list. Below are our selections for the best college basketball betting sites. Using a long list of data points, we’ve identified which sites will provide you with the best balance between all the vital attributes that make up a good betting website.
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For some of us, it might be cheering on our alma mater, and for others, it may just be getting into March Madness, but college basketball has always had an appeal. The consistently fast-paced and exciting world of college hoops offers both an entertaining sporting experience as well as unique opportunities to bet on the NCAA.
We are going to get you schooled on how to bet on college basketball by teaching you the basics, sharing invaluable resources, and helping you figure out where to bet. By the end of this article, you’ll be ready to start NCAAB betting on your own.
We should mention that we do not allow sites to pay for placement on this list. We make all recommendations free from any outside influence. Our goal is to remain objective so that we can provide you with the best possible information without any bias. Later in the article, you’ll find a small selection of the criteria we used in making our selections so you can get a glimpse into our thought process. Feel free to use this list as a reference when evaluating any NCAAB betting sites you may have your eye on.
Resources for NCAAB Betting
Free Expert NCAAB Picks
The first resource you should be aware of is our section of expert NCAA picks. Here, you will find tons of insights and tips that will help you refine your picks and get a sneak peek into what the pros are thinking. We provide detailed analysis so you can see previous games, player stats, and other impactful data. Even if you don’t intend to plug-and-play our expert picks, keeping an eye on them can help you develop your strategy. Over time, you will start to see patterns in the expert picks that you can incorporate into your NCAAB betting strategy. Let us be your mentor! We can give you the inside scoop while you are still learning.
Minnesota Golden Gophers at Iowa Hawkeyes NCAAM Pick – March 12, 2020
Washington Huskies at Arizona Wildcats NCAAM Pick – March 11, 2020
St. Mary’s Gaels at BYU Cougars NCAAM Pick – March 9, 2020
Iowa Hawkeyes at Illinois Fighting Illini NCAAM Pick – March 8, 2020
Ohio State Buckeyes at Michigan State Spartans NCAAM Pick – March 8, 2020
Colorado Buffaloes at Utah Runnin’ Utes NCAAM Pick – March 7, 2020
Seton Hall Pirates at Creighton Blue Jays NCAAM Pick – March 7, 2020
VCU Rams at Davidson Wildcats NCAAM Pick – March 6, 2020
Boise State Broncos at UNLV Runnin’ Rebels NCAAM Pick – March 5, 2020
NCAAB Computer Picks
Another beneficial section is our exclusive AI picks library. As you may know, AI stands for artificial intelligence. We use a sophisticated supercomputer to break down each matchup into a mathematical probability. By taking into account thousands of different factors, the system determines the most statistically probable outcome. The best part about using artificial intelligence in picking NCAA basketball winners is that the system improves over time. Each incorrect pick becomes a new data point to help refine the model.
Basketball Betting News
One thing you’ll quickly learn is that keeping up with the news in the NCAA is vital to basketball betting success. You need to have a pulse on what’s happening around the league if you want to make accurate picks. While a bevy of numbers and statistics is good, not everything is quantitative, and stats will only get you so far. We keep an ear to the ground to bring you up-to-date NCAA basketball news on everything you need to know, including injuries, hot streaks, and star players.
Basketball Betting Blog
In addition to our comprehensive news coverage, we also take on lots of other topics in our NCAA basketball blog. This is where you will find tons of valuable bits beyond current events including NCAAB betting tips, college basketball live betting advice, and much more. Over the years, we’ve accumulated hundreds of articles on everything from comparisons on betting strategies to bracket strategy. The blog is a great resource to refer back to when you are ready to take your NCAA basketball betting to the next level.
College Basketball Betting Strategy
Finally, we provide tons of resources to help you build your NCAAB betting strategy. There is way more to successful NCAA basketball betting than just picking a winner. To take full advantage, you need to know what makes the league tick and be able to take advantage of some of the unique betting options NCAA basketball offers. These strategy resources will give you insight into everything from basic betting fundamentals to learning to squeeze value out of every bet. We have something for everyone, whether you are a newbie or a pro.
Aspects of a Good NCAAB Betting Site
One of the first things you need to look for when choosing a new NCAA basketball betting website is an excellent new player signup bonus. This is a bonus that online sportsbooks will offer to new players to lure them away from competing sites. Most of the time, these are provided as a match on the player’s initial deposit.
This bankroll boost and enable you to bet long and can give you more runway to learn. Even if it requires depositing more than you originally planned on, we suggest taking full advantage of these one-time perks if you can.
Promos are a tool used by sports betting and gambling sites to keep players engaged. They offer new ways to play or other perks that encourage bettors to bet more often and bet bigger. Sometimes, these will come in the form of cashback on losses, or maybe an odds boost for a specific bet. But regardless of what your chosen NCAAB betting site offers, we recommend you take advantage.
Always check for which promos are active before placing your basketball bets. There is a good chance a live promo will overlap with your bet. You need to stay on top of checking promos because, while your bet may qualify, you often need to opt into the promo to get the extra value.
NCAAB Betting Site Security
We need to discuss website security as part of any proper analysis of NCAA basketball betting sites. You must play on a site that puts player safety above all else. We looked for sites using a variety of advanced technologies to keep player data secure. Our team of security experts has vetted all the sites on the list, and each one has been verified secure. We can assure you that playing on any of these recommended sites will provide you with the safest possible online betting experience.
Competitive College Basketball Betting Lines and Odds
One of the most critical factors in choosing an NCAA basketball betting website is making sure they offer competitive odds. Betting odds are how a sportsbook conveys the payout that corresponds with a specific bet. We’ll get into the details more later, but for now, just know that you want the best NCAAB betting odds possible, so you can maximize your wins when you pick correctly.
Each bookmaker creates their bets and their odds, so you will often find a wide range of odds on the same bet across different websites.
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NCAAB Betting Platforms
It is also essential that any NCAA basketball betting website we recommend provides players with a range of betting options. Nowadays, players want to be able to gamble when and where they choose. This means having access to their account from anywhere. The sites on our list offer a range of betting platforms that include PC, tablet, and mobile. We think the player must be in control so they can take advantage of every opportunity, regardless of whether or not they can get to a computer.
While having multiple platforms is great, it is also important that those platforms work seamlessly and are easy to use. Each of the recommended sites invests heavily in the player experience by continually developing and tweaking their user interface to make it as straightforward, clear, and easy to use as possible. Also, these sites are aesthetically pleasing, so not only will you find them simple to use, but you’ll enjoy spending time on them.
Last but not least, customer service is the backbone of any good NCAAB betting site. We chose sites with 24/7 support with multiple contact options, including email, phone, and chat. With tons of satisfied customers and a track record of putting players first, you can relax when playing on any of these sites. If you should have an issue, they will have you back, and they will get you a quick resolution.
Understanding NCAA Basketball Odds and Lines
The first thing we need to learn when getting into NCAA basketball betting is how to read odds and lines. You may have seen these before in your local sportsbook, and they looked intimidating. Don’t worry. We’ll help to simplify them. These tables will tell us everything we need to know about any bet we are thinking about placing. We’ll learn how to college basketball odds and lines read them using an example, but first, let discuss what they are.
NCAAB Odds, as we mentioned earlier, are how you tell what a bet will pay if you win. These will be represented by a positive or negative number greater than 100 or less than -100. This number represents the payout that correlates with a $100 bet, and the plus or minus sign tells us which team is the favorite. The team with a negative number is the favorite, and the team with a plus sign is the underdog.
Next is the “spread” or the “line.” This refers to the number of points a team is expected to win or lose by. Similar to the odds, the negative number represents the favorite and the positive number, the underdog. These are often presented in increments of half points to prevent a tie. Let’s say a team is showing -5.5. This would mean they are expected to win by 5.5 points. If they were showing +5.5, they would be expected to lose by 5.5 points. We’ll get into more detail in a bit.
Most Popular NCAA Basketball Bets
It used to be that sports betting was as simple as picking which team will win the game, but over the years, betting has become significantly more complicated. Here are a few of the betting types you can expect to come across as you get deeper into the world of NCAAB betting. While each wager may be worth trying out, we suggest finding one or two that work for you and sticking to those. You will be better off honing your skills in a specific area rather than trying to be a jack of all trades. Most pros only use one or two types, and many of them make a killing.
NCAAB Spread Bets
When it comes to NCAAB betting, the first type of wager you may come across when college basketball handicapping is spread betting, or “betting the spread.” As we just learned, the spread shows how much a team is expected to win or lose by. The goal of a spread bet it to beat expectations, not to win or lose the game. The idea of using a spread is to level the playing field between two unequal teams. To account for this, the bookmaker creates this spread to make betting on each team more evenly matched. If there were no spread, everyone would always bet on the favorite. Let’s take a look at an example.
Here, we can see California is projected at -14.5, while Prairie View is projected at +14.5. Right off the bat, we know that California is expected to win because their number is negative. We could read this as saying, “California is expected to beat Prairie View by 14.5 points.” Under the spread, we see that both teams are showing -117 odds, so we would win the same regardless of which team we bet on.
To win a spread bet, we need to beat the expectations set by the spread. In our example, the expectation for California is to win by 14.5 points. Therefore, if California wins by 15 points, we win our bet. If California wins by 14 points, we lose our bet. This example illustrates the key differentiator for a spread bet: Your team can win the game, and you can still lose your bet.
Conversely, the expectation for Prairie View is to lose by 14.5 points. If they lose by 15 points, you lose your bet. However, if they lose by only 14 points, you win your bet. Here, your team may lose the game, and you still win your bet since they beat the spread.
Let’s say there is an overwhelming number of bets for California, and the bet is no longer balanced. The bookmaker might move the line to -15.5 for Cal and +15.5 for Prairie View. In doing so, California now needs to perform even better for the bet to win, while Prairie View can now do even worse and still win. This encourages people to bet on Prairie View while discouraging further bets on Cal.
NCAA Basketball Moneyline Bets
The next type of bet you might see in NCAAB betting is a moneyline wager. These are more straightforward than spreads, but they work similarly. With spread bets, the bookmaker adjusts the expected performance of each team to equalize the bet. With a moneyline bet, the bookmaker adjusted the payouts, and the only thing that matters is if your team wins the game.
Here is an example of how bookmakers present college basketball moneylines. You can see that each team is assigned odds, just like we discussed earlier. In this example, California is -2500, while Prairie View is +800, meaning Cal is a significant favorite to win the game.
Remember that, unlike a spread bet, your team needs to win the game for you to win the bets. This is why the gap between the two teams’ odds is so large. The payout corresponds with the likeliness of the outcome, so you can win much more by betting on NCAA basketball games if you take the underdog. To illustrate this, let’s look at a winning bet on each team given these odds.
Let’s start by saying we bet $100 on Cal, and they win. They are offered at -2500 as a heavy favorite. This means that a $100 bet will win only $4. Add that to your original bet, and your total payout is $104. If that seems like a dismal payout on a $100 bet, that’s because the chances of you winning that $4 are incredibly high, and there is significantly less risk.
Now, let’s look at the other side of the NCAAB bet. Say we wager $100 on Prairie View, and they win. Here, they are offered at +800 as a major underdog. As far as the bookmaker is concerned, they have very little chance of winning the game. Let’s say they defy the odds and win. In this case, we’d win $800 plus our original bet for a total payout of $900. As you can see, there’s significantly more profitable. This variance is due to the varied risk. The risk of betting on Prairie View is much, much higher than betting on Cal, but you get handsomely rewarded if you hit.
NCAAB Over/Under Bets
Maybe you would rather just bet on the whole game rather than on a specific team. In that case, perhaps over/under bets are for you. These are bets on the total points scored in the entire game rather than a bet on either team. Using our previous example, here is how it works.
In the middle row, there are two numbers designated with an “O” and a “U.” These numbers refer to the threshold of points at which an over bet wins against an under bet. While these do line up with different teams visually, that does not impact the bet. Just because the “O” is on the Prairie View line, that does not mean the over bet only applies to that team. You are merely betting how many total points will be scored.
You win an over/under bet by correctly picking where the point total for the game will end. This means points scored by both teams, not just one.Here, we can see that the over/under is 143.5. If we place an over bet, a point total of 144 will win. Conversely, if the point total were 143, we would lose an over but would have won an under bet. These NCAAB bets can be useful in situations where you have reason to suspect abnormally offensive or defensive games.
NCAA Basketball Prop Bets
Next up in the world of real money NCAAB betting is prop bets. This type can offer some of the most exciting wagers and can add a whole new level of fun to watching any game. Prop bets are more like the off-hand bets you’d make with your buddies’ mid-game. You can place bets on all kinds of small outcomes like who will win the tip, who will foul out first, or how many threes a particular player will hit. These types of bets can make every single aspect of the game thrilling, and they can also win you tons of cash if done correctly. Many bettors like to use these in tandem with other bets to build parlays.
The prop bets you take can have a significant impact on your success as some require much more skill than others. If you are just looking to try new bets and have fun, go nuts, but if you are serious about winning, take prop bets that require more skill. Look for bets on things that can be more predictable and have more data available. If you can spot patterns no one else can, you can turn NCAAB prop bets into serious cash.
NCAAB Bracket Bets
Last, but certainly not least, is college basketball bracket bets. These are likely one of the most popular NCAAB betting options and is by far the most popular in all of college athletics. Centering around the March Madness tournament, bracket bets are a unique way of picking winners that operates somewhat like a massive parlay.
When we talk about an NCAA basketball bracket, we are referring to the massive 68-team tournament held annually to award the NCAA college basketball national championship. The event takes place over multiple weeks and involves dozens of fast-paced games happening at the same time. The structure of this tournament is called a bracket, which looks like this.
To start NCAAB betting, you begin with a bracket that shows all the teams that the tournament includes, along with their first matchup. Your job is to pick the winner of each game down to the championship. While this may sound easy, the probability of picking a perfect bracket are 1 in 9.2 quintillion. To put that into perspective, you are 32 million times more likely to win the Power Ball jackpot than you are to pick a perfect bracket.
As the tournament progresses, bettors get points for each correct guess, and their point total is compared with their fellow players. The biggest key to success in NCAAB betting with brackets is making high-quality picks in the first round, so you have as many teams as possible moving forward. Poor first-round picks can leave your bracket busted, meaning the teams you picked to go deep are already knocked out of the tournament. Betting on college basketball online with bracket bets is a ton of fun and can be a great way to get new players interested in the sport.
Summary on NCAAB Betting Online
There are tons of exciting ways to bet on college basketball. If you are looking for exhilarating real money sports betting, NCAA basketball is the sport for you. With extremely competitive matchups all season long and the most exciting postseason in all of college athletics, betting on college basketball can provide the perfect opportunities for new players as well as pros to get in on the action.
Hopefully, this page titled “College Basketball Betting Explained” has explained NCAA betting, and you feel confident in placing your first real money bets. Check back on The Sports Geek for more guides and info to help with NCAAB betting strategy as you continue to develop as a player. Always bet responsibly, and never bet more than you can afford to lose. Have fun and good luck!
NCAA Basketball Betting FAQ
Can I Legally Bet on NCAA Basketball?Yes, you can legally place NCAA basketball bets on a wide range of reputable sports betting sites like the ones listed above. Also, sports betting is legal in a variety of US states.
Where Can I Bet on NCAA College Basketball Online?A wide range of websites offer odds on NCAA basketball games. Refer to our list of recommendations at the top of the page for where to bet on NCAA basketball games online.
Where Is the Best Place to Bet on NCAA Basketball Online?Our recommendations offer better odds, more bets, and better security than many other NCAAB betting sites. Playing on any of these sites will provide you with an excellent experience.
What Is the Best Type of Bet to Place in NCAA Basketball?With the full range of bets available, the best option for you will depend on your goals and your level of knowledge. If you are just looking to have fun, maybe try out a few prop bets or over/under bets. If you are a die-hard fan, taking moneyline or spread bets on your favorite team might be a better fit.
Is There a Strategy to Winning When Betting on College Basketball?Just as with any sports betting, you should always have a proper NCAAB betting strategy. If you are still learning how to bet on NCAA basketball or any sport, we have lots of resources for building a winning strategy.
Can I Place a Parlay as I Can in Other Sports?Yes, you can place parlays across multiple bets to add more spice when wagering on NCAA basketball games online.