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NCAA Basketball Betting

Some consider NCAA Basketball the most “realistic” type of game in all of sports. It has changed some over time, as some NCAA teams look more to their team as “NBA training camp” factories. Overtime, the best programs in the country emerge at or near the top.

Certainly NCAA Basketball provides great storylines and some fantastic underdogs. NCAA Basketball starts their games in early November and wraps up the first weekend in April. The month of March is one of the most exciting times in all of sports, as “March Madness” goes on. The first part of the month is the conference tournaments.

Conference tournaments give one team from their conference an automatic berth to the “big dance”. Some of the major conference tournaments are viewed all week on national television, while the small conferences provide some excellent finishes, due to the urgency to get the win. In a lot of conferences, you have to win the tournament to get into the NCAA tournament.

The NCAA tournament currently has 68 teams, with four play-in games. That then eliminates the tournament down to 64 teams, and a tournament is played with six rounds. The final two rounds are the “Final Four” and located in a new city every year. The NCAA tournament is one of the most highly viewed sporting events of the year.

Betting types for NCAA Basketball


  • Odds Betting – Odds betting is one of the most popular types of college basketball betting. Bookmakers will set the lines or odds for each game, and your job as a bettor is to decide which team will “cover the spread”. Spreads in college basketball can vary from even to -35 or even higher, in the case of a major lopsided game. If you are betting the favorite, you are wagering that they will win “against the points”. If you are betting the underdog, you are betting they will “use the points”.
  • Money line Betting – Money line betting is pretty dumby proof. Here you are betting which team will win the game, straight up. There are no point spreads involved with this type of betting. Bookmakers do decide what they will pay out for each. The teams that are favored higher than others will pay out much less than those that are underdogs. Money line betting would look like this: North Carolina (-250) vs. Clemson (+175).
  • Totals Betting – This is more commonly known as “over/under” betting. Here, bookmakers will place the total amount of points they feel will be scored in the game by both teams. Bettors can then decide if they feel the game will go “over” or “under” that, according to the final score. There are a ton of factors in totals betting, so be sure you do your research before you think a totals bet is a sure thing.
  • Parlay Bets – Parlay bets are great for those that like to bet several games at once. In this, you can put several games on one card, and win. The kicker for parlay bets – you must win ALL the games on the parlay card to win the bet. If one loses, your card loses. The more games you bet – the higher your earnings go up, but obviously the worse your chances get.
  • Prop Bets – Prop bets are individual wagers that are on a specific action in the event. An example of a prop bet in college basketball could be: How many rebounds will John Smith have against Duke? This has nothing to do with the actual final score of the game, but on the actions for the games. Prop bets most of the times are more prevalent during big games.
  • Future Bets – If you see a team at the start of the year that you think has a chance to win it all, and you find them with really good odds – this is where you take advantage of the future bet option. Future bets are those that are wagered well in advance, for something that will happen in the future. As the season goes along, and progress of a team is made, the odds will change, so the earlier you get a future bet, the better chance you may have of winning big time money.


Best NCAA Basketball games to bet on


  • Conference Games – There are numerous big conferences in college basketball. From January – March they play conference opponents, which are some of the biggest games of the season. These are fun to bet on, and a lot of times easier than non-conference games, due to the familiarity of the opponents.
  • Regular season tournament games – At the beginning of the year, the preseason NIT is played. There are also tournaments like the Maui Classic, and the Great Alaskan Shootout. These are fun to bet on, because they typically provide entertaining games.
  • NCAA tournament games – The Big Dance, or March Madness is a ton of fun to bet on. Millions of people around the world are wagering on the NCAA tournament. Odds for NCAA tournament games are always interesting to view, and some you can find wins at right away.
  • Rivalry Games – College Basketball has a ton of great rivalries. These are great to bet on. Some of the best rivalries in all of college basketball include: Duke/North Carolina, Kentucky/Louisville, Georgetown/Syracuse, Texas/Kansas.


Tips to betting on NCAA Basketball


  • Check the Injury Report – Wouldn’t you like to know if a key player is hurt and may not play in the game you are about to bet on? While college basketball does not always see a ton of injuries, there are guys that sit out with nagging injuries from time to time. Most of the major injuries you will hear about, due to the length of time in between games. Check the injury report, because there may be a reason the line is so low for a game.
  • Know the teams up and down – Before you spend some hard earned money on a basketball game, know and understand the teams that are about to play. If you are a college basketball junkie, start to notice the key elements of a team to bet on or bet against. This will help you become a successful college basketball bettor.
  • Know the coaches – Some coaches have a tough time winning the big games, while others always seem to thrive in the spotlight. Some coaches want to slow down games against rivals, despite not winning the game. When you are getting ready to bet; be sure you know who is coaching and their style of play.
  • Check the trends – Check out what each team has been doing? Is one of the teams on a major losing streak? Has one of the teams gotten red-hot and hardly can be stopped? Does one of the teams always cover the spread, regardless of the result. Check out the trends for both teams before finishing your bet.
  • Know who is at home/away – Home court advantage means a lot in college basketball. It’s always nice to play in front of 15,000 friends, instead of 15,000 enemies. The travel to and from the game is a big factor for those playing on the road, as they may appear to have “tired legs”. Be sure to know which team is at home, and who is away before making your final bet.
  • Use good bankroll management – Be smart when making a bet. Sure, you may love the Duke Blue Devils to beat Clemson by more than 20 points, but you just never know. Duke may not shoot the ball very well, and Clemson may be red-hot. As we all have learned – these is no sure thing in sports. In saying that, use good bankroll management. Set a limit, and set a minimum bet. Use a scale of possibly, good, great and wonderful. Good bets should be kept real low, great bets are a little higher, and wonderful are your big bets. If you keep it this way – you will not get too up or too down regarding a big win, or a bad beat.