NCAAB Betting Explained

NCAAB betting is a great place to start since there’s so much action. Whether you want the thrill of March Madness or prefer to target the regular season, college basketball is filled with options. There are multiple bet types to choose from, such as moneylines, point spreads, totals, parlays, props, and futures.

The moneyline is the odds assigned to both teams. Each number is based on implied probability. The favorite has minus odds (-), so you risk more than your payout, while the underdog has plus odds (+), where the winnings exceed the stake. When you bet on the moneyline, you just need your team to win.

Point spreads are the projected winning margin. The favorite is minus the points, so they need to win by more than the spread for you to hit your wager. The underdog is plus the spread, meaning they can either win outright or lose by less than the projected margin.

Totals are the projected points, where you bet Over or Under the number. They can be game totals, which involve the combined final score. You’ll also find team totals, where you bet on only one side. This bet can be used on halves as well, and it usually comes in at (-110) odds.

Parlays involve combinations of two or more wagers, regardless of bet type. You need to hit each leg for your bet to win. The payout depends on the number of selections as well as the combined moneyline of your picks. There are also same game parlays, which focus on a specific matchup.

Props are team- or player-based outcomes, including bet types like first basket, player points, team rebounds, and much more. You can either bet Over or Under the projected total on the prop or select the moneyline. For example, I can take Over 15.5 points for Zach Edey or choose Kyle Filipowski to make the first basket.

Futures are props that settle at the end of the season. They focus on player or team results, such as season win totals and more. An example of a futures bet would be to take Duke to win the National Championship at (+1100) odds.

College Basketball Betting Tips

Here are some betting tips to guide you with each of these bet types:


Most favorites will come with inflated prices, making them risky to use in a straight bet. Instead, you should focus on underdogs when you can find value.

For example, you may choose to take Michigan State (+160) instead of +4 on the point spread because of the higher potential payout.

Upsets happen pretty frequently in college basketball, so make this a part of your process.

Point Spread

This should be your main bet type with NCAAB, and this is where you can take the favorites. Don’t be afraid to lay large numbers in projected lopsided matchups, because often you’ll see the better team cover with ease.

Check to see each team’s records against the spread before you bet. You want to have a sense of which teams are overvalued or undervalued by the market.


I would suggest sticking to full game totals because it could be harder to project which half will be lower scoring. Take a look at each team’s record to see if they’ve gone Over or Under the number more frequently.

The pace of play is another significant factor with Over/Under bets. Uptempo teams are better for the Over, while slower teams go well with the Under. However, remember that the line will reflect this, so what you’ll need to do is project which play style will win out.

For example, imagine a game with a slow versus fast team. The fast team is favored by seven points, which means that they’re projected to win by a decent margin. In this case, it’s more likely that the slower team is forced to play at a faster rate, so go with the Over.

It’s also important to think about whether the market is overvaluing a certain game, laying a number that’s too high or low, even though both teams play at a fast or slow pace.


Parlays can be enticing because of the potential high payouts, but you need to make sure to target them appropriately. If you don’t, they can be a real drain on your bankroll over the long run.

The first thing you should do is pick a safe parlay of two or three favorites on the moneyline. While the payout isn’t as good, you can use this as insurance to cover the losses you may take from your longshot picks.

Next, you can sprinkle fewer units on a parlay that offers a high payout. Don’t go too crazy with the number of selections — try to keep it between three or five at most.

You can also go with same game parlays, where you combine player props with other bet types. Create a narrative of a potential game script and pick accordingly.

For example, if I think that Michigan will blow out Ohio State, I may bet on a few Unders on Buckeyes’ player props along with the Wolverines against the spread.

The bottom line is to minimize your risk by playing parlays as complementary pieces to your straight bets — not as the main course.


Player props are easier to project, so this may be where you want to start your NCAAB betting career. You can research volume stats like field-goal attempts to help you take a points prop.

For example, if one player has attempted 15+ shots per game but their prop is at 15.5 points, that may be a good time to take the Over.

This is a good market to target because it’s newer to the college basketball scene. Player props were once limited to the NFL, but they have spread like wildfire across the sporting world.

You may find softer lines in college basketball, especially with players from smaller schools. Since there’s less action taken on these teams, the projected props may not be as accurate as they could be. This is where you pounce.

Additionally, you should back players on teams with high implied totals, as they’re projected to score more points. Once you do this and get more familiar with the stats, you will be successful with this bet type.


Since you’ll be tying up your money for a longer time with this bet type, it’s better to choose underdogs that may be mispriced.

Try to find a team that you think can be a dark horse to reach the Final Four or even win the National Championship. This way, even though the bet settles later, you’ll have a higher payout if you hit.

You don’t want to be tying up a significant portion of your bankroll on a futures bet at (+120) odds. Try to look for the home run.

How We Make Our NCAAB Best Bets

  • Examine each team’s record against the spread and Over/Under.
  • Check out their pace of play.
  • Consider strength of schedule.
  • Analyze the matchup to determine any mismatches.
  • Focus on volume stats to help project player props.
  • Monitor the betting market to see any line movement.

NCAAB Betting Picks

When you see betting picks at The Game Day, you can be assured that they are up-to-date lines from the best sportsbooks in the industry.

If there are any changes in odds, we’ll have that updated immediately.

Our NCAAB odds page also scours sportsbooks to find the best lines for your wagers, making it a one-stop shop for all of your college basketball betting needs.

How to Place an NCAAB Bet

Here are the steps to place an NCAAB Bet:

  1. Check our Odds Comparison Tool.
  2. Determine your preferred wager.
  3. Click the icon on our tool to be taken to that sportsbook.
  4. Log in or register for an account.
  5. If needed, input our promo code for the best welcome bonus.
  6. Select the pick to add it to your bet slip.
  7. Type in your stake.
  8. You’re ready to roll.