College Basketball Betting Odds
You might have filled out a bracket in an office pool for a March Madness competition in the past, but did you know that with legal sports betting, you can bet on individual college basketball games at any time of the year?
There are 358 Division I college basketball teams, and odds are offered on most of their games. As a result, you can bet on spreads, moneylines, and totals for virtually any matchup.
With large daily slates of games, there are many different bets to choose from. Most importantly, sportsbooks set different odds for games. Bettors can have an edge in shopping for the best odds with our NCAAB odds comparison tool.
Bettors can see how lines have evolved, find arbitrage opportunities (betting on both sides), get expert picks, and — most importantly — get an extra point or two on the spread or total.
Below, I go over our NCAAB odds comparison tool in more detail.
NCAAB Odds Explained
College basketball odds are easy to understand with practice.
Here is an example of how the odds appeared at Caesars Sportsbook for the 2021 National Championship game between Gonzaga and Baylor.
- Point Spread: Baylor +4.5 (-105) / Gonzaga -4.5 (-105)
- Moneyline: Baylor (+185) / Gonzaga (-190)
- Point Total: Over 159 Points (-110) / Under 159 Points (-110)
To the untrained sports betting eye, these numbers look confusing. Fortunately, reading them is simple.
If odds are preceded by a minus symbol (-), it means that you must bet that dollar amount to make $100. Conversely, if odds are preceded by a plus symbol (+), that is how much money you get if you bet $100.
The minimum bet at sportsbooks is usually only $0.10, so you can bet whatever you want and get paid at the same rate.
As an example, if you bet $190 on Gonzaga’s moneyline and they win, you would net $100. Similarly, if you had bet $100 on Baylor’s (+185) moneyline, you would have made $185 in profit since Baylor won that game.
Other than reading odds, it’s important to understand why sportsbooks offer different odds on the same game. Some sportsbooks create their odds and adjust them based on the actions of respected bettors. Others copy lines and then adjust odds based on moves by another sportsbook.
The result of this NCAAB betting market chaos is that bettors can get the best price on their preferred side by shopping around on our NCAAB betting odds comparison tool. With so many games, it is hard for sportsbooks to keep their odds updated.
What to Look for in College Basketball Betting Odds
For college basketball betting, the three most popular bets are spreads, totals, and moneylines.
What to Look for in NCAAB Moneyline Odds
A moneyline is a bet on which team will win the game.
Moneylines are set based on American odds with the favorite being symbolized by a minus symbol (-) and the underdog being preceded by a plus symbol (+). For a favorite, to make $100, you need to bet their moneyline number. For an underdog, you get whatever their odds are as a payout in dollars if you bet $100.
With so many different NCAAB teams of varying abilities, it is no surprise that the payouts can be volatile on money lines. You can bet $150 on a (-150) favorite and get $100 or bet $100 on a (-1000) favorite and get only $10.
Conversely, you can bet $100 on a (+1000) underdog moneyline and get $1000 in profits if they win.
The appeal of a moneyline bet is that you are betting on a team win rather than to cover a spread. Teams are trying to win, and they pretend to not know what the spread is. The downside to moneyline bets is that payouts are small on favorites, but the upside is that they are high on underdogs.
The key as a bettor is to find the moneylines that have the best value.
What to Look for in NCAAB Spread Lines
Spreads are easily the most popular NCAAB bet. A spread bet is a wager on a team to either win by a specific number of points or lose by less than that same margin, or to win outright. Favorites are indicated by a minus symbol (-) and underdogs by a plus symbol (+).
If a team’s spread is at -4.5, they must win by more than 4.5 points for your bet to win. Similarly, for the underdog at +4.5, they must either win outright or lose by fewer than 4.5 points for your bet to win. In theory, a spread marks the median result of the game if it is played thousands of times.
Typically, each side of the spread is marked at (-110) odds.
Here is an example of why a CBB spread bet can be fun. Let’s say that Duke is hosting Mississippi Valley State. Duke is one of the best teams in the nation, while Mississippi Valley State is not equipped to handle a team of their caliber.
Duke might be favored by 45.5 points. Even though Mississippi Valley State is projected to lose big, you think that they won’t lose by 46 or more points since there are only 40 minutes in a college basketball game, so you take the Mississippi Valley State +45.5 at (-110) odds.
With a $110 bet on Mississippi Valley State to win $100, you turn on the tube to watch the game. Duke jumps to a large lead and puts in their bench players in the game. As time ticks off the clock, Duke wins the game 82-46 and your bet wins. Why? Because Mississippi Valley State lost by only 36 points and therefore covered the spread.
That is why I, and other bettors, like NCAAB spreads: Lopsided games become interesting. Not every game can be North Carolina vs Duke.
What to Look for in NCAAB Totals
Totals, also known as Over/Unders, have plenty in common with spreads. With spreads, you are betting on the margin of victory. With totals, you are wagering on the combined number of points scored between both teams.
Like spreads, totals have a binary number of choices. With a spread, you are picking between a favorite and an underdog. For a total, you are picking between the point total going Over or Under. Additionally, both the Under and the Over are usually priced at (-110) odds.
If you like a game to have less scoring than predicted, you take the Under. For games where more points should be scored than predicted, you want the Over.
As an example, a point total set at 123.5 points signifies that a game is likely to be low-scoring. If you believe that one of the teams will push the tempo more than expected and/or make more of their shots, you take the Over.
The final score of the game is 70-62 for a combined total of 132 points, and your bet wins.
What Other NCAAB Bets are Available?
Even though spreads, moneylines, and totals are the most popular NCAAB bets, there are other popular bet types. Many books offer first- and second-half lines where you can bet on the moneyline, spread, or total for just that half. These bets are good for intermediate or advanced bettors who have a hunch about the game.
A bettor could like Duke against Mississippi Valley State but would be unwilling to lay 45.5 points. For the first half, they may find Duke’s spread to be only 23.5 points, which they believe is a winnable bet as they will still have their best players out for most of the first half.
Another popular bet offered is on alternative lines and alternative totals being offered. If a team is a -4.5 point favorite and you want to bet on them to win by ten or more points, you can take their -9.5 spread and get a more lucrative price like (+175).
Finding the Best College Basketball Odds at US Online Sportsbooks
Line shopping is the meat and potatoes of NCAAB betting, while handicapping is only a tasty appetizer. The easiest and best way to increase your chances of winning in sports betting is not in having good opinions, but in getting the best odds.
That is where our NCAAB odds comparison tool comes into play.
UMass could be hosting Northeastern and be a 3.5-point underdog at most books. With our odds shopper tool, you might find UMass offered as a 4.5-point dog at one book. If you don’t have an account with the sportsbook that has UMass at 4.5 points, you simply click the UMass graphic and sign up for that sportsbook.
The game is then played, and UMass loses 70-66. Because you used our odds comparison tool, your bet won when it would have lost at most books.
That is why our NCAAB odds comparison tool is a game-changer. It can be the difference between being a winning bettor and a losing bettor.
Best Sportsbooks with College Basketball Odds
How to Use the College Basketball Odds Comparison Tool
Using the NCAAB odds comparison tool is like going to school. On the first day, it seems overwhelming. By the end of the week, you can find every classroom.
Here is how you can do the NCAAB odds comparison tool three-step to dance your way to being a better bettor.
- Pick your bet type: On our odds page, it is easy to pick between spread, total, and moneyline bets to find the best prices.
- Find your game: Games are in chronological order based on the time and date of the game. If you don’t know the time of your game, you can type the name of one of the teams in the search bar, and the game will come up.
- Make your bet: After you find the best price for your bet, you should log into your sportsbook account and make a bet.
If you want to set up an account with the sportsbook with the best line, it is easy to do. Simply click on the link of the best price and that will lead you to the sign-up page. Make sure to follow the sign-up instructions so you can maximize your sign-up bonus.
For a breakeven bettor, the odds comparison tool can be the difference between winning and losing.
How to Sign Up for an Online Sportsbook
The easiest part of sports betting is signing up for a sportsbook. Why? Because the sportsbooks want your business.
Here’s how to begin your betting journey.
- Click the link: When sifting through odds in the odds comparison tool, each image of the best odds is hyperlinked with a link to the app with the best odds. Simply click the image, and you will be directed to the sign-up page.
- Sign-up: By law, sportsbooks must confirm your identity before accepting wagers. All you must do for sportsbooks to confirm your identity is to answer a few questions about your address, birth date, etc.
- Deposit: To bet, you need to have money in your account. Luckily there are many deposit options available which include Credit/Debit, Paypal, Checking/ACH, and other options.
- Bet: Now that you have money in your account, bets can be placed.
Besides line shopping, the best way to make money betting on sports is to maximize the sign-up offer. There are multiple sportsbooks in a competitive sports betting marketplace. To stand out among competitors, they offer generous welcome offers to new customers.
My favorite of these offers is a deposit bonus, where 100% of your deposit is matched by the sportsbook. With these offers, you could theoretically deposit $250 and have $500 to bet with.
By taking advantage of multiple sign-up bonuses and our odds comparison tool, you can get a great start on sports betting and have more funds than you know what to do with.