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 1 College Basketball teams, and odds are offered on most of their games. As a result, you can bet on spreads, money lines, totals.
With large daily slates of games, there are many different bets to choose among. Most importantly, sportsbooks set different odds for games. As a result, bettors can have an edge in shopping for the best odds with our NCAAB Odds Comparison Tool.
Bettors can see how lines have evolved over time, find arbitrage opportunities (betting on both sides), get expert picks, and most importantly can 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 look like Greek, but the truth is that they are easy to understand with practice.
Here is an example of how the odds appeared in the 2021 National Championship game between Gonzaga and Baylor.
(Odds courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook)
- Point Spread: Baylor +4.5 (-105), Gonzaga -4.5 (-105)
- Money Line: Baylor +185, Gonzaga -190
- Point Total: 159 Points (Over -110, Under -110)
To the naked untrained sports betting eye, these numbers look confusing. Fortunately, reading them is easy.
For the payouts, odds are typically set in American Odds. if are 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 get $100.
Even though plus and minus odds are focus on $100 as a bet or payout, 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, you if you bet $190 on Gonzaga’s money line and they win, you would net $100. Similarly, if you had bet $100 on Baylor’s +185 money line you would have made $185 as Baylor won that game.
Whoever invented American Odds was not a marketing genius, but once you know that it’s centered around increments of $100, reading them is as easy as reading Dr. Seuss.
Other than reading odds, it’s important to understand why sportsbooks offer different odds on the same game. Some sportsbooks make their own odds, and adjust odds based on the action of respected bettors. Other sportsbooks copy other sportsbooks and then adjust odds based on moves by another sportsbook.
For example, the book that makes their own lines will move their line half a point if a well-respected sharp betting $500 takes a particular side. On the flipside, a $5000 bet from a rich person who is not a winning bettor won’t move the line.
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 on point spreads, point totals, and money lines. Don’t know what these bets are? Below I will explain how each of these bets work.
What to Look for in NCAAB Moneyline Odds
Like American Odds, the person who invented money lines look something simple and made it confusing. A money line is a bet on which team will win the game.
Money lines are set based on American odds with the favorite being symbolized by minus money (-) and the underdog being preceded by a plus symbol (+). For a favorite, to make $100, you need to bet their money line 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 money line and get $1000 in profits if the underdog wins.
The appeal of a money line bet is that you are betting on a team win rather than to cover an arbitrary spread. Teams are trying to win, they don’t care about the about, and they pretend to not know what the spread is. The downside to money line bets is that payouts are small on favorites, but the upside is that they are high on underdogs.
The key as a bettor is find the money lines that have the best value.
What to Look for in NCAAB Spread Lines
Easily the most popular NCAAB bet is on point spreads. A spread bet is a bet on the team to either win by a specific number of points or lose by less than a specific number of points or to win. 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 profit. Similarly for the underdog at +4.5, they must either win outright or lose by fewer than 4.5 points for your bet to profit. 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 and that is how the sportsbooks make money. If they charged +100 odds on both sides, they would be out of business.
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 and Mississippi Valley State is not as equipped to handle a team of Duke’s caliber.
As a result, 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 as there are only 40 minutes in a college basketball game, so you take the Mississippi Valley State +45.5 spread 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, because it makes a lopsided games interesting. Not every game can be between North Carolina and Duke.
What to Look for in NCAAB Totals
Point totals have much in common with point spreads. With spreads you are betting on the margin of victory, and with point totals you are betting 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 is set at 123.5 points signifying that the game is likely to be low scoring. You believe that one of the teams will push the tempo faster than expected and/or make more of their shots so you take the over.
The final score of the game is 70-62 for a combined total of 132 points, and your $110 bet returns $100 in profit.
What Other NCAAB Bets are Available?
Even though spreads, money lines, and totals are the most popular NCAAB bets, there are other popular bet types. Many books offer 1st and 2nd half lines where you can bet on the money line, 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 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 or making your own predictions on the result 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.
There are many oceans for line shopping fish to swim in. Some books make their own lines and manage their own trading. Other books use line providers like Kambi or SBtech to set the betting lines and manage trading. That is why there are many different betting options available.
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, but by the end of the week you can find every classroom.
Here how you can do the NCAAB Odds Comparison Tool “three step” to dance your way to being a better bettor.
- Step 1: Pick your bet type: On our odds page, it is easy to pick between spread, total, and money line bets to find the best prices
- Step 2: 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.
- Step 3: 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 if the best line, it is easy to do. To paraphrase a famous commercial, you can save 10% or more in 15 minutes or less by signing up for multiple sportsbooks accounts.
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.
That is how you do the odds comparison three-step dance, pick your bet type, find your game, and make your bet.
The average sports bettor will lose on average $4.55 for every $100 bet on NCAAB bets. What is encouraging is that average bettor will lose only $2 or less if they use our odds comparison tool to lower the house edge to only 2% (a conservative estimate).
If you can reduce the house edge from 4.55% to only 2%, it increases your chances of being a profitable bettor. On average a bettor betting $100 on every Round of 64 spread should lose $145.60 if they use only one sportsbook. That same bettor will lose only $64 if they use our odds comparison tool.
For a breakeven bettor, the odds comparison tool can be the difference between winning and losing.
How to Sign Up to an Online Sportsbook
The easiest part of sports betting is signing up for a sportsbook. Why? Because the sportsbooks want your business.
In fact, they want your business so badly that they are willing to give you money in the form of bonuses to get you to sign up.
Signing up takes about ten minutes to do, and here is your step-by-step guide:
- Step 1: 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.
- Step 2: 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, birthdate, etc.
- Step 3: 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.
- Step 4: 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 are deposit bonuses where 100% of your deposit up to $250 or even $750 is matched. With these offers you can deposit $250 and have $500 to bet with. With these offers, it is a one-shot deal, so you should maximize your deposit bonus.
One thing to note for deposit match offers is that they come with rollover requirements where you must bet a certain multiple of the bonus amount. For offshore books, the rollover amount is typically between 10 and 25 times the original deposit. For legal regulated books, the rollover amount is usually only one to three times the initial deposit.While deposit bonuses are my favorite type of welcome offer, the most common offer is for a risk-free bet. For a risk-free bet, if your first bet loses you are awarded a free bet or site credit that can be up to $5000 depending on the site. Free bet credits are not the same as cash as you are only awarded winnings and not your initial stake on winning bets. Site credit is just like cash as you get your stake back in addition to your winnings on winning bets.