NCAA College Basketball Betting

NCAA College basketball is one of the most popular sports in the United States. Beginning in mid-November, the season builds to a climax in the middle of March as the NCAA Tournament, the playoff format for college basketball, crowns a National Champion.

There are some very specific NCAA Tournament trends or trends for the so-called “March Madness” tournament. For example, each year, it is second only to the Super Bowl in terms of betting handle. Of course, there is a whole season of rivalries and fierce competition before we get to the Big Dance and many opportunities to place profitable basketball bets and test various basketball betting systems.

Some basketball purists prefer the college game compared to the faster paced, higher scoring contests of the NBA basketball. Most basketball fans like both, but the NCAA Tournament captivates even those who typically only watch the professionals. NCAA basketball betting sites tend to offer dozens of match-ups each week during the season so you can polish your basketball betting acumen and hopefully have a larger bankroll built up when March Madness comes around.

Best College Basketball Betting Sites 2018

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College Basketball Season & 2019 Final Four

NCAA Final FourThere are over 350 Division I teams in the United States and every single one of them is vying for a spot in the 64-team single elimination NCAA Tournament. Lots of elite teams will get at-large bids to the Big Dance, but for many teams, winning their conference tournament is the only way to get into the NCAA Tournament.

A committee picks the tournament while each conference winner across the country gets an at-large bid. The selection committee weighs the team’s 30-game regular and conference tournament performance while also accounting for strength of schedule. Those that don’t make the NCAA Tournament hope to get into the National Invitation Tournament (NIT). In just two days, the field whittles down from 64 to 32. From there, we have the Sweet 16, Elite 8 and the Final Four.

NCAA Basketball Betting Strategies Articles

Writing college basketball betting strategy is tougher than other sports. However, the same principles apply, (line shopping and value is paramount) but becoming a profitable college basketball better is more about knowledge. Like college football, teams and players often change drastically year-to-year. A keen understanding of the game, notably smaller conference play, is the best way to gain an edge over the NCAA basketball betting sites.

College Basketball Betting Rules

  1. Top 25 Bias – Just because a team is ranked in the Top 25 in the A.P. Poll doesn’t mean they should be prioritized to bet against an unranked team. This is already priced into the odds, and the sportsbooks know more than the writers, regardless.
  2. Focus on Specific Conferences – It’s too hard to follow every conference and every team. Follow a few and bet those more than others. Looking to bet too many games each night in CBB will have your bankroll stretched thin, anyway.
  3. Focus on Totals – Totals have lower limits for a reason and are more vulnerable to sharp college basketball bettors compared to their professional counterparts.
  4. Tread Lightly Early On – Rosters change a lot in college year-to-year and getting a feel for how teams play early into the season is a good strategy. Once you can build a sample size, then you can begin to up your bets.
  5. March Madness – The limits during the NCAA Tournament Betting season rise and it’s always an excellent money-making time for profitable bettors. Take advantage of the expanded betting markets and increased options to get money down.

College Basketball Betting Odds

Each night college basketball will likely have the most betting options during the regular season. Compared to the NBA, where there might only be 9-10 games, even on a big night – there can be over 150 games in college basketball in a given evening. One of the most significant differences from NBA betting is that the wagering limits are much smaller. College basketball betting is a favorite of sharp bettors, due to the sheer number of games.

One can focus on several conferences and may end up knowing these teams better than the oddsmakers. Wagering limits for the NCAA Betting market will jump up during March Madness, but for the most part, expect them to be quite low compared to other major sports, such as NFL or even the NBA. They’re probably about one-third the amount of NBA betting limits at most sportsbooks. CBB totals will have particularly low limits.

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College Basketball Bet Types

College basketball betting isn’t much different from NBA wagering. Sides and totals are the most popular wagers, but moneylines, along with live betting is available, as well. Player and team props won’t number as many as NBA contests, but these markets have increased in recent years. During March Madness, the number of betting sites and options is almost overwhelming, almost!

NCAA Basketball Point Spreads

ncaa basketball point spreads

Point spread betting on college sports is no different than the traditional point spread wagering. The same rules that apply for NBA apply here as well. There’s going to be some higher point spreads compared to the NBA. While NBA teams are more competitively matched, some college matchups are extremely lopsided. It’s like college football, where bettors can see spreads as high as 20-30 points.

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College Basketball Moneylines

ncaa moneylines
Moneyline wagering is betting on the outright winner and not the point spread. There won’t be college basketball moneyline odds for every game, but usually on more popular contests such as televised games or games involving ranked teams.

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NCAA Basketball Totals

Totals NCAA betting

The total is the amount scored by both teams in the game. It also includes overtime. Players can bet the under or over on the bookmaker’s odds. Spreads can be rather high due to the gap in talent between the teams, but this is not the case when it comes to totals. As a whole, the talent is still considerably worse than the NBA. This is the opposite of college football, where the lack of talent and rules of the game make totals much higher than those in the NFL.

College totals will usually range in the 130 to 150 range but can go as high as 180 when the bookmakers think a game will be especially high scoring. They can also go as low as 110. There is rarely a total in the NBA that is lower than 170.

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College Basketball Parlays

parlays nba

Parlay betting is available at NCAA basketball betting sites, and the bet has the same rules that it would for any other sport. Bettors must win each bet or leg of their parlay for the bet to cash. If they push one of their bets, the wager will go to a smaller number of teams. College basketball parlays on totals and point spreads are fixed odds parlays, just like the NBA.

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College Basketball Teasers

Teasars Betting NCAA

College basketball teasers work the same way they do in other sports. Players will add points to their side of the total or point spread but have to win all of the legs of the bet to cash. Just like parlays, in the event of a push, most sites will drop the teaser to a lesser number of teams.

Basketball teasers usually range from 4 to 6 points, but many sites offer basketball teasers up to 12 points. The number of teams that players must bet is a minimum of two teams, but a maximum of up to 15 teams on some sites.

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NCAA Basketball Futures

NBA Futures betting
NCAA basketball future markets for college basketball bets haven’t gotten as far as conference winners or even conference tournament winners at most betting sites, but there is also future wagering each year on which team will win the NCAA Tournament. Players will be able to bet on the winner of the tournament six months or more in advance.

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Basketball Propositions

NBA Propositions

Like most expanded markets for college basketball, there are plenty more options around tournament time. Nightly college basketball props are rather rare at most US-facing sportsbooks, but some sites may offer nightly props on televised games or high-profile matchups. Of course, when it comes to March, there’s plenty of action. There are many player and team props surrounding much of the Road to the Final Four. These may focus on a player’s points plus rebounds or pit different players against each other. There are also team props. The possibilities are endless and up to the oddsmakers of each book.

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College Basketball Live Betting

NBA Live Betting

Every sport is available for live betting these days, and college basketball is no exception. Of course, as with just about everything else associated with college basketball, live betting peaks in March during the NCAA Tournament. However, depending on your preferred NCAA basketball betting sites, you should have access to live betting options throughout the season.

College basketball live betting sites usually include a live spread and total, along with team and player props that update live. Live betting for basketball doesn’t have quite as many markets as other sports such as football, but offers a unique way to wager on the game compared to traditional pre-game and halftime wagers.

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College Basketball Tournaments Worth Betting On

The NCAA Tournament is the pinnacle of college basketball and brings in the most betting aside from the Super Bowl. However, there are a few other college basketball tournaments apart from the NCAA Tournament that should peak your interest if you’re betting on college basketball.

Conference Tournaments

At the end of the college basketball season, each conference across the country has a conference tournament. Conference tournaments are vital to smaller conference teams looking for automatic bids into the NCAA Tournament. In many smaller conferences, it is the only hope for some schools to reach the Big Dance, since they have almost no shot at an automatic bid. All the Division I schools have conference tournaments to end their seasons, but the most prominent leagues known for basketball will receive the most press.

This includes the Atlantic Coastal Conference (ACC), Big 12, SEC, and Big Ten. It’s worth noting how teams play in their conference tournaments, but that’s not a reason to target them in the tournament. Of course, recent form has an impact, but a team’s body of work throughout the season and their level of competition is the best way to evaluate each matchup against the oddsmaker’s line.

National Invitational Tournament (NIT)

National Invitational Tournament (NIT) Logo White BackgroundThe NIT is sometimes dubbed as the “Not Important Tournament” by many, who recognize the lack of interest in the NIT compared to the NCAA Tournament is another Division I college basketball tournament that is played concurrently with the NCAA Tournament. The first NIT tournament was in 1938. It follows the single-elimination format as the NCAA Tournament but has just 32 teams instead of 68.

CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament (CIT)

CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament (CIT) Logo White BackgroundThe CIT is another men’s college basketball tournament that goes on in March, during the same time as the NCAA Tournament and NIT. It’s a tier below those two tournaments but is still Division I basketball. Depending on the year, it has between 26-32 teams. Once again, it follows the same format of the NIT and NCAA Tournament, single-elimination, until one team remains, which tends to be a standard format.

Betting on the NIT and CIT

Sportsbooks will have betting markets for both the NIT and CIT contests, but not nearly as many as are available for the NCAA Tournament. However, it does not mean that bettors should write off these games. Betting limits are smaller for NIT, and CIT matchups and the oddsmakers focus less on these games compared to the NCAA Tournament. We rarely state that bettors may be smarter than the sportsbooks, but in cases where you have dedicated time to smaller conferences and studying these teams.

This may be a case where you may have an advantage of the oddsmakers, especially with them focused on the broader betting markets of the NCAA Tournament and NBA season, etc. However, it’s worth noting that wagering limits will be much lower for NIT and CIT games compared to the NCAA Tournament. This probably won’t matter if you’re a small stakes bettor, but if you’re looking to get the maximum down possible, the amount is going to be considerably less than the NCAA Tournament.

All Active College Basketball Tournaments

# Logo Tournament Name Month (Week)
1 ACC Men's Basketball Tournament Logo White Background ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament Mar (W1 – 2)
2 America East Conference Men's Basketball Tournament Logo White Background America East Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament Mar (W1 – 2)
3 American Athletic Conference Men's Basketball Tournament Logo White Background American Athletic Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament Mar (W2)
4 Atlantic 10 Men's Basketball Tournament Logo White Background Atlantic 10 Men’s Basketball Tournament Mar (W1 – 2)
5 Atlantic Sun Men's Basketball Tournament Logo White Background Atlantic Sun Men’s Basketball Tournament Feb (W4) | Mar (W1)
6 Big 12 Men's Basketball Tournament Logo White Background Big 12 Men’s Basketball Tournament Feb (W4) | Mar (W1)
7 Big Sky Conference Men's Basketball Tournament Logo White Background Big Sky Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament Mar (W1)
8 Big South Conference Men's Basketball Tournament Logo White Background Big South Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament Feb (W4) | Mar (W1)
9 Big Ten Conference Men's Basketball Tournament Logo White Background Big Ten Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament Feb (W4) | Mar (W1)
10 Colonial Athletic Association Men's Basketball Tournament (CAA) Logo White Background Colonial Athletic Association Men’s Basketball Tournament (CAA) Feb (W4) | Mar (W1)
11 Conference USA Men's Basketball Tournament (CUSA) Logo White Background Conference USA Men’s Basketball Tournament (CUSA) Mar (W1)
12 Horizon League Men's Basketball Tournament Logo White Background Horizon League Men’s Basketball Tournament Mar (W1)
13 Ivy League Men's Basketball Tournament Logo White Background Ivy League Men’s Basketball Tournament Mar (W1)
14 MEAC Men's Basketball Tournament Logo White Background MEAC Men’s Basketball Tournament Mar (W1)
15 Missouri Valley Conference Men's Basketball Tournament Logo White Background Missouri Valley Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament Mar (W1)
16 Mountain West Conference Men's Basketball Tournament Logo White Background Mountain West Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament Mar (W2)
17 Northeast Conference Men's Basketball Tournament Logo White Background Northeast Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament Feb (W4) | Mar (W1)
18 Ohio Valley Conference Men's Basketball Tournament Logo White Background Ohio Valley Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament Feb (W4) | Mar (W1)
19 Patriot League Men's Basketball Tournament Logo White Background Patriot League Men’s Basketball Tournament Feb (W4) | Mar (W1-2)
20 SEC Men's Basketball Tournament Logo White Background SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament Mar (W2)
21 Summit League Men's Basketball Tournament Logo White Background Summit League Men’s Basketball Tournament Mar (W2)
22 West Coast Conference Men's Basketball Tournament Logo White Background West Coast Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament Mar (W1)