NCAA College Basketball Betting

Written by: Joseph Falchetti, Editor-in-Chief, Pro Sports Bettor and Casino Expert
Last updated:
12 minute read
NCAAB College 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.

Each year, March Madness is second only to the Super Bowl in terms of betting handle.

Compared to the NBA, NCAAB will likely have the most betting options every night during the regular season, so don’t miss your chance of placing your wager – we got everything you need in this handful guide.

Best NCAA Basketball Betting Sites 2024

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College Basketball Betting Odds And Lines

Compared to the NBA, NCAAB will likely have the most betting options every night during the regular season.

There can be over 150 games in college basketball on a given evening, while the NBA might only have 9-10 games, even on a big night.

NCAA basketball betting online 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.

Betting on which team will win the NCAA Tournament and become the national champion is the most popular futures bet in college basketball. Check out the current ncaa basketball betting odds in the table below:

Michigan State+1800
Arizona State+2300
West Virginia+2300
Florida State+2500
Everyone Else+2800 or Higher
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How To Bet On NCAAB Matchups Online

If you want to know how to bet on college basketball, choosing the right NCAAB sportsbook is essential to increase your betting profits, and to make sure that you receive your earnings during the season.

If you are new to online betting, follow this quick step-by-step guide and you’ll be betting on your favorite NCAA Basketball games in no time.

  1. Pick A Trusted Sportsbook

    First, you need to find a reputable sports betting site. Some sites are scams that you should avoid altogether. At Safest Betting Sites, we have many reviews of trusted NCAA online betting sites.
  2. Maximize Signup Bonuses

    Many sites offer NCAA signup bonuses and it’s essential to take full advantage of them. You can quickly clear your bonuses by betting college basketball.
  3. Make A Deposit

    Once you have your NCAA sports betting site picked, you will need to make your deposit. You can make a deposit via cryptocurrencies, and also with your debit and credit cards, the most popular and convenient payment method.
  4. NCAA Basketball Line Shopping

    Once you have decided what you want to bet on, be sure to check around for the best price on lines. It’s ideal to use multiple sportsbooks to be sure you can compare different markets and odds.
  5. Placing Your NCAAB Bet

    Once you have decided on the amount and selection, it’s time to place your bet. Before you confirm a bet, be sure the amount and selection are correct.

    After that, click to finalize your wager. Now, you can set back and root for your wager to win.

Bet On NCAA Basketball At These Top Sites

Finding a reputable and safe online sportsbook to place your NCAAB wagers is key. If you are looking where to bet on college basketball this season, use the sites below to get the odds and lines for all games:

Rank NCAAB Betting Sites Deposit Bonus Highlights Get Started
1 Deposit Bonus 100% Up To $2,500 Highlights
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  • US Bettors Only
  • VIP Program
  • Low Rollover
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3 Deposit Bonus 125% Up To $1,250 Highlights
  • Competitive odds
  • Solid banking options
  • Crypto-friendly
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Don’t Miss Our Full List Of The Safest NCAA Basketball Betting Sites

Best College Basketball Bets To Place

College basketball wagering isn’t much different from NBA wagering. Sides and totals are the most popular wagers, but moneylines – along with live betting when available – are very popular as well.

However, deciding on which are the best bets for college basketball would highly depend on your knowledge as well as your goals.

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!

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 for NCAAB as well, however, 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 or more.

More on NCAAB point spread bets

College Basketball Moneylines

ncaa moneylines

Moneyline wagering is betting on the outright winner and not the point spread. There won’t be NCAAB moneyline odds for every game, but the vast majority of the board does have moneyline odds.

When betting moneylines, the margin of victory is not relevant – you only need to pick the team that wins the game.

Learn more about moneyline bets

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.

More about NCAAB over-under bets

NCAAB 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.

Read our NCAA parlays guide

NCAAB 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.

Know more about NCAA teaser bets

NCAA Basketball Futures

NBA Futures betting

NCAA basketball future markets for NCAA 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.

More about NCAA futures bets

Basketball Propositions

NBA Propositions

Like most expanded markets for college basketball, there are plenty more options around tournament time. Nightly NCAAB 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.

More about prop bets

College Basketball Live Betting

NBA Live Betting

Every sport is available for live betting these days, and NCAA 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.

NCAAB 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.

See our live betting guide

Best to Know Law Icon

Yes, you can place NCAA basketball bets on a good number of reputable sportsbooks, such as the ones we’ve listed above.

Sportsbetting, in general, is legal in the United States and not against Federal law, and the list keeps growing.

Top 6 NCAA Basketball Betting Tips

NCAAB Tips For Beginner Bettors

Writing about college basketball betting tips is tougher than writing about strategies in other sports.

Although the same principles apply (line shopping and value are paramount!), becoming a profitable college basketball better is more about knowledge.

Below are our top college basketball betting tips that will make you a profitable NCAA bettor during the regular season as well as when the NCAA Tournament rolls in.

  1. Manage Your Bankroll Properly

    Proper bankroll management is vital to success in sports betting. There are so many games happening during the season, especially early on in the tournament.

    Be selective and stick to a bankroll management strategy when betting on the college hoops. The worst possible situation is putting yourself out of action by being too aggressive if you’re a winning bettor.
  2. Use Multiple Betting Sites

    There is not a single sports bettor who is profitable if they’re just using a single gambling site.

    Utilizing multiple sportsbooks will allow you to price shop for the best line on all your bets, which massively increases your bottom line profits.

    It is an absolute must when it comes to betting sports in general or wagering on the NCAA basketball.

    The best way to do this is to pick a trusted college basketball sportsbook that is geared towards recreational bettors, another that is geared towards professional bettors, and another with reduced juice.
  3. Get a Welcome Bonus

    If you’re new to sports betting and haven’t made accounts at online betting sites, there are a whole host of NCAAB deposit bonuses available for you.

    Even if you have already created accounts and are an active online sports bettor, many betting sites offer reload bonuses when wagering on the tournament.

    This is another way to add money to your bankroll before you even place a bet.
  4. Fill Out A March Madness Bracket

    When betting on the NCAA tournament, fill out a March Madness Bracket. 

    It’s another way to get in on the action. And, as a sports bettor filling out a bracket – you will have an advantage over the average Joe. You can use betting odds to spot upset potential.

    Remember, when filling out your bracket, pick a few upsets, as picking all top seeds to advance has never happened. That will not get a top prize.
  5. Focus On Mid-Majors

    Everyone is aware of the skills of the highly ranked teams. You gain an edge when you dive into the smaller conferences and break the teams that have made the tournament that are lesser known.

    It will help you to evaluate double-digit point spreads, as well, which is a fixture in the early rounds.

    Using NCAAB betting strategies is powerful when it comes to college basketball, and this is an excellent way to spot value.
  6. Bet Underdog Moneylines

    Our 6th college basketball betting tip goes around underdogs. They are always valuable bets in the tournament, with the public’s propensity to bet on favorites disproportionality.

    If you’re betting on an underdog on the point spread, it’s usually worth using or applying a solid moneyline strategy, as well.

    Let’s say ½ to 1/3 of your point spread wager. In many cases, teams not in the public spotlight or the top 25 are undervalued, and you may see many of these teams not only covering but winning outright.

NCAAB Wagering Limits VS. NBA

Wagering Requirements Icon

One of the most significant differences from NBA betting is that the wagering limits are much smaller.

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 the NFL or even the NBA.

NCAAB Season & 2024 Final Four

NCAA Tournament Final Four Betting

There 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.

Top College Basketball Tournaments To Place Your Wager

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 NCAAB tournaments apart from the NCAA Tournament that should pique your interest if you’re betting on college basketball.

Conference Tournaments

Conference Tournaments betting

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 alone is not a reason to target them during March Madness.

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 Invitation Tournament Betting

The 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.

It 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. Postseason Tournament (CIT) Postseason Tournament Betting

The 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 for CBB tournaments.

Betting on the NIT and CIT Tournament

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 wiser than the sportsbooks, but in cases where you have dedicated time to studying smaller conferences and – it may be possible.

This may be a case where you may have an advantage over 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 To Bet On

Place your bets on the NCAA Basketball tournaments for each conference. Here is the complete list of tournaments and conferences you can bet on:

ConferenceTournament NameMonth (Week)
ACC Men's Basketball Tournament
ACC Men’s Basketball TournamentMar (W1 – 2)
America East Conference Men's Basketball Tournament
America East Conference Men’s Basketball TournamentMar (W1 – 2)
American Athletic Conference Men's Basketball Tournament
American Athletic Conference Men’s Basketball TournamentMar (W2)
Atlantic 10 Men's Basketball Tournament
Atlantic 10 Men’s Basketball TournamentMar (W1 – 2)
Atlantic Sun Men's Basketball Tournament
Atlantic Sun Men’s Basketball TournamentFeb (W4) | Mar (W1)
Big 12 Men's Basketball Tournament
Big 12 Men’s Basketball TournamentFeb (W4) | Mar (W1)
Big Sky Conference Men's Basketball Tournament
Big Sky Conference Men’s Basketball TournamentMar (W1)
Big South Conference Men's Basketball Tournament
Big South Conference Men’s Basketball TournamentFeb (W4) | Mar (W1)
Big Ten Conference Men's Basketball Tournament
Big Ten Conference Men’s Basketball TournamentFeb (W4) | Mar (W1)
Colonial Athletic Association Men's Basketball Tournament (CAA)
Colonial Athletic Association Men’s Basketball Tournament (CAA)Feb (W4) | Mar (W1)
Conference USA Men's Basketball Tournament (CUSA)
Conference USA Men’s Basketball Tournament (CUSA)Mar (W1)
Horizon League Men's Basketball Tournament
Horizon League Men’s Basketball TournamentMar (W1)
Ivy League Men's Basketball Tournament
Ivy League Men’s Basketball TournamentMar (W1)
MEAC Men's Basketball Tournament
MEAC Men’s Basketball TournamentMar (W1)
Missouri Valley Conference Men's Basketball Tournament
Missouri Valley Conference Men’s Basketball TournamentMar (W1)
Mountain West Conference Men's Basketball Tournament
Mountain West Conference Men’s Basketball TournamentMar (W2)
Northeast Conference Men's Basketball Tournament
Northeast Conference Men’s Basketball TournamentFeb (W4) | Mar (W1)
Ohio Valley Conference Men's Basketball Tournament
Ohio Valley Conference Men’s Basketball TournamentFeb (W4) | Mar (W1)
Patriot League Men's Basketball Tournament
Patriot League Men’s Basketball TournamentFeb (W4) | Mar (W1-2)
SEC Men's Basketball Tournament
SEC Men’s Basketball TournamentMar (W2)
Summit League Men's Basketball Tournament
Summit League Men’s Basketball TournamentMar (W2)
West Coast Conference Men's Basketball Tournament
West Coast Conference Men’s Basketball TournamentMar (W1)
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About the Author

Joseph Falchetti

Joseph Falchetti

Editor-in-Chief, Pro Sports Bettor and Casino Expert

Joe is the author of the majority of sports betting pages on SBS and he serves as a gambling consultant to our content team. He's been mentioned on as a gaming analyst, and his articles have been linked by larger publications, such as the New York Times.

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