Betting on College Basketball: a List of The Best Bookmakers

NCAA National Collegiate Athletic Association is responsible for college athletics in the USA. The NCAA's most significant tournament is college basketball: statistics show that the views reach unbelievable rates during the finals. It is an excellent opportunity for punters worldwide, and if you want to make money on sports betting, you can not miss NCAA basketball season.
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In this guide, we have gathered the must-know information about NCAAB wagering. Everything you might need is here: from choosing the most suitable sportsbook to some typical strategies you can apply. We mention the best legal sites that we have selected for their reputation, variety of markets, and competitive odds, so after you finish reading, you will have ready solutions for your betting plan on hand.

If you are not quite aware of how the odds work and what you can face when you open a sportsbook for the first time, this article is also for you. You will learn how to read the odds, understand their value and finally tell one betting option from another. Besides, we provide you with the list of states that legalized sports betting and college basketball betting rules in each of them.

Our primary focus is to introduce the top platforms for wagering on NCAAB; we have picked them thoroughly basing on our own opinion and multiple fair reviews from regularly experienced punters.

Mixed with valuable tips and advice on betting variants and tactics, this research will become your best introduction to the world of sports betting on college events.

basketball NCAA betting

How We Choose The Best NCAAB betting sites

We know how to bet with real money and do it wisely. This is why we share the only best betting platforms with you. You can be sure that every online sportsbook we recommend is legal, secure, and user-friendly. What do we check to claim they are like this?

Our choice includes the long-existing sites: we do not consider newly created platforms until they exist for at least two-three years on a gambling market. Another good website indicator is their license: you will not find any official companies in our review. Finally, we notice such essential details as user interface, number of betting markets, odds value, variety of banking options, and customer support team’s performance.

Besides, we pay attention to bonuses and offers: this is not the primary point you should consider, but risk-free bets and opening deposit welcome promotions will bring you extra pleasure and profit.

All in all, with our recommendations, you can spare yourself the trouble of finding reputable and reliable betting sites: we have done it for you.

Trust and reputation

It seems quite an obvious recommendation, but it is the first thing you must notice and check when you choose the top college basketball betting site (basically, any online sportsbook you want to share your money with). There is nothing more critical than transparent information about the bookie’s performance, so your choice should include long-lasting companies that work for at least 3 years or more. Positive reviews from real customers should also be your concern. To make it easier for you, we name top college basketball betting sites you can trust: BetUS, MyBookie, BetNow.

Deposit and withdrawal options

The more banking methods you can find on a college basketball site, the safer your experience will be: you will always have the most convenient alternative on hand. Besides, a large selection of banking options shows that a website cooperates with different payment systems: it is possible only if a platform is trusted and legal.

Mind a min deposit: ideally, it should be no more than $10-$20.

If you want the safest level of sports betting experience, opt for the betting sites that accept Bitcoin. Also, betting with alternative coins means having the fastest withdrawals.

Below is the list of sports betting sites that give you a pretty vast choice for withdrawals and deposits.

  • DraftKings: Accepts Visa/Mastercard credit cards, PayPal, Cash in partners’ offices, Wire Transfers;
  • FoxBet: Accepts Visa/Mastercard, PayPal, PayNearMe, Skrill, Bill Payment, e-Checks, Wire Transfers;
  • Bovada: Accepts Visa/Mastercard, PayPal, PayNearMe, Bill Payment, e-Checks, Wire Transfers, Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash;
  • William Hill: Accepts Visa/Mastercard, PayPal, PayNearMe, Bill Payment, e-Checks, Wire Transfers William Hill Play, Prepaid Cards;
  • BetMGM: Accepts Visa/Mastercard, PayPal, Skrill, PayNearMe, e-Checks, Wire transfers.

Variety of betting options

The main perk of NCAA basketball betting is the possibility of betting on a vast number of weekly games. If you compare different college basketball betting sites, you will see that most of them provide many NCAA basketball betting lines for Division I, the largest and most important NCAA division. To get involved in the best college basketball betting experience, you can search for betting sites covering smaller divisions and less essential and significant Division I events.

Whatever college basketball games and divisions you will wager on, a sports betting site you opt for must cover various lines.

Check if you can bet on college basketball Moneyline and Spread and select Proposition bets for at least significant matches.

Live-betting availability

When you play in pre-match mode, you can rest upon last season’s statistics, the popularity of particular betting markets, injury rates, etc. Live betting allows you to see players’ actual shapes and estimate their tactics in a real-time mode. Your predictions will be more precise in this case. Thus, an online sports betting platform must effectuate this function on a high level.

Live NCAA basketball betting lines

We are here to help you: the best online sportsbooks legal in the USA that offer live betting options are below:

  • DraftKings: gives a lot of markets for in-game betting in their Flash Bet section;
  • FanDuel: provides just the same selection of bets for the live betting that is available for futures;
  • William Hill: one of the best sites where you can bet in the in-play mode. Also, regular customers can get a 10% refund on the live bet losses that a bookie returns to them in the form of free bets.

License and legality

Your sports betting experience will only be secure if an official gambling commission in the particular jurisdiction has approved the platform. It seems like we are repeating old stuff, but this is a hard and fast rule that you can not neglect whatever happens. Easier said than done, though. To help you, we publish the list of the best college basketball betting sites that are legal in particular states to help you.

  • BetMGM Resorts;
  • DraftKings;
  • BetRivers;
  • BetAmerica;
  • PointsBet.

The other sites we suggest in different rankings are also legal. If you want to choose any other site, mind if they mention their license information.

Besides, the rosters of legal US betting sites are available at every state’s official Gambling Commission.

Variety of college basketball events

Every sports betting experience starts with shopping around the betting markets and finding the most valuable odds. The more events a sportsbook highlights, the more chances you have to make a remarkable wager, not saying the entertaining aspect. Thus, your best college basketball betting site is supposed to offer as many events as possible.

The biggest ones are:

  • March Madness,
  • Division I Championship,
  • and Division I matchups in the regular series.

However, Divison II games can also be interesting for sports bettors, so it is a perk of a sportsbook to offer such markets.

Among the top sites that can offer many events are William Hill, DraftKings, BetRivers, BetOnline, Bovada. You will find there not only March Madness picks but also small matchups of the minor conferences.

Ease of use

Some sports betting sites tend to overwhelm their users with complicated designs. If NCAA basketball betting sites offer a good variety of betting lines, they must be easy to find and tell one from another. When the user interface is too complicated and the lines are not sorted out wisely, it is annoying and can also lead to critical mistakes.

The best college basketball betting sites offer mobile betting functions: either with apps or a mobile browser. If there is no app, a bookie must optimize a site for mobile phones.

Bonuses and promotions

Being a new customer is always exciting if you enroll in a site that offers you a bonus for your initial deposit — extra cash to your bankroll or free bets.

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If you can join some Rewards programs and get some money back or refunds from your lost bets, it is even a more significant perk, so here we recommend you the bookies who are ready to welcome you with the best bonuses and promos.

Bookmaker Bonus description
PointsBet PointsBet is one of the most generous in terms of welcome bonus: they offer $2000 free bets that you can spend on college basketball matches;
DraftKings DraftKings has a special promo for Sweet Sixteen: 100-1 odds offer on any team.
William Hill William Hill’s first deposit bonus of 100% match up to $500 can be a great help for making the first wagers, and they also provide the customers with a plethora of free bet promos for March Madness;
FanDuel FanDuel welcomes new members with 1-30 odds for March Madness: it will allow you to win $150 if you risk just $5. Also, you get a $1000 free bet as a new customer.
BetMGM BetMGM does not only give you a $600 free bet when you make your first deposit but can also participate in the March promotion. It means that you can make a $10 stake for any college basketball game taking place on a particular day and automatically get a $10 bonus for wagering on any other matches held the same day.

Customer support

High-quality customer support is an acid test for an online gambling site. When a sportsbook puts much effort into providing the members with convenient contact options and helpful service for any questions, they are interested in building a loyal customer pool. Such a site can be trusted, not saying your convenience if you have any issues or questions.

The best sports betting sites have 24/7 Live Chat, toll-free phone numbers, and email addresses published on a website in a visible location.

College basketball betting options

The options for betting on college basketball are not crucially different from the other athletic events. They include Futures betting and Live Betting sections, so you can either make pre-match wagers or bet right during the match.

  • It is possible to bet on the outright winner: you pick a team that will win the game or the tournament.
  • With Spread betting, they give you more options: you still back one opponent, but they must finish the game over or under a specific score to make your wager work out.
  • Betting on Totals implies that you are not interested in the match’s outcome but instead focus on the total score. College games also make it possible for a bookie to give a great choice of proposition bets, which are about various events that may happen or not during the match. Now, it is time to provide all types with a closer look.

College Basketball Futures Betting

Futures betting on NCAA are the betting markets that open before a season starts. Unlike many other sports, NCAA Futures often appear to turn out profitable. NCAA basketball leagues regularly publish tons of information about statistics, training, rosters, and other records to help you track college basketball games and make the right betting decisions.

College basketball Futures bets are placed on a team’s final result gained within an NCAA basketball season.

For instance, you can bet on the NCAA basketball Championship ultimate winner or the champion of March Madness.

There are also regional winners that you can wager on or holders of different NCAA basketball awards.

College Basketball Moneyline Betting

When you are offered to bet Moneyline on a college basketball betting site, it means that you must predict who will be the winner of the match. This is one of the simplest betting options for betting a college basketball game: you compare two teams and their odds and choose the possible outcome. The odds are given with the minus sign if a team is a favorite and a plus sign if it is an underdog.

live NCAA basketball betting

All college basketball betting sites provide their members with Moneyline markets, but this is not a popular option to bet on college basketball. The odds given by online sportsbooks for this betting format are not too lucrative, but experienced punters can still find value in betting on the Underdog Moneyline. We will tell you about this betting method later in this article.

NCAAB Spreads

Spread betting on college basketball is the top choice of most punters. Spread betting means a sportsbook gives handicap points to an underdog team, which evens their odds. If a point spread comes with a minus sign (-25.5), it means that the team is a match favorite. Thus, if you bet on a favorite team, they must not only win but win by a certain margin: gain at least 26 points more than their opponents.

NCAAB Totals Betting

The average total line for a college game will fall into the 130 to the 150-point range. This does not mean you should avoid playing the UNDER against lower totals or take the OVER on some of the higher lines as long as your handicapping efforts and confidence level support the play. Sometimes there can be some tremendous value in total lines that fall way out of this range one way or the other. The books may simply be trying to drive money the opposite way.

You should always be aware of when it comes to wagering on college basketball complete lines is line movement from when the odds were first set.

This is especially true with games that are not in the national spotlight or a major conference. The betting public can impact games of this nature, but when you see some significant movement in a non-marquee matchup, it is probably the result of a few sharps placing wagers on that game.

College basketball Prop Bets

Prop bets allow punters to find extra profits for different events during the match. They are not about the game’s outcome and winners: here, you focus on teams and individual players’ statistical records. For example, you can wager on a team that scores first in the game or on the number of rebounds.

Props can be very profitable in most college basketball betting sites. When the odds are prepared, online sportsbooks focus more on more famous lines, so the figures given for props might be more lucrative for a bettor than for a sportsbook.

NCAAB betting strategies

Betting at random does not work. If you want to win money, you must always have a good reason to wager on this or that outcome. This is why betting strategies are so widely discussed in gambling communities and why we share the most straightforward working tactics for betting on college basketball.

Remember, it does not mean you will necessarily win if you apply any of them. However, following any tactics, even the easiest ones, will make you think and analyze.

First of all, we offer you to get acquainted with betting against the public: in short, it means that backing a favorite is not always the winning path. Another similar option is to wager on Underdog Moneylines that implies determining a weaker team with solid potential. We also give tips for in-game wagering, which is more manageable in making predictions.

Betting strategies


Fade the Public

Fade the Public Strategy implies that you check the NCAA basketball betting trends to see what bet is the most popular among the betting public. Such wagers lose their value, so you make an opposite bet when you fade the public, which contradicts the majority’s opinion. This method is not widely applied for betting on college basketball. Not many people bet on NCAA basketball “gimme” games at all, being more involved in significant events like March Madness or Division I matches. Thus, you will not just find a specific betting trend for small conference matches. However, if there is a possibility to find a value in the Fading the Public strategy, try wagering against the favorite supported by more than 70% of punters with a spread that can mitigate your risks.


Underdog Moneylines

When you bet on an Underdog, you have to be pretty sure they will win, or at least estimate their chances as “highly probable.” To apply the Underdog Moneyline betting strategy successfully, you must find a road underdog team given a handicap from +2 to +6.5 points. According to statistics, such spread points allow you to increase your chance of winning up to 50%. The underdog odds become more valuable as the vast majority back their opponents. It means that the winning pool is full of money from the favorites team’s wagers.


Live Betting

Sports betting in the play-in mode gives you more opportunities to make the correct prediction. When you watch the game live, you get more information than any pre-match statistics and records can provide you together. If you know how to estimate the course of action and track the odds, you will manage to profit from live betting. Besides, the odds become much more lucrative after the beginning of the match, so it is essential to make your live bet at the right moment. The pre-match lines are designed by special software and the analytics team, while live betting odds are shifted manually by one expert who manages the line during a particular game. Being attentive to the line changing and game tendencies will give you an advantage over the manager.


Being a youth championship, NCAAB is notable for being very unpredictable.

Unlike professional teams, college divisions are not trained enough to show steady performance within the whole season.

It is not always possible for college basketball betting sites to calculate the correct odds, especially for Future bets. Usually, bookmakers rely on the previous season’s statistics to determine the odds. However, it is not so relevant in the case of NCAA games. After the NCAAB season, most top NCAA starts draft with NBA, and the teams’ rosters crucially change almost every year. Thus, many new players appear annually, and the betting people and the sportsbooks are clueless as to how they perform. This is why live betting is easier and more reasonable for NCAAB matches.

When does the NCAAB season start?

Traditionally, the season begins in the middle of October; before that, teams are into the preseason training in August. Major conference matches that take most betting lines in every sportsbook start in December and continue till the end of February. Then the first standard part of the season is closed by playoffs, and the NCAAB tournament, aka March Madness, begins.

How many games in NCAAB season

Regular season (without playoffs and the championship) includes 33 games; in 2021, there were fewer games due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which suspended several teams’ operations.

March Madness consists of 67 games.

The first four games are the particular part of the tournament, where four automatically qualified teams play against four candidates for championship participation. During this pre-championship seeds, two teams are left in the game, and then the main series of 63 games begin.

Live college basketball betting lines

Which is more important, regular season or conference tournament championship in NCAA?

The end of the college basketball tournament is always a big fest that garners media coverage and is surrounded by hype. However, many experts and basketball enthusiasts claim this the general season is more critical in statistics and results. Not all the regular series’ winners manage to win in the championship; however, most of them are successfully drafted with NBA later. Besides, it is harder to stay in the first part of the season than to go until the championship.

What is March Madness?

March Madness is not only the main event for the NCAA basketball league but is also one of the most exciting and popular sports competitions. Its history started in 1939 when the National Association of college coaches establish the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament. Since then, its format has changed several times, and the current version of NCAA March Madness exists since 2011.

Sixty-eight teams of Division I can participate in the tournament. All teams must play on the neutral fields; home games are prohibited. The stages of the contest are the following:

  • Play-in (First Four);
  • 1st round;
  • 2nd round;
  • Regional semi-finals (Sweet Sixteen);
  • Regional finals (Elite Eight);
  • Regional semi-finals (Final Four);
  • National final.

During March Madness, viewers and participants became witnesses of historical moments that impacted the basketball development and the history of the US. For instance, in 1966, Texas Western Miners rosters included five black players, which was not a typical practice. Miners won March Madness, which changed the attitude towards ‘black’ basketball, giving plenty of new opportunities for amateur, college, and professional players.

College Basketball Odds

The action lines given by bookies for college basketball are constantly changing. The primary source is Las Vegas’ line, but as the NCAA events are changing rapidly, the opening line of Las Vegas does not stay the same for a long time. To make your betting experience reasonable, you must know how to read the odds and analyze the first published markets.

ncaa basketball odds

Basketball Odds Example

When lines move, it means that a bookie got some insights about an upcoming match or the line is overloaded: a vast number of bets are made on the same team. The punter’s job is to pick the stakes at the right moment and predict possible shifts of the line.

As we are mainly focused on the US wagering audience, you have to know how to understand the American odds format; we will describe it below. The information in this block is the rules you have to learn by heart: they are the basics of using any sportsbook.

How to read betting odds on college basketball

It is not hard to study the odds at college basketball betting sites. It may seem a bit complicated for beginners, but in fact, you are given a range of tables with the teams/players, their rotation numbers, the odds, and additional information depending on the bet type. This additional information can include point spreads or a total score for Over/Under bets.

All the odds at every US college basketball betting site are given in the American format. They can come in two types: with a plus or minus sign.

The odds with a minus sign, like -150, show that you must risk $150 to win $100. If the number is positive, say, +200, it means you can win $200 by investing $100.

What are the opening line NCAAB opening odds?

The opening line is the very first selection of markets and lines that a traditional or sportsbook offers for a particular game. This is the first opportunity for the sports bettors to get acquainted with the sportsbooks’ opinion regarding the upcoming season. What is peculiar about the NCAAB opening line is that it usually consists of the odds provided by Las Vegas. Such odds are considered as the most precise, so finding the best options to bet on NCAA basketball futures profitably is most likely.

Is betting on college basketball legal?

More than twelve states have legalized betting sites, but most of them added special clauses for college sports bets, including NCAA basketball. Many states do not allow betting on local teams, as universities are interested in promoting their teams. At the same time, college basketball players can be more compliant with bribes as they do not have a salary for their game.

You can bet on NCAA teams without any limitations in the following states: West Virginia, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Nevada, Montana, Mississippi, Michigan, Arkansas,

NCAA basketball online betting is allowed for all teams but the in-state ones and with restrictions for proposition bets in the following states: Washington, Washington DC, Virginia (plus ban of the prop bets), Tennessee (play-in prop bets are also banned); Rhode Island, New York (no wagers on New York teams and home matches), New Mexico (only tribal casinos), New Jersey, New Hampshire, Iowa (no props), Colorado (no props), Delaware, Illinois, Indiana (no props and no betting on Division I).

What are the Vegas odds on the NCAA basketball championship?

Las Vegas odds are the odds that Vegas local bookmaker offices and casinos offer. They are regarded as unique as they are not the same as those published in college basketball betting sites. Vegas lines are considered the most elaborately worked out, so it is possible to follow trends by them. They constantly change, so if you learn how to monitor them, they will help your best college basketball betting experience. They are the closest to the actual course of events.

Can I bet on NCAAB with Bitcoin?

Suppose there are no regulations in your jurisdiction that prevent you from using cryptocurrencies at all. In that case, it is possible to wager on NCAAB and other sports using Bitcoin or different alternative coins. It is usually more profitable, as sportsbooks give Bitcoin users bonus offers. For instance, Bovada and BetOnline sportsbooks allow instant crypto withdrawals and welcome every new account being registered with a first deposit bonus of 100% match.

Can I join multiple NCAAB betting sites?

It is not technically possible, but also highly recommended. It will allow you to shop around and make the most valuable bets instantly as soon as you notice them. Also, you can get extra profits from various sportsbooks' different bonus offers. If you want to make extra money on small NCAAB games, you might need to have a registration in several sportsbooks to embrace as many events as possible. Main markets are more or less the same in terms of choice, but the minor ones may require an additional search in multiple sportsbooks.

Can I bet on March Madness online?

Unless your state prohibits online wagering at all, you can place your wagers on March Madness and other college basketball events. The states that allow online gambling are Oregon, Colorado, Iowa, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Michigan, and Illinois. All sportsbooks approved by these states' local government will offer you March Madness markets for the best betting experience on the Internet.

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