College Basketball Betting Odds

The college basketball season is a big deal in the world of betting. There are huge betting opportunities, a good number of available bets, a variety of markets to explore and you can do it all from the comfort of your home.

Oh, and well, you have March Madness for God’s sake! Talk about a top sport to bet on.

With online betting, you can find these just by surfing on the web. Not only that, but you can go through different sportsbooks until you find one that makes you feel comfortable.

Forget about going to a retail sportsbook, chill, sit on your couch, turn your TV on, order a pizza, and bet from your home.

Let’s take a deep dive into college basketball betting!

College Basketball Betting Odds Explained

It all starts with picking a good, reliable, and proper sportsbook. Use multiple ones, so that you can shop betting lines. If you don’t do this, you are leaving money behind, which is not the end goal.

Also, make sure the betting app you choose provides action on the games you want to wager on. If you are betting on mainstream Division 1 teams, this is not an issue.

However, if you are looking to bet on some obscure and not-so-mainstream programs, ensure your sportsbook covers them.

And before we get properly started, remember to always look for those juicy bonuses to get free money to bet. This can literally take your bankroll to a whole other level without you spending a dime.

College Basketball Handicapping

If you are able to handicap college basketball in an effective manner, you are in for a treat! Keep in mind that information is power. Gather as much data as possible to win your bets.

But most importantly, know where to look for this information. In college basketball, there is so much information that you can actually be overwhelmed. It’s useless to have lots of information if it’s irrelevant to the betting objective.

With hundreds of teams to bet on, or at least keep an eye on, prioritize the best opportunities. Pick teams who you know, or have an interest in.

Start watching for their schedules and injuries. Roster depth is also something that you can find useful.

We have some tips for your handicapping bets.

Small Schools = Big Bucks!

Look at those small programs, guys! Just like in NCAA Football, there are some big programs and those are what the oddsmakers focus on. Also, for obvious reasons, those teams get the most action from casual bettors.

This causes the bookmakers to not be as sharp when setting lines for the small schools. This gives you outstanding value when putting your wagers.

However, bear in mind that smaller games are not usually televised. So do your homework on those smaller programs. The best times to bet on small schools are on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

These are the ‘big days’ in College Basketball and trust us, the oddsmakers look at the key games, not the low-tier schools. Take advantage of it!

Active Underdog Theory

This is a popular theory in college basketball handicapping. It is, in essence, taking an underdog you believe will be an “active underdog”. This can be either because of a revenge game from earlier in the season, or it’s coming off a double-digit loss or losing a game when they were favored.

Take the “Over” with this team. The base of this theory is that when a team is in any of these positions is going to come out guns blazing. This translates into lots of points coming their way. Their motivation is high, so they are looking for a bounce-back game.

For obvious reasons, do this in the appropriate matchups. If a team is really under-leveled in contrast to their opponents, it’s unlikely they will get revenge even if they want to. Seek for those teams with possible wins, within their level, and take the over.

Look Where To Fool The Odds

This requires a level of research, but boy can it be profitable! Pretty much, focus on low to medium tier programs who lost badly. Since the public is not very familiar with them, they will bet against them in the following game.

Now, this is where you get an edge. Look for those teams who lost in that fashion due to game circumstances.

For the sake of the example, let’s say Loyola Chicago falls to the Fighting Illini in the loss of a double-digit. However, the reason they looked so bad was that their star player got fouled out early in the game.

Most public and casual bettors won’t look at that and will bet against Loyola just because of the result. When in reality, they are a better team, they just didn’t have their best player.

Due to this, the oddsmakers will put a lot of value on Loyola and that’s the moment where you bet. High value on a decent team that was thrashed due to a bad context.

The Numbers Don’t Lie

In college football, numbers are deceiving. In the NCAAB, not so much. But we are not talking about records or points per game. We look at percentages. Check for the shooting percentages, offensively and defensively.

Then go to the 3-point percentages as well. Look for point differentials, rebound differentials, turnovers, free-throw percentages, and pace of play.

Those are the stats that are meaningful, because they tell you how effective teams are, regardless of their opposition.

A team that excels in most of those categories is usually getting wins, and soundly. This means they are a good ATS bet most of the time.

Returning Starters Matter

This is predominantly a tip for the early stages of the season. Not all teams are one-and-done and it’s the same with the players. Even if they excel, they might choose to return for a year of experience before testing the waters in the draft.

If a program has some returning players, and they played well in the year prior, the chemistry they have will help them start the season in great shape. Thus, translating into big wins.

The best number is getting four or five returning players. Make a list prior to the season of the teams with this factor. Especially if their point guard is returning, since they control the tempo of the team.

Inversely, teams who lost three or more players, or relied heavily on their point guard who is no longer with them, can be a good “victim” of your bets.

Popular College Basketball Online Bets

There are lots of ways to bet on college basketball. You need to study which bet suits you most in every single game. If you have a big trust in an underdog, moneylines are your preferred method.

If you are eyeing a favorite, then moneylines are not of much value, hence the spread is your go-to bet type. And so on.

The bet type you choose goes according to your betting purpose. Let’s take a look at the best wagering methods in college basketball.


A college basketball moneyline consists of picking the team that will win the game outright. The pros of this bet are that they are simple, you don’t rely on the victory margin, and the payout is fast. Plus, when betting underdogs, they present real value.

The con is that, because of the high underdog payouts, players might lose their heads looking for the juicy winnings.

Point Spreads

A spread bet is where the bookmakers level the field between two teams that are not evenly matched. The favored team will get a handicapped line. Meaning they need to win by a set point margin to cash. To put it in an example:

Say Duke plays Gonzaga, and the odds look like this:

  • Duke -3.5 (-110)
  • Gonzaga (+3.5) (-110)

In this case, Duke is projected to win by 3.5 points. This means that for Duke to get the payout, they need to win by four or more points. As for Gonzaga, they can win outright or lose by no more than three points to cash.

As you can see, both have a standard payout of -110. This implies that you need to risk $110 to win $100 in that bet.

Spreads are the most popular way to bet in college basketball. The good thing is they allow you to bet on teams you think will play better, but not as good to win the game.

The bad part is that, to new bettors, spreads can be confusing. Casual bettors love to wager on favorites. If you want to find any value, look for those underdogs that are set to ball out.


Also referred to as over/under bets. This college basketball wager centers around the total number of points scored between both teams.

The oddsmakers will set a total points line. You, as a bettor, decide to wager whether the teams go over or under the total line. For example:

  • Duke vs Gonzaga O 133.5 (-110)/ U 133.5 (-110)

As you can see, the bookmakers think the two teams will combine with 133.5 points. So for the over to win, they need to score 134 points or more. If they score 133 or less, then the under bettors get the payout. Just as the spread, you will usually find them at a standard -110 line.

This is a great way to bet when you are not clear about who will win since you don’t need to care about that.

In college football, pay special attention to defenses when betting totals. Many programs are lacking defensive prowess, and have few fundamentals. In these cases, overs are the way to go.


This is a wager where you bet on an upcoming event or tournament. For example, you bet on who will win the March Madness Tournament. Of course, you have to wait until it all unfolds to get the payout.

The pros of betting futures are that you can spice up tournaments. Bet on March Madness and Conference Tournaments throughout the NCAAB season.

You can also bet on who wins individual awards. Another good thing about this is that the payouts are way higher since the possibilities of winning are very slim.

Prop Bets

This type of wager does not center on the outcome of the game, but on whether a certain event happens or not within the match. There are lots of different props. They can be over/under, they can be yes/no, the options are endless.

Along with some props you can find are:

  • Will Gonzaga end the season undefeated? Yes/No
  • Will Duke make the Final Four? Yes/No
  • How many points will Cade Cunningham score in this game? O 24.5 / U 24.5

Great things that involve prop betting are that you can capitalize on stuff that doesn’t involve the winner of the game. It can also make you money on the entertainment sides of the sport, and markets are wide.

As a tip, be careful about identifying which props are purely for entertainment purposes, and which are props where you can gain an edge.

For example, betting on whether the Bulldogs end the season undefeated is based on skill. Betting on whether the National Anthem goes for 1:30 or longer is an entertainment-based bet, where you won’t get any edge. It’s for fun, and pure luck.

College Basketball Betting Strategies

All sports are different. Hence, it’s really important to approach them with betting strategies, aiming to get an edge over the oddsmakers. Here are some of those strategies:

Bet On Your Terms

Lay your foundations for betting. Prepare yourself, that’s one of the biggest differences between winning bettors and losers. So, make a plan of how you want to bet.

Are you more of a straight bet, or a parlay/teaser type of guy? Are you betting on spreads on moneylines? How much will a unit be according to your bankroll?

By doing this, you have a much better -and clearer- sight and approach to bet on the college basketball season. Since there are a lot of different games, being organized is the best way to start.

Also, keep records, filter the good information from the useless or irrelevant ones. NCAAB information can overload you. So filtering the stats that you know can help you -the ones we told you about above- and distancing them from the ones that you don’t need is a good strategy.

Information Is King

A sort of obvious disclaimer, but we are not from the future. We can’t predict every outcome. Still, we devote our lives to helping you get in the best betting position available to win money. So, here’s a rhetorical question for you.

Do you know what’s the difference between mediocre players, and those who make a fortune year in and year out betting?

Data, records, insights, memories, stats, injury reports… Information is the name of the game.

People underestimate doing their homework. But the more you know, the best chance you have to turn a profit.

Remember, the oddsmakers don’t want you to win, they don’t want to pay you. They are not in the giving-money business. If a line is too good to be true, maybe it is.

How to gather information? Well, for starters, watch the games. Know the teams, how they play, how they operate. The way they are coached. The eye test is very important.

You can look at the numbers, but if you don’t watch how the teams perform, it’s useless. You can get tricked by math. However, you need those numbers.

Grab your intel from trusted sources. Team Rankings, Sports-Reference, and KenPom can help you out. Plus, they are free!

Consistency Is Key

Look, there are way too many conferences, regions, and too many teams to follow. Don’t follow all of them. Specialize in a conference or region and be consistent.

Say you pick the Big East because that’s where your favorite team is. There are ten teams in the Big East, focus on them. Get the edge!


Talk about getting an edge. Home court advantage is weird in college basketball. There is a complete disagreement on what the home-court advantage is worth.

Depending on who you ask, it can be somewhere along with between three and six points. The best advice here is: do not pay attention to the national average.

The home-court advantage is a thing, sure. But it’s not statistical, it’s intangible, and it will vary according to the home team. If you visit a big program, the atmosphere for the road team will be hostile.

If you are on the road against a small school, the home advantage doesn’t really matter much.

Nevertheless, if the travels are long, or if there are trap games, that is something you should consider before placing a bet.

Visit our guide for more college basketball strategies if you want to maximize your betting winnings.

Betting On March Madness

March Madness is a different kind of animal. It is -by far- one of the biggest betting seasons of the year. This is a big tournament, with a do-or-die model, one game, no mistakes allowed.

You can find lots of bonuses, bracket tournaments, higher limits, and lots of betting opportunities.

Advanced College Basketball Betting Systems

A broad betting area like college basketball can be somewhat tricky. Bettors all around the world have implemented some betting systems to try to get an edge when betting on NCAAB.

Big Favorites

To qualify for this system, favorites have to be -6.5 or more of a bye week. The opponent has to be covered in the last game, and also be playing on back-to-back days.

When this happens, the favorites win 87.4% of the time straight up. They cover the spread in 55% of the games, and the under has a 56.6% rate.

The favored team comes strong and fresh, the other is fatigued, which implies fewer points. When the favored team has a way-too-big advantage, they send their rotation, which also hampers the total. It’s like a whole package coming into one for you to make the same game bets.

Small Favorites and Underdogs

To use this system, use underdogs or favorites of -3 or less of a bye. The opponent must have covered their last game, and played on back-to-back days.

The teams that qualify in this system are 63.1% effective in the ATS department and have a 64.8% of wins straight up.

Having said so, don’t mess with the totals, as they go about 50% to either side. In this system, stick with the spread and moneylines.

Third-Time Meetings

To use this betting system, pick a team off a bye, with an opponent playing back-to-back and that covered their last game. And, of course, when it’s the third time both teams meet in the season.

In these cases, the team coming off a bye covers 55% of the time ATS. They are also straight-up monsters, winning 78.6% of the time.

Also, since both teams know each other, they know how to neutralize each other to a certain degree. The under has cashed 56.3% of the time. Use this strategy when betting on the NCAA National Championship.