Learn how to bet on college basketball. From beginner’s basics, to expert strategy, you’re covered for how to bet on NCAAB.

How To Bet On College Basketball: Online Betting Tips

Betting on college basketball and the National Basketball Association is rooted in several similarities in terms of the structure of wagers and deciphering patterns and trends. However, it's not always as simple as taking what you know about professional basketball and carrying it over to collegiate hoops and expecting the same level of success.

This guide on how to bet on college basketball will walk you through the ins and outs and provide you the tools of the trade to best position yourself for big profits wagering on the NCAAB.

How to bet on nCAAB Basketball

Whether you're new to sports betting or a seasoned veteran, walking through even the basics and learning new and vital strategies can go a long way towards present and future success. 


A moneyline bet is as straightforward as it gets when it comes to single-game betting, because all that matters is picking the team that will win with no strings attached. If they win, then so do you. 

It's not always as simple as taking the heavy favorite, as upsets occur constantly. If you can snuff out an under-the radar underdog, you can win big with this simple wager.

(Related Link) What Does Moneyline Mean?

Point Spreads

For any given contest, there will be a given point spread. This spread represents the differential of the final score of a given game set by oddsmakers. 

For example, if UNC is set as an 8.5-point favorite (-8.5) over Kentucky, that means if you wager on the Tar Heels to cover the spread, they would need to win by a margin of 9 points or more. 

On the flip side, the Wildcats would be +8.5 and if you bet them to cover the spread, UK could ultimately lose the game but you would still win your bet if they lose by no more than eight points. 

(Related Link) What Does Spread Betting Mean?


You can bet the OVER/UNDER on different aspects of a game. Whether it’s total points scored in the game, in a half or by a specific player, you can wager on whether the oddsmaker’s set number will be reached.

For example, if the line for total points scored in a matchup is set at 150.5, that would mean to hit the OVER, the two teams would have to combine for 151 points or more. To hit on the UNDER, the total score would have to be 150 or less. OVER/UNDERs also apply for other stats such as rebounds, assists, steals and blocks, but points are generally the easiest and most readily available odds at most books. 

(Related Link) What Does OVER/UNDER Betting Mean?


Bust out your crystal ball and look deep within it to find your next best future investment. A futures bet is simple – all you have to do is wager on the outcome of a season, the NCAA Tournament or even the Sportsbook of an individual award, and if your prediction comes true, you win.

For example, at the beginning of the NCAAB season, if you bet on Duke to win the March Madness NCAA Tournament and they come through and win it all, you win. You can find great value in futures if you invest early on a team/player that oddsmakers are sleeping on, but the longer you wait to place those bets, the more the odds will shift. So remember, it’s always better to strike while the iron is hot.

Advanced NCAAB Betting Options

Some of the following betting types are far more advanced for a common or new bettor, so it's best to dip your toes into some of the more straightforward wager types like moneyline, spread, and total before diving into these. The risk-reward factor is much greater, but without the experience to make smart bets, it's going to be difficult to increase those profits.


Parlays are a fantastic way to get more bang for your buck when betting on college basketball. A parlay allows you to make several wagers and multiply your odds by stacking each wager together. The catch for a parlay, however, is that in order to win, every bet placed needs to hit, otherwise you lose your wager.

For example, if you wager a five-game parlay and four of the five teams you backed win, you still ultimately lose your bet even though you were correct on the majority of your picks. Parlays are a terrific way to wager low amounts and receive large payouts but they are incredibly challenging to line up. Some online sportsbooks will even allow same-game parlays (SGP), which has proven to be a great way to add value to your wager.

Live Betting 

Still relatively new in the sports betting world, live betting allows you to take advantage of the swinging of the tides within a matchup in real time. Also known as in-play betting, live betting on a game allows you to wager on a game’s outcome, point spread and OVER/UNDER as it transpires.

As a game progresses, new odds and line movements will continue to develop. As a team pulls ahead on the scoreboard, their odds may shrink and their opponent’s value will rise once they fall behind. For strategic bettors, you can take advantage of line movement in real time and wager on a team that has fallen behind to maximize value or vice versa, backing a team with a healthy lead to cruise to a victory/cover.

College basketball betting tips and strategies 

  • Ride with hot teams: As simple as it gets, if there is a team that is on an absolute tear, now is not the time to bet against them. More often than not these trends will continue unless there comes a situation where the irresistible force meets the immovable object. Backing the hotter team is generally a safe bet for your money whether you want to wager on the moneyline or the spread.

  • Follow Trends Closely: As the college basketball regular season progresses, trends begin to build up for each team. Whether they are positive or negative, these trends go far beyond just wins and losses. While this may take some independent research on your end, finding a trend can be an easy way to make some money when you start learning how to bet on NCAAB. Whether it’s a mid-major school becoming a covering machine, or a blue blood that simply can’t miss from three-point range, back these trends to continue and you can find great value in most betting markets.

  • Use Odds Shark’s NCAAB Consensus Page: If you are ever split on a game and need a push in the right direction, Odds Shark is here for the rescue! On our NCAAB consensus page you will find public betting trends on college basketball matchups daily. This public betting knowledge will give you much-needed insight on where to lean, or could give you the motivation to stray from the pack and fade the public in order to get your payday. 

How To Bet On College Basketball FAQ

How Do You Bet On A College Basketball Game?

There are several ways to bet on a college basketball game. To get started, make sure you have signed up and deposited with a reputable sportsbook, go to their NCAAB odds and find the right bet for you. You can place bets on a number of things, such as the moneyline, point spread, OVER/UNDER or live betting.

Can You Gamble On NCAA?

Yes, you can gamble on NCAA sports as long as you live in an area where sports betting is legal. Different regions have varying laws and restrictions in regard to sports betting. This ranges from the types of bets you can place to how much you can wager. This applies to professional sports as well as amateur sports like NCAAB. NCAA student-athletes are not allowed to gamble on NCAA games.

Where Can I Bet On The NCAA?

There are a multitude of sportsbooks online that allow you to bet on the NCAA. On Odds Shark’s college basketball betting sites page, you can get the top-rated sportsbooks available and find the one that best fits your needs. Compare sign-up bonuses, welcome bonuses, deposit bonuses and more.

Back to Top