NCAAB Betting Information
College basketball has been around since the late 1800s, with the first intercollegiate basketball matchups taking place between the University of Chicago and Iowa, as well as Yale and Penn. Since then, college basketball has spread throughout colleges across the United States, with over 350 Division I college basketball teams active in the present day. And it is the goal of every last one of those teams to play in the NCAA Tournament, one of the most beloved sporting events in the United States.
The NCAA Tournament consists of 68 teams each season, with games being played at neutral sites in this single-elimination event. There are a total of 67 games played until every team is eliminated but the eventual champion. The Final Four, which is made up of the semifinals and the championship game, is typically played at a larger venue such as a football stadium to make room for the tens of thousands of fans that attend.
There are 32 total conferences in Division I college basketball, housing those 350+ collegiate programs. Each conference has its own conference tournament following the regular season, with the winner of those tournaments securing an automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament. The other 36 spots in the tournament are made up of what are known as “at-large” teams, which the tournament committee selects based on their body of work during the season.
The NCAA Tournament format is enjoyed by so many because of the fact that almost no team is truly eliminated until they lose in their conference tournament. As unlikely as it is, a team could conceivably win a small conference tournament and pull upset after upset to win the entire tournament if they peak at the right time. This has created massive upsets over the history of March Madness, including UMBC’s upset of Virginia, where the Retrievers became the first 16-seed ever to beat a 1-seed.
As it pertains to the structure of individual games, college basketball games consist of two 20 minute halves, which means a game that is eight minutes shorter than that of the NBA. In the event that the score is tied after those two halves, five-minute overtimes are played until the tie is broken and a winner has been declared. The shot clock in college basketball is 30 seconds, which is longer than the 24-second shot clock in the NBA, leading to lower scoring games and more methodical possessions.
There are several types of college basketball picks that bettors can make heading into each game or each season. When it comes to single-game picks, bettors can wager on traditional betting markets like the point spread, moneyline, and over/under. But there are plenty of other single-game bets that can be made, thanks to the presence of prop bets that can spice up betting on any game.
Prop bets allow bettors to wager on very specific components of each game, whether that means the performance of individual players or bets pertaining to the flow of the game itself. For example, bettors can put their money on player performances in statistical categories like points and rebounds or on game-specific wagers like whether or not a game will go to overtime. The bigger the game and more high-profile the teams, the more prop options that will be available in most cases.
Outside of single-game bets, futures wagers are another way that college basketball bettors can get involved with the sport they love. Futures wagers allow bettors to make predictions on what will happen over the course of an entire season, with the most common futures bet being on which team is going to win the NCAA Tournament. But there are several other futures bets that are common throughout each season in college hoops.
Bettors can also wager on which teams will win each conference, from power conferences like the Big Ten to smaller conferences at some sportsbooks. It is also possible to bet on whether or not teams will qualify for the Final Four, which conference the national champion will come from, and other futures wagers throughout the year. Bettors who can see potential in undervalued teams can often get profitable prices in these markets, where longshots cannot be ruled out thanks to the unpredictable nature of the NCAA Tournament.
College Basketball Odds
College basketball odds are the most abundant of any American sports betting market, as there are so many more teams than there are in other sports. One busy day in college basketball can mean well over 100 games on the schedule, which means a ton of odds to sort through and use to handicap when making college basketball picks. But bettors should not let the high volume of NCAAB odds get to them, as the odds function the same way they do in other sports.
The odds for single-game bets like point spreads, totals, and over/under props are typically the same from one sportsbook to the next. Odds for those markets are close to -110 on both sides, with slight variations in the point spread and over/under amounts that are being bet on. Bettors might see bigger differences in the odds for moneylines and futures wagers from sportsbook to sportsbook, which will highlight the importance of shopping for the best lines.
When betting on college basketball, bettors should have money in multiple sportsbooks so that they can bet on the markets with the best odds. For example, an underdog being priced at +150 at one sportsbook and +170 at another would mean a $20 difference in potential profit on a $100 wager. Over time, those $20 differences can add up in a huge way and make the difference between being a winning and losing bettor.
There are services where bettors can look at a single web page to compare the odds at multiple sportsbooks from one location. But bettors who simply take the time to look at the odds at multiple sportsbook apps will be doing themselves a great service in the long run. Over time, bettors will develop a process to compare odds in as efficient a way as possible, balancing the need to save time with the desire to maximize profits.
College Basketball Stats
NCAAB Betting Statistics are massively important to successful handicapping in college basketball and any other sport where bettors are trying to get a leg up on the market. But college basketball Betting Statistics are unique, as there are some potential road bumps that bettors will have to avoid to be successful. There are also a couple of points that bettors simply need to keep in mind to give themselves the best chance to utilize statistics effectively to win as often as possible.
The most important thing to remember when looking at college basketball stats is that they are different than NBA stats. The games are shorter in college basketball, and the vast majority of the players in college basketball are not good enough to make it to the NBA. Because of that, bettors have to expect that shooting percentages may be lower for some teams and that point totals aren’t going to be as high.
Bettors also have to realize that a team’s ranking is not a statistic that should be taken into account when handicapping college basketball. The rankings in college basketball are somewhat arbitrary and tend to favor power conference teams, whether that is justified or not. Betting on teams based on which squad has a higher ranking is a recipe for disaster, as bettors should look at deeper statistics when doing their handicapping.
It is also important to understand the statistics that bettors are using to evaluate each side of each college basketball game. Seeing that one team has a better rebounding margin than another or that Kenpom has rated one team superior on offense to another is nice. But without a deep understanding of what goes into those numbers, bettors are simply looking to justify their selections without a full understanding as to what is going into those justifications, which is bad handicapping.
NCAAB Betting Trends
Trends are interesting pieces of the NCAAB betting landscape, as bettors will often hear trends referenced by those looking to justify their college basketball picks. But the usefulness of trends is often debated, as bettors have differing opinions on just how important trends are when trying to pick winners. Here are a few things to consider when it comes to trends to give a clearer picture before bettors integrate them into their pick making process.
First, it is important to consider the effectiveness of sample sizes when looking at college basketball trends. For example, bettors may hear a trend referenced about a team going 10-1 against the spread over their last 11 meetings against a team over the last 11 years. Of course, each college basketball player has four years of on-court eligibility at most, meaning a trend like that has spanned multiple recruiting cycles for a team.
On the one hand, it could be argued that the trend proves that a team has been consistent against that one opponent regardless of which players are on the floor. On the other, it could be argued that the results of games from a decade ago have nothing to do with the players that will be on the floor for this game. It is up to bettors to decide how much weight they put behind these trends, as some bettors certainly see them as more valuable than others.
It should also be noted that the quality of an opponent can drastically ebb and flow over a period of a few years in college basketball. Covering the spread against a team five years ago could mean something entirely different than covering the spread against that same team in the present. With transfers and coaching changes only further muddying the waters, it could be argued that trends should be discounted entirely when betting on college basketball.
How to Bet on College Basketball
When betting on college basketball, the ultimate goal for bettors is to project their own betting lines for each game. They can then compare those betting lines to the actual lines created by bookmakers. Then, they can see where the most significant differences between their projections and the actual betting lines are and bet on those spots where it is most advantageous to do so.
In college basketball, more than any other sport, it is beneficial to bet on games as early as possible when these advantageous spots are revealed. With so many games to make lines on, there are more regular instances of bookmakers setting attackable lines in this sport than in sports like the NBA or NFL. Betting games early allows bettors to get the best possible number in a sport where line movement can be drastic before tip-off in some cases.
College basketball is a less sharp market than pro sports because of all of the games that require betting lines. Yet, for some reason, the betting handle for college basketball games is less than that of games in the NBA, NFL, and other pro sports in most cases. Therefore, bettors who can find an advantage and use it, stand to have a better win probability than they do in most sports.
NCAAB Frequently Asked Questions
Whether or not college basketball betting is legal for a bettor depends on the laws in their individual state. Different states have different laws on sports gambling, and bettors should learn about the laws in their state before trying to bet.
College basketball betting can be done at any sportsbook that is legal in the state a bettor is in. Each state has different legal sportsbooks, which vary based on each state’s laws.
The point spread is a market where the favorite has points taken off of their total score, or the underdog has points added to their score. This serves to level the playing field ahead of each game.
The over/under is the projected combined score between the teams in a college basketball game. Bettors are able to bet on whether they think the actual score of the game will go over or under the amount set by bookmakers.
Futures betting is the act of placing a wager on the outcome of a season-long event in college basketball. This can mean anything from which team is going to win the national title to which team will win each conference or other long-term markets.
To win at college basketball betting, bettors have to find spots where there is value in the markets before the lines move. This requires statistical analysis and the ability to get to betting lines early.
College basketball season begins in November, with the end of the season coming in April during the Final Four.
Each college basketball team plays somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 regular-season games. They then take part in conference tournament play and potentially postseason play if they qualify.
There is no best bet to make on a regular basis in college basketball. Bettors have to evaluate each game on a case-by-case basis to make the best picks possible.