Not all basketball betting is created equal. The differences between the NBA and NCAA are substantial. It's the latter that we'll be covering in-depth throughout this betting guide. By the end of this article, you'll have the must-know information about NCAA basketball betting, including best sportsbooks, live scores, and tips.
Adding NCAA betting to your repertoire will be valuable. Betting chances are in every corner, none bigger than the annual NCAA March Madness event. The 68-team championship tournament is one of the biggest gambling moments of the entire year. This guide we'll cover that, plus everything else you need to know about college basketball betting!
Best College Basketball Betting Sites
There are more than 350 schools that have a Division I basketball program. That means the college hoops season that runs between November and March is absolutely jam-packed with NCAA bet action on the best college basketball betting sites. Aside from the MLB, there's no other sport in America that offers more betting action, on an almost daily basis, than NCAA basketball.
This predicament is every bettor's dream. Well, sort of. You see, without a trusty online sportsbook — one packed with great features — the betting experience could quickly become a nightmare. Fear not, though, we've scoured the Internet to find the very best NCAA basketball betting sites. Here are our suggestions and rationale behind every pick:
Bovada — Unmatched NCAA Selection
Remember how we said there's a D1 basketball game being played almost daily during the season? Welp, you'll find college basketball bets for the vast majority, if not all, of those matchups on Bovada.
Bovada's carved out quite the reputation for itself off of its betting selection, among other things. It carries a plethora of sports, leagues, and bet types (spreads, props, futures, in-play, etc.) That's especially apparent with its NCAA bets selection. Furthermore, the quality of its prices is very respectable. By and large, it's in-line with the same odds you'll find from casinos in Las Vegas betting NCAA basketball.
BetOnline — Big Bonus To Build A Big Bankroll
First-time players to BetOnline can redeem their welcome bonus, which is one of the best in the whole marketplace. Here's how it works: deposit money into your playing account and BetOnline will match 50 percent of it in free play. The award is capped at $1000, but that's far from chump change.
Just amongst yourself, think about what you could possibly do with $1000 in free betting money. Use the funds to bankroll your NCAA basketball bets? Risk the entire amount on a single bet? While we strongly advise against the latter option, the point is, the possibilities are endless at BetOnline.
GTBets — Earn Rewards In The Long Run
As we've alluded to, the betting opportunities are seemingly endless when it comes to NCAA hoops. If you're going to be gambling plenty and often, why not be rewarded for your loyalty?
Welp, that's how GTBets ended up on our list. The bookmaker has a full-fledged rewards program, which they call "GameTimeRewards." Every time you bet — whether on NCAA best bets or any other sport — you rack up points. Depending on the number of points you rake in, you'll be tiered into different levels (Silver, Gold, Platinum) with its own unique perks.
The biggest incentive, despite what rewards level you're at, is cashback. You can trade in rewards points for cold hard cash, with zero limits on the redemption amount. Other awards include entries into sweepstakes and merchandise.
Now that you have college basketball betting sites to wager on, you also want to keep tabs on current basketball odds and scores. That information can be found in the handy table below. We update this in real-time so you're constantly in the loop with the ever-changing world of NCAA hoops. Make sure to leverage this information before plopping money down on any of NCAA basketball best bets.
NCAA Basketball Betting Tips
Of course, the main reason why we're all here is to win bets and more importantly, win money. But here's the thing about basketball or any other type of sports betting — you only get out what you put in. Keep that in mind as you read through our NCAA basketball betting tips:
Do Your Homework
Thought homework was only part of a school curriculum? Think again. If you want to achieve true, long-term success at NCAA basketball betting predictions, you'll need to study up. A lot.
Just like you, oddsmakers are also here to win. And heck, considering they manage to keep websites up and running, they must be winning more than losing. Here's the thing, though, those wins aren't by chance. Rather, its a series of calculated choices. Those lines you're picking between? Well, they're typically formulated by advanced algorithms that are loaded with data.
If you, the bettor, is to outsmart these bookies and computer models, it's probably not going to be from off-the-top-of-your-head decisions. No, you'll need concrete evidence. Put it this way: if you can't support your betting decisions with research and/or data, then you haven't studied enough. Period.
Thankfully, college basketball is driven by analytics — most of which can easily be found online. A few places to start are KenPom ratings and advanced stats. Breaking down these metrics is an article in itself, but believe us, you'll learn more about teams and players through this than anything else.
Specialize In A Conference
The number-one mistake we see amongst NCAA bettors is spreading themselves too thin. This manifests itself in players betting anything and everything related to NCAAB betting.
There's just no possible way the everyday bettor can keep up with everything happening in the NCAA world. Too much teams, too much players, too little time to stay informed on it all.
Instead, your best bet is to specialize. So put your full focus on a particular basketball conference (SEC, Pac-12, Big 10, etc.) or perhaps a geographic region (California, the Pacific Northwest, etc.) and completely master it. The key is to develop specialized knowledge on a smaller group of teams.
Take our first betting tip as an example. You can't possibly do research on 250-plus teams across 32 D1 conference — well, at least not good research. However, you most certainly can if you're only studying up 12 teams in a single conference and following them throughout a season.
With this focused approach, you'll begin to know certain teams and players better than any bookie or algorithm (or at the very least, as much as them). Perhaps you realize a team is prone to taking their foot off the gas pedal after building a large lead. This might lead you to bet its opponent via in-play, right before they erase the deficit. That's just one small example, but possibilities such as these are endless with specialized knowledge. This should be the cornerstone of your college basketball betting system.
Let The Madness Ensure
Ah, yes, we couldn't leave you hanging without some NCAA Tournament bets suggestions. Online sportsbooks typically roll out killers promotions around this time to capitalize on all the betting interest — so if there's ever a time to join an online sportsbook, it's in early March.
As for the event itself, while everyone wants to find the next "Cinderella" team, you're better off finding the most-streaking-hot team. Many times, postseason play — whether in the NCAA or another sport — comes down to whoever is peaking at the right time.
Look at a sample size of the last 10 games or so. Did a team steamroll through its conference tourney? Is a team on an 8-game win streak? Basketball is a streaky game and momentum like that goes a long way come tourney time.
Momentum also matters more than pure talent. Pundits love to fall in love with teams with "one-and-done" NBA-bound talent. But there's a long history of them coming up short come March Madness time. Between 2010 and 2019, only one number-one overall pick (Anthony Davis of Kentucky) came straight off an NCAA title.
And lastly, do expect some upsets, but don't go broke betting on them. For every bracket-busting upset, there's probably four favorites that win as they were supposed to. Outside of 12 versus five seed, which historically is the biggest trap game, upsets are the exception, not the norm. Now, if there's an underdog team that happens to be scorching red-hot going into the tournament, well now that's a prime candidate to do some damage...
Follow the Odds
In order to make the best NCAA basketball bets, you will need to follow the odds. These will change throughout the year and even as the tournament advances. The more closely you watch them, the more likely you will be to see and take advantage of dips in prices.
Plus, you should compare the odds across the top sportsbooks. Line shopping is key to making sure you get the best price available. Why pay more for the same bet? Check out the latest future odds for March Madness 2021:
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Folks, that's all we have. We hope you've found value out of this how to bet on college basketball guide. If you're ready to get your hands dirty with the sport and start NCAA gambling, the below sportsbooks can help you get you started.
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