The college basketball season runs from early November through the end of March. The National Championship Game sometimes spills over into April, but the NCAA Tournament is synonymous with March.
The first two months of the season are usually reserved for non-conference games, and there are some big-name tournaments that take place throughout the country. Most of the big conferences begin league play after the New Year, and this is where the action starts to heat up.
Even though betting on college football is more popular as a whole, the NCAA March Madness Tournament is one of the biggest sporting events of the year. Millions of dollars are bet on the tournament, and fans love the unpredictable nature of the event.
This guide will explain some of the best ways to bet on each game in the college basketball season, as well as explain the different ways to bet on the season as a whole.
Betting on the game
Betting on each game of the college basketball season is a great way to get involved, and there are at least five options offered by most sportsbooks. These five options all offer unique ways to win some money.
Moneyline betting is simply picking the winner of a particular game. Odds are given to each team in the matchup, and the amount of money you will win depends on if you picked the favorite or the underdog.
Spread betting is one of the most popular bets to make on a basketball game, including college basketball. Even though these bets are still placed before the beginning of the game, spread betting is very different from moneyline betting.
Let’s use Duke and North Carolina to explain this bet:
The first thing to note is that Duke is the favorite in this matchup, which makes North Carolina the underdog. Odds for both teams are usually set at -110 for this type of bet.
This means that Duke would have to win the game by at least seven points to make them the correct pick. North Carolina could lose the game by six points or less to still win you the bet.
Total betting is another popular form of basketball betting, and it’s much different from the first two options. Total betting focuses on the total number of points scored by each team, and this is sometimes referred to as an “over/under” bet.
Let’s say the line is set at 143.5 points. If the two teams combine to score 143 points or less, then the “under” hits. If there are at least 144 points scored in the game, then the “over” would be the correct pick.
Player props are usually reserved for conference tournaments and the NCAA Tournaments, but primetime matchups also might feature this option. With this bet, you are simply looking at a particular player and placing a bet on how he/she will perform in a statistical category.
Team prop betting works in the same way as player prop betting and again is more commonly offered at the end of the season. With this type of bet, you are making a wager on how a team will perform in a specific statistical category.
Betting the Event
Even though betting on each game is the most popular form of college basketball betting, sportsbooks don’t limit you to just that. There are also some great betting opportunities offered throughout the season, and especially as the season begins to wind down.
We already discussed player and team prop betting, but there will also be prop bets offered for the entire college basketball season. These are usually unique bets, but there is a chance to win some real money. Here are a few potential prop bets:
- Will a team finish the regular season with an undefeated record?
- Will the Big Ten Conference have 10 teams make the NCAA Tournament?
- Will any game throughout the season go into five overtimes?
NCAA Tournament Betting
NCAA Tournament betting is huge in the United States, and this includes filling out a bracket and entering a bracket pool. Every game of the NCAA Tournament will feature the betting options listed above, but sportsbooks will unveil several new ways to bet on the game.
Winning a bracket pool can give you plenty of satisfaction and bragging rights, but it can also earn you a lot of money. If you’ve never bet on the NCAA Tournament, think of the Super Bowl, but a month-long event.
Conference Tournament Betting
Conference tournaments begin roughly two weeks before the start of the NCAA Tournament, and this is where the excitement really starts to build. Sportsbooks will offer bets on each game, but you can also place a future bet on which team will win each of the conference tournaments.
Future Bets to Win Tournament Bets
This is one of the most popular future bets placed in the sports betting industry because the NCAA Tournament is so famous. This bet is offered throughout the year, and bettors are simply picking which team will win the tournament held at the end of the season.
Odds for each team will change several times throughout the year, and the action will ramp up when the NCAA Tournament field is announced. There is a chance to win some real money if you can correctly pick the champion.
Where to Bet the Game
Now that you have a better understanding of how college basketball betting works, the next step is to find someone that will take your bets. Bettors in the US have two main options when it comes to betting on sports, and those are online sportsbooks and casinos.
Las Vegas was the original home to sports betting, but it is starting to be challenged by several other markets. The state of New Jersey has emerged as one of the biggest challengers, and there are some great online sportsbooks in the state.
Here is a list of some of the top online sportsbook in the state of New Jersey:
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There are casinos all across the United States that now operate sportsbooks and are ready to take your college basketball bets. Atlantic City, New Jersey is one of the biggest casino markets in the country, and there are a few terrific sportsbooks at the casinos:
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College Basketball Season Betting Guide Summary
Betting on college basketball is extremely popular throughout the year, but the action really heats up when the calendar flips to March. Betting on conference tournaments is a great option, and then the NCAA Tournament draws in plenty of action.
A large percentage of college basketball bettors wait until March Madness to begin betting on the game, but that doesn’t have to be the case. There are some great betting options offered throughout the year, and some great places to bet on college basketball.