NCAA Basketball Odds - Live Odds and Betting Markets - HowToBet

NCAA Basketball Odds

College basketball is like no other sporting event across America. The passion for the game is also fueled by young athletes who are looking to take their game to the next level. No wonder the NCAA basketball odds are always so popular!

If you're new to basketball betting, you'll be pleased to hear that the main betting markets are easy to understand. Here we will take you through the five main markets you are likely to be interested in. We'll show you how they work, and how to take advantage of the NCAA basketball odds that are available.

NCAA Moneyline Betting

When looking at NCAA basketball odds, it doesn't get at any easier than the moneyline market. This is because it is arguably one of the most simple bets to make. 

Your job here is simply to decide which team will win the game in question. That's all. Odds will be presented for each team, with either a minus sign (-) or a plus sign (+).

Here's an example of what an NCAA moneyline market might look like:

Duke Blue Devils:-225
North Carolina Tar Heels:+135
NCCA Moneyline Example

Starting with the Blue Devils, they are quoted at a negative 225. The minus sign shows that they are the favorites for the game.

The key for (-) odds is that you will need to bet the figure stated in order to make a profit of $100 if the team wins. In this example, you would need to bet $225 on the Duke Blue Devils to make a profit of $100 if they win.

Looking at the North Carolina Tar Heels, they have a positive 135. The plus sign shows that they are viewed as the underdogs.

The key for (+) odds is that you need to bet $100 in order to make a profit equal to the figure stated. In this example, a bet of $100 would give you a profit of $135 if the team wins. 

NCAA Point Spread Bets

If you are interested in how much a team will win the game by, then point spreads are right for you. In this bet, you are somewhat concerned about who will win, but ultimately it is more about how well or how badly a team will win or lose. 

Using the same teams as in the previous example, let us look at this spread bet:

Duke Blue Devils:-8.5 (-110)
North Carolina Tar Heels:+8.5 (-110)
NCAA Point Spread Example

You may have noticed that the odds are -110 for both teams. This is very common odds for this type of bet because the sportsbook has set a spread to try and give both bets a similar chance of winning.

In this case, the spread is 8.5 points. If you bet on the favourites, they will have 8.5 points deducted from their game total before your bet is settled. Similarly, if you bet on the underdogs, they will have 8.5 points added to their game total before your bet is assessed.

In this scenario, Duke must win the game by 9 points or more for a bet on them to succeed. A bet on the Tar Heels will succeed if the team win the game, and it will also succeed even if they lose, as long as they don't lose by more than 8 points.

NCAA Totals Betting

The totals market is similar to the point spread market. Your primary focus here is on the overall score of the game rather than who wins or loses. This bet is also referred to as the Over/Under. 

For instance, say you have a matchup between the Kentucky Wildcats and the University of Connecticut Huskies. Both teams are within the top 25 in scoring average for the season, so a high scoring game is a good possibility. 

You might see a total bet at 145.5. If you choose Over, then the total score of the game must be 146 points or more. If you choose Under, it means that the game total must be 145 or less. 

Keep in mind that whichever option you go with, it doesn't matter who scores what. So if one team scores 145 points and the other only scores 1, you would win your bet if you chose the Over. 

NCAA Futures Betting

The markets related to futures betting are focused on events that will take place or be decided at some point in the more distant future. So for NCAA basketball future odds, you will see some options for games that have not occurred yet such as:

  • National Championship 
  • Conference Winners
  • Final Four
  • Elite 8
  • Invitational Winners

Odds for these examples typically get released at the beginning of the season for teams. Because of that, the odds can change drastically as the season goes on. This means that a long shot to win could have better odds if they start the season off strong and look attractive going into a tournament. 

NCAA Propositional Bets 

Prop bets are largely fun bets and sometimes do not rely upon the outcome of a game. For example, one prop bet might require you to predict who will score the first bucket. Another might involve prediction which team will be in the lead going into halftime. 

These bets are sometimes tricky to wager on because you have to account for a lot of information that only becomes apparent in real-time. However, they can present useful opportunites to win some money back with live betting if your other bets are not going as planned. 

For example, if you bet on a moneyline for Team A to win, but they are down 15 points throughout the game, you could place some prop bets that favor Team B. 

NCAA Basketball Odds FAQ

Why do the odds change?

When looking at NCAA basketball odds, you’ll notice that they can change a lot between initial publication and the time of the event taking place.

This fluctuation has a variety of possible causes. However, the main ones are how bettors are wagering,  changes in the starting five and newly announced injuries.

How can I practice my strategy?

The best thing to do is look up an event that you want to bet on, research it thoroughly and make your predictions. Once you have done that, watch the game and compare your notes. This way, you can see how good your research and prediction skills are before betting with real money. 

Which are the best team to bet on?

There is no best team to bet on, even though some teams could be easier to wager on. However, you can break down certain teams based on conference strength, points scored, points allowed, and other factors that could help you pick a good team. The top 25 rankings is another guide by which to measure how good a team is. 

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