Betting On College Basketball

College basketball is one of the most wagered-on sports in the United States. Other than the NFL season, sportsbooks see more March Madness betting action than any other time of year. It is easy to understand the appeal to bettors, as college basketball betting possesses a unique combination of comprehensive media coverage and an immense variety of teams to bet on—347 in Division I. With the 2019-2020 season forced to shut down before the tournament, basketball fans and bettors across the country are itching to get back to playing.

College basketball bets function much the same as football bets. The most popular wagering options are bets against the spread, moneylines, over/unders, and futures. Parlay bets are also very popular in college basketball because of the sheer volume of games; a typical season features at least one college basketball game every day from November through March, with just a few scattered exceptions. Recent rule changes regarding player transfers have shifted the balance of the sport slightly away from perennial powers, which has made things more unpredictable and potentially profitable for savvy bettors. With the 2020-2021 season almost ready to begin, many sportsbooks and bettors are gearing up for a great year of college basketball.


Is It Legal To Bet On College Basketball?

It is indeed legal to bet on college basketball, however, there are some caveats. Many states with legal sports betting have strict laws that prevent local sportsbooks from offering betting lines on local teams. For example, you cannot bet on local colleges in Indiana at regulated Indiana sportsbooks. This is due to the risk of point-shaving and other forms of cheating by local college players. The good news for local bettors who wish to wager on their local teams is that online sportsbooks offer betting lines for college sports in all markets.

With online sportsbooks, you can legally bet on college basketball with no restrictions. Every game, betting line, and prop bet, and spread is available to be wagered on by all legal sports bettors. This allows college basketball betting to be one of the best forms of sports betting there is. With major events like March Madness every year, you don’t want to miss out on all the potential betting lines available. Betting on the NCAA College Basketball season is entirely legal.

COVID-19’s Impact On College Basketball

As the pandemic is a global crisis of an unprecedented scale, it has also impacted the traditional November start of the 2020 season. The men’s and women’s seasons have been pushed back to November 25, with many invitational tournaments being canceled. There have also been preliminary talks of moving the big tournament back, and possibly holding it in a bubble similar to that of the NBA. The NCAA released a statement saying that they are in talks with the state of Indiana and the city of Indianapolis to possibly hold the entire March Madness tournament within the metropolitan area of the city. Indianapolis was already the chosen destination for the Final Four in 2021.

Latest College Basketball News

Rank Sportsbook Bonus Offer Play Now
1 Bovada Online Sportsbook 50% Up To $250 Read Review Visit Bovada
2 BetOnline Online Sportsbook 50% New Member Bonus!Read Review Visit Betonline
3 MyBookie Online Sportsbook 50% Up To $1,000 Read Review Visit MyBookie
4 Sportsbetting Online Sportsbook 50% Up To $1,000 Read Review Visit Sportsbetting
5 Xbet Online Sportsbook 100% Up To $300Read Review Visit XBet

Current College Basketball Futures Odds

Once a year, the biggest tournament in sports graces the eyes of millions of viewers, fans, and sports bettors. March Madness has continued to be a staple in the online sports betting world, as well as the global sports betting market. Sports bettors can already get in on early wagers, taking action on teams well before the festivities begin. The 2020 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, making this upcoming 2021 tournament even that more exciting as sports bettors have to wait a whole year to get their college basketball betting fix. Current odds are leaning at Gonzaga taking the win, but longshot betting could be a big draw in this year tournament with many blue bloods having long odds so early.

Odds To Win 2021 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament

  • Gonzaga +900
  • Iowa +1000
  • Villanova +1000
  • Baylor +1100
  • Kentucky +1200
  • Duke +1800
  • Texas Tech +1800
  • Virginia +1800
  • Illinois +2000
  • Kansas +2000
  • Michigan State +2000
  • Tennessee +2000
  • North Carolina +2500
  • Wisconsin +2500
  • Oregon +2800
  • Creighton +3300
  • Florida State +3300
  • Houston +3300
  • Michigan +3300
  • West Virginia +3300
  • Arizona State +4000
  • Florida +4000
  • Indiana +4000
  • Louisville +4000
  • Ohio State +4000
  • Texas +4000
  • Arizona +5000
  • Connecticut +5000
  • Purdue +5000
  • UCLA +5000
  • Alabama +6600
Odds To Win 2021 ACC Conference Tournament

  • Virginia +215
  • Duke +225
  • Florida State +300
  • North Carolina +650
  • Louisville +1200
  • Miami Florida +2000
  • Georgia Tech +3000
  • Notre Dame  +4000
  • Syracuse +5000
  • NC State +8000
  • Pittsburgh  +10000

Odds To Win 2021 Big 12 Conference Tournament

  • Baylor +165
  • Kansas +170
  • West Virginia +500
  • Texas Tech +600
  • Texas +650
  • Oklahoma +2000
  • Oklahoma State +2200
  • Iowa State +8000
  • TCU +10000

Odds To Win 2021 SEC Tournament

  • Kentucky +170
  • Tennessee +265
  • LSU +400
  • Florida +700
  • Arkansas +1200
  • South Carolina +1500
  • Alabama +2000
  • Auburn +4000
  • Missouri +4000
  • Mississippi +5000
  • Texas A&M +10000

Odds To Win 2021 Big 10 Conference Tournament

  • Iowa +265
  • Illinois +350
  • Michigan State +350
  • Wisconsin +350
  • Ohio State +1000
  • Michigan +1100
  • Indiana +2000
  • Purdue +3000
  • Rutgers +3300
  • Maryland +5000
  • Minnesota +30000

Odds To Win 2021 Pac 12 Conference Tournament

  • UCLA +260
  • Arizona State +265
  • Oregon +425
  • Stanford +600
  • Arizona +700
  • USC +1000
  • Colorado +1500
  • Utah U +3000
  • Washington +3000
  • Oregon State +8000
  • California +10000

Betting On College Basketball: Online Vs. Land-Based

NCAA BasketballLand-based, brick-and-mortar sportsbooks offer a wide variety of college basketball bets. Depending on where the book is located, these may include everything from the traditional moneyline and futures bets to more niche options like bets against the first and second-half spread. Land-based books also offer an exciting atmosphere in which patrons can enjoy watching college basketball, but that upside is countered by the limited, cumbersome nature of placing bets with a live bookie.

Online sportsbooks can’t offer the same experience of watching college basketball with three hundred other heavily invested bettors, but they make up for it with a bevy of different wager types. For regional, small-conference games, these might include a first and second-half over/under or combined bets on which team will lead at the half and which will win the game. For major, nationally broadcast games, many online sportsbooks will even offer individual player prop bets.

Bettors, regardless of whether they prefer land-based or online sportsbooks, should be aware of their state’s laws regarding wagers on college sports. Some states in which sports betting is legal still have prohibitions on some or all forms of betting on college sports. If you use online sportsbooks rather than domestic ones, these state laws do not apply. As they are not covered by the Federal Wire Act, placing bets with overseas sportsbooks is completely safe and legal.

NCAA Basketball Schedule And Notable Dates

The official NCAA basketball schedule has been set and things will be kicking off November 25, 2020. The first games will be played from both the men’s and women’s basketball leagues and the men’s first games will be played at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. There will be a Wooden Legacy Tournament beginning on November 26, and lasting two days. Georgetown, Kansas, Virginia, and UCLA will be partaking in the event. The Big 12-Big East Battle will take place on November 29. The games will be played at Seton Hall, and all 10 schools in each conference will be facing off with one another. November 30 will see the Maui Invitational. This will be held in Asheville and will run from November 30 to December 2. Alabama, Davidson, Indiana, North Carolina, Providence, Stanford, Texas and UNLV. Will be the schools participating in the event.

Nov. 16, 2020 — NCAA announces tournament is relocated
Nov. 25, 2020 — The men’s and women’s seasons begin
Nov. 26, 2020 — Wooden Legacy tournament
Nov. 29, 2020 — The Big 12-Big East Battle tips off
Nov. 30, 2020 — The Maui Invitational begins
Dec. 2, 2020— Big 12 women’s basketball conference play begins
Dec. 5, 2020 — A matchup between preseason No. 1 and No. 2
Dec. 12, 2020 — ACC conference play begins
Dec. 29, 2020 — SEC, Mountain West begin men’s conference play
Dec. 31, 2020 – SEC, Mountain West start date for women’s conference play
Dec. 31, 2020 – Men’s West Coast Conference play begins
Feb. 6, 2021 — North Carolina at Duke men’s basketball
March 3, 2021 — Start of the women’s ACC tournament
March 9, 2021 — Start of the men’s ACC tournament
March 14, 2021 — Selection Sunday for the men’s tournament
March 15, 2021 — Selection Monday for the women’s tournament
March 16, 2021 — First Four begins
March 19, 2021 — Women’s tournament first-round begins
April 3, 2021 — Men’s Final Four in Indianapolis
April 5, 2021 — Men’s national championship game
April 2 & 4, 2021 – Women’s Final Four in San Antonio

Depositing Into A Sportsbook To Bet On College Basketball

While depositing money with a brick-and-mortar sportsbook is as easy as checking out at a grocery store, online sportsbooks are a bit more variable. Every online sportsbook has its own rules governing things like minimum and maximum deposits and what payment methods it will accept, but there are some commonalities. Most major sportsbooks accept deposits via credit or debit card. They also support cryptocurrency deposits, most commonly via Bitcoin. While cryptocurrency has been used as a scary media buzzword over the last few years, it actually represents a safe, secure, and untraceable method of depositing money into your account.

Every major online sportsbook also offers unique promotions to encourage people to deposit, most commonly in the form of a percentage match on a customer’s first deposit. In other words, when a bettor deposits money, the book will deposit additional money in their account, based on this pre-arranged percentage.

How Do I Withdraw My College Basketball Winnings?

Again, withdrawal from a land-based sportsbook is relatively foolproof. Winners are directed to take their bet slip to a cashier’s window. Upon verification of their winning bet, the cashier will walk them through their various payout options and just like putting money in, withdrawing from online sportsbooks is also quite simple. As with deposits, every online sportsbook offers its own options for bettors to withdraw their winnings, each of which has its own stipulations about the minimum and maximum withdrawal amounts.

Because of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), bettors cannot withdraw money directly from overseas sportsbook accounts into their bank accounts. Because of this, the easiest method of withdrawal is usually the aforementioned cryptocurrency. Featuring the lowest minimum withdrawals and deposits and near-instant processing times, cryptocurrency represents the ideal method of facilitating transactions with online sportsbooks. If for whatever reason cryptocurrency isn’t practical or ideal, books offer alternative methods like wire transfers and courier checks, but these methods usually have additional fees associated, as well as higher minimum withdrawals.

Ways To Wager On College Basketball


The moneyline is the simplest way to bet on college basketball. Moneyline bets are simply bets on who you think will win the game. The simplicity of the moneyline makes it an attractive option for new players, but the formatting of moneyline bets could still use some explanation. With all legal sports betting types, the favorite will be listed with a minus sign in front of their line, while the underdog will be listed with a plus sign. With the moneyline, the line represents payouts based on a standard wager amount of $100. Moneylines for a game will be listed like this:

  • Pittsburgh +210
  • Notre Dame -250

To translate, Notre Dame is the favorite to win the game. To win $100 betting on Notre Dame, you would need to wager $250. If you bet on Pittsburgh to win, a winning bet of $100 would net a $210 return in profit.


The over/under is a great way to bet on college basketball even when you don’t have a vested rooting interest in a game. When a sportsbook lists the over/under for a game, it represents a projection of the total number of points that will be scored in that game between both teams. The final margin of victory doesn’t matter, nor does the manner in which points or scored. The total number is all that matters. Bettors wager that the total will either go over or under the designated amount. In a real online sportsbook, the over/under will be formatted something like this:

  • Iowa O136.0 (-110)
  • Purdue U136.0 (-110)

To reiterate, the actual result of the game doesn’t matter in this situation. If Iowa wins the game 135-0, the total will still be under. If Purdue grinds out a 70-67 win in eight overtimes, the total will still be over. If the final total is exactly the same as the over/under, the bet is a push, and bettors will receive their money back.


For more seasoned bettors, the spread offers more favorable odds for the college basketball season’s many lopsided matchups. When betting against the spread, you are betting not just on who will win, but on what the margin of victory will be. As with the moneyline, favorites will be listed with a minus sign next to their line, while underdogs will be listed with a plus sign. When betting on a favorite to cover the spread, they need to not only win the game but win it by more points than the spread for your bet to cash out. When betting on an underdog, they can either win the game outright or lose by fewer points than the spread for a winning bet. A college basketball spread might look something like this:

  • Villanova +3.0 (-110)
  • Butler -3.0 (-110)

In order for a bet on Butler to win, the Bulldogs would need to win by at least 4 points. A Villanova bet would cash out if Villanova either wins the game outright or loses by 2 points or fewer. If Butler wins the game by exactly 3 points, the bet is a push.


A parlay bet is a risky alternative to conventional betting that maximizes potential returns by drastically reducing the odds of getting a winning ticket. Rather than being a bet on one specific outcome, a parlay is a bet on multiple specific outcomes occurring together. While this increases the payout of a winning bet exponentially, even one incorrect pick in a parlay causes it to become a losing ticket. Parlay tickets can include bets of multiple different types from multiple different sports. A college basketball parlay ticket might look something like this:

  • Florida over Georgia (-550)
  • Virginia -7.5 vs. Clemson (-110)
  • Butler vs. Villanova – O131.5 (-110)
  • Total Points for Ty-Shon Alexander – O16.5 (-140)
  • Oklahoma State over TCU (-150)

While all of these events individually have odds of 50% or greater, the hypothetical bettor who makes this parlay needs all of them to occur for his or her ticket to pay out. Florida must beat Georgia, Virginia must beat Clemson by 8 or more points, Butler and Villanova must total 132 points or more, Ty-Shon Alexander must score at least 17 points and Oklahoma State must beat TCU. If all of these things happen, this bettor could see a return on investment well over 1,000%.

Mobile Betting On College Basketball

Thanks to mobile sports betting, putting action on your favorite college basketball team is just a few clicks away. Mobile sportsbooks offer all the same betting lines that would be found at retail sports betting operations, without the need for bettors to physically be there. You can watch the March Madness tournament from the comfort of your home and bet on the team you want to win through your mobile device. Many states with regulated mobile betting have sports betting apps that can be downloaded, hosting all the same betting odds found at the retail book the app is powered through.

Sports bettors in states without a regulated mobile betting experience can still get in on the action any time anywhere on the go sports betting that mobile betting has to offer. International betting sites offer some of the best college basketball odds available. These sites can be fully accessed from the web browser of your smartphone or tablet. These sites offer a wide variety of winning potential and have the same if not bettor odds that are found at the domestic books. Mobile betting on college basketball is made easy thanks to mobile sportsbooks.

Live Betting On College Basketball

One of the best ways to get in on college basketball betting action is with live in-game betting. With live betting, sports bettors are able to bet on the favorite college team. Every possession of the game now becomes its own win-lose scenario with the ability to cash in big on wins. Throughout the game, several wagers will pop up for sports bettors to take action on. These odds move fast so you will need to quickly wager in order to capitalize. Live betting is the best way to hedge your bets as the many betting lines available so often will be able to offset some of the losses. Betting on college basketball is done best with live in-game betting.