College Basketball Betting: Big Spreads, Big Upsets

Like college football, the sheer number of teams in NCAA basketball (351 in Division I) means there are some incredible mismatches taking place each week. This results in larger average spreads than the pros. However, college basketball games are also the shortest of the major team sports. Concerning real-time action, NCAA basketball games run just 40 minutes (two 20 minute halves). That short duration can lead to significant upsets. The longer an over-matched opponent is required to punch above its weight, the more likely it succumbs to a knockout blow.

NCAAB Betting Strategies, Tips, and Advice

Knowing a few tips will help you make the best college basketball bets possible. In addition to understanding the basics of college basketball odds, being familiar with the teams, and having a financial strategy, there are some specific tips on how to apply this knowledge.

Keeping an Eye on the Hype

The media loves a narrative, and so do we. They build them up around star athletes. This practice can make them seem either invincible or doomed to defeat. However, media narratives are really just that.

As bettors, it can be tempting to be influenced by the stories we tell. This can make us think some bets are great deals when really they are not. It is important to look at the hard facts. Take a step back with a cool head and re-evaluate.

The good part is that the bookies can also be influenced by the hype. This means that you can outwit them if you are aware of the media narrative. In other words, you can keep a critical eye on the media narrative and watch how this will affect the betting lines.

Watch the Lines Move

As you keep an eye on the hype, you should be watching betting lines move in parallel. This will be a big part of deploying your betting strategy.

Plus, as you watch lines move, you can be waiting for the right time to strike. Watching them fluctuate is a way to become familiar with the lines and the markets.

For more details check out our guide on why betting lines move.

College Basketball Fans are Fierce

College fans come from all kinds of demographics. They are adults who have long, storied, relationships with these teams. They are residents who live in the same city or town as the university, and they are the students who attend the school.

These fans are fierce. Many of them have personal relationships with the athletes and are winning to bring it all to the stadium. This means that the spirit in the stadium will be affecting the mental space of the athletes.

Home-field advantage is a bigger deal in college basketball. And this will also vary from stadium to stadium. Some schools have larger traditions of fans affecting the outcome of sports. Do not leave out this factor when making your college basketball bets.

How to Study the Roster

When looking at two teams, it is important to dive into the details. This means looking beyond their wins and losses. It means looking into their starting roster for a particular game.

When looking at the two teams’ rosters, look at how each position will line up against its counterpart. This will help you with all types of bets: college basketball spreads, lines, and props.

Also keep an eye out for any dominant players. If one player is able to dominate the court, no matter how good on average the other team is, they will need a similarly skilled player to keep the other one in check.

The Strength of the Schedule

When you are looking to bet on tonight’s college basketball game, you have to look beyond this singular game. You should think about how the previous games and schedule will affect the energy of the players.

Court fatigue is an underestimated force in college basketball. With so much travelling and tight schedules, the players may not always be on the top of their game. Look out for any intense matchups in the previous days, or long flights.

NCAAB Betting Guide Image

NCAAB Betting Analysis: Live betting and the NCAAB

You can absolutely bet on college basketball live. In fact, it is one of the most exciting and popular ways to make the best NCAAB bets. You can make college basketball spreads during the game, as well as many other bet types:

  • NCAAB lines: Bet live on which team will be the ultimate victor
  • Props: These fast-moving bets are more creative and will often be resolved during the match.
  • Over/under: Bet on the total points scored in the game. These odds will change a lot throughout the match.
  • NCAA basketball spreads: As the clock ticks, bet on how large the winning margin will be.

Betting live on NCAAB comes with lots of advantages. One is the pure excitement. You can feel the rush as the betting markets change minute by minute. Golden opportunities may appear and disappear, any minute.

Plus, when you’re betting live, you are more likely to see the best NCAA basketball bets. That is because you will see more odds on the same markets, so you can be more selective and really prey on the deals.

Moneyline Betting and NCAAB

Placing moneyline bets on NCAAB is a fairly straightforward process. In fact, NCAAB betting lines are the easiest of all betting markets in college basketball. When you are making a moneyline bet, you are simply choosing who you think the winner of the game will be.

In standard American odds, the favorite for the moneyline will have the lower, negative number. This option will often be among the best college basketball bets today. It is a quick resource you have on hand, a safer bet you can always rely on.

The Underdog Approach

One way to organize your NCAAB betting strategy is the underdog approach. In this tactic, you focus on the teams the bookies suspect will lose. In other words, the bets with odds in the positive (+)  rather than negative (-).

While you may lose more bets than you win, they have such high value that you could still come out winning more money.

Bankroll Management

Be sure that your NCAAB bets fit into your overall bankroll management strategy. You should maintain a financial approach across all your sports betting. This will help you better evaluate the different strategies you are working on. After a period, you will be able to tweak your approach and start making even better bets.


NCAA Basketball Futures betting

Futures are when you place bets on college basketball today for an event farther away in the future. NCAAB futures are generally about bigger events than just a regular-season match. For example, you can bet on who will win the championship starting a full year beforehand.

But be warned: odds for college basketball futures bets will change drastically over time. This is both an opportunity for an NCAAB betting strategy and a risk. The earlier you place your bets, the better the value will be because there is an inherent risk in the passing of time.


Getting Started: Finding Your NCAAB Betting Site

With all of this information on college basketball betting strategies, the latest picks, and more, you are absolutely ready to dive in. Check out these top NCAAB betting sites.



50% up to $1,000

Bet Now



100% up to $1,000

Bet Now



50% up to $1,000

Bet Now

Betting on NCAA Basketball Games FAQ

Find answers to common questions bettors like you have when researching which sportsbook to join.