College Basketball Betting at Bally Bet Sportsbook

The importance of college basketball simply cannot be overlooked. Without it, so few of the stars that went on to shine in the NBA would have had a pathway to the big league.

Today, Division I – or March Madness as it’s known – is made up of 68 teams from colleges across the U.S., with automatic qualifiers from the various conferences around the country taking their place in the competition. They are joined in the bracket phase by those teams picked by the NCAA Selection Committee.

From the First Four, Sweet Sixteen, and Elite Eight to the Final Four and National Championship game, you can wager on all of the college action right here at Bally Bet. In this guide, we’ll reveal all you need to know about college basketball betting, including the different lines that are available and general basketball betting advice.

Popular Types of College Basketball Bets

The most popular bet types when it comes to wagering on NBA games are the moneyline, totals, and spread, and that's very much the case when it comes to college basketball betting as well.

While there are some limitations on player prop lines when betting on college sports, you can still find many team prop markets available at Bally Bet.

Here’s a quick look at how to bet on the league.


The most straightforward of the college basketball betting markets, moneyline bets require you to predict who will win a particular game. Generally speaking, there are two types of moneyline games: One with a hot favorite and an underdog, or contests where both teams are relatively evenly matched.

Knowing how to read college basketball betting lines confirms which of those two broad types a game belongs to. The favorite is denoted by negative odds (-) and the underdog by a positive odds (+). The greater the number, the wider the perceived gap in quality between the teams. For example, the Miami Hurricanes are priced at -500 and the Kansas Jayhawks are priced at +450. Here, we have a hot favorite in Miami, with Kansas a considerable outsider to win the game.

Another example could be the Arizona State Sun Devils at -150 and UCLA Bruins at +100. The numbers are much smaller here, which suggests that the two teams are more evenly matched.

The best college basketball bets are those where you can identify when a team has been undervalued by the number-crunchers, and where you believe they have a greater chance of winning than the odds suggest.


Similar to moneyline betting, the spread places either a hypothetical handicap or a head start on the two teams. This number is then removed from the final result to create a revised scoreline. For example, Arizona State Sun Devils at -5.5 points and UCLA Bruins at +5.5 points.

If you believe that Arizona is the stronger of the two, you'll get longer odds on them with a -5.5-point spread than with the standard moneyline. However, they'll need to win the game by six points or more for your wager to land.

On the flip side, you might think that UCLA is undervalued. You could take their moneyline odds, but with a +5.5 point spread you can hedge your risk. In this case, the wager will land if they win the game or lose it by any margin of five points or less.


Totals bets require you to estimate how many points will be scored during the game with the guess shaped by the over/under lines. For example, you could have a totals bet of over 131.5 points and under 131.5 points. If you think the two teams’ respective offenses are going to dominate the defense, you could back the over. In this example, you’d need 132 points or more for your wager to succeed.

If you predict that the two offenses will lack creativity and fluency, you might bet the under, and 131 points or less would secure a win for your wager.

The reason that the totals lines feature half-numbers is to avoid pushes — a game will simply go over or under the given line.

Parlays & Teasers

You can increase your odds by betting two or more selections on the same ticket in a parlay. This multiplies their odds together for a greater potential payout. However, if one of your selections loses, it’s all over for your entire parlay wager. Here's an example: Imagine Arizona at -110, Iowa at -150, and Alabama at +130.

You could bet on these three moneylines as singles, or you could roll them into a parlay. When combined, the odds amount to around +630, so a $1 wager could net a total of $7.30. However, it would only need one of those teams to lose for your entire parlay to be over.

You can wager on moneylines, spreads, and totals as parlay options, or use Bally Bet Sportsbook to create your own Same Game Parlay (SGP), which is essentially two or more picks from within the same game parlayed together.

A teaser, meanwhile, is a type of parlay that allows you to choose your own spread before combining two or more of these picks on a single ticket.

Live Betting

You’ll find many in-play college lines once a game has begun, so you can continue to wager even after tip-off.

All of the most popular lines are available live, including moneyline, spreads, and totals, while our prop odds change throughout a game to reflect the action out on the court.

March Madness Betting

We offer lines for March Madness games as well, but it might be a good idea to wait until game night before placing any bets. That way, you get a closer look at the team news, injury lists, and so on, which can potentially prove vital to the success of your wagers.


We provide odds for the season-long markets, known as futures. So, if you have a have a strong feeling a certain team will win their conference, you can wager on that. Bally Bet Sportsbook also offers lines for events such as a team reaching the Final Four, or going on to win the National Championship.

Betting Tips for College Basketball

Here are some general college basketball betting tips that may just help you improve the accuracy of your predictions.

Study team form and strength of schedule

Although the conference standings act as a good guide for your bets, it’s also worth examining the teams’ recent form to find out who's overachieving or underachieving relative to their league position.

A team's recent strength of schedule is another handy indicator — their results may be skewed positively or negatively depending entirely on whether they've had a tough or easy run of opponents.

Check out team stats and head-to-head history

There are so many amazing stats sites out there dedicated to college basketball, and these are well worth a visit before you place your bets. You can use data like offensive and defensive efficiency, point averages, turnovers, three-point percentages, and much more to get an effective read on the teams.

The head-to-head records of the two teams can also prove to be instructive. Some colleges have a head start on certain opponents before the game has even begun, such is their head-to-head supremacy, while some challenging home courts – historically Kansas, Duke, and Michigan State have dominated on their own patch – can create boisterous and intimidating atmospheres that some teams struggle to cope with on the road.

Bet smarter

There are no unwritten rules on how to bet on college basketball, but it’s worth tracking your wagers in some kind of spreadsheet to see which of the different wager types yield the best results for you. If you're risk averse, sticking to single bets (as opposed to parlays) is a smart strategy, as well as "tight" spreads, rather than pushing the envelope with wider margins for your picks to overcome.

It makes sense to keep a tight rein on your bankroll too, especially if you're only just starting out. Wagering around 2% of your account balance per bet is sensible and maximizes the number of wagers you can place in the long run.

Ultimately, your betting strategy is your own, but it makes sense to figure out exactly what that is before wagering greater sums.

College Basketball Betting vs. NBA Betting

When you use a sportsbook with college betting lines like ours, you gain access to a huge range of NBA lines, too.

There’s not a great deal of difference between betting on college and NBA games, although, as mentioned earlier, there are some restrictions when it comes to wagering on college sports. You might not be allowed to bet on your own local colleges, depending on the state where you live, and player prop bets are also often limited for college games.

But, as we’ve discovered, there’s such a huge range of college betting lines that you'll feel equally at home wagering on the NCAA as you would on the NBA. And with dozens of games played in the March Madness tournament, there’s really no shortage of opportunities to place your bets.

Popular College Basketball Betting Questions

If sports betting is legal in your state, you can wager on college games legally with our sportsbook. There may be limitations on which colleges you can bet on - for example, wagers aren’t allowed on teams from your home state - but otherwise, you can bet on college basketball from Arizona to New York, and many states in between.

Some bettors believe that following the "wisdom of the crowd", i.e., betting in the same way as the general public, is a smart strategy. Others believe the complete opposite to be true: The weight of public betting money pushes the line too far in one direction. You can decide for yourself whether to follow the public betting flow or oppose it.

A parlay bet allows to you to roll two or more picks together on the same ticket. Their odds are multiplied together, so if all of your selections win, your payout will be greater than if you had wagered on them as singles. That said, if just one of your parlay picks loses, your whole ticket will be settled as a loss.

A positive (+) or negative (-) number in basketball betting refers to the spread. Books place a handicap or head start on the teams in order to create a more even game. Bettors can then predict which of the teams will be able to cover their spread.