NCAA basketball is the perfect entry point for betting on college sports. With 32 conferences and more than 350 teams, you can bet on college basketball games practically every day for six months of the year. And, of course, things ramp up considerably when March Madness rolls around.
The range of bets is only getting larger, too, with moneylines, point spreads and over/unders now joined by a range of props (in some states — more on this later). Here’s how to bet on NCAA basketball, including the latest odds from Connecticut sportsbooks.
Live college basketball odds at CT sportsbooks
Check out today’s college basketball betting lines from CT sportsbooks below. These odds update automatically. Click on any odds to go to that sportsbook and claim your bonus before getting your bets in.
Note: Connecticut does have some restrictions involving betting on in-state college teams. Basically, you can’t bet on teams based in CT in individual games. Instead, you can only bet on them if they are participating in a college tournament involving a minimum of four teams — in short, you may be able to bet on how the Connecticut Huskies do in the Big East tourney or in March Madness. And you can still bet on non-tournament games involving out-of-state college teams.
UConn Huskies basketball odds
Like we said, betting on the Huskies is a little complicated in Connecticut. If you don’t see any lines for the team above, head over to our UConn Huskies betting guide. We’ve got the lowdown over there, including details on how you can and cannot bet on the Huskies, a history of the team, tips and more.
How college basketball lines work
College basketball betting is a popular option at legal online CT sportsbooks. From late November until early April, that little NCAAB tab contains multiple betting options. Below, you can see a list of all the major bets available for NCAA basketball in Connecticut. As we’ve already covered, the big caveat is that you can’t bet on most games involving the Huskies.
College basketball best bets:
- Point spreads
- Live betting
Next up, we’re taking a closer look at each of these bets, including how they work, how to read the lines and more.
NCAA basketball moneylines
Moneylines are sports betting bread and butter. A bet on the moneyline is a simple prediction of which team is going to win a game.
Along with spread betting, moneylines are routinely the most popular types of bets on a variety of sports, and knowing how to read moneyline odds is a prerequisite for betting in the US. Fortunately, even though they might look confusing at first glance, it’s not too difficult. Let’s check out a sample college basketball line you might find at FanDuel Connecticut:
The moneyline odds are in the center. The team with negative odds — in this case, Boston — is the favorite. Odds of -295 mean that a correct bet of $295 would win $100, or a bet of $29.50 would win $10, etc.
On the other hand, the team with positive odds is the underdog. In this case, the American Eagles are at +235, which means a bet of $100 would win you $235 if it ended up being correct. For beginners, it’s easiest to think about moneyline bets in terms of $100, but you can bet however much you like.
The listing above — which shows the moneyline, the spread and total — is the most common format you’ll see at Connecticut sportsbooks, with these bets normally the most visible. To find more bets, like props, you can click on the game listing. However, it’s worth noting that not every single college game has deep prop markets, at least in the regular season. This is hardly surprising with more than 350 teams, but the good news is you can bet moneylines, spreads and totals for just about every single game.
NCAA basketball point spreads
Along with the moneyline, spread bets are the most popular way to bet on basketball. Betting on the spread still involves betting on the winning team, but with a twist.
Rather than simply winning, the favorites need to win by a certain number of points for you to win your bet. If you bet on the underdogs, they need to avoid losing by the same number of points — so they could lose the game and you could still win your bet.
In the above example, the spread is seven points. So if you bet on Boston, you need the Terriers to beat American University by at least eight points for you to win your bet. If they win by six or fewer, you lose the bet. If they win by seven exactly, the bet is a push and you get your money back.
With point spreads, the odds on both sides are usually around -110, as is the case here. Betting $110 on either team against the spread will win you $100 if you win your bet. However, some books let you move the spread in exchange for a shift in the odds.
NCAA basketball over unders
With over-under or total bets, you don’t need to worry about which side wins at all. Instead, you just need to predict how many points the two teams will combine to score. It can be a good option if you think you can tell how a game is going to pan out — in terms of being very defensive or more of a shootout — but you can’t pick between the two teams, or you don’t like the odds.
As with spread bets, the odds on totals are usually around -110 for both sides. In the example line, the line is at 134.5 points. If you bet the over, all you need is for the two teams to combine to score 135 points or more, with the winning team being irrelevant.
NCAA basketball futures
Futures are any longer-term bets that won’t settle until a comparatively long way into the future. In contrast to straight-up bets on individual games, you normally need a series of factors to go your way to win a futures bet.
The most popular futures involve betting on postseason tourneys, like the winner of a conference or the overall NCAA basketball champion. Many people like to place futures at the beginning of the season, or at the start of a tournament like March Madness, but many futures markets are available for most of the year.
Also, given the prohibition on betting on in-state teams, futures provide one of the few potential options to bet on the UConn Huskies in Connecticut. Under state law, you can only bet on CT college teams in an intercollegiate tournament that involves at least four teams, which theoretically means you could keep betting on the Huskies outright if they went all the way to the Final Four. Here’s an example line from SugarHouse Sportsbook CT:
NCAA basketball props
If you bet on the NBA, you know all about prop bets. Props are bets on things that happen in a game, or on how specific players perform, without worrying about who actually wins the game. Player props like the number of points, layups, rebounds and other stat categories are very popular. You place similar bets involving a whole team’s stats.
Things are a little different with NCAA basketball. Although props are getting more common in college betting, for the average regular-season game you probably won’t find many.
With the sheer number of college basketball teams out there, it’s just not realistic for the sportsbooks to have props on each one. However, things open up in the postseason. You can definitely expect prop betting options during various conference finals or the Final Four.
NCAA basketball live betting
Similar to props, the live sports betting market considerably expands for the highest-profile college games. For the majority of regular-season games, you may be able to bet on the moneyline as the game happens live. For big games, you might find some live props and other options, too.
Betting on games as they happen — whether you’re watching on TV at home or actually sitting in the stadium — has been one of the biggest developments in sports betting over the past decade or so. Live betting on college sports still has some catching up to do to the pro leagues, but it’s getting there.
NCAA basketball parlays
As with most other sports, you can also combine your college basketball bets into parlays. Parlays let you add multiple bets to the same slip. To win overall, each leg of the parlay needs to be correct. The sports betting odds of the different individual bets are multiplied together, which can lead to some pretty attractive odds. But only if you win, of course.
Betting on March Madness in Connecticut
The climax of every NCAA basketball season comes in March, with one of the most exciting and unpredictable tournaments in any sport in the world.
March Madness features an incredible 68 teams from around the country all competing in a single-elimination format. The competition is easily one of the sporting highlights of the year in the US and is a big deal at sportsbooks, too.
Various forms of March Madness “betting,” or at least predicting outcomes in bracket pool contests, actually predate legal sports betting in the majority of US states. Sportsbooks are well aware of the popularity of March Madness and the tradition of pool contests, and they routinely expand their betting options during the tournament.
You can also now find March Madness odds for every individual game plus futures on who will win or make it to the Final Four. Sportsbooks often have special offers and promotions for the tournament, too.
College basketball betting strategy for beginners
Betting on college basketball can be a daunting experience. When you’ve got almost six straight months of games, and a truly staggering 350-plus teams, you would be forgiven for not knowing where to start. We’ve put together a few tips to help you get the most out of NCAA basketball betting and not feel overwhelmed:
- Remember, this isn’t the NBA: College basketball games are shorter, and the shot clock is longer. There aren’t nearly as many points per game. The totals account for this, and it’s something you need to be aware of. College basketball is its own sport. Don’t think that your NBA betting strategies will just fit in.
- Line shopping is important: With so many games, odds can vary a lot among sportsbooks, and even more so for games from smaller conferences. Don’t be afraid to shop around.
- Ignore win/loss records. This can seem counterintuitive, but the truth is that the schedules tend to vary so much that records mean less than you might think. This is doubly true when teams from different conferences play each other. Better to thoroughly research a few teams than rely on the broader stats for many. On that note …
- Focus on specific conferences. There are too many teams and conferences for you to realistically expect to develop true insight into all of them. Remember, this is not the NBA. Much better to start with a single conference and slowly expand, and generally focus on a smaller group. Otherwise, NCAAB betting can just be too overwhelming.
How to bet on college basketball online in CT
People in Connecticut can bet on NCAA basketball provided they are 21 or older and located inside state lines. Connecticut online sportsbooks are already up and running, and they make it easy to sign up and start betting, whether you’re using an app or a website.
The best way to get started is to click on one of the sportsbooks you’ll see in the odds list above. This takes you to the sign-up page, and you can complete the process from there. Whichever book you choose, the registration process is fairly similar. You’ll need to provide some or all of the following info:
- Date of birth
- Phone number
- Email address
- Last four digits of your Social Security number
You’ll also have to agree to the sportsbook’s terms and conditions. Connecticut sportsbooks must verify the identity of anyone placing a bet with them, which explains the need for personal data.
The registration process is also often your chance to claim a welcome bonus. Look out for a field for a bonus code or promo code, which unlocks your promotions once you’ve signed up. Some books may not require a code, but you can claim the bonus by using one of the links above.
Once you’ve signed up, you’ll need to make a deposit to start betting. CT sportsbooks normally accept a variety of payment methods, like credit cards and bank transfers. The deposit process is very simple, similar to many other online purchases or transactions. Your money should be available for you to bet with immediately. As soon as your account is ready, you can find the NCAAB section and start betting.