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    College Basketball Odds

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    Key NCAAB betting terms to knowFinal Four

    One of the popular futures bets in college basketball is betting on teams to make the Final Four at the end of the season. There are often unlikely teams who make surprising runs in the tournament, and bettors can win big if they find the right ones to bet on.

    Winning margin

    Nailing a winning margin can lead to a large payout, with sportsbooks offering small ranges for each team to win by. For example, picking a team to win by 17-20 points would usually be offered at longshot odds, even if that team is favored by double digits.

    Race to X points

    If bettors expect one team to get off to a fast start, they can place a bet on that team to win the race to “x” points. Sportsbooks generally offer a race to 10, 15, 20 or 25 points for both halves of the game.

    Against the spread

    The spread is one of the most common ways to wager on a game, with the betting market determining how many points one team is favored by. That number is the spread, and bettors can choose to take the favorite to win by at least that many points, or they can back the underdog to stay within the spread or win outright.


    Every college basketball game has an over/under, which is the total number of points scored in the game. Bettors can wager on whether the combined score of both teams goes over or under the listed number.

    Money line

    If bettors want to avoid the spread, they can bet on the money line, which is simply the outright winner of the game. Big favorites have large money lines with small returns, while betting on large underdogs can lead to a big payday.


    Another way to generate a large payday is to form a parlay, which combines multiple bets into one ticket. The odds increase with every leg added to the parlay, and there are plenty of options during a full slate of college basketball.


    Betting on teams to win their conference or national championship can be profitable, and those are both examples of futures bets. Bettors often place futures bets before the season begins, but most sportsbooks update their conference odds and national championship odds daily throughout the season.


    The Wooden Award is given to the best player in college basketball every year, and it is a common betting option at sportsbooks. With so many teams across the country, there are usually a plethora of longshots who have a chance to take home the award.

    To go to OT

    Overtime can be a somewhat common occurrence in college basketball, and bettors can usually get longshot odds if they expect an extra period. Most sportsbooks offer overtime odds, generally with double-digit odds.

    Total odd or even

    One way to stay entertained until the very end of a game is by wagering on whether the game ends with an odd or even number of points. Much like betting on the coin toss for the Super Bowl, it can be hard to predict this type of bet.

    Correct score

    While betting on the winning margin can bring good odds, picking the exact final score for both teams leads to an even larger payout. However, bettors have to get the score for both teams correct, making it a challenging wager.

    Live betting

    Live betting continues to grow in popularity, as it gives people a chance to get involved from the opening tip until the final whistle. Knowing each team’s tendencies can create value in the live betting market. Sportsbooks usually offer updated odds in real time throughout the game.


    College basketball lines often move dramatically from the opening number to the closing number, and some bettors will take advantage of that movement by betting on both teams in the same game. For example, someone could bet on one team as a 10-point favorite when the line opens and then bet on the opponent as a 14-point underdog after the line moves. If the game ended with the favorite winning by 11, 12 or 13 points, the bettor would win both wagers.

    Same game parlay

    These have been growing in popularity across every spot, and college basketball has been no different. A same game parlay allows bettors to combine multiple bets within one game, leading to a larger payout than an individual bet.

    Team method of first basket

    There are three different ways to score, and this type of bet allows bettors to choose which team scores first and which method they score by. A 2-point field goal is always the favorite, followed by a 3-pointer or free throw.

    Total points in first minute

    Betting on the over/under for the entire game is much more common, but there is also an over/under for the first minute of the game at many sportsbooks. There are usually only two or three possessions in the opening minute, making it a thrilling bet to watch unfold.

    Alternate spread

    If bettors prefer to wager on a different spread than the one listed, they can look at alternate spreads. The odds change based on how the spread moves. For example, if a team is favored by 6.5 points, an alternate spread of 10.5 points would pay a greater return.

    First half

    Some teams play better in the first half of games, and sportsbooks offer a spread, money line and over/under for the opening stanza. There are also alternate spreads and totals available for both halves.


    All wagers are refunded when the score lands exactly on the betting number. If a 3-point favorite wins by exactly three points, the original stake is returned to both sides of the bet.

    Team total

    One way to target a specific aspect of a game is to bet on the team total, which is the over/under for points related to just one team. If a bad offensive team is facing an elite defense, the under will be a popular selection.