Legal College Basketball Betting Sites – NCAAB Odds and Lines for 2021
In Springfield, Massachusetts at the YMCA International Training School, known as Springfield College today, basketball was created by Dr. James Naismith on December 21, 1891.
Vanderbilt University played against the Nashville YMCA on February 7, 1893, which became the first game of hoops against an outside opponent, and the first official game between two colleges took place when Hamline University faced what is now the University of Minnesota on February 9, 1985.
Once teams began competing, it wasn't long before betting on basketball captured the interest of the nation. The NCAA became the official collegiate governing body for basketball in 1939, and today, there are 353 Division I men’s basketball programs in 32 conferences.
College basketball features one of the most exciting postseasons in any sport, the NCAA Tournament, or what it’s better known as March Madness, which is one of the most bet on sporting events in the entire country each year.
Before betting on a favorite or a Cinderella team's odds for March Madness, regular-season games, or NCAAB Thanksgiving weekend games, we want to make sure you “survive and advance” by providing the best legal online sportsbooks for you to bet on college basketball.
Are Online College Basketball Sportsbooks Legal in the United States?
Offshore: Yes. There are no federal gambling laws preventing the use of online sportsbooks if they are located offshore and are legally licensed. Each of the betting sites we recommend not only meets this requirement but also ranks among the biggest and most trusted brands in the industry for betting on college basketball and other sports.
Domestic: Some states only. After the U.S. Supreme Court repealed PASPA in May 2018, it paved the path for sports betting to be legalized by state legislatures. Local sportsbooks are available in a few states, but online sportsbooks operated within the country are only legal in a few states at this time.
Best Online Sportsbook To Bet On NCAA College Basketball
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NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Structure
For NCAA Division I men’s basketball, there are 353 teams across 32 conferences. In total, 68 teams will qualify for the NCAA Tournament and have a chance at winning the national championship.
The 32 conference tournament winners receive automatic bids while the remaining 36 teams are chosen by the NCAA Selection Committee, who also seed each team.
A college basketball team must win 6 games in a row (7 games if seeded into the play-in) to win the national championship.
2020-21 NCAAB Season Schedule
Whether you’re betting on college basketball lines or odds, it’s key to know the schedule. Here are the dates for the most important tournaments and events happening during the 2018-19 Division I Men’s Basketball season.
- 2020-21 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Regular Season
- November 25, 2020 – March 7, 2021
- Early Season Tournaments
- November 25, 2020 – December 25, 2020
- Division I Conference Tournament Week
- March 7-14, 2021
- 2021 March Madness Selection Sunday
- March 14, 2021
- Start of the NCAA Tournament, First Four
- March 16, 2021
- First and Second Round
- March 18 & 20, 2021
- Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight
- March 26 & 27, 2021
- Final Four
- April 3, 2021
- 2021 NCAA National Championship
- April 5, 2021
Betting on NCAA Basketball Games – Odds and Lines
There are two things to look for when betting on college basketball, and you’ve likely seen both before: Odds and Lines.
Click here to view all the current basketball odds and lines, courtesy of Bovada.
College Basketball Betting Odds
The type of betting odds offered on college basketball games revolve around the point spread, the money line, and the over/under, all of which are detailed in the following section.
If betting on NCAAB Championship futures, bettors will encounter a list of teams that each feature money line odds next to their name that imply their chances of winning the national title as well as indicates the amount of money that can be won by betting on them.
Prop bets also use money line odds, and are often given yes or no options to bet on. March Madness draws a lot of casual viewers and basketball bettors so prop bets are more plentiful during the college hoops postseason. Proposition bets can be made on how many points a player will score, whether a player will foul out, or what color sweater a given head coach will wear.
Bracketology is also a major source of gambling intake during March Madness, and involves participants selecting the results of each matchup in the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. There's never been any record of a perfect bracket, so if you intend to actually add some cash to your bankroll, you may want to stick to betting on individual college basketball games.
College Basketball Betting Lines
A betting line in college basketball typically includes three items that can be wagered on - the point spread, the money line, and the over/under. These three types of college basketball bets are detailed below.
- Point Spread: a bet that requires the favorite to win by a set margin and the underdog cannot lose by more than the same margin or can win the game.
- Example: Duke -6.0 (-110) @ North Carolina +6.0 (-110)
- Money Line: a bet solely on which team will win the game.
- Example: Florida (+250) @ Kentucky (-300)
- Over/Under Total: a bet on whether the total points scored by one or both teams will go over or under a set number of points.
- Example: Kansas @ Michigan State Total O/U: 154.0
10 Fun Facts You Didn't Know About Basketball
- Dr. Naismith is the only Kansas Jayhawks coach to have a losing record (55–60) during the prestigious history of its college basketball program.
- UCLA has won 11 national champions, more than any other school. Out of the 11 titles, 10 of which were won by legendary coach John Wooden.
- Three people have won a national championship in college basketball as a player and a coach: Joe B. Hall (Kentucky), Bob Knight (Ohio State/Indiana), and Dean Smith (Kansas/ North Carolina).
- LSU Guard and Basketball Hall of Famer “Pistol” Pete Maravich holds the record for the most points scored for a career in Division I history with 3,667 (1967-70) and for average with 44.2 PPG.
- Kevin Bradshaw holds the record for most points scored in a single Division I basketball game with 72 points scored against Loyola Marymount University on January 5, 1991.
- From 1967 to 1976, the NCAA banned the dunk in college basketball because Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who is 7’2”, used it frequently dominate opposing players.
- The 3-point line was first tested at the collegiate level in 1945 but was not officially implemented in college basketball until 1986.
- Since 1986, the national champion receives the entire hardwood court used for the Final Four and championship game.
- The oldest coach to win a championship was Jim Calhoun, who won it for UConn at age 68 in 2011. The youngest coach to win it all was 31-year-old Emmett McCracken, who coached Indiana to the title in 1940.
- The 1992 Troy State vs. DeVry game was the highest scoring men’s basketball game at any level in NCAA history and the most points ever scored by a single team, which saw Troy State win 258-141 and many experts today consider both the team and total scoring records to be unbreakable.