For those that are familiar with NBA sports betting and think it’s an easy transition to NCAA betting, you may be in for a surprise. While both levels play the same sport, there are plenty of small details that are different which bettors need to be acutely aware of.
Most college basketball bets can be classified as either a single-game bet or a futures bet. Single-game bets involve bets on events that take place during an upcoming game. Futures bets involve bets on events that are far into the future.
Now that sports betting is legal in Arizona, anyone of legal age in the state can bet on college basketball all year. Below find everything you need know about betting college basketball online in Arizona including the best NCAA basketball betting apps and live NCAA basketball odds direct from AZ online sportsbooks.
Today’s NCAA basketball odds
NCAA basketball odds are updated daily at multiple sportsbooks across the state. Check the latest college basketball game lines as posted at AZ sportsbooks below. See the full NCAA basketball odds board here. Click on any odds to go right to the sportsbook, claim your bonus, and get started.
Beginners guide to NCAA basketball betting
When you go to bet on an NCAA basketball game in Arizona, there are two key components to any bet ticket. The first is the selection that you make, but of equal importance is the odds associated with your selection. Being able to read these odds and figure out which wagers offer strong value is super important.
Odds at sportsbooks in Arizona will be displayed in American format. In American format, the team that has the better chance of winning is known as the favorite. Their odds will be displayed with a minus sign in front of them. This number is how many dollars must be wagered to win $100.
For example, if Arizona State University had odds of -115 at DraftKings Sportsbook Arizona to win a game, you would need to bet $115 to win $100 for a total return of $215.
The underdog is the team that has a lesser chance of winning. Their odds will be displayed with a plus sign in front of them, signifying how much will be returned from a $100 bet. Using the same example of Arizona State University, if they had odds of +110, you would need to bet $100 to win $110 for a total return of $210.
Finding good value is just as important as finding a good bet and being able to read odds is the first step in doing that.
Understanding the different bet types is another key skill for any gambler. When you’re in-season, most bets will have to do with single bets. There are a variety of bets that are offered for every game and gamblers can choose between them before games.
During the offseason, most of the bets are going to be futures bets. These are wagers that have a long period between the time they are placed and graded. The odds on your bet get locked at the moment you place the bet and never change. This means that futures bets can sometimes turn into steals as things change throughout a season. The most common futures bets for NCAA basketball is betting on who will be the winner of next season’s March Madness tournament and who will be the Naismith Player of the Year.
Ways to wager on college basketball
Before placing a college basketball bet, you should familiarize yourself with the terminology. These are all words that are commonly used in the gambling space and must be known to be able to have discussions with experienced gamblers.
College Basketball Point spreads
When two teams of different strengths play against each other, a point spread is applied as an equalizer that makes the game easier to bet on. In a sport such as college basketball, where two teams can have vastly different skill levels, the point spread is an essential tool that helps facilitate gambling.
For example, if Arizona and Arizona State were facing off against each other, a sportsbook like BetMGM Sportsbook in Arizona would apply a point spread. Let’s say that Arizona is the better team, so they are going to be the favorites. The sportsbook might give them a spread of -3. This means that they must win the game by more than three points for a bet on their point spread to win.
On the other side, Arizona State would have a spread of +3. This means that as long as they come within three points, a bet on their point spread will be a winner.
If the final score lands exactly on the point spread, for example, Arizona wins by three points exactly, then it’s considered a push. This means that your money is returned to you and it’s a tie.
College Basketball Moneylines
The moneyline is the most basic bet in all of sports gambling and one that is used very often. It’s simply a bet on a specific team to win a game. No matter what happens, at the end of the day if that team won the game then their moneyline bet will be a winner.
The moneyline bet is one where the odds play an especially large role, as they will reflect each team’s strength and the chance of winning the game. With a sport like college basketball, where teams are very mismatched, some moneylines can offer huge returns for big upsets.
For example, using the same Arizona vs Arizona State game, the FanDuel sportsbook app might have Arizona with a moneyline of -115 while Arizona State could have +105. This represents the increased chance Arizona has of winning the game as the favored team.
College Basketball Totals
The third bet type that is standard for every game is the total. This is a line that sportsbooks release and then gamblers can choose if they think the game will go over or under this specific number.
The total represents the combined score of both teams at the end of the game. When two high-scoring teams play against each other, the total will be a higher number to reflect that fact.
For example, in our Arizona vs Arizona State game, the total might be set at 135. If the two teams score over that number combined, over gamblers will win. If the two teams combine for a score under that number, under gamblers will win.
College Basketball Props and futures
See below for the latest college basketball futures odds as posted at Virginia online sportsbooks.
Props and futures are two other bet types that gamblers enjoy playing. Prop bets involve wagers on the smaller events within a game that don’t affect the outcome. These can be categorized in a few different ways.
For example, a common type of prop bet is team prop bets. These involve gambling on the actions of an entire team. This could mean betting that Arizona State will be the first team to shoot free throws during their game against Arizona.
Besides prop bets, futures bets are another bet type that gamblers love to play. These involve betting on events that are far into the future. Because of their nature, the potential return for futures bets will usually be very high. However, it’s difficult to predict events that are so far away as so much can change.
Sometimes things can change in your favor and the futures bet that you were holding suddenly becomes very good value. For example, if you bet on Arizona at the start of the season to win March Madness despite tepid preseason predictions, you would get very strong odds. If they then had a great regular season and established themselves as one of the best teams in the country, you would be pretty happy with your preseason futures bet.
Futures bets can be placed on other events as well such as conference standings, other tournaments, and individual awards.
For gamblers that are looking for potentially large rewards, parlays are the bet type of choice. Parlays involve combining multiple bets into one ticket. The advantage of doing this is that the odds rise exponentially for every additional bet that is added to the ticket. The disadvantage is that if even only one bet loses, the entire ticket is a loser.
The large returns offered by parlays can be very attractive and catch the attention of beginners. However, you should be warned that parlays offer such large returns for a reason: they are very difficult to hit. The exact odds structure offered by parlays will depend on the sportsbook.
Parlays should not be the main bet type used by any gambler. They are a much more risky option that should only be used in moderation, not as the main bet type. Think of parlays as more of a lottery ticket than a smart gambling strategy.
For example, you could combine the Arizona moneyline with a bet from another game, perhaps a Northern Arizona Lumberjacks spread, to create a 2-leg parlay.
Similar to parlays, teasers combine multiple bets into one ticket. What they also do is give the gambler additional points against the spread or total in return for weaker odds. This means that they are slightly easier to win than parlays but also don’t offer the same crazy high returns.
For example, if you took Arizona -3 and Northern Arizona moneyline at Caesars Sportsbook Arizona on a seven-point teaser, you would get lines of Arizona +4 and Northern Arizona +7.
Teasers are generally negative expected value plays and are thus not recommended by many experienced gamblers.
How to bet on March Madness in AZ
March Madness betting is the biggest gambling event of the year for college basketball fans. The tournament takes place over a couple of weeks during March and early April and features 68 teams that battle it out for the most coveted trophy of the year.
There are two main methods that people take to bet on March Madness. The first is by doing the same bet types that were mentioned above such as prop bets, futures bets, or any other type of bet at a sportsbook.
Another way to gamble on March Madness that is very popular are March Madness bracket contests. Millions of people across the country will fill out a bracket as they try to predict how the tournament will unfold. These brackets are then entered into a variety of different tournaments with the best brackets winning a prize.
Live betting college basketball games
The advancement in technology across the gambling space has allowed for live betting to become a bigger part of the industry. This will be no different in Arizona as gamblers always enjoy live betting.
For college basketball, the bets offered live will depend slightly on the sportsbook being used, but should generally reflect the bets that were offered before the game. All the player props, single-game bets, and other goodies that are found before the game will be offered live.
Some more bets may be offered live that weren’t offered before the game. These include wagers on a team winning a specific half or quarter of play.
The odds for these wagers are constantly shifting throughout the game. This reflects the changing situation that the unfolding game is presenting. For example, if one team takes a large lead then their moneyline will have much weaker odds.
Three essential NCAAB betting tips for beginners
Many gamblers struggle when they first start betting on college basketball. Here are three college basketball betting tips that you can employ as a beginner to make sure that you have the highest chance of turning a profit from day one.
1. Beware of big spreads
The NCAA basketball scene features some teams that are filled with future NBA players while others don’t have anyone that will play at the next level. While it may seem like common sense to bet on the favorite in these big mismatches, huge spreads can often pose issues for gamblers not used to them.
Teams that are up by huge scores will often bench key players late in games, allowing weaker teams to get back into it and cover the spread.
2. Become an expert instead of a generalist
There are so many different teams and conferences in NCAA basketball that it can be hard to keep up with everything going on. Some people will try to find out information on every team in the country and look for value there. Instead, it’s better to become an expert on a smaller part of the market and exploit that section for value.
3. Use a variety of bet types
Gamblers can sometimes fall in love with the high returns offered by a parlay or the high probability of hitting a low odds play. However, to maximize your returns you should be playing a wide variety of different bet types. Keep track of your bets and see where you perform the best to optimize your approach.
Making your first college basketball bets online
Making your first college basketball bet online is a very easy and straightforward process. It’s a simple process to open an account and get involved with sports betting in Arizona on either your phone or your computer.
To begin, you’re going to want to either visit the website or download the app for your chosen sportsbook. From there it’s going to be an easy and straightforward process to get your account open and get money deposited.
Some things to keep in mind when opening an account for the first time are any potential promotions or bonus offers that you want to take advantage of. These can help you get started and see some profits to begin your gambling journey.
Another thing to keep in mind is your preferred deposit method. Check to make sure that the sportsbook you pick has your preferred deposit method available as an option to have an easy experience.
Once you have deposited money into your account, you will be able to place bets on the wide number of selections available to you.