Better Bets on College Basketball
Better Bets on College Basketball: Data, Tips, and Winning Edge
Betting on college basketball is more than just March Madness and brackets. As states legalize sports betting across the country people want to bet on college basketball rather than just fill out a bracket. College basketball is special because of the crazy college fans, the home court environments, watching future NBA stars, and rooting for your college team. All of these things take place before March Madness ever begins.

This combined with recent data show one thing: People want to bet on games!

Key Stats and Trends:

According to the American Gaming Association:

– 45 million American’s placed a march madness bet during the 2021-22 NCAA Tournament

– 76% are likely to bet on each game instead of brackets (up from 55%).

How early can you start betting on college basketball games?

The season starts early November with a slate of non-conference games.

Is there a winning edge by betting on non-conference games?

There is usually some value here as good freshman, new coaches, etc. are not accurately measured by the sportsbooks. This is only going to be harder as transferring becomes more prevalent. With 1500+ transferring, the sport has entered a free agency period. Now, it is much harder to predict a team’s performance level or ranking with 1500 of these players changing teams.

To find the best values and gain a true advantage, use Impact Evaluator for game projections, team analysis, team comparison, ShotQ (shot quality), and expert picks.

How is the season structured?

After the non-conference portion of the schedule concludes there is a conference slate. Teams play each other 2-3x times depending on conference scheduling. Then there is the conference tournament with the winner earning an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.

Is there a winning edge in conference play games?

There is less of an advantage for the bettor compared to non-conference games especially halfway through conference play. At this point in the schedule teams have played 10+ games, so the sportsbooks have more data to price these games. Additionally, since all of these teams play each other a number of times, the sportsbooks can use prior matchups against similar teams or the first game between the teams to set the price more accurately.

However, there is still an edge to be gained using Impact Evaluator’s game projections, team comparisons, and expert picks.

Can you bet on the conference tournaments?

Yes, you can bet on the conference tournaments on most major sportsbooks. Since it is a tournament setting it is set up as a future and provides larger payouts.

Is there a winning edge in the conference tournament?

At this point in the season, there is enough data on teams for the sportsbooks to project games. However, betting on conference tournaments is less about a specific matchup. Winning a conference tournament involves playing style, momentum, luck, offensive firepower, and the right player continuity.

Impact Evaluator provides future betting odds that account for all the necessary factors to win a conference tournament and highlights any impactful advantage for subscribers to bet.

What is the difference between the college game and the NBA in terms of betting?

It is important to note that point totals are much lower due in large part to less playing time and longer shot clocks. The college game is 2 20-minute halves (40 minutes total), whereas the NBA game is 4 12-minute quarters (48 minutes total). The NBA shot clock is only 24 seconds compared the NCAA’s 35 second shot clock.

It is important to keep this in mind when betting point totals.

Another key difference is spread / moneyline related.

The difference between the best and worst college basketball teams is much greater than the best and worst NBA teams. You will see much larger spreads (and moneylines) when betting on college basketball compared to the NBA.

What hit rate do you need to breakeven on spread and point total bets?

The standard bet for a spread or point total is -110, which means that a ~52.4% hit rate is needed to break even.

Are there extra advantages or disadvantages to note?


Bettors are at a disadvantage if they are picking games with key injuries. It is hard for individual bettors to know their impact. To be fair, it is also hard for the sportsbooks, but they are better at pricing in the risk than most individuals better are at pricing the risk.


There are so many conferences, if you happen to track one conference more than the rest you may have extra intel that helps your betting performance.

Whether you track a specific conference or not, it is important to use tools in combination with any intel you possess.

What kind of tools should bettors use to improve performance?

Use these tools on Impact Evaluator to win more of your college basketball bets:

  • Team ShotQ (shot quality for any team’s offense or defense)
  • Team Comparison Analysis

College Basketball FAQs

How do you bet on college basketball?

You can use a sportsbook like Draftkings, FanDuel, BetMGM, etc. to place single game bets, parlays, futures, or round robin bets. You can bet spread, moneyline, or point total for any college basketball game.

How do you bet the spread of a college basketball game?

The spread represents the expected margin of the game. Do you want the underdog and the extra points or do you think the favorite will win by more than the expected margin.

Does overtime count for college basketball game bets?

Yes, overtime counts towards your bet on spread or point total.

How long are college basketball games?

The games consists of 2 20-minute halves.

How long is overtime of a college basketball game?

Overtime in college basketball is only 5 minutes. If the game is still tied, then another 5 minutes are played until someone eventually wins a 5-minute segment.

What channels show college basketball games?

College basketball games are shown on ESPN, CBS, CBS SPORTS NETWORK, FoxSports, TBS, TNT, USA, and a number of streaming platforms.

What is a college basketball moneyline?

Moneylines allow bettors to pick the winner of the game at the price show. For example, +125 returns $125 on a 100 bet. A moneyline like -200 means that a bettor has to wager 200 dollar to win 100 dollars.

What is a college basketball over/under?

College basketball over/unders bets are the same as point total bets. This is simply the combined total score of the game (including overtime). The average point total is around 140 points.

How to make a live college basketball bet?

A live bet is any bet placed once the ball has been tipped. The odds will adjust as the game progresses. To place a live bet, use your choice of sportsbook and look for any game that has started.

Can you bet on college basketball futures?

Yes, you can bet on college basketball futures. Throughout the season, bettors have the option to bet on the winner of the NCAA tournament, winner of individual conferences in the regular season, winner of individual conference tournaments, and player of the year. Use Impact Evaluator to view the college basketball futures with the most value and our expert picks.

There are other great resources for college basketball: