College basketball is a big deal at legal online sportsbooks across the US. Interest increases even more come tournament time. March Madness is one of the signature betting events of the year. From the regular season through to the completion of the tournament, bettors have a host of games and wagering options to consider, including spreads, totals and futures. Here’s a look at college basketball betting and how to do so legally in the US.
Best online sportsbooks with college basketball betting promos
How to bet on college basketball
- Choose a sportsbook for betting on college basketball. There’s a list of top legal online sportsbooks above, along with information on the currently available promotions for new customers. You can begin the sign-up process by clicking on the “play now” button. Note that you must be located in a state where the sportsbook is legal, and that age and eligibility restrictions apply.
- Complete the registration process. Once you’re set to sign up, just follow the prompts and enter the necessary information. The sportsbook needs to verify your identity to create an account. Standard information generally includes your name, address, date of birth and Social Security number.
- Download the sportsbook app if you plan to wager via a mobile device. After doing so, enable geolocation so the sportsbook can verify your location when you’re ready to start placing bets.
- Add funds to your account to place wagers. Online sportsbooks offer a number of deposit options, and the sportsbook’s cashier function will walk you through the process.
- Review the college basketball odds from the sportsbook and choose what you want to bet on. There will be a menu that lists all of the sports that are available for wagering. Once you click on the college basketball link, all of the available options will become available. If you find something you want to bet on, click on the odds to do so.
- Finalize and place your wager. After you click the odds, the bet will move to your betting slip. You’ll be able to add the amount that you want to wager, verify that everything is correct, and click to place the bet. Afterward, you can track the progress in the open bets section of your account.
Why should you trust our links?
We have conducted reviews of all of the sportsbooks that we link to on our pages. Once you click the link, you’ll arrive at the sign-up page to complete the registration process. We only feature sportsbooks that are legal and regulated in the states in which they operate.
Sportsbook deposit and withdrawal methods
All of the top online sportsbooks provide a range of ways to deposit and withdraw money. The exact options may vary, but top choices generally include ACH, credit/debit cards and PayPal. The cashier will walk you through the process. Deposits typically process instantly, while the sportsbook generally has to review and process withdrawals.
Typical welcome bonuses
Many sportsbooks offer sign-up bonuses for new customers. You can find some examples of what to expect at the top of this page. The bonuses will vary and may be subject to change. You can consult the terms and conditions for full details. An example of a typical welcome bonus could be a deposit match or wagering credit.
Legal college basketball betting apps
DraftKings is one of the leaders in legal online sports betting. College basketball bettors will find odds and lines that stack up well with the competition, as well as special betting pools for March Madness.
DraftKings Sportsbook is available in the following states: AZ, CO, CT, IL, IN, IA, KS, LA, MA, MD, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, TN, VA, WV & WY.
The busy NCAA basketball season can be tough to stay on top of, but FanDuel makes it a bit easier with a clean layout. It lists all of the upcoming games in clear-cut fashion, and you can sort through them with ease.
FanDuel Sportsbook is available in the following states: AZ, CO, IL, IN, IA, KS, LA, MA, MD, MI, NJ, NY, OH, PA, TN, VA, WV & WY.
BetMGM has expanded its reach and brings a solid mobile offering to the table. Odds and lines stack up well in relation to its competitors, and it offers a good variety of sports and bets.
BetMGM Sportsbook is available in the following states: AZ, CO, DC, IL, IN, IA, KS, LA, MA, MD, MI, MS, NJ, OH, NV, NY, PA, TN, VA, WV & WY – Note: Offer not available in DC, MS, NV or NY.
This Australia-based company made its US debut in 2019 with a launch in New Jersey. Since then, PointsBet has expanded to other states. The sportsbook has a range of innovative features, including PointsBetting and “quick parlay.”
PointsBet Sportsbook is available in the following states: CO, IL, IN, IA, KS, LA, MD, MI, NJ, NY, OH, PA, VA & WV.
A member of the Rush Street Gaming family, BetRivers has also been expanding its reach in steady fashion. The BetRivers app is clean and user-friendly, and it offers a variety of features. Bettors will find a range of options for each college basketball game.
BetRivers Sportsbook is available in the following states: AZ, CO, IL, IN, IA, LA, MD, MI, OH, NJ, NY, PA, VA & WV.
College basketball betting terms
Here are some of the standard college basketball betting terms that you’ll come across as you get set to wager on games:
- Moneylines: The moneyline bet is where you choose which side you think will win the game. There will be odds on both options: negative for the favorite and positive for the underdog. If the team you select goes on to win, you win your bet.
- Point spreads: The spread requires a more strategic approach. Sportsbooks will set a line for each game. If you place a spread bet on the favorite, you would need that team to win by more than the sportsbook’s line for your bet to win. On the other hand, if you bet on the underdog, you would win the bet if your pick lost by less than the line or won by any amount.
- Totals: The sportsbook sets a line for the total combined score of a game. You can wager whether the actual total score will end up being over or under that line.
- Props: A prop is a side bet on the performance of an individual player, a team accomplishment or on the game as a whole. Examples include the exact margin of victory or an over/under on one team’s points.
- Points: Player props for college basketball aren’t available in every state where sports betting is legal, but in states where they are, one option is to bet on the total points a specific player will score in a game.
- Halves: Betting lines are available for the individual halves of a game, such as moneylines, spreads and over/unders.
- Futures: A futures bet is a long-term wager on a season-long outcome, such as the winner of a conference, the number of games a specific team will win or whether a team will reach the Final Four.
- National championship: The most popular futures bet for college basketball is on the winner of the next national championship. Odds come out over the offseason, and the market stays active nearly all year round.
Upcoming college basketball dates
We’re several months away from the start of the next college basketball season. As the offseason moves along and the calendar changes to the colder months, here are some of the key dates to look forward to:
- Nov. 6, 2023: Start of the regular season
- March 17, 2024: Selection Sunday
- March 19-20, 2024: First Four
- March 21, 2024: First round of March Madness
- April 6, 2024: Final Four
- April 8, 2024: National championship game
State-by-state college betting rules
Individual states set their own sports betting rules and regulations. One area where these rules tend to vary is when it comes to wagering on college sports. Here’s a look at the key details for the current legal states and any restrictions that might impact college basketball betting.
|State||Launch Date||Restrictions||Legal Betting Age|
|Arizona||September 2021||No college prop bets.||21|
|Colorado||May 2020||No college prop bets.||21|
|Connecticut||October 2021||No betting on in-state college teams (unless they are playing in a tournament).||21|
|Illinois||June 2020||Can wager on in-state college teams only with pregame, in-person bets.||21|
|Indiana||October 2019||Prop betting allowed for pregame only.||21|
|Iowa||August 2019||No prop bets on individual college athletes.||21|
|Massachusetts||March 2023||No betting on in-state college teams (unless they are playing in a tournament).||21|
|New Hampshire||December 2019||No betting on in-state college teams or events.||18|
|New Jersey||August 2018||No betting on in-state college teams or events.||21|
|New York||January 2022||No betting on in-state college teams.||21|
|Oregon||October 2019||Must place college bets in person at a retail sportsbook.||21|
|Pennsylvania||May 2019||No prop bets on college athletes.||21|
|Rhode Island||September 2019||No betting on in-state college teams or events.||18|
|Tennessee||November 2020||No prop bets on college athletes or in-game college props of any sort.||21|
|Virginia||January 2021||No college prop bets or betting on in-state college teams.||21|
|Washington, DC||June 2020||No betting on college games taking place in the district or colleges that call the district home.||18|
|West Virginia||August 2019||None.||21|
FAQs for college basketball betting
Is it legal to bet on college basketball?
It’s legal to bet on college basketball in states where sports betting is legal. One thing to keep in mind, though, is that individual state rules can vary when it comes to college prop bets and wagering on in-state college teams. Take the time to review the rules and regulations in your state.
Can you bet on college basketball online?
College football is available for online betting in states where it’s legal to do so, provided you are of legal betting age in that state.
What is the best way to bet on college basketball?
The best way to bet on college basketball or any other sport is to begin by assessing your overall knowledge and risk tolerance for the various wagers. To begin, start with a bet that aligns with your preferences and learn all that you can. There is no one single wager that is the best or easiest.
Are college basketball spreads easier to beat than the NBA?
Regularly beating the spread is challenging for both college basketball and the NBA. It’s not easier to win one over the other, but it is possible that you’ll find that one of the two aligns better with your overall approach to sports betting.
What’s the easiest way to be profitable with college basketball betting?
There are no guaranteed ways to be profitable by betting on college basketball. Anything can happen when two teams square off on the court, and there’s always the possibility of completely unexpected outcomes as a result.