The game of basketball began when Dr. James Naismith invented the sport and held the first match on Dec. 21, 1891 at a local YMCA in Springfield, Massachusetts. It didn't take long for the game to take hold at United States college campuses, and a burgeoning industry surrounding betting on the NBA and college basketball was not far behind.
Today, NCAA basketball is incredibly popular and takes in a lot of action from USA bettors during the season, but when March Madness tips off, it becomes one of the most wagered upon sporting events in the country. Our guide to NCAA Basketball and March Madness betting sites provides a clutch cross-court bounce pass to prospective college basketball gamblers by revealing the top basketball betting sites as well as what patrons can expect to find once arriving there.
Top USA NCAA Basketball Betting Site For 2021
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Is it legal to bet on college basketball?
USA gamblers can bet on college basketball games at either domestic or international sportsbooks. Bettors that reside in a region that regulates their own sports betting can visit a domestic option and place a bet on NCAA Basketball.
Bettors in the USA can access college basketball betting lines at international sportsbooks that offer their services over the web. Federal gambling laws don't prevent offshore books from accepting bets from USA-based patrons over the Internet, but Connecticut and Washington have laws in place forbidding online betting.
The offshore betting sites that we recommend in this guide accept members from CT and WA, so it is vital that bettors know the terns and conditions for membership with each sportsbook, as well as all applicable betting laws in each region.
How to bet on college basketball in the USA
The college basketball betting sites that we feature on this page require membership to place a bet. The first thing aspiring basketball bettors need to do is click the join button on the top of the page and enter the required personal info on the following page. The next page will ask for the new member's first deposit, and will also extend a promotional offer for bonus cash that will match a portion of the total. These bonuses will be detailed later in this guide.
A bevy of financial options will be presented for making the first deposit into your bankroll, which is covered in a section below. Once your deposit has been made you can make your way to the sportsbook section of the site and locate the odds for NCAA Basketball as well as the betting lines for March Madness.
2021 NCAA Tournament: March Madness Betting
Each March, 68 teams compete in NCAA Basketball's March Madness tournament that determines the national champion for that given season. This single-elimination tournament attracts viewers from all over the United States and offers small colleges the opportunity to compete on college basketball's largest stage. The games occur at all hours of the day and they inspire Americans to skip out on work and bet on them. NCAA Basketball championship futures are available to bet on year-round, but March Madness betting allows for action to be placed on each contest leading to the title game.
2020-2021 College Basketball Schedule
- Season Begins: November 25, 2020
- Selection Sunday: March 14, 2021
- First Four: March 16-17, 2021
- First Round: March 18-19, 2021
- Second Round: March 20-21, 2021
- Sweet 16: March 25-26, 2021
- Elite Eight: March 27-28, 2021
- Final Four: April 3, 2021
- National Championship: April 5, 2021
March Madness 2021 Brackets
The 2021 March Madness College bracket will begin with 68 teams from 32 eligible NCAA Basketball conferences across the United States. There are several sites that run free March Madness bracket challenges that award large amounts of cash prizes to the winners. These contests typically pop up just before tournament time because the proceedings cannot begin until the teams have been selected.
Odds to Win the 2021 NCAA Men’s Championship
The below NCAA Men's Basketball championship futures line reveals the teams featured toward the top of the betting odds to become the eventual 2021 national champion next March. Because so many teams are involved, the money line odds are in the positive for all options, which will provide a hefty payout that is much larger than the amount risked for bettors that can select the eventual champion.
Types of College Basketball Bets
Analyzing the different types of bets you can make during the regular season and the NCAA Tournament can be a way to make additional returns on investment. There are dozens of ways to bet on NCAA college basketball, but the below bet types are the most common variety and should be focused on before venturing into the more obscure options.
- Point Spread: This is the number of points that oddsmakers think teams will win or lose by. The favored team will be listed in the positive with underdogs listed in the negative. Teams must cover to win bets - meaning win by more than, or lose by less than, the point spread.
- Money Line: Moneyline odds on college basketball lets bettors pick the team they think will win the game, with three-digit odds that imply their chances of winning, as well as the payout that can be won.
- Over/Under: This is how many points oddsmakers predict that both teams will combine to score. Bettors simply select whether the total will be over or under the predicted amount.
- Prop Bets: Odds on occurrences that don't necessarily impact the outcome of the game, and can include the color of the coaches tie, how many points a player scores, or if the National Anthem takes longer than 2 minutes to sing.
- Live Bets: Live betting, or in-game betting, offers college basketball odds that can be bet on throughout the game, eliminating the focus on pre-game bets.
- Futures: Betting on events or outcomes that will occur in the future, such as the eventual March Madness winner, conference champions, or which player will win the MVP of the national championship game.
- Bracketology: Picking the winners for the First Four, Round of 64, Round of 32, Sweet Sixteen, Elite Eight, Final Four, and the National Championship.