No form of NCAAB betting is more popular than the point spread. So popular that phrases like “betting the spread” or “covered the spread” have entered the English-language lexicon. Given the huge appetite for NCAA basketball point spread betting, we’ve hand-crafted this betting guide on this specific wager type.

But before we break down the nuances of point spread college basketball, we must first define what “the spread” even is. The bare-bones definition is a point margin that a college basketball team either must win or lose by.

Unless the game is a true toss-up (e.g. a pick ’em wager), bookies will set one team as the betting favorite and the other as the underdog. Therefore, the spread acts as a “handicap” per se that evens out the playing field. The favorite “covers” if they win the game by more than that scoring margin. Underdogs cover if they lose by under that margin or win the contest straight up.

That’s the Vegas point spread college basketball in a nutshell — but as you’ll soon learn, winning these bets isn’t nearly as easy as the wager sounds. Regardless, if it’s very doable, so long as you follow our advice on nailing NCAAB predictions against the spread.

Video thumbnail

Best Sportsbooks For Betting On College Basketball Spread

During the playing season, you’ll have opportunities galore to bet on college basketball spreads. Between November and March, the season is jam-packed with college hoop games as there are more than 350 schools with Division I programs. 350!

It all climaxes with the March Madness tournament in, you guessed it, March. The championship tournament involves 68 teams and 67 games, which means 67 unique point spread NCAAB tournament lines.

This is every point spread bettors dream, so long as you have an online sportsbook to handle all your wagers. While there’s plenty of bookmakers, a few, in particular, make NCAA college basketball point spread a chief priority. Here are our three suggested sportsbooks to use in that regard:

NCAA Basketball Point Spreading Betting at Bovada

One of the premier spots for college lines and spreads is Bovada. This bookmaker’s wagering selection is second-to-none in the industry and that’s a quality that should be of value to all bettors. Realistically, players could do all their betting on Vegas spread NCAA basketball on-site without missing out.

Despite the expansive menu, Bovada makes the betting experience seamless — whether you’re on a desktop or a mobile device. The user interface is an industry leader in both ease of use and cosmetics.

This dichotomy makes Bovada an all-in-one package for gamblers. By registering to the site, one is joining the ranks with thousands of others that have flocked to Bovada, making it one of the most-used online bookies in the world. 

BetOnline’s NCAAB Point Spreading Lines

NCAAB point spread is also a prominent fixture at the BetOnline sportsbook. If it’s at D1 basketball game — whether it’s in Arkansas or Wyoming — it’s bettable at this bookie.

However, where BetOnline really earns its mettle is in its sign-up bonus. While most online sportsbooks offer a new player promo, few match Bovada’s in pure value. They’ll match a first-time player’s deposit into the platform by 50 percent — with a max reward of $1000 in free play.

That award can go a long way when making NCAAB point spread predictions throughout the year. For one, it’s a great way to build a bankroll. Two, for new bettors, you can “learn the ropes” of wagering while on someone else’s dime. All in all, this deal by BetOnline is a real bargain for bettors.

GTBets has Good Point Spreading Odds

Another top-notch option is GTBets. The point spread for NCAA basketball are also abundant at this bookie — and at great prices, too. The odds mimic many of the same ones you’d find in a powerhouse casino in Las Vegas.

But where GTBets really separates itself from the competition is in its GameTimeRewards program. This loyalty service gives bettors points on every wager made on-site, no matter if its a point spread on NCAA basketball games or an entirely different sport.

As we alluded to before, NCAA odds are available non-stop during the season. If you’ll be gambling on a consistent basis, you might as well get paid to play — and that’s exactly what GTBets’ loyalty program does.

In case you’re looking for more places to get point spread NCAA basketball lines, we have a full list of recommendations below. To make your decision easier, we’ve also included site reviews and bonus detail information. Compare and contrast the sportsbooks to make an informed decision on where to gamble this year.

College Basketball Point Spread Odds Explained

Earlier we explained what a college basketball point spread was, but we need to add more context to give you a textbook understanding of it. This is best done through an example. Let's say Virginia is facing Miami. The spread might be -5 for the Cavaliers, while the Hurricanes are +5.

The difference between the spreads lies in the plus and minus sign. The positive-sum for Miami indicates they're underdogs, whereas the minus-sum is the giveaway that Virginia is favored. Therefore, in order to cover, the Cavs must win by at least six points, whereas Miami has more leeway, they can lose by under five points or win outright to cover its spread.

It's no coincidence that the NCAA basketball spread is dead-even at five points. This will always — and we mean always —  be the case. It's by design as bookies try to get an equal amount of bets on each side.

Beyond the actual point spread, you'll also see odds listed for each bet. By and large, it's usually a -110 line on both sides. This odd represents how much money you stand to make on the wager if the NCAA basketball spread predictions pan out. At -110, you'll earn a $100 profit on every $110 staked.

how to bet on NCAA Basketball Point Spreading

Not getting even money (you have to bet $10 more) on wins is also by design. That 10-percent price hike is what's referred to as the "juice" and is essentially a bookmaking fee. In an ideal world, bookies get equal action on a wager, therefore, they guarantee themselves a profit from the juice alone on the losing tickets.

Circling back to our example. You might hear Virginia are five-point favorites. That's true, but a more accurate way of putting it is, "bookmakers believe they can balance out the betting action by listing Cavs as five-point favorites."

In the lead-up to a game, if you notice the Vegas spread college basketball shifting — without any news that'll affect the game like an injury or player suspension —that's because bookies are getting a drastically uneven amount of bets on the game. Bookmakers will update the spread to incentivize bettors to wager on the side getting less action.

Video thumbnail

College Basketball Against The Spread Advice

Before we put a lid on this guide, we need to share some betting strategies to win at college basketball against the spread bets. While, no, there's not a magic formula that works every single time out, these next pointers still carry a lot of weight. In the long haul, they'll safeguard you against costly mistakes.

Be Selective With Your Bets

Some bettors, especially if they're new, become intoxicated with the vast amount of betting options NCAA regularly presents. With so many games, these bettors bet on anything and everything. While it's fun to have "skin in the game" on so many outcomes, this is not a long-term strategy for hitting on college basketball predictions against the spread.

NCAA Basketball Point Spreading Betting

You're much better off picking your spots wisely. And these picks should be based on two things primarily — specific knowledge you have and betting value. When it comes to the former, perhaps you're an expert on SEC basketball. You know this college conference in and out, thus, that know-how gives you unique insight into what might transpire, an insight that the casual bettor probably doesn't possess.

Furthermore, pinpointing value within bets is also key to NCAA basketball predictions against the spread. If there's a so-so school that has a +6 spread at home, that might be of value. Teams getting blown out in their own arena is a low probability outcome that's worth taking a risk on.

Fade The Public On Lopsided Bets

Remember how we said bookies will move game spreads if they're getting an overwhelming amount of action on one side? Welp, pay close attention to these moves. If you see a line shift and shift some more, you should consider going "against the grain" per se.

Look, we get it — following the crowd feels natural. But if you want to win at NCAA basketball against the spread, you're looking for a non-average outcome. And you see, most bettors lose more than they win (hence why sportsbooks stay open). So if most bettors lose and you see most the money on going one way, this should give you every reason to do the opposite.

Let this be a lesson for NCAAB against the spread gambling or life in general: doing the same thing as everyone else will give you the same results as everyone else. Which in this case means losing more often than not. So blaze your own path, even if it goes against conventional wisdom.

And with that, we draw a close to this betting guide. As you've probably already gleaned, the Las Vegas point spread NCAA basketball is the backbone of betting on college hoops. Mastering it whilst NCAA gambling will reward you very handsomely.

Meet the author

Quinn Allen

Quinn Allen leverages his broadcast journalism degree and passion for sports in his betting previews and analysis. Based in Kelowna, Canada, he has emerged as an expert voice with picks featured on OSB, MTS, SBD, and as a ClutchPoints editor. With a lifelong fandom of...