How To Read NCAA Basketball Betting Lines

11 February 2019
by admin

Being among the most popular college-level sports, the fellowship of college basketball spreads countrywide. With the legalization of sports betting in some parts of the United States of America, college basketball betting is fast becoming popular among sports enthusiasts. If you’ve ever been interested in joining the college betting bandwagon, then understanding college basketball lines is crucial.


While NCAA basketball betting odds are not difficult to grasp, it’s rather difficult to become a pro in betting on college basketball lines. But then, betting is all about getting lucky, and thus, if you take time to understand how to read college basketball lines, you can make some money now and again. So, in today’s exclusive, we’ll enlighten you on all the basics of reading the NCAA basketball lines, odds and how you can properly use them when betting.

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What Are College Basketball Odds?

College Basketball betting lines are figures that should show you the likelihood of a team you support or one that you chose while betting, to win. College basketball odds, in essence, show the probability of an event happening. College Basketball lines also show you the amount of money you are likely to win should the team you bet on wins.

And in most cases, college basketball odds will also be referred to as college basketball betting lines. Chance or probability will not always carry the day as there are some winnings which you can attribute purely to luck and the ability to take risks. You therefore shouldn’t take things too seriously. So, as you read the college basketball lines, just remember to have fun and enjoy the rush while it lasts.

Essentially, there are 3 types of college basketball odds:

American Odds

As the name suggests, American odds are odds that are highly popular with many sportsbooks in the United States for college basketball betting lines and other sports. American odds work differently for various tags of your favorite team. By tag, we mean, your favorite college basketball team may be identified either as a favorite or an underdog. In some cases, the American odds in college basketball betting lines and other sports are referred to as the Moneyline odds.

Fractional Odds

When reading college basketball betting lines, have you ever seen something like 4/1 or 8/2 when you’re backing your favorite teams? These are the fractional odds. So, what are fractional odds? Well, there have been various attempts to simplify the concept of fractional odds when it comes to college basketball lines. The easiest can be how much you will win/how much you will stake. For instance, if you stake $5 at 10/5, this will mean that you will win $10, or rather you will most likely receive $10 if you place a $5 college basketball betting lines wager.

Decimal Odds

The decimal college basketball odds are relatively easy for you to calculate your eventual payout when betting with college basketball lines. Your stake multiplied by your college basketball odds should give you the amount you identify as your payout. For instance, if you place a bet on Duke’s Men Basketball team to win, and Duke’s decimal odds are 1.92 and you wagered $100, your payout will be $192. Isn’t that easy enough?

How to read NCAA Basketball Lines

As we’ve already mentioned, you must know how to read college basketball lines before you start placing wagers on the teams that you like most. And reading these college basketball odds is pretty simple.

American odds may be positive or negative, and to help you fully understand the concept of positive and negative American odds, we’ll give a simple example. Let’s say Duke faces Notre Dame, and Duke has a positive odd of +120, and Notre Dame has negative college basketball odds of -130, positive odds reflect your profit should you bet $100. For example, if you wager that Duke is going to win, and they do indeed become the winners, you will earn $120 from the said college basketball betting lines.

Negative American college basketball odds, on the other hand, depict the sum of money you need to raise $100. In the above college basketball betting lines example, if you bet for Notre Dame to win and they do, you are up for a profit of $100.

There are times when NCAA basketball betting odds change and this could be because of several reasons such as:

  • There may be last minute changes to a team you want to bet on, probably as a result of injuries or the lineups being presented. In such scenarios, the favorite and the underdog may change and thus lead to a change in the NCAA basketball lines.
  • The market confidence may shift. It’s all about perception, about who is more likely to carry the day. The perception of the market will ultimately lead to one side being labeled the favorites and another team being labeled the underdogs. A slight or major shift in market perception will, therefore, change college basketball lines.
  • In-Play college basketball lines are very volatile: Have you heard about in-play betting? Well if you haven’t, this is betting as the game is going on. NCAA college basketball like many sports is quite unpredictable, and as the game proceeds, a lot of unprecedented things may occur. This makes the college basketball lines fluctuate from time to time in the course of the game.
  • Another reason why the NCAA basketball betting odds do change is the bookmakers usually may not be sure of the odds they have given out. As such, they keep changing the odds thus creating a wave of uncertainty.
  • Bookmakers also often change the NCAA basketball lines as a reaction to the bets already made.
  • Many sportsbooks run things on their own and thus they may not be in a position to consult on matters such as uniform NCAA basketball betting odds.
  • Lastly, the wave of media rumors related to the team selection of the teams in the NCAA basketball betting odds could also lead to deviations in the college basketball lines in anticipation of the changes.

As such, we advise that you stay vigilant when you are choosing the sportsbook for the most profitable NCAA basketball betting odds. A key feature is line shopping where you need to look at a variety of sportsbook offering different odds for you. After doing the recon, you will have a better idea of things, and it will be easier to settle for a sportsbook that offers you the best possible NCAA basketball lines.

Also, learn to take advantage of situations that could significantly alter the NCAA basketball betting odds of any game. For example, be on the lookout for any news related to player injuries, suspensions and team form that you may use in choosing the correct NCAA basketball betting odds.

Moreover, you shouldn’t always focus on how attractive the college basketball lines may appear. At times, this is just the sportsbook trying to create the ideal situation for themselves where an equal amount of risk is bet on all outcomes of the wager.

How to Calculate Implied Probabilities for NCAA Basketball Betting Odds

Implied probability can be defined as the chance that an event may occur which is represented by betting odds. Belief is a vital component of betting and is the main reason why we do calculate implied probabilities.

Calculation of implied probability involves different formulas depending on whether the American odd is positive or negative. To calculate the implied probability for positive American odds, you use the formula: implied probability = 100 divided by (positive odds + 100). In our example above, the Duke’s Men Basketball team had a positive American odd of +120. Let us calculate the implied probability of this odd.

Implied probability = 100 divided by (120+100)

Implied probability = 100 divided by 220

Implied probability = 0.4545

Which translates to 45.45% chance of winning. The bookmakers have thus given Duke 45.45% chance of winning.

Why don’t we try it out with the negative American odds of the same example we used above.

It is important beforehand, to note that Implied probability= negative odds divided by (negative odds-100)

Let’s take for instance the example above. Notre Dame had a negative odd of -130. Hence:

Implied probability = -130 divided by (-130 – 100)

Implied probability = -130 divided by -230

Implied probability = 0.5652 which translates to 56.52%

As you can see, looking at things in an angle of implied probabilities will actually help you make better decisions when dealing with college basketball lines.

Final Word

Having learned how vital NCAA basketball lines are, and being now in a position to calculate implied probabilities, it is up to you to apply this knowledge in your betting. That’s the only way you can ensure that in as much as you have fun reading the NCAA basketball lines, you also do stand a chance of winning big. You will also not be left vulnerable to some sportsbooks which may want to exploit you unknowingly as you may lack prior knowledge to such information. Have fun in your college basketball betting.

How To Read NCAA Basketball Betting Lines
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