Finding the best college basketball betting site shouldn’t be more challenging than completing your March Madness bracket.
With the right info, there’s no reason to spend hours of your valuable free time to identify a highly rated site that offers great value and appealing odds.
Sports Betting Dime relies on detailed industry research and years of firsthand experience ranking and reviewing the best places to bet on March Madness and NCAA basketball. As new legal options become available this year, our team will be reviewing the latest options. Here’s the key info you need to pick the best college basketball betting site for 2021.
Overall Best NCAAB Betting Sites
DraftKings has gone from daily fantasy powerhouse to one of the best options for legal US sports betting. Expect great promos and one of the smoothest betting apps out there.Promo: Up to $1,050 Free!
FanDuel has built on their daily fantasy success with a flawless betting app and excellent online sportsbook. Find a superior live betting experience and lots of features for new bettors.Promo: $1,000 Risk-Free Bet
BetMGM brings the famed casino brand online with a top-notch betting app and online sportsbook developed by experienced pros at Roar Digital.Promo: $600 Risk-Free Bet
A big name that's been in business since 1934 is relevant as ever with a modern betting app and online sportsbook that features one of the biggest betting menus out there.Promo: $500 Risk-Free Bet!
Unibet is an awarding-winning, mobile-first sportsbook available in more than 100 countries worldwide. They've been in business for over 20 years, most recently entering the newly legal US market.Promo: $500 Risk-Free Bet
How SBD Reviews College Basketball Betting Sites
Sports Betting Dime uses a variety of methods to formulate our online sportsbook reviews. We bet at each site with our own money, and firsthand experience remains the most important component of the review process.
From start to finish, we experience every site on this list the same as any new sports bettor. We download the betting app, register a new account, make a deposit, and place a wide range of college basketball wagers before reaching any conclusions on each site’s value and sportsbook experience.
There are several key factors our reviewers keep in mind during the process:
- Is the site licensed to legally operate?
- How straightforward are the deposit and withdrawal methods?
- How engaging is the actual sportsbook experience?
- How much variety in betting lines is available?
- Are there any special offers or intriguing contests during March Madness?
Each of these factors is evaluated relative to the competition. But rather than comparing NCAAB betting sites based solely on opinion, SBD relies heavily on internal research to identify industry standards.
The results are published online in our research section, and provide a data-backed benchmark for every site we review.
Each of the sportsbooks included on this page exceeds our standards for safety, accessibility, and customer service. Let’s look at a few differentiators to help determine which one is best for you.
How to Find the Right College Basketball Betting Site
Selecting a great legal site for NCAA basketball betting starts with a peek at the odds and bet types available.
Expect to see moneyline, point spread, and totals (over/under) betting lines offered during both the regular college season and the NCAA Tournament.
With 353 schools and 32 conferences in Division One basketball alone, some sites will cover more games than others. Some focus on offering the best possible value on every betting line, while others serve up a wider variety of exotic options.
Additional College Basketball Odds & Betting Lines
Beyond the standard options mentioned above, college basketball bettors should look out for two additional types of wager: props and futures.
Not directly tied to the outcome of an individual game, these wagers are an excellent way to add variety to your betting portfolio. They also vary widely in terms of their availability at college basketball betting sites.
NCAAB Prop Bets: Prop bets focus on elements of an individual game other than the final outcome. Props can center on either player or team performances, although they occasionally focus on entirely unrelated matters such as the habits of media commentators.
March Madness is particularly well-known for obscure and cheeky props.
NCAAB Futures: Futures ask you to predict the outcome of a college basketball event well ahead of time in exchange for very appealing odds. The most common options include selecting the NCAA Tournament Champion, Conference Champions, or Naismith Player of the Year.
You can track the odds for these wagers with SBD’s College Basketball Futures Trackers.
Be Aware of the Vigorish – Sportsbooks Always Charge a Fee
College basketball betting sites like gamblers but they do not like gambling themselves. To put it differently, oddsmakers aren’t in the business of picking winners.
Their bottom line revolves around setting the odds in a way that allows them to profit off a handling fee commonly referred to as the ‘vigorish,’ ‘vig,’ or ‘juice.’
The rate of vigorish charged varies between sportsbooks, but it’s always built directly into the odds. This can make it difficult to quickly find the best value.
That said, it’s important to know how much a site is charging to handle your wagers. Differences of only a couple percentage points make a major difference in your bankroll in the long run. This is especially true for anyone consistently wagering large amounts.
Note that odds of -110 are standard for both point spread and totals lines when betting on college basketball. When it comes to these wager types, anything in the range of -105 to -108 is a steal, while lines in the range of -112 to -120 are likely a sucker’s bet.
As a starting point, you can reference SBD’s industry study on standard juice charged at online sportbooks to get a sense of what’s reasonable.
How Often Do NCAAB Odds Change?
There are multiple college basketball games held every night of the week, so most betting sites will release lines the morning of the game or the day before.
This makes line release times a less significant factor for NCAAB basketball betting compared to college football, for example, where odds are typically available a full week before the game in question.
Even with the short window to get in on the action, college basketball odds are nearly always dynamic. The betting line will change leading up to tip off based on both game-related factors and the amount of action coming in on each side.
Some online sports betting sites adjust the odds more frequently. If you want to fade the public or capitalize on reverse line movement, you’ll want to register with one of these more responsive sites.
Best Betting Site for College Basketball Odds: PointsBet
PointsBet gets our vote for the best college basketball odds thanks to good general value, early line release times, and a unique type of betting called PointsBetting.
PointsBetting allows you to bet on NCAA basketball point spreads, totals, and props with a sliding payout scale that rewards you more when your side has a bigger victory.
You can learn more about PointsBetting in our full review, but the point is that the site offers a full range of traditional, fixed sports betting odds AND an alternate option with dynamic odds that pay out different amounts based on the margin of victory.
Bettors can also expect to find a healthy selection of props and secondary lines for virtually every game on offer.
The amount of juice charged is also consistently among the lowest in the industry, meaning you’ll get a premium sportsbook experience at discount sportsbook prices. PointsBet often runs a “No Juice Special” for March Madness, with spreads offered at incredible odds of +100.
- PointsBetting offers a second set of dynamic odds for spreads, totals, and some props
- Prices and line release times on all traditional, fixed odds NCAAB lines are also good
- Not available in some markets
March Madness Betting Sites: Make the Most of the Tournament
How many people do you know who’ve never watched a college basketball game but continue to fill out a March Madness bracket with their coworkers or friends year after year?
No doubt, the excitement around the annual NCAA Tournament is a palpable cultural phenomenon. Every betting site included on this list will offer complete coverage during the NCAA Tournament, with a variety of tournament props and individual game betting lines to choose from.
Many also offer March Madness competitions with tantalizing cash prizes for those who can crush their brackets or otherwise accurately predict what happens in the tournament. Boosted odds and free bets also abound this time of year, so keep your eyes out for the best offers.
When it comes to finding the best March Madness betting site, you’ll want to explore the special promos and competitions available.
Best March Madness Betting Site: BetMGM
BetMGM is our favorite March Madness betting app thanks to the tournament specials on offer, in addition to extensive props and live offerings on every game of the tournament. DraftKings and FanDuel both deserve honorable mentions for their March Madness contests.
BetMGM provides free bets rather than running a bracket contest or similar competition during the tournament. You can expect to find numerous free bet offers for college basketball both during the tournament and directly before.
We like the fact that this promo can be applied to actual wagering on the tournament, rather than as a separate competition.
- Free bet offers during March Madness offer extra value betting on the games themselves
- Daily risk free bets of up to $20 offered during the tournament
- DraftKings is a better choice if you want to enter March Madness contests
Which Games Are Offered at These Sites?
One of the biggest differentiators between college basketball betting sites is the number of smaller games and conferences available for wagering.
While there are only ten major conferences in Division One college football, D1 basketball features 32. On any given weekday during the regular season, between ten and sixty games will be played. Saturdays can easily see 150 games played in Division One alone.
Experienced sharp bettors know that betting on smaller games between less-known teams is one of best ways to get a leg up on the sportsbook and betting public. After all, the oddsmakers are humans too. They can only know detailed information about so many teams, and only have so much time to spend handicapping a matchup like Wagner vs. Central Connecticut State.
If you have the time and interest to perform detailed research on smaller matchups, you’ll need to find a college basketball betting site that offers lines on a wider variety of games.
Some States Restrict Betting on College Sports
It’s worth noting that certain restrictions can apply to the college sporting events that legal online sportsbooks are able to offer.
For example, New Jersey does not allow college basketball betting on games that take place in New Jersey or involve a team from the state. New Hampshire has a similar restriction in place. In both cases, all other college basketball games remain open for action.
Best Site for Betting on Smaller Games & Conferences: William Hill
William Hill has built a reputation for offering lines on a huge variety of games and sports from around the world, and college basketball in no exception.
A quick visit to the basketball section of their online sportsbook reveals moneyline, spread, and totals lines for every D1 NCAA game.
Best of all, the number of markets offered on these smaller events rivals that offered on the biggest games. If you want to bet alternate spread, halves, or team props, you’ll have options at the ready.
If you get bored with NCAA ball, William Hill also offers lines on a staggering number of international leagues and tournaments. From the Chinese Taipei league to the Olympics, William Hill is also the number one betting platform for international basketball.
- Widest variety of basketball betting lines in the business – NCAA and beyond
- Lots of live betting opportunities on smaller games
- The app is not as clean and user friendly as some of the competition
Bonuses at NCAA Basketball Betting Sites
Taking advantage of bonuses is the easiest way to add a bit of extra value to your college basketball betting experience. After all, there’s no reason to leave free money on the table.
Deposit or sign up bonuses are the most common form of sportsbook bonus, and they’re offered by virtually every betting site on the web. The terms of these offers vary significantly, so it’s worth comparing a few to find one that offers a healthy bonus you’re able to make a deposit on.
Take note of both the amount of the bonus and any restrictions on related withdrawals. ‘Rollover’ or ‘Playthrough’ requirements will ask you to wager a specified amount of your own money before you’re eligible to withdraw the bonus. These usually apply to “free bet” offers.
Here are a few options worth exploring in greater detail:
|Betting Site||Basketball Bonus||Learn More|
|FanDuel||$1,000 Risk Free Bet||Full review|
|DraftKings||Up to $1050 Free||Full review|
|PointsBet||Deposit $250 & Get $500 in Free Bets||Full review|
|BetMGM||$600 Risk Free Bet||Full review|
|William Hill||Risk-Free Bet Up to $2,021||Full review|
Best Site for College Basketball Bonuses: DraftKings
DraftKings currently offers the best welcome bonus among legal sportsbooks and betting apps, with a value worth up to $1,050 (this offer does not apply to players in New Hampshire).
The offer is a 20% deposit match up to $1,050. There’s a minimum $5 deposit, but to take full advantage you’ll need to deposit $5,000.
DraftKings also provides ongoing value to their returning users. Daily basketball odds boosts, enhanced payouts, a rewards program and refer-a-friend bonus worth up to $100 solidify DK’s reputation for the best bonuses in the bizz.
- The welcome offer is huge and offers a deposit match – this is unusual for legal sportsbooks
- Tons of ongoing promotions provide lasting value and show customer appreciation
- Big prizes for March Madness contests
- You’ll need to make a substantial initial deposit to get the full $1,050 welcome bonus
Finding the Best Sportsbook Experience at NCAAB Sites
Beyond checking the standard boxes for an online betting site – like good customer service, appealing odds, and intriguing bonuses – college basketball bettors should compare the usability and features of the sportsbook itself.
When it comes to college basketball betting site, this primarily comes down to the presence and quality of two specific features:
- Excellent live, in-game wagering opportunities
- A fully optimized mobile betting platform
Live Betting Opportunities for College Basketball
Live betting has taken the world of online sports betting by storm in recent years. Placing in-game wagers is an excellent way to up the excitement level by wagering on lines that reflect the game’s progression in real time.
Odds on outcomes like moneylines and point spreads will be adjusted throughout the game to reflect the changing conditions. New props will also become available throughout, allowing you to put down some action on very specific elements of the game, including individual plays.
Several types of wager are only offered as live, in-game bets. If you’re looking for ultra-fast-paced action to keep things interesting throughout the game, look out for these live NCAAB lines:
- Will Player X score 30 points?
- Which player will make the next shot?
- Will this series of free throws be good?
- How many fouls will Team X tally?
- Which player will make the next steal?
These live betting lines will appear familiar to bettors who’ve bet on pre-game lines or props, as the format is nearly identical:
When comparing college basketball betting sites for live wagering, there are two factors worth paying close attention to:
- The selection of live betting lines available
- The consistency of the odds and their availability
Note that live betting lines often become unavailable or offer less favorable odds once you add the pick to your betting slip. Understandably, this experience is massively frustrating for bettors who want to take advantage of the advertised lines.
Best App for Live NCAAB Betting: FanDuel
FanDuel debuted their sportsbook offering after live, in-play betting had already been established as a major force in sports betting. As such, providing an extremely engaging live betting experience has been a major focus of theirs from the start.
While there are plenty of online sportsbooks offering interesting props on live basketball action, FanDuel earns the nod thanks to their incredibly intuitive live betting platform and the variety of in-game markets offered on college basketball games.
While it doesn’t apply to NCAA events, FanDuel also offers glitch-free live streaming of many events open for in-game wagers.
- FanDuel offers a huge variety of props and other lines on live NCAA basketball games
- The extremely intuitive platform and user-friendly bet slip make it easy to follow the action and place bets quickly
- Lines can be ‘shaded’ or offer less value relative to some other online sportsbooks
Find a Site that Offers Excellent Mobile Betting
Betting on basketball online has one especially distinct advantage: you don’t need to visit a casino in order to take part.
And if you can find a college basketball betting site that offers an excellent mobile betting experience, you can conveniently wager from anywhere with Wi-Fi or data connectivity.
The key to a great mobile betting experience is a user interface that allows bettors to quickly evaluate the odds and manipulate their bet slip despite the smaller screen of a mobile phone.
The best college basketball betting sites offer dedicated mobile apps for the ultimate on-the-go betting experience.
Best App for College Basketball Betting: FanDuel
Live betting and mobile betting go hand in hand, so it’s no surprise that FanDuel gets our primary recommendation in both categories.
FanDuel began as a modern tech startup focused on mobile sports entertainment. The brand’s design and app development expertise are immediately evident when using the FanDuel app for college basketball betting.
The app is simple to navigate, but you still grasp the full range of betting options with a simple glance. Pages load quickly even when using data or connected to weaker WiFi signals.
All this combines to make the FanDuel app your ideal companion for college basketball betting from the sports bar or courtside.
- Strong mobile performance complements the healthy selection of live betting opportunities
- Mobile-first design makes for the easiest app to use
- FanDuel Daily Fantasy requires downloading a separate app
Is Betting on College Basketball Legal?
The legality of sports betting in the United States differs on a state-by-state basis. College basketball betting is legal at the federal level, and each state is set to regulate the practice as they like.
An ever-increasing number of states are passing legislation to make online and in-person sports betting legal within their boundaries.
That said, what’s allowed in one state isn’t necessarily allowed in another. Check the rules where you plan to bet.
All of the college basketball betting sites featured on this page are licensed to legally operate in the US. They will check your location whenever you try to place a bet. This geo-check ensures you are within a state that allows online betting on their platform.
As a general rule, a site that isn’t verifying your location likely is not a regulated or legal option for Americans.
Get Started Today – Make Your First Bet
Once you’ve identified the college basketball betting site that’s most aligned with your personal preferences, it’s time to make a deposit and jump into the NCAAB action.
From there, just keep an eye on the college basketball odds and line movement to find the daily games that offer the best value.