The number of athletes who compete every year in top-level sport organized by the National Collegiate Athletic Association is about half a million.
Basketball is one of the biggest college sports enjoyed by fans in the United States and USA. There are a host of online NCAA betting opportunities that help to bring spectators closer to the action.
In this guide we’ll tell you:
Basketball supporters who enjoy top-quality of play have a host of games to spark their interest each year.
NCAA basketball features 353 schools playing in 32 Division I conferences
There are also 24 Division II basketball conferences, with nearly 50 further conferences in Division III
Unlike the NBA, where matches have four quarters, NCAA games are divided into two halves of 20 minutes
The champion of each Division I conference qualifies for an annual tournament
They are joined by 36 selected teams
These 68 then compete in a single-elimination tournament, known as March Madness
It takes place over three weeks, with the Final Four usually played on the first weekend in April
Betting on NCAA basketball mirrors the way wagering takes place on the NBA and other head-to-head sports. This is a simple guide to how the odds work.
Take the example of a match between Duke and MI State. The odds, expressed as decimals, may read:
If you stake C$10 on Duke, the favourite, you get back C$18. If you put C$10 on Washington, the underdogs, your return is C$21.
You might see odds in other formats, such as fractional and moneyline (also known as American) odds.
However, most sportsbooks let you swap between systems to let you choose how you view prices. Try out our Odds Calculator to see how they compare.
This is also known as handicap betting. A sportsbook sets a figure predicting by how many points one side will win, then gives you a 50-50 choice. You decide whether you think one side will win – or lose – by more than that margin.
This time there isn’t a handicap, simply a straight choice. Which team is going to win the match?
How many points do you think the teams will score in total? If you think it’ll be a higher-scoring match than the sportsbook, the overs are for you.
Which side will score more points in the first quarter?
Proposition bets, to give them their full name, do not relate to the overall outcome. These are special markets on events within a game.
You may have a strong hunch that one team is sure to win its conference. You can wager on this well in advance.
This bet is for you if you reckon your selection can go deep in the tournament. Semi-finalists are called the Sweet Sixteen, finalists the Elite Eight.
Perhaps you have a very strong fancy for the overall winner of March Madness. The earlier you put money on it, the better the odds should be.
Basketball is invented at Springfield College, Massachusetts
The NCAA, established four years earlier, takes its new name
The first NCAA national championship, in track and field, is held
Oregon wins the first NCAA national basketball championship
The all-black Texas Western basketball team face an all-white Kentucky line-up – a landmark in the civil rights movement
Members are divided into three divisions – I, II and III
UCLA wins the basketball title for the 10th time in 12 years
Mike Krzyzewski takes over as head coach as Duke, where he wins five national titles
Christian Laettner completes his record haul of 407 points from 23 NCAA tournament games
The NCAA moves to its current HQ in Indianapolis – it now awards 90 national championships each year
For the first time, a total of 68 teams take part in March Madness
UMBC springs the biggest shock in the event’s history by beating top seed Virginia 75-54.
Betting on NCAA basketball is hugely popular in USA. Given widespread cellphone ownership, and the innovation of sportsbooks, it has never been easier to bet on.
To find out everything you might ever need to know about basketball betting in USA, check out our home page.
The organization that has overall responsibility for collegiate sports in the United States. Basketball is one of the most popular sports it administers.
The point spread offers supporters the chance to pit their wits against a handicap set by a sportsbook. This is a perennial favourite with NCAA basketball bettors.
Our online betting guide tells you all the areas you need to know about when choosing a site. These include important considerations such as security, licensing, range of bets and bonuses.
All of your recommended online casinos, shown further up this page, score highly on all the above.
You certainly can. Nearly all sportsbooks now boast user-friendly apps that allow you to bet on your device.
Once the game gets under way, sportsbooks will offer you the ability to wager on the live action, as well as the overall result.