NCAAB Moneyline Wagering

NCAAB moneyline wagering could be the best way to profit when betting college basketball.

Key Points

  • Betting the moneyline in college basketball is the most basic method of wagering on the sport.
  • Bettors can use a few different strategies to take advantage of NCAAB moneyline odds.

Betting on college basketball can be a frustrating experience. With 358 teams making up the NCAA Division I, there is a ton of variance in the quality of play.

There are 32 different conferences too, which makes for some interesting non-conference matchups. Even within certain ‘Power’ aka major conferences there are big differences in the quality of teams from top to bottom.

One of the easiest ways to be college basketball is to bet on the moneyline. When sports bettors wager on the moneyline, they are simply picking a team to win, regardless of any point spread or final score.

NCAAB Moneyline Example

Betting the moneyline at an online sportsbook in any sport is the most basic way to wager on a sporting event. Oddsmakers establish odds for the two teams involved based on each team’s implied probability of winning.

As mentioned, two opponents may be drastically different in terms of talent and performance. Fans will see that come NCAA tournament time when No. 1 seeds play No. 16 seeds. Those No. 16 seeds are typically from mid-major conferences and have nowhere near the talent of top-seeded teams.



In the example above, Kansas is one of the top programs in the sport and attracts five-star talent year-in and year-out. Iona is a mid-major program that is not likely to beat the Jayhawks as is reflected by the odds given.


Moneyline Value

Bettors cannot simply bet on favorites, especially big ones, and expect their bankrolls to increase. In the above example, it takes a $5.50 bet just to win $1 and even the best only win 55 to 60 percent of the time.

That means, at some point, you’re going into the red. Bettors have to find value in moneylines and one thing they can do is to wager on a moneyline parlay.

A parlay is a combination of bets that are wagered as a single bet. If one of the individual bets loses, the entire parlay is a loss.

In college basketball, one strategy is to pair a short moneyline underdog with a large moneyline favorite. Here’s an example.

Bellarmine @ Duke (-2800)

Purdue @ Marquette (+125)

Bellarmine is a mid-major program that is likely to get blown out by Duke playing at home. Purdue is favored but playing on the road against Marquette. The Boilermakers are still favored, but Marquette could pull the upset as a short home underdog.

When you pair these bets together in a parlay, you’ll get odds of +133. That gives you more value on the Duke bet and a $100 wager would pay out a total of $233. Both wagers must win for the parlay to win.

Narrow the Field

Another strategy that does not involve parlays is to simply become an expert on a conference, particularly one that is a mid-major.

Oddsmakers spend more time working on major – Big Ten, ACC, etc. – conferences than they do on ones like the Big South or MAAC. There are times when the smarter bettors can find favorable moneyline odds on these mid-major games.

Before you head off, let’s switch gears. We helped our views when betting the NHL puck line. Go see if we can teach you a little something about it.