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Betting on College Basketball in Indiana

Even the most casual of fans fall in love with college basketball when March Madness rolls around, but there’a a whole lot more to see with NCAAB. The regular season is chock full of excitement too, and there are dozens of games being played each week.

Watching the action on the court is tons of fun and all, but it can be even more exciting when you have a little skin in the game. As sports betting gets legalized in more and more states, folks across the nation are getting in on the action, including here in Indiana.

Betting on college basketball is a large part of sports betting for experienced gamblers, but there’s also a lot to love for those new to the game. You’ll have plenty of games to choose from, and the same applies to the bets you can place.

In this complete guide to betting on college basketball, we’re going to cover everything you need to know. Let’s get started by taking a look at the best places for you to get in the game.

Best NCAAB betting apps in Indiana

It’s a boom time for sports betting in Indiana. The legalization of the industry has attracted several top operators to the Hoosier State. That means you have several different places to choose from when it comes time to place your bets.

SportsbookDate Launched
DraftKingsOctober 2019
FanDuelOctober 2019
Caesars SportsbookMay 2020
PointsBetMarch 2020
BetMGMFebruary 2020
BetRiversOctober 2019
BetAmericaDecember 2019
Unibet July 2020

Our top choices for online and mobile operators are listed up above. Each of them features a top-notch platform with all of the bells and whistles you need. You’ll be able to place bets on all of the markets you could ask for, including college basketball.

Getting started is a simple. Just click through on our exclusive links to begin the account registration process. You’ll get some outstanding exclusive bonus offers just for doing so.

Next, you’ll just need to enter a few simple details such as name and email address. All told, you’re looking at just a couple of minutes and your new account will be created.

For the final step, take the time to download the app specific to your device from the main website. Afterwards, log in on mobile and you’ll be all set to bet on NCAAB and all of the other sports you want to get involved with.

How to bet on NCAAB

You’ll find NCAAB betting opportunities at all of the major sportsbook operators, including our recommended operators. Typically, it’s listed as its own category or within the broader group of basketball.

What are you going to see when you click on the NCAAB and how do you get started with placing bets? Let’s take a look.

NCAAB betting odds

When you see a game listing for NCAAB in the sportsbook lobby, you’ll see the teams scheduled to compete followed by a series of numbers.

Here’s a peek at what a sample game line looks like.

  • Iowa +115                +1.5 (-110)      5 (-110)
  • Indiana -105                 -1.5 (-110)       5 (-110)

After the team names, the first set of numbers is the moneyline, followed by the point spread and then totals.

Here’s what they mean and how they work.

NCAAB moneyline odds

The moneyline odds provide a simple snapshot of the game. The side which is favored, which means they are expected to win, will have negative odds attached. For the underdog, the odds are positive. A close range between the two numbers indicates the expectation for a tight game.

Iowa                +115

Indiana            -105

NCAAB point spread odds

The point spread is essentially the difference between the two sides as the oddsmakers see it. It’s like an estimated margin of victory which needs to be accounted for in your wager on either side.

Iowa                +1.5 (-110)

Indiana            -1.5 (-110)

NCAAB totals odds

A totals bet revolves around the combined points scored in the game by the two teams.

The bets are also based on numbers set by the oddsmakers. Also known as an Over/Under, it also points out games that are projected to be high or low-scoring.

Over                139.5 (-110)

Under              139.5 (-110)

College basketball bet types

Each of the above bets are incredibly popular for wagering on NCAAB. They attract lots of action and attention, but there are also many other ways to get in the game. Here’s a look at the most popular bet types and what you need to know.

  • Moneyline: A simple bet on which side you think will win between the underdog and favorite.
  • Point spread: Oddsmakers set a spread on each game. Favorites can cover the number set by winning by an amount greater than the spread. Underdogs cover by keeping it closer than that or winning outright.
  • Totals: This is a bet on the estimated total number of points scored by the two teams in the game. Bettors can decide if they think the number will go Over or Under the set total.
  • Prop bets: A prop bet is essentially a side wager on things that might happen during a game. Props vary between team, player, and game-based opportunities.
  • Parlays: Parlays are wagers in which you include two or more results on a single betting slip. The potential returns are great, but so too are the risks attached.
  • Alternate lines and totals: Listed under the “more wagers” section for each game will be alternate lines and totals with differing odds from the original game listing.

Live betting on college basketball

It wasn’t long ago that those who didn’t have their bets in before tipoff were out of luck. That’s no longer the case.

Live betting is one of the most popular and exciting offerings you’ll find at legal and regulated sportsbooks.

You’ll find different wagering opportunities made available based on what’s taking place on the court. The offerings and odds move fast, so you’ll want to be equipped with a mobile app to take full advantage.

Here’s a peek at some of the bets you might see.

  • New odds for standard game bets
  • How many total points will be scored in the second half?
  • Which player will have more points plus rebounds, player A or B?
  • Which team will have a higher shooting percentage?
  • Will overtime be needed?

One of the many cool things about live betting is you hedge the wagers you placed heading into the game. If things break differently than you were anticipating, you can double down or go in another direction.

NCAAB futures betting

While there are more than enough games to consider as the college basketball season plays out, you don’t need to stop there. You can also pull out the crystal ball and take a look ahead to how the season as a whole will play out with futures betting.

The futures market is quite active for NCAAB, especially when we’re talking about the winner of the next National Championship.

Odds are released in advance of the season for all programs. Here’s what the favorites might look like.

  • Gonzaga +900
  • Villanova +1000
  • Virginia +1100
  • Baylor +1100
  • Duke +1300

The odds board will run the gamut from favorites down to longshots. As teams are eliminated from contention, the list will grow shorter. Once March Madness starts, odds will only be available for teams that made it to the Big Dance.

The title game winner is the biggest attraction, but there’s lots more to see.

Here are some of the other top bet offerings.

  • Winners of divisions and conferences
  • Teams to make Final Four
  • Team regular-season win totals
  • Individual player award winners

From the time odds are released, bettors are weighing in with their picks. The board will shift based on action and performance. Some bettors take a long-range view and hold their tickets through the year, while others remain engaged with the market year-round.

How does the NCAAB season work?

College basketball at the Division I level includes 354 teams spread across 34 conferences. Regular-season play gets underway in November and December and a portion of the schedule is comprised of a number of different small tournaments.

Once we get to January, conference play kicks off. Teams will mainly play familiar foes over the following two months, but there are some interconference games thrown into the mix as well. The regular season is followed by 32 conference tournaments, and the champions of those will receive an automatic invite to the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament, which has come to affectionately be known as March Madness.

That leaves another 36 spots up for grabs in the 68-team field. The NCAA Tournament Selection Committee has the task of sorting everything out and ensuring the best the sport has to offer make the cut.

The tournament begins with the Opening Round, also known as the First Four, which is a quartet of play-in games. The four winners advance to the first round of the tournament, which is broken down into four geographic regions with 16 seeds in each.

It’s a single-elimination tournament in which winners advance and when all is said and done 67 games will have been played to crown a champion.

While the tournament receives tons of attention from a betting perspective, there’s also plenty to love about the regular season. This is especially true for the conference play portion of the schedule, which coincides with the wind down of the NFL season.

NCAAB National Championship history

The first champion in college basketball was crowned in 1939 when Oregon defeated Ohio State, 46-33. Indiana took the second crown with a 60-42 win over Kansas the following year.

In the decades that have followed, interest in college basketball has exploded. March Madness has played a huge role in that as the tournament  is one of the signature sports betting events of the year.

We have seen several memorable programs through the years, including the past decade.

Here are the last 10 winners of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship along with their opponents and final score for the title game.

  • 2019: Virginia over Texas Tech, 85-77 (OT)
  • 2018: Villanova over Michigan, 79-62
  • 2017: North Carolina over Gonzaga, 71-65
  • 2016: Villanova over North Carolina, 77-74
  • 2015: Duke over Wisconsin, 68-63
  • 2014: Connecticut over Kentucky, 60-54
  • 2013: Louisville over Michigan, 82-76
  • 2012: Kentucky over Kansas, 67-59
  • 2011: Connecticut over Butler, 53-41
  • 2010: Duke over Butler, 61-59

College basketball in Indiana

The state of Indiana is home to 10 programs which play at the highest level of college basketball. Here are some of the key details for each:

Ball State Cardinals

  • Location: Muncie
  • Home games: Worthen Arena
  • Conference: MAC
  • Head coach: James Whitford
  • March Madness appearances: Seven (last appearance was in 2000)

Butler Bulldogs

  • Location: Indianapolis
  • Home games: Hinkle Fieldhouse
  • Conference: Big East
  • Head coach: LaVall Jordan
  • March Madness appearances: 16 (last in 2018)

Evansville Purple Aces

  • Location: Evansville
  • Home games: Ford Center
  • Conference: Missouri Valley
  • Head coach: Todd Lickliter
  • March Madness appearances: Five (last in 1999)

Indiana Hoosiers

  • Location: Bloomington
  • Home games: Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall
  • Conference: Big Ten
  • Head coach: Archie Miller
  • March Madness appearances: 39 (last in 2016)

Indiana State Sycamores

  • Location: Terre Haute
  • Home games: Hulman Center
  • Conference: Missouri Valley
  • Head coach: Greg Lansing
  • March Madness appearances: Four (last in 2011)

IUPUI Jaguars

  • Location: Indianapolis
  • Home games: Indiana Farmers Coliseum
  • Conference: Horizon
  • Head coach: Byron Rimm II
  • March Madness appearances: One (2003)

Notre Dame Fighting Irish

  • Location: South Bend
  • Home games: Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center
  • Conference: ACC
  • Head coach: Mike Brey
  • March Madness appearances: 36 (last in 2017)

Purdue Boilermakers

  • Location: West Lafayette
  • Home games: Mackey Arena
  • Conference: Big Ten
  • Head coach: Matt Painter
  • March Madness appearances: 31 (last in 2019)

Purdue Fort Wayne Mastodons

  • Location: Fort Wayne
  • Home games: Hilliard Gates Sports Center
  • Conference: Summit
  • Head coach: Jon Coffman
  • March Madness appearances: None

Valparaiso Crusaders

  • Location: Valparaiso
  • Home games: Athletics-Recreation Center
  • Conference: Missouri Valley
  • Head coach: Matt Lottich
  • March Madness appearances: Nine (last in 2015)

NCAAB betting tips

Handicapping for all team-based sports share similar characteristics. You need to examine the matchups and pay attention to news and notes surrounding the game, among other factors.

For NCAAB, there are also some other considerations to keep in mind.

Here are three you can add to your arsenal as you continue down the path to success.

Study the odds and line moves

It can be helpful to think of the odds board as a free piece of research that you have at your disposal. Oddsmakers have a ton of data available to them as they set lines. That’s part of what makes them so tough to beat consistently, so respect what they are telling you. Keep a close eye on movement from the time that lines are released until the time you place your bets. This can show you which way the public money is flowing.

Pay attention to recent form

When matching up two teams, the natural instinct is to assume the club with the better record is stronger than the other. While that can be the case, there are also times when it’s off the mark. To assess the current situation for each squad, pay close attention to how they have fared over the last five or 10 games. When you can spot clubs on the way up versus those on the way down, success can follow.

Focus on key factors

There is a ton of information and stats you can digest on each contest. It can be easy to get lost in research as a result and walk away with paralysis by analysis. Stick to what really matters. For NCAAB, that includes factors such as true shooting percentage, defensive efficiency and depth of rotation. If you can identify the key factors, your research time will shorten and wins may follow.

College basketball betting mistakes to avoid

There are plenty of items on the to-do list when it comes to handicapping college basketball, but there are also several big mistakes you’ll want to avoid.

Here are three of the biggest potential pitfalls you’ll want to keep on the radar.

Placing bets you’re not confident about

We’ve all made a bet on a game that we’re on the fence about, and there’s nothing wrong with taking your shots. However, it’s a good rule of thumb to stick to the wagers you’re most confident about. As an example, only pull the trigger on an upset pick when you have concrete justification for doing so. Your bankroll will thank you in the long run.

Not trusting your instincts

While researching the games, you’ll come across plenty of opinions on how things will shake out. There’s nothing wrong with factoring in the thoughts of sources you trust, but be careful not to let that sway you too much. When your handicapping is sound, trust what you have found.

Failing to manage your bankroll

In order to achieve long-term success with NCAAB and sports betting in general, strong bankroll management is a must. If you’re constantly depositing funds and rarely withdrawing, you’re doing it wrong. In a perfect world, you should have strict rules in place for what you plan to wager on for a game or slate, as well as per week or month.

College basketball FAQ

How do teams make it to March Madness?

At the conclusion of the regular season, 32 conference tournament champs receive automatic bids to March Madness, which is also known as the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament. The remaining teams, 36 in all, are chosen by the Tournament Selection Committee with picks unveiled on what has come to be known as Selection Sunday.

Which program has won the men’s college basketball championship the most times?

UCLA is atop the all-time list with 11 titles, 10 of which came during a dominant run for the program from 1964 through 1975. Kentucky is next on the list with eight. North Carolina is third with six crowns.

How many times has Indiana won the national title?

The Hooisers have managed to win it all five times: 1940, 1953, 1976, 1981 and 1987. Since then, the program has made it to the Final Four twice (1992 and 2002), losing in the ‘02 title tilt to Maryland. That was the last time that Indiana made it as far as the Elite Eight, but the school made it to the Sweet 16 in 2012, 2013 and 2016.

Which coach leads college basketball in wins on an all-time basis?

The legendary Mike Krzyzewski leads the all-time list with 1,157 victories over a 45-year career with Army and Duke. Only three other coaches have more than 1,000 wins at all levels of the sport:

Herb Magee, 1,123 wins, 53 years, Philadelphia/Jefferson

Harry Staham, 1,122 wins, 52 years, McKendree

Danny Miles, 1,040 wins, 45 years, Oregon Tech

Has a team ever won back-to-back NCAAB titles?

This is a rare feat that has only been pulled off by a total of seven schools. Here’s the list of programs which have won it all twice in a row.

Florida (2006, 2007)

Duke (1991, 1992)

UCLA (1964-65 and 1967 through 1973)

Cincinnati (1961 and 1962)

San Francisco (1955 and 1956)

Kentucky (1948 and 1949)

Oklahoma A&M (1945 and 1946)

Since Florida’s two in a row, Butler is the only squad to make it to consecutive finals, losing in both 2010 and 2011. Villanova managed to win two out of three, cutting down the nets in 2016 and 2018, but missing out in 2017.