NCAA College Basketball Betting in Canada

Learn how to bet on NCAA college basketball from Canada using the best college basketball sportsbooks, and read our tips and strategy for betting on college basketball.

Written by Thomas Brown
Verified by BettingGuide team
Last updated 2023-03-09

Best NCAA College Basketball Betting Sites in Canada (2024)

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How We Choose the Best NCAA College Basketball Betting Sites 

College basketball is one of the most popular college sports in North America. The NCAA Division, in particular, has some of the most well-known teams in basketball. Exciting, fast-paced games make NCAA college basketball a great amateur sport to bet on.

If you’ve watched and wagered on the NBA, you’ll probably know a thing or two about betting on college basketball. If you’re new to the sport altogether, we’re here to help.

To get you started, we have created a complete guide to betting on NCAA basketball from Canada. Use this guide to: 

  • Gain insight on how to find the best college basketball betting sites
  • Discover tips and tricks to get the most out of your NCAA basketball wagers
  • Learn the ins and outs of NCAA basketball

When choosing which online NCAA college basketball betting site to sign up for, consider the following elements:

Safety & Regulation 

First and foremost, because you will be sharing your personal and financial information with the platform you choose, it is important to make sure a betting site is licensed, legal and secure.

Several regulatory entities monitor online betting sites. Always choose a site that is regulated and licensed by a legitimate authority or commission. This might include:

  • UKGC (United Kingdom Gambling Commission) 
  • MGA (Malta Gaming Authority)
  • Kahnawake Gaming Commission 
  • GRA (Gibraltar Regulatory Authority)

As well, be sure to look for sites that boast about their security measures. This will help to ensure the safety of your personal and financial information. 

All of the college basketball betting sites listed above are safe and regulated by an authorized gaming authority.

NCAA Basketball Odds 

The way odds work in NCAA basketball betting is similar to other sports betting. It’s important to understand how these betting odds work so that you’re aware of your possible payout and can find a site that offers the highest return.

Here are some examples to demonstrate how NCAA college basketball odds work.

  • If you place $10 on a favourite team with odds of 1.2, your return will be $12 ($10 x 1.2). You will make a profit of $2.
  • If you place a wager of $10 on an underdog team with odds of 2.4, your return will be $24 ($10 x 2.4). You will make a profit of $14.

Keep in mind - you will always see higher odds for the underdog than for the favourite. Therefore, wagering on the underdog, in some circumstances, can be a good option. If the underdog wins your payout will be higher.

It is also important to note that some betting sites show odds in different formats. In this case, use an odds format calculator to switch between formats. This will help you determine the best odds before you place your wager.

Here are the different odds formats you may come across.

  1. Decimal (e.g. 2.0) 
  2. American (e.g. +145)   
  3. Fractional/UK (e.g. ¼) 

When online betting on college basketball in Canada, you can expect to see decimal odds.

College Basketball Betting Options 

Before placing a wager on NCAA basketball, check that the betting site you have chosen offers an array of betting options.  

Quality betting sites will offer the most common types of bets, including money line, over/under, and point spreads. Additionally, look for options to take part in futures and parlay bets.

A site that offers all of these options will provide the best source of entertainment.

Live Betting on College Basketball

For an exciting and dynamic betting experience, look for NCAA basketball betting sites that offer live betting. 

There are many benefits to live betting including:

  • The ability to place different types of bets (e.g. which team will win each half)
  • The opportunity to place wagers once the game has started
  • Odds that shift depending on live gameplay

NCAA College Basketball Bet Types 

When betting on college basketball online, you will come across various types of wagers. Some of the most common include: 

  • Moneyline - simply placing a bet on which team you believe will win the game. 
  • Point spreads - placing a wager on the team you believe will win and predicting the margin of victory.
  • Over/under - determining what the final combined score of both teams will be and whether that amount will be over or under a certain number given by the sportsbook. 
  • Futures - this allows you to bet on a future event like a tournament outcome or a player’s performance.
  • Parlay - this allows different types of bets to be combined into one single bet. Although you’ll lose if any one of your wagers loses, there is a much bigger payout waiting if your parlay wins.

Tips & Strategy for Betting on NCAA College Basketball

Much of the strategy behind college basketball betting comes from investing time into researching the league. The more you know, the greater your advantage.

Here are some things to consider investigating before placing your wager:

  • Team and player statistics - know which teams have a history of winning. This includes finding out who past NCAA Champions were and knowing who the top players are within the league.
  • Tip: Based on past March Madness wins, the top three teams in NCAA Men’s Division I college basketball include:
  1. UCLA (11 March Madness wins)
  2. Kentucky (8 wins) 
  3. North Carolina (6 wins)
  • How a team scores points - check old game stats to find out the most common way a team scores points (e.g. free throws, 3-point shots, or 2-point shots). Knowing that a team often misses free throws or doesn’t make a lot of their 3-point shots can be helpful to know when placing your bets.
  • Tournament history - understanding tournament formats can help you determine which teams may last in a tournament and which will likely be defeated.

Take a look through tournament records and keep an eye out for patterns. Often looking at these records will allow you to uncover helpful trends. For example, during March Madness, teams tend to see losses early on in the tournament. This is crucial since March Madness is a single-elimination tournament, meaning that once a team loses they are out of the tournament completely.

  • Injury - keep yourself informed about player injuries. Losing a key player to an injury can have a huge impact on the outcome of a basketball game.
  • Tip: Take advantage of podcasts and social media.

NCAA basketball is a vast league with plenty of teams and numerous games per season. To help you make informed wagers, sort through some of the chaos by relying on notable podcast hosts and reliable social media accounts. There are many podcasts and social media accounts available online where up-to-date NCAA basketball information can be found easily and for free.

New to NCAA College Basketball? Here's How it Works.

NCAA college basketball includes both a men’s and a women’s league. Players come from all over the world, many on scholarships, to play for some of the best and biggest schools in America.

Knowing the ins and outs of the league can be very helpful when you begin placing your bets. So, if you’re new to NCAA basketball, or basketball in general, here’s some information to get you started.

NCAA Basketball Teams 

College basketball players are not compensated. However, many NCAA players are vying for an opportunity to one day make it to the NBA or WNBA. This results in a constant need to perform at their best, making for exciting games.

There are three divisions of NCAA basketball for both men and women.

Division I - this league includes Ivy League institutions. These schools offer the most athletic scholarships, have the biggest student bodies and access to the largest athletic budgets.

  • 353 schools  
  • 32 conferences

Division II - this league includes institutions that offer partial scholarships. These schools offer fewer scholarships than Division I schools and have much smaller athletic budgets, in most cases.

  • 308 schools 
  • 23 conferences

Division III - this is the largest of all the divisions. However, there are no athletic scholarships offered by Division III institutions. 

  • 400 schools 
  • 45 conferences 

The most popular college basketball league to bet on is Division I NCAA. 

With large schools that have huge athletic budgets, Division I NCAA college basketball teams are some of the most-watched and followed in North America. Therefore, we will focus on Division I men’s and women’s basketball.

NCAA Basketball Games 

Basketball can be a complex game. Here are some key points to help you follow an NCAA college basketball game. 

  • Each game is made up of two 20-minute halves.
  • The game is broken up by a 15-minute halftime.
  • Each team has five players on the court at a time.
  • The goal of the game is to get the basketball through the hoop and earn points. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins.
  • A shot from outside the 3-point line is worth 3 points 
  • A shot from within the 3-point line is worth 2 points 
  • A free-throw (from the free-throw line, as a result of a foul) is worth 1 point
  • The ball is moved up and down the court by dribbling and passing.
  • The ball cannot be carried 
  • The ball cannot be passed back across the centerline by the team in possession once it has come over the centerline
  • Players can be given fouls for aggressive behaviour. As a result, the opposing team will be given a free-throw (if the foul interfered with a shot) or possession of the ball. If a player reaches five fouls in a game, they foul out. That player is not allowed to compete for the rest of the game. 

NCAA College Basketball Season 

A single season in NCAA basketball is divided into four parts. These include non-conference play, conference play, conference tournaments and postseason tournaments.

Non-Conference Play 

Games between teams from different conferences are deemed non-conference play.  

Non-conference games happen before conference games and can be compared to exhibition games in other sports.  

Conference Play 

Typically, the NCAA college basketball season runs from November to April. 

Teams play 14 - 20 conference games per season, depending on the conference.

Conference Tournaments

Conference tournaments take place between the end of the regular season and the reveal of the March Madness schedule. This is known as “Championship Week” and typically happens at the beginning or middle of March.

Teams within the same conference compete against one another in these tournaments. To determine the tournament schedule, teams are seeded (ranked) based on their performance during conference play.

Conference tournaments determine a conference champion. This winner earns an automatic spot in the NCAA tournament (March Madness).

Games in the conference tournaments are considered single elimination. This means that after a single defeat, a team is eliminated. Therefore, a team must win every game to remain in the tournament.

Postseason Tournaments - March Madness

There are several post-season tournaments hosted by different schools. The most popular and well-known postseason tournament is March Madness.

March Madness is a single-elimination tournament that takes place over three weeks and includes seven rounds. Both men’s and women’s teams are included in this tournament.

To help you place more informed wagers, here are some details about how March Madness works: 

The tournament consists of 68 teams competing for the NCAA Championship. This includes:

  • The top 32 teams from each Division I conference, determined in the conference tournaments.
  • An additional 36 teams selected by a committee.
  • Some of the best conferences will have 4 or more teams in this tournament. There does not need to be an even number of teams from each conference.
  • Teams are seeded, or ranked, to create the tournament schedule.
  • Once a team loses a game, they are out of the tournament.


Thomas is responsible for all content on BettingGuide Canada. With his extensive knowledge of the gambling industry and college degree in law, he knows what you should look out for when choosing the best casino or sportsbook.