Best College Sports Betting Sites 2022 – How to Bet on College Sports?

Are you interested in betting on college sports but don’t know where to begin? Then this is the guide for you! We’ll go into detail on everything you could possibly need. Want to know the most popular markets? No problem! Not sure about the laws? We’ve got you.

Keep reading to learn everything there is to know about betting on college sports in the USA today.

Top Sportsbook Sites For College Sports Betting

First things first, if you want to place a bet, you’re going to need an account with a sportsbook. Luckily, we’ve already done the hard work for you by researching the best bookies for betting on college sports.

Check out the below list for a selection of trustworthy, properly licensed sportsbooks, all of which offer competitive odds.

Code: BBCSUSA

1

BetMGM-Sportsbook

Bet

$1000

Risk-Free

Bet

$1000

Risk-Free

99

points

  • Risk-Free First Bet up to $1000
  • Excellent sports betting app available
  • Wide range of sports and betting options in the US

99

points

BetMGM review
Code: BBC

2

pointsbet-sportsbook-free-bets

Risk

$2000

Free Bet

Risk

$2000

Free Bet

98

points

  • Get two Risk-Free Bets up to $2000
  • Huge range of sports and betting options
  • Promo code: BBC

98

points

PointsBet review
CODE: BBCFULL

3

Caesars-Sportsbook

Risk

$1250

Free Bet

Risk

$1250

Free Bet

98

points

  • Take advantage of a $1250 Risk-Free Bet
  • Wide range of betting opportunities
  • Promo code: BBCFULL

98

points

Caesers review

4

Draftkings-Sportsbook

Bonus

$1000

20%

Bonus

$1000

20%

98

points

  • Get a 20% sports betting bonus up $1000
  • Massive range of sports and markets
  • DFS and Casino games available

98

points

DraftKings review

5

Fanduel-Sportsbook

Bonus

$1000

Risk-Free

Bonus

$1000

Risk-Free

98

points

  • Licensed US Sportsbook
  • Get up to $2000 in bonuses and refunds
  • Fanduel has a great reputation and excellent customer service.

98

points

Fanduel review
NJ,PA,IN,IO,VA,AZ

6

Unibet-Sportsbook

Risk Free

Up $500

Bet

Risk Free

Up $500

Bet

97

points

  • Generous risk free bet welcome offer worth up to $500
  • American and international leagues are well covered
  • Extremely competitive odds

97

points

Unibet review
NJ Only

7

Borgata-Sportsbook

Bonus

$100

Free Bets

Bonus

$100

Free Bets

94

points

  • Wager $20 and get $100 in Free Bets
  • Excellent Sportsbook App for iOS and Android
  • Promo code: BORGSBBC

94

points

Borgata review

Contents

In this guide to betting on college sports, we’re going to cover several different topics. If you want to skip right to the bits you are most interested in, simply use the links below!

US College Athletics Explained

Okay, before we get into the weeds with betting on college sports, let’s first make sure we know what we’re talking about. If you’re not already familiar with the concept, college athletics in the USA is a big deal. Matches are attended by sizable crowds, as big as professional teams, and in some cases even bigger.

The most notable collegiate events are managed by several governing bodies, including the following:

  • National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)
  • National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA)
  • National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA)

At the highest level of college sports, only selected institutions can take part. Those colleges with elite sport programs attract the top young talents through scholarships and their teams play against each other in various competitions.

Since the players are not professional, there has long been a concern about gambling in college sports. The fear is that it would be tempting for participants to be corrupted by nefarious actors seeking to fix matches. In order to protect the sporting integrity of such competitions, betting on college sports is often banned.

Best College Sports Betting Sites USA

Every state has its own rules around the legality of betting on college sports. Some, like Oregon for instance, ban the practice outright. Many, such as New York, allow some forms of collegiate betting, but not others. For instance, the Empire State only allows wagering on teams from outside of the state.

The below table summarizes the current situation regarding betting on college sports in the USA today. We’ve applied a check mark if collegiate wagering is permitted in any form, though it may be under specific circumstances.

StateLegal?
AlabamaYes
AlaskaNo
ArizonaYes
ArkansasYes
CaliforniaNo
ColoradoYes
ConnecticutFutures only
DelawareYes
FloridaNo (Vote Nov 2022)
GeorgiaNo
HawaiiNo
IdahoNo
IllinoisRetail only
IndianaYes
IowaYes
KansasYes
Kentucky No
LouisianaYes
MaineNo
MarylandYes
MassachusettsTournaments only
MichiganYes
MinnesotaNo
MississippiYes
MissouriNo
MontanaYes
NebraskaYes
NevadaYes
New HampshireYes
New Jersey Yes
New MexicoTribal casinos only
New YorkYes
North CarolinaRetail sites (2)
North DakotaYes
OhioYes
OklahomaNo
OregonNo
PennsylvaniaYes
Rhode IslandYes
South CarolinaNo
South DakotaNo
TennesseeYes
TexasNo
UtahNo
VermontNo
VirginiaYes
WashingtonYes
West VirginiaYes
WisconsinNo
Wyoming Yes

Understanding Sports Betting Odds

If you really want to understand how to bet on college sports, you’re going to need to be able to read the odds. These don’t just tell us the potential return from a winning wager, but they also indicate which of the teams is statistically the most likely to win. Let’s take a look at an example.

Alabama Crimson Tide (+125) @ Georgia Bulldogs (-145)

So what do these numbers mean? Well, a negative figure (-) tells us right away that the Bulldogs are favorites to win this particular game. That’s because the greater the value, the lower the probability of that particular outcome.

The number reveals what we need to bet in order to return a profit of exactly $100. So in this case, a successful wager of $145 on Georgia would bag a total of $245; that’s a $100 profit on top of our original stake.

On the flip side, positive (+) moneyline odds tell us what the result of a $100 bet would be. Looking at the price for Alabama, it’s clear that our $100 stake will make a profit of $125 if they win. So that means a total return of $225.

Different Odds Formats

The above example was written using the most common way to display odds in the United States. Dubbed “US odds”, or “American odds”, it’s not the only format when it comes to displaying betting lines. And it’s not even the easiest way, either.

In Europe, for instance, they favor a decimal system. To see your total returns, you simply multiply the odds by the stake. So a $10 bet at odds of 3.75 would return $37.50, for instance. This way of writing the odds makes life much easier when trying to calculate the returns on a parlay.

In the UK, the traditional way to display betting odds is with fractions. While across Asia, there are several different pricing formats. Check out the table below for a few illustrations of what we are talking about.

StakeAmericanDecimalFractionalMalayIndonesianHong KongReturn
$5+1502.506/4-0.671.501.50$12,50
$10+3004.003/1-0.333.003.00$40
$50-1251.804/50.80-1.250.80$90

How are College Sports Odds Compiled?

Betting sites price up their college sports matches in the same way they’d approach any other games. In truth, most online sportsbooks today rely on a combination of algorithms and betting exchanges. The art of bookmaking is on the way out and automation is a big part of odds compilation.

Statistical models are used to generate a moneyline, based on several different factors. Recent results, injuries to star players, home advantage and others all play a role in calculating a probability. These numbers are then converted to odds, once the bookmaker’s mathematical advantage has been built in. This “juice” is what turns the sportsbook a profit. After all, these are businesses and not charities!

Once the moneyline is ready, many of the markets you see when betting on college sports can be automatically generated. Again, bookmakers use models to create the other odds based on the probabilities of winning the game.

Popular College Sports Betting Lines

Okay, now that you have a handle on the odds, let’s take a look at the various wagering opportunities available. Here are some of the most popular lines when it comes to betting on college sports.

Moneyline

This is the simplest market of all, which is probably why it’s so popular with sports bettors. As we already illustrated in our above example, the moneyline is all about which team will triumph. There is nothing fancy, just predict the winner and collect your returns!

Moneyline betting on college sports

Handicap Spreads

If one team has a significant skill advantage over the other, the moneyline odds will be imbalanced. When betting on college sports, the last thing you want to do is risk a lot to win a tiny profit. So the favorite will not be a very appealing bet to most players. Similarly, if the underdog has no chance at all, while the odds may be tempting, it feels like a waste of money.

In order to keep things interesting for sports bettors, the bookmakers invented the handicap spread. The inferior team receives a points head start. For your bet to win, the pick now has to cover the handicap score, rather than simply winning the match.

Totals

There are all kinds of different totals lines to enjoy when betting on college sports. In football or basketball, the most common tends to be the points total. The bookmaker will set a theoretical line for the combined number of points scored by both teams. All you need to do is guess whether the real tally will be above or below that line. Hence these markets are often dubbed “Over/Under” lines.

All of the different sports have their own variations on this theme. In soccer, for instance it might be Over/Under on the total games scored in the match. But there are also similar lines for the number of goals in one specific half,  the number of corners in the game and many more.

Futures

College sports betting is not permitted in many states. Where it is allowed, there tends to be a reduced product on offer. One of the more basic sportsbook bets is attempting to predict the winner of the tournament outright. For instance, who will be the NCAAF national champion, or which player will lift the Heisman Trophy.

Such long-term bets can also be profitable, as they are hard to land. The increased odds can be tempting and this undoubtedly contributes to the popularity of futures markets.

Heisman Trophy - College Sports Award

Prop Bets

Although some US states do permit prop betting in college sports, many do not. The potential for corruption is obvious, with young players who don’t yet earn any money from the sport. As a result, the selection of individual player props is greatly reduced when betting on college sports, as opposed to professional games.

That said, you will still normally find team props available. These are usually straightforward propositions, such as which team will have the most rushing yards, or which side will score the most three pointers? They may also take the form of yes or no questions, while other props rely on range bands.

Top 5 Tips For Betting on College Sports

This section of our guide to betting on college sports is probably the bit you’ve been looking forward to the most. In it, we’ll reveal our top tips to help you get better results.

Tip 1: Shop around

This piece of advice isn’t so much about bet placement, as being price sensitive. If you wanted to buy new shoes, you’d make sure that you found the store offering the lowest price. Placing bets on college sports is no different.

Make sure to check the odds of multiple betting sites and find the most generous prices. A few percentage points here and there all add up over time to hit your bottom line.

Tip 2: Dodge parlays

It’s true that a parlay offers a greater potential return than multiple individual bets. But why do you think bookmakers are so keen for you to place these bets? The rewards are greater simply because the level of risk is so much higher.

Think about the mathematics of bookmaking and the percentage edge built into every single line. If you multiply the odds together, you’re also multiplying that theoretical profit margin. It’s much better for your long-term results to place single bets than parlays.

Tip 3: Ignore pundits

College sports can draw just as much hype as their professional equivalents. And where there is airtime needing to be filled, or column inches needing to be written, you’ll find opinions.

It’s important to block out the noise. Many of these “experts” may not even believe what they are saying. But it’s their job to provide an opinion and generate a buzz. Do your research, stick to your beliefs and shut out the nonsense.

Tip 4: Find value

Bookmakers have to balance their books. If a big bet comes in for one side of the line, they’ll need to adjust the prices to tempt people to bet the other team.

Check the odds on the day of the game and look for those bookies out of line with the rest of the market. You can often find a point or more difference on the handicap spread. These small edges all add up over time.

Tip 5: Work hard

Nobody ever wants to hear this particular piece of advice, but it’s true. There are no fast routes to the top in life. The greatest rewards only ever come through hard work and dedication.

Study past results, pore over the stats and immerse yourself in what you are doing. Learn the art of handicapping, so you can spot pricing errors at online sportsbooks. Practice with paper trading before committing money to any system you have developed. In short, the more you put in, the more you’ll get out.

Common Bonus Offers When Betting on College Sports

The world of sports betting is an extremely competitive one. As such, online bookmakers must do as much as possible to draw in new players and try to retain them. That’s why you’ll see so many signup incentives and rewards for loyal customers.

The good news is that most of these sportsbook bonuses and promotions are not limited to wagers on professional teams. Where betting on college sports is legal, you can usually make use of such offers on collegiate events. Here are some of the most common bonuses to look out for.

Deposit Match Bonuses

One of the most popular welcome offers found at online sportsbooks in the US is the first time deposit bonus. Register and fund a new account and you’ll be awarded free play credits linked to the size of your deposit.

For instance, let’s say the deposit match deal is a 150% bonus up to $1,000. If you funded your account with $100, you would receive an additional $150 in promo credits. Every site is different, so be sure to check the terms of the promotion. But you can usually spend these bonuses on college sports bets.

Free Bets

A free bet is effectively a coupon which allows you to place a bet without using real cash. Rather than subtracting the funds from your balance, no deduction is made when placing the wager. But should you win, you’ll be able to keep all the profits, though not the value of the free bet token.

Free bets are sometimes given as a signup offer, in place of a deposit match bonus. But many online bookmakers also hand them out to loyal bettors as a reward for their custom.

Risk-Free Bets

Although they sound similar to free bets, risk-free bets are different as they involve a real money wager. You must place a bet as normal and the funds will be subtracted from your cash balance. However, if the bet loses, you’ll receive some sort of insurance to cover the loss.

More often than not, this comes in the form of a free bet token. It will usually be equal to the value of the bet placed, giving you a chance to strike a second bet after a loss. Hence the term “risk-free”. These bonuses are sometimes dubbed “no sweat bets” at sportsbooks in the USA.

BetMGM Sportsbook Risk-Free Bet

Bet and Get

This type of promotion is usually reserved for existing customers, rather than being used as a signup incentive. As the name implies, you’ll need to place at least one real money bet in order to earn whatever reward is on offer.

Most commonly, you’ll need to strike several bets of a specific minimum value. For example, three real money wagers of at least $25 might earn you a $25 free bet token. All bookies handle this type of promo differently, so always read the Ts & Cs to avoid frustration.

How To Start Betting on College Sports

Ready to get started betting on college sports? Here’s a walkthrough to get you up and running as quickly as possible.

1: Choose a bookmaker

This step is easy, as we’ve already picked out the most reputable and trustworthy sites right here on this page. All of them offer generous bonuses, competitive odds and have user-friendly betting interfaces.

2: Open an account

After making your choice, click the link to open the website and then hit the relevant button to open the registration form. You’ll be asked for some personal details which are needed by the regulator to combat fraud and money-laundering.

3: Secure the bonus

Every online betting site takes a different approach here. Some may ask for a promo code on the registration form, while others will offer a list to pick from. Many sites delay this part until making your first deposit. Read the terms of the welcome offer and don’t miss out.

4: Fund your wallet

Now that your sportsbook account is open, you must add some funds. Visit the cashier, choose the right payment method for you and follow the on-screen instructions to make that first deposit.

5: Strike a bet

All that remains now is to browse through the many college sports betting markets on offer. Use the navigation menu to find your favorite games or teams. Then just click on the odds to add a pick to your betslip.

Conclusion

Hopefully, this guide to betting on college sports has addressed all of your concerns. Your life should be much easier now, armed with our top tips to improve your results. Not to mention our list of the best college sports betting sites and guide to understanding the odds.

If you’re ready to start betting, simply pick out your favorite bookmaker from the list found at the top of this page. Don’t forget to claim your welcome bonus when registering. Good luck!

FAQs

Is college sports betting legal in the United States?

Betting on college sports is certainly legal in some parts of the USA, but not all. It depends where you are located. We’ve included detailed information elsewhere in this guide.

What are the USA’s top betting sites for NCAA?

The best online bookmakers for betting on college sports are all listed at the top of this article. Our expert team has reviewed each one to ensure they’re safe and secure.

How can I win when betting on college sports?

Want to improve your results when betting on college sports? Join the club! You can read some tips a little further up the page that should help to increase your bottom line.

What is NCAA moneyline betting?

Moneyline odds show us the potential returns on a winning bet, as well as indicating which team is most likely to win. Betting on college sports comes in many forms, but the moneyline is one of the most common markets.

How do you place college sports bets?

Betting on college sports is really simple. You can find the best sportsbooks at which to wager in this guide, as well as a step-by-step guide to help you get going.

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