Bet on College Basketball in New Jersey

NCAA basketball betting guide 2020

The 2019-20 NCAA Division 1 men’s basketball season began Nov. 5. You can bet on almost every aspect of it at several New Jersey sportsbooks.

The regular season continues until March 8, after which each conference hosts its tournament to determine its champion. Then, it’s onto Selection Sunday, where the NCAA will announce the names and seeding of the 68 teams to play in the 2020 NCAA Tournament.

Outside of any games held in New Jersey, and those involving schools in the Garden State, the college basketball betting market is now open for wagering. That means you can wager on everything from the winner of each game to total points scored, from the Player of the Year to who will win it all.

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Where can I bet on NCAA men’s basketball in NJ?

Except for games involving NJ schools and other games held inside the state, you can bet on every single game in the 2019-20 NCAA men’s basketball season at sportsbooks in New Jersey.

That means college basketball betting markets are open at NJ online sportsbooks and sports betting apps. You’ll find similar odds posted for every aspect of NCAA basketball games at retail sportsbooks inside Atlantic City casinos and New Jersey racetracks.

Most NJ sportsbooks, online and off, will post lines for every college basketball game across all 351 teams and 32 conferences. The sportsbooks will also have NCAA futures markets available where you can bet on:

  • The 2020 national championship winner.
  • The conference to produce the 2020 champion.
  • The Final Four winner.
  • Which teams will get a No. 1 seed in the tournament.
  • The team to post the best regular-season record in their conference.
  • The winner of the John R. Wooden Award.

Top NJ online betting apps for NCAA lines

1. DraftKings Sportsbook: $25 free, up to $1,000 in bonuses

From game lines to halves, from team and player futures to game props, DraftKings Sportsbook has college basketball betting covered. You can even bet on something as simple as whether each game will end up with an odd or even total score.

DraftKings’ college basketball lines are as competitive as they come. You can access the full slate of NCAA basketball lines and futures via the DraftKings sports betting app as well, which is intuitive and easy to use.

Download the app and you can take advantage of $25 in free bets upon signing up.  You don’t need a promo code; just click the link below:

2. William Hill Sportsbook app – $10 free on registration

William Hill Sportsbook posts competitive lines for every college basketball game that doesn’t involve New Jersey college teams. Futures odds on the 2020 national title are also worth a good look with some value to be found.

The app itself is slick and intuitive and universally lauded by users. It’s available for Apple and Android mobile devices. You can get $10 free on registration + 100% match up to $150 on first deposit via the link below:

3. FanDuel Sportsbook app – $500 risk-free bet

FanDuel is a highly rated app with a user experience that is comparable to its online sportsbook; it’s even better in some ways. The full slate of that day’s action, including props and futures, is readily available.

Also, you can manage your account from the app, including deposits and withdrawals. FanDuel is a dominant presence in the market wherever it’s live, and the app is a big reason why.

You can get up to $500 back on your first bet at FanDuel by using the link below:

NCAA basketball lines 2019-20

Much like every year, the top NJ sportsbooks like to lean into Duke, Michigan State or Kentucky to win the national title. These three were the co-favorites at the start of the season, and even as each have suffered notable upsets over the course of the season, they never drop too far in the overall betting market.

There’s also usually a case for other traditional major powerhouses – Louisville, North Carolina, Kansas – to end up as top-five favorites to win the national championship before the season is through.

Here’s a look at the odds for some NCAA basketball betting favorites to win it all on NJ sportsbooks DraftKings and FanDuel as of Mar. 10, 2020:

NCAA Title Odds

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Michigan State
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Florida State
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San Diego State
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Penn State
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Utah State
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Note: Always check your favorite sportsbook for current NCAA futures odds.

NCAA basketball player futures 2019-20

No single player is the draw that Zion Williamson was in 2018-19. However, several players have been well worth the admission to watch this college basketball season.

Cassius Winston led Michigan State to the Final Four last year and was the consensus preseason National Player of the Year, but has only recently begun to live up to expectations as a senior with a late-season surge.

The story of the season, however, has been Dayton’s Obi Toppin. Toppin has put up phenomenal numbers in leading the Flyers to a top NCAA see and is the odds-on favorite to win the Wooden as of early March. Close behind is Iowa’s Luka Garza while San Diego St. gunner Malachi Flynn sits slightly back.

The 2019 Big East Player of the Year, Markus Howard, and North Carolina freshman Cole Anthony came into the year with high expectations but haven’t quite hit the heights desired. Anthony missed most of the season with an injury.

Seton Hall senior Myles Powell set the Seton Hall career scoring record and hopes to propel the Pirates to a deep March Madness run but his Wooden chances are slim.

Here are the current futures for top candidates for the John R. Wooden Award as of Mar. 3, 2020, on DraftKings; always check your online sportsbook for the latest futures:

  • Obi Toppin -400
  • Luka Garza +150
  • Udoka Azubuike +1500
  • Devon Dotson +1500
  • Markus Howard +2000

Bet NCAA Basketball player futures with $25 in free bets at DraftKings

NCAA Division 1 men’s basketball tournament (March Madness)

The 2020 NCAA Division 1 Men’s Basketball Tournament, also known as March Madness, will begin on March 17. It will finish with the championship game on April 6 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, GA.

On March 15, the NCAA will announce the names and seeding of the 68 teams set to play in the tournament. This process includes the automatic bids given to each of 32 conference tournament champions and 36 at-large bids picked by the NCAA Selection Committee.

The committee also seeds the field and places the teams into four 16-team regions: East, Midwest, West and South.

Plus, the four lowest-seeded conference tournament winners and four lowest-seeded at-large teams are asked to play in the First Four to get in the 64-team, first-round field.

Here are the dates and sites for the 2020 NCAA Division 1 men’s basketball tournament:

First Four

March 17 and 18, 2020
University of Dayton Arena, Dayton, OH

First and Second Rounds

March 19 and 21, 2020
Times Union Center, Albany, NY
Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena, Spokane, WA
Enterprise Center, St. Louis, MO
Amalie Arena, Tampa, FL

March 20 and 22, 2020
Greensboro Coliseum, Greensboro, NC
CHI Health Center, Omaha, NE
Golden 1 Center, Sacramento, CA
Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, Cleveland, OH

Regional Semifinals and Finals (Sweet 16 and Elite Eight)

March 26 and 28, 2020
Midwest Regional: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN
West Regional: Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA

March 27 and 29, 2020
South Regional: Toyota Center, Houston, TX
East Regional: Madison Square Garden, New York, NY

National Semifinals and Championship (Final Four and NCAA Championship)

April 4 and 6, 2020
Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, GA

March Madness bracket challenges

Come tourney time, expect NJ sportsbooks to offer free bracket contests with hundreds of thousands in prizes available to anyone in the US.

Brackets are a fun way to get in on all the March Madness action. All you have to do is pick a winner for every single March Madness game and hope you’re better at it than everyone else.

College basketball betting trends 2019-20

All Final Four teams started the 2019-20 season ranked in the Top 25 of the preseason polls. Virginia isn’t exactly a favorite to repeat but is a Top-10 ranked team. The Cavaliers lost several top players to the NBA Draft but brought in a pair of three- and four-star recruits to replace them.

Michigan State was the preseason No. 1 thanks to the fact it returns most of the players from a team that won the Big Ten regular-season, Big Ten Tournament, and made the Final Four last season.

Of the two teams that made their first Final Four appearance last season, preseason polls seem to give Texas Tech the better shot at getting back there. The Red Raiders lost star Jarrett Culver to the NBA, but the players that did return are expected to step up in his absence.

In the meantime, Auburn barely made the Top 25, thanks to many of its key players leaving. Duke spent a good portion of last season at the top of the polls and will do so again this year despite losing Zion Williamson, RJ Barrett and others to the NBA.

Locally, the Villanova Wildcats should be in the national championship picture, thanks to a pair of five-star recruits joining the team. Plus, Seton Hall will be competitive enough to make most wish they were able to bet on them in New Jersey.

College basketball AP, USA Today polls for 2019-20

Both the Associated Press and USA Today polls rank the top 2019–20 NCAA Division 1 men’s basketball teams prior to the start of and every week throughout the season.

Check the current AP Top 25, updated every Monday.

You won’t be able to bet on Seton Hall games or Seton Hall futures in NJ. The school is based in South Orange, NJ, and therefore subject to the state’s sports betting restrictions that prohibit gambling on local college basketball teams.

That means if Seton Hall goes on to make the NCAA Tournament, the team’s games won’t be on any NCAA tourney brackets in New Jersey and there won’t be any lines posted on its games.

NCAA men’s basketball schedule: Key dates

The 2019-20 NCAA Division 1 men’s basketball regular season began Nov. 5 and will wrap up March 8. Most conference tournaments will occur on the second weekend in March.

Then, it’s onto Selection Sunday on March 15, where the NCAA will announce the names and seeding of the 68 teams to play in the 2020 NCAA Tournament.

That includes the 32 automatic bids handed out to the conference tournament champions and 36 at-large bids picked to play by the NCAA Selection Committee.

As always, the committee seeds the 68-team field and places the teams into four 16-team regions: East, Midwest, West and South.

It seeds each region No. 1 through No. 16. Plus, the four lowest-seeded conference tournament winners and four lowest-seeded, at-large teams are asked to play their way into the tournament through the First Four.

This season, the NCAA is once again holding the First Four in Dayton, Ohio, on March 17 and 18.

After that, the 64-team tournament begins with 48 first- and second-round games played in the first four days. After the second-round games, there are only 16 teams left that advance to the regional semifinals, also known as the Sweet 16.

The Sweet 16 games are held the following weekend (March 26-27), with the eight winners moving on to the regional finals or the Elite Eight. Elite Eight games occur the second weekend (March 28-29) and the winners advance to the national semifinals, aka the Final Four.

The Final Four will be on the next Saturday (April 4 in Atlanta, GA), and the two winners of those games will play in the championship two days later (April 6).

NCAA basketball team futures 2019-20

NJ sportsbooks will book futures bets on college basketball teams to win the National Championship through the regular season and into the NCAA Tournament at odds that are adjusted throughout.

Most also have various NCAA Division 1 men’s basketball futures markets open all season long. You can bet on anything from who will make the Final Four to which team will post the best regular-season record in their conference.

Duke didn’t get the nod as the preseason No. 1, but they will compete for a national championship this year despite Zion Williamson and RJ Barrett going pro. Sophomore point guard Tre Jones is a star and freshmen Cassius Stanley, Vernon Carey and Matthew Hurt project to be as well.

Michigan State did get the nod as the preseason No. 1, and there’s little doubt they will compete for a national championship this year. Not winning would be a disappointment for a team returning much of the squad that went to the Final Four last season. The question is: Can the Spartans handle the pressure of such big expectations?

The defending champs, Virginia, started playing championship-level defense and will contend throughout the season. Maryland has the talent to be a part of the madness come March.

Plus, Villanova may be young and inexperienced, but that’ll change by the end of the season, making the school that won the national championship in 2016 and 2018 a threat again.

Finally, we hate to say this because you can’t bet on them in NJ, but Seton Hall may compete behind the play of senior guard Myles Powell and a whole heap of returning scorers. The Pirates may even have you driving across state lines to bet on them by the end of this season.

College Basketball rivalry games

Duke-North Carolina

Duke-North Carolina isn’t just the top rivalry in college basketball; it’s one of the greatest rivalries in sports. These two schools are in the national championship picture every year and, in many cases, have turned the ACC into a two-team race.

Both squads are ranked in the top 10 again in 2019-20. They’ll face each other for the first time this season at the Dean Smith Center in North Carolina on Feb. 8.

Game 2 will be March 7 at Duke’s Cameron Indoor Stadium. Then, as it usually does, a possible third matchup between the two could have significant implications on the ACC Tournament. Of course, every NJ sportsbook will post lines on the games for betting.


The Kentucky-Louisville rivalry is among the most passionate and intense in college basketball. It’s no wonder, considering how close the two schools are and the fact that there aren’t any pro sports teams in the state, heightening the interest in college sports.

Both schools are once again ranked in the Top 10 in 2019-20. Kentucky won when the two met on Dec. 29, 2018. The rivalry will renew on Dec. 28 at the University of Kentucky Wildcats’ home court, Rupp Arena. You’ll definitely be able to bet on these college basketball games at NJ sportsbooks.

College basketball betting beginners’ guide

There are several simple ways you can bet on college basketball games at retail and online sportsbooks in NJ, including:

NCAA Basketball Moneylines

NJ sportsbooks will most likely set moneylines for every college basketball game on the schedule this season. The lone exception, again, is wagering on games in New Jersey or those involving in-state schools.

Betting moneylines is as easy as it gets. Pick the team you think will win and lock in the bet at either positive or negative odds that are posted for each team. These odds tell you how much you’ll get paid if your bet wins.

The favorite is the negative number, representing how much you’ll need to bet to win $100, plus your bet back. The underdog is the positive number, representing how much you’ll win for every $100 you bet.

NCAA Basketball Spreads

College basketball spreads are much like point spreads in NFL games. NJ sportsbooks come up with a line displaying the number of points they believe the favorite will win by. In order to determine a betting winner, that line must be factored into the final score.

NJ sportsbooks will post spread lines on most college basketball games. You must pick a side and either deduct the number from the favorite’s final score or add it to the underdog’s before determining if you’ve selected the winner. In other words, you need to pick the winner with the posted spread at the time you placed the bet.

NCAA Basketball Totals

College basketball totals are just the same as the over/under in NFL games. NJ sportsbooks set a line on the total number of points both teams will combine to score. You bet whether the final score will be over or under that number.

NCAA Basketball Parlays

NJ sportsbooks offer players the opportunity for bigger college basketball paydays if they’re willing to combine two or more college basketball bets into a parlay.

Parlays pay better than individual game bets. The catch is you must win every single wager that is part of the parlay to win anything at all.

NCAA basketball live betting

Most NJ sportsbooks offer in play college basketball betting. Live wagering allows you to place basic bets during a game in real-time at odds that are continuously adjusting.

Live NCAA basketball betting also includes a few prop bets, like winning the half or whether the total score will end up even or odd.


Which team has won the most NCAA Championship wins?

UCLA last won the NCAA Men’s Division 1 basketball championship in 1995 but with 11 national titles it still holds the record for the most NCAA Championship wins.

Which team has the most Final Four appearances?

The North Carolina Tar Heels have made the Final Four 20 times, the most of any team in NCAA history. From those 20 appearances, the Tar Heels have won seven championships, the last time in 2017.

What’s the best strategy for betting on college basketball?

There’s no tried and true secret for betting on college basketball. However, the best strategies for wagering on college hoops are supported by facts. The difference between those who win and lose betting college basketball is information.

If you want to be a college basketball betting winner, you develop your strategy by watching games and devouring as much information as you can. Scour the injury reports, study how sportsbooks are setting lines, and look for edges you can exploit.

Make informed bets and put the knowledge you have gained by studying college basketball to work for you.

What’s the difference between Vegas NCAA lines and other lines?

There isn’t any, really. In fact, most of the lines in Vegas and NJ sportsbooks are similar.

The thing is that local betting markets move local lines. So, there may be heavy betting on Villanova locally, and it may be enough to move the lines at local sportsbooks.

But Vegas still won’t budge, and that’s the big difference between local lines and those from Sin City sportsbooks.

What are second-half NCAA lines?

Second half NCAA lines are new lines that are set at halftime, allowing you to bet on the performance of the teams in the second half of a game.

Why can I not bet on New Jersey NCAA teams?

New Jersey lawmakers prohibit betting on local college teams and local college games to prevent corruption. It’s a bit of a toothless regulation, considering it’s just as easy to bet on NJ schools across state lines. Plus, keeping all the betting action open and upfront would probably do more to prevent corruption and protect the integrity of local college sports than a betting ban.

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