The NCAA basketball season tipped off in November, bringing unparalleled options for sports bettors across Indiana.
There are 354 teams participating in Division I college basketball that play as part of 32 different conferences. For sports betting, that means endless opportunities day in and day out to find the best odds and deals during an exciting season.
The regular season runs from Nov. 5 through March 8. The NCAA Tournament tips off March 17 and runs through the national championship on April 6. Other postseason tournaments include the National Invitation Tournament and the College Basketball Invitational.
All these events provide ample opportunity to place bets online, on mobile apps and in sportsbooks where sports betting is permitted.
When it comes to picking a betting app, there are several things to consider. You want to pick one that offers the sports you like betting on. Additionally, you’ll want to pick a sports betting app that offer the best lines and a good welcome bonus.
Really though, picking an app or apps to bet on is a matter of personal preference.
Yes, you can bet in Indiana. The easiest way is by downloading an online betting app to place bets anywhere within the state’s borders. Apps include DraftKings, FanDuel, and BetRivers. In-person betting is allowed in casinos with sportsbooks that are also run by big names like DraftKings, FanDuel, Caesars Sport, and William Hill.
There are no restrictions on betting for Division I college basketball in Indiana. That stands in contrast to other states, like New Jersey, where fans are prohibited from wagering on New Jersey teams.
When it comes to betting on college basketball, there are plenty of things to wager on besides just the outcome of the game. Here are some of the most popular types of college basketball bets:
With NCAA headquarters in Indianapolis, Indiana is arguably the heart of all college sports. Moreover, anyone who has seen Hoosiers knows that the state of Indiana has a longstanding tradition as a breeding ground for some of the best college basketball teams in history.
Between Indiana and surrounding states, the number of accomplished programs with fervent fan bases is pretty daunting. Let us run down the basics on each of these squads and how they are faring during the 2019-2020 college basketball season.
The Hoosiers are trying to return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2016, when they made a run to the Sweet 16. The deck is stacked against them in a challenging Big Ten Conference, but even a .500 record could be enough to get in on Selection Sunday.
Coach: Archie Miller
2018-19 record: 19-16 (8-12 Big Ten)
2018-19 finish: Lost to Wichita State in NIT quarterfinals
Key contributors: Traycee Jackson-Davis, Rob Phinisee, Justin Smith
History: Five NCAA titles, eight Final Fours, 39 appearances
The Boilermakers have the firepower to make a deep March run with players who have taken the journey before. They’ve made the tournament the last five seasons, progressing from first-round appearances to back-to-back Sweet 16s, and finally, an Elite Eight run last year.
Coach: Matt Painter
2018-19 record: 26-10 (16-4 Big Ten)
2018-19 finish: Lost to Virginia in Elite Eight
Key contributors: Trevion Williams, Matt Haarms, Eric Hunter Jr.
History: Two Final Fours, 29 appearances
Butler underperformed in 2018-19, but netted a couple of quality recruits heading into this season. Behind veteran guard Kamar Baldwin, the Bulldogs could defy tempered expectations and make a return to the tournament.
Coach: LaVall Jordan
2018-19 record: 16-17 (7-11 Big East)
2018-19 finish: Lost to Nebraska in the first round of NIT
Key contributors: Kamar Baldwin, Bryce Nze, Aaron Thompson
History: Two Final Fours, 15 appearances
The Wildcats are always contenders to hoist the trophy in April, and 2019-20 is no different. The return of two key players in Immanuel Quickley and Ashton Hagans is a rare sight for a program that sends virtually all its top talent to the NBA after one year. That experience coupled with the usual influx of new top recruits gives Kentucky a fighting chance at a title.
Coach: John Calipari
2018-19 record: 30-7 (15-3 SEC)
2018-19 finish: Lost to Auburn in Elite Eight
Key contributors: Immanuel Quickley, Nick Richards, Ashton Hagans
History: Eight NCAA titles, 17 Final Fours, 57 appearances
The Cardinals are one of the teams to beat in a down ACC this season. Coach Chris Mack found his footing during his first year on the job, taking his new program to the first round, but expectations are sky-high with conference preseason player of the year Jordan Nwora leading the way.
Coach: Chris Mack
2018-19 record: 20-14 (10-8 ACC)
2018-19 finish: Lost to Minnesota in the first round
Key contributors: Jordan Nwora, Dwayne Sutton, Lamarr Kimble
History: Two NCAA titles, 8 Final Fours, 39 appearances
The Flyers are a formidable bracket threat coming out of the mid-major A-10 Conference. They added Ibi Watson from Michigan and have gotten top production from returners. They could have a solid shot to reach the Final Four for the second time in school history.
Coach: Anthony Grant
2018-19 record: 21-12 (13-5 A-10)
2018-19 finish: Lost to Colorado in NIT
Key contributors: Obi Toppin, Jalen Crutcher, Ibi Watson
History: One Final Four, 18 appearances
The Fighting Illini have flipped projections from a year ago. They return an experienced team that includes four starters and were projected to finish in the mid-tier of the Big Ten, certainly good enough to qualify for the NCAA tournament in America’s top conference in 2020.
Coach: Brad Underwood
2018-19 record: 12-21 (7-13 Big Ten)
2018-19 finish: No postseason
Key contributors: Ayo Dosunmu, Kofi Cockburn, Andres Feliz
History: Five Final Fours, 30 appearances
John Brannen took over for Mick Cronin, but the Bearcats don’t plan on missing a beat. They’re aiming for their 10th consecutive tournament appearance in a row. Over that span, the team has made it past the first weekend only once. Perhaps a new coach can equal a new feeling in late March in Cincinnati.
Coach: John Brannen
2018-19 record: 28-7 (14-4 AAC)
2018-19 finish: Lost to Iowa in the first round
Key contributors: Jarron Cumberland, Tre Scott, Chris Vogt
History: Two NCAA titles, six Final Fours, 31 appearances
The Musketeers entered the season with pressure to reach the top quarter of the Big East. Naji Marshall will be relied on to carry the team in Travis Steele’s second season at the helm. In a competitive conference, Xavier has its work cut out to maintain space above the bubble.
Coach: Travis Steele
2018-19 record: 19-16 (9-9 Big East)
2018-19 finish: Lost to Texas in the second round of NIT
Key contributors: Naji Marshall, Tyrique Jones, Paul Scruggs
History: 28 appearances
In a season where the blue blood programs aren’t dominating the sport, Michigan State is one perennial contender that could live up to expectations. If the preseason No. 1 team can hold off Big Ten challengers to stay near the top of the conference, the Spartans will be heading into March with many of their biggest tests behind them.
Coach: Tom Izzo
2018-19 record: 32-7 (16-4 Big Ten)
2018-19 finish: Lost to Texas Tech in Final Four
Key contributors: Cassius Winston, Xavier Tillman, Aaron Henry
History: Two NCAA titles, 9 Final Fours, 31 appearances
The Buckeyes aim for an NCAA return from within a loaded Big Ten. Kaleb Wesson has proven capable of the task.
Coach: Chris Holtmann
2018-19 record: 20-15 (8-12 Big Ten)
2018-19 finish: Lost to Houston in the second round of NCAA tournament
Key contributors: Kaleb Wesson, CJ Walker, Duane Washington
History: One NCAA title, 11 Final Fours, 31 appearances
The lead-up to March Madness is a series of smaller tournaments that determine the champions of each conference. For many schools, this tournament is the entirety of the postseason. If the team does not win the tournament and secure an automatic bid into the NCAA March Madness tournament, they are done for the year.
In 2020, the conference tournaments get underway on March 3. Here is a look at some important conference tounament dates:
Selection Sunday, the day the NCAA Selection Committee finalizes the 68-team March Madness field, will take place on Sunday, March 15.
The field of 68 teams will be announced on Sunday, March 15. The bracket will break down into four regions with 16 teams each. These regions are:
The last eight teams selected head to Dayton, Ohio to play in the First Four. The round acts as a play-in for the main bracket. Unlike past years, where these teams were playing for a 16 seed, the seeding for this is variable.
With so many storied programs in the Indiana, there are numerous teams that captured national titles and appeared in the Final Four. Lets run down how some of these teams have done over the past few years.
The American Gambling Association estimated $8.5 billion would be bet on the 2019 tournament alone.
The best college basketball teams to bet are not the best-known teams. They’re the teams that have put together quality seasons without the notoriety of a blue blood program. If the line looks favorable, take a chance on a Dayton or San Diego State. They may seem like no-brainers, but many people will be turned off by their smaller brands.
Start by doing research, then do more research, and finally, research before you make your bets. There is great value to be found outside of the major conferences, and especially when those teams play against the top teams in March. If you keep tabs on the mid-major conferences throughout the season, you’ll have familiarity with tomorrow’s dark horse today.
The NCAA tournament selection committee is comprised of select athletic directors and conference commissioners from around the country. They gather during the conference tournaments to evaluate and choose each team based on factors including strength of schedule, records, opportunities, and quality wins.
The committee finalizes its decisions following the conclusion of conference tournaments on Sunday, March 15. The bracket is revealed on the Selection Sunday show.
NCAA basketball lines are set by individual sportsbooks and casinos. The line will be set with information gathered on both teams, with the goal of limiting the losses of the gambling provider. Large amounts of bets in one direction or the other can make the line larger or smaller.
While sportsbooks and casinos may look to Las Vegas lines for guidance, each sportsbook has its own regulations and responsibility for its losses. They’ll make independent decisions based on information available. The betting habits of people in different parts of the country will also play a role in influencing the lines in other locales. When fans of a local team choose to bet on their team in a region like Indiana, it could alter the odds in an Indiana book in a way that wouldn’t occur in Las Vegas.
Second-half NCAA basketball lines provide an opportunity to place a bet for the second half of the game. The odds may change from the pre-game line because of actual game action that occurred in the first half. Take a look at new probabilities and make a decision for the final 20 minutes of play.