NCAA betting is just as popular as wagering on the pros and in some cases, like March Madness, the betting action is downright explosive. From the College Football Playoff to the NCAA basketball tournament, college sports bring an unrivaled amount of action, emotion, and unbelievable swings and nothing can amp up the excitement even more than laying down some money on the big game.
Thanks to the recent legalization of online sports betting in New Jersey, fans no longer have to travel to a physical sportsbook or casino to add a bit of exhilaration to their weekend. Any adult over 21 that is located in New Jersey can place a bet directly from their computer or phone on one of the many online sportsbooks offered in the state.
Though some of these sportsbooks allow you to bet on college hockey and baseball games as well, particularly in the playoffs, football and basketball certainly make up the majority of the interest so we will focus on those two sports as we look at how NCAA odds work and the NCAA betting options available online in New Jersey.
How to Bet on NCAA Odds
Betting on college football or basketball works the same way and comes in three main forms: the point spread, the moneyline, and the over/under.
The point spread determines the margin of victory a team must win by or “cover” in order for your bet to pay out. So if Alabama is a -7 favorite, they must win by at least 8 points for your bet to hit. A 7-point win would be a push, so you get your money back, while a 6-point win or lower would be a loss. On the other hand, if Ohio State is a +20 underdog, they can lose by as much as 19 points and you would still win your bet.
While the point spread is popular because it provides incentive to bet on the underdog, even in cases where they are projected to lose by dozens of points, you can also place a straight up bet on the moneyline, which determines how much you would be paid on your initial stake. So if North Carolina is a -115 favorite, you would need to bet $115 to win $100. If Michigan is a +130 underdog, your $100 bet would win you $130 if Michigan wins straight up.
Along with choosing the winner of the game, many bettors like to wager on the point total which is set by every individual sportsbook. Players can bet whether the final combined score will be “over” or “under” the projected point total. You can also make over/under wagers on prop bets, which let you wager on any single event like whether a player will score over or under 30 points in a basketball game or whether a quarterback will throw for over or under four touchdowns.
Sites That Offer NCAA Betting
Online sports betting sites in New Jersey offer every professional game but there is a bit of a restriction when it comes to college sports. The state prohibits betting on any game involving a New Jersey college or university, which means bettors in New Jersey cannot wager on teams that involve schools like Rutgers, Seton Hall, or Princeton. The ban also applies to any college game that is played inside New Jersey, though March Madness games are rarely played inside state lines anyway. Otherwise, New Jersey gamers can bet on any NCAA game that does not involve a New Jersey collegiate team or venue.
Two popular options were launched by FanDuel and DraftKings, two fantasy sports powerhouses that were quick to get in on the betting boom. Both companies offer user-friendly websites and mobile applications along with a wide range of prop betting options that can take your betting experience to a new level. The sportsbook William Hill has also launched an online presence in New Jersey.
Most of the top casinos in Atlantic City have already set up their online sportsbooks as well. These include the Golden Nugget, Caesars, 888 Casino, BetFair, Sugar House, Borgata, Hard Rock, and Resorts.
All of these sportsbooks will offer generous free bet or deposit match bonuses to get you started, though you will have to wager quite a bit to unlock the total bonus amount. Many sites will also reward loyal players with reward points or free bets.