Before talking about NCAA tournament point spreads and basketball betting, we need to explain what the NCAA stands for. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is a nonprofit organization. It regulates student athletes from up to 1,268 North American institutions and conferences. It also organizes the athletic programs of many colleges and universities in the United States and Canada. The league helps more than 480,000 college student-athletes who compete annually in college sports. The organization has their headquarters in Indianapolis, Indiana.
In its 2016–17 fiscal year the NCAA took in $1.06 billion in revenue. 82% of the revenue was from the Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament. In August 1973, the current three-division system of Division I, Division II, and Division III came to be. The NCAA has been using it ever since. Under NCAA rules, Division I and Division II schools can offer scholarships to athletes for playing a sport. Division III schools may not offer any athletic scholarships.
Generally, larger schools compete in Division I and smaller schools in II and III. Division I football then split into the I-A and I-AA in 1978. In 2006, Divisions I-A and I-AA eventually became the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) and Football Championship Subdivision (FCS). However, in this article, we will only focus on basketball. For more information about the NCAA, check their official website.
How do NCAA Tournament Point Spreads work?
The point spread is the most popular form of basketball betting in NCAA games. You can learn more about the NCAA basketball championships right HERE. However, this aim of this article is to explain point spread betting and that’s what we will do.
The point spread – also called “the line” or “the spread” – is a tool that handicaps the favorite team. For betting purposes, the oddsmaker predicts that the favored team will win by a certain number of points. This number of points is the point spread. The favorite always comes with a minus sign (e.g. -5.5) and the underdog with a plus sign (e.g.+5.5). If you bet on the favorite, you win your bet if the favorite wins AND their margin of victory is greater than the point spread. If you bet on the underdog, you win if the underdog wins, ties, or if the favored team wins but fails to exceed the point spread. It is standard for point spread bets in most sports that you wager $110 to win $100.