How Do College Basketball Odds Work?

Most of us have seen sports odds before and understand why a College Basketball team is favored and the other is a dog — particularly if Gonzaga are playing!

NCAA Basketball betting has many popular options, particularly the spread, moneyline and over/under options. There are prop bets too, which allow you to wager on almost anything which can occur within a CBB match.

Vegas usually sets the standard and determines College Basketball odds for sportsbooks across the United States. Want to know the why behind the odds you see in our CBB Bet Hub and sportsbooks America-wide?

All of the answers are here for you, right now!

How are CBB odds determined?

The function of NCAA Basketball odds making isn’t to truly represent the probability of an outcome occurring. Vegas and sportsbooks actually put forth certain odds to make a profit and in the hopes of attracting bettors to both sides (either team, etc.).

Ultimately oddsmakers are in cahoots with sportsbooks. They are trying to reduce the risk of sportsbooks losing big. 

That’s why books hate when a big favorite wins, because they lose heavily. College Basketball betting odds certainly aren’t determined on the gut feel of a sports predicting genius. 

Sports statisticians and mathematicians are heavily involved in the odds you see on a sportsbook’s site and app. The X’s and O’s of basketball odds involve an examination of the wider betting market, statistics and data. 

In the case of CBB moneyline and spread bets, odds makers will look at previous matchups, form, injuries and even teams’ strengths and weaknesses to determine the odds. It isn’t that simple of course, algorithms and other nerdy stuff goes into it, but this gives you an idea. 

In other words, it’s not too different to Dimers’ predictive analytics model where 10,000 simulations of every NCAA Basketball game are conducted, based on the variables above, all to give you an unrivalled edge before you make that winning play.

MORE: How to Bet on College Basketball Games

Why are College Basketball odds not real probabilities?

Like any business, sportsbooks want to make a profit. They don’t sell clothes or shoes, but they do sell odds to you, the bettor. How do they profit? Let’s look at the below.


  • Baylor Bears @ Villanova Wildcats
  • Baylor  -250 (implied probability of 71.43%)
  • Villanova +200 (implied probability = 33.33%)


For all you super nerds out there, those percentages don’t add up. Well, they do, just not to 100% — yes we had to use a calculator. The sum of the two percentages equals 104.76%. How can a College Basketball game have an implied probability of 104%?!

It can’t really. The extra 4% is the profit margin this sportsbook is taking home. With such a strategy — commonly implemented across America— a book will make a profit over time.

MORE: How to Use Dimers Bet Hub

Favorites loss = Sportsbook win

When there’s a big upset during the CBB season, bookmakers rejoice. This is because most of the money is heavily poured on the favorite, meaning the sportsbook takes that home. Big favorites losing is a sportsbook’s golden goose.

Now that you know where odds come from, find the best College Basketball odds in America with Dimers. We have exclusive promo codes for each of the biggest and most secure sportsbooks. If you’re wanting to succeed at basketball betting, check out our CBB Bet Hub.

Why do sportsbooks have similar odds?

Sports betting is going gangbusters on a global scale. Surprisingly, basketball betting is far more advanced in places like Australia, the United Kingdom and Asia, while it is just getting started in America, Vegas aside.

Due to the globalization of NCAA Basketball betting it isn’t uncommon for sportsbooks to simply copy the odds of other books. This method is cost effective and they end up with the same odds without all the data and betting analytics research. 

We don’t know which books copy others but we do know how you can find the best odds for every major sport in the United States.

How to take advantage of CBB odds

Sportsbooks look to make money off your bets, and set odds in such a way to favor their interests. So, how do we fight back and win money from sports betting?

The answer is simple — take advantage of the edge. What is the edge, you ask? 

This is where the probability of an event occurring is more likely than the sportsbook’s odds. In other words, our predictive analytics model suggests a basketball team/player has a much better chance of winning than the sportsbooks think! 

Taking these bets gives you a better chance of being a successful gambler long-term. Of course, the higher the edge, the better. While you’re not guaranteed a W, taking picks with an edge gives you a greater chance of being profitable well into the future. This is super important when trying to become a successful College Basketball bettor.

For every major sports match including CBB, NFL, College Football, NBA and more, Dimers has the edge and exclusive promotional codes waiting for you. Now, read that in Coach K’s voice…you won’t have a choice but to do it.

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