College basketball is one of the most enjoyable sports to watch on TV, and when March Madness comes around, few events are as exciting and magical. If you want to add even more excitement and drama to even a regular season game, you may want to consider making a bet on a game.
There are so many college basketball games to bet on; PA residents are spoiled for choice when it comes to betting. But how do you bet on college basketball games online in Pennsylvania, and where can you do it? We will answer all that and more for you.
How to Bet on College Basketball in PA
Before you make a wager, you should become familiar with the terminology used by players and casinos. As soon as you open an account on a sportsbook, you will see a manner of odds and numbers. We will define the most important concepts, so you know exactly how you are betting and how to win.
The simplest bets to understand are moneylines. When you bet on a team’s moneyline, you are betting that they will win the game. There are no gimmicks or safety nets; it is as easy as picking the winner. The odds are what make moneylines interesting.
To understand how moneyline odds look, we will look at an imaginary example. In this scenario, Villanova is hosting fellow Big East member Butler. The Wildcats come into the game as decent favorites, as the casinos believe they have a solid edge on a depleted Butler squad.
When you look at this game on a sportsbook app, you may see Villanova’s odds as -250. These odds mean you must bet $250 to win $100 back.
On the other side of the equation is Butler, with odds listed by the casino at +220. +220 denotes you will win $220 if you wager $100. While this is unlikely, the payout is substantial, somewhat justifying the risk.
You can wager in any denomination you choose, and the casino will pay out according to this ratio. So if you wager $10 on Butler and they win, the casino pays you $22. If you are not as comfortable with doing the mental math, you can find a bet calculator to tabulate any payout.
Moneylines also govern bets on other aspects of the game you bet on, including over/under and player prop bets.
Over/under are bets you make on an individual team’s or both teams’ total points scored. In our example, the casino may set the over/under for total points scored at 103.5. If you believe the teams will combine for more than 104 points, you should bet the over.
Bets on a player achieving a certain statistic during a game are prop bets; PA residents have several choices for prop bets from every site. These wagers may include determining if a player hits multiple threes or more than seven assists.
Point Spreads are a more traditional way of wagering on the game, and they typically pay out at a 1:1 ratio. This ratio means if you wager $50 on a team and your bet is correct, the casino will pay you around $50 in winnings. A point spread makes picking underdogs easier and favored teams riskier.
Let’s look at a new scenario to better understand a point spread. In this example, Penn State is visiting Ohio State in a Big Ten matchup. Neither team is strong, and the casinos decide it will be a close game. Ohio State is a slightly better team and has home court advantage, so the casino sees them as the favorites.
Ohio State has odds of -2. These odds mean that the Buckeyes are two-point favorites against the visitors. If you wager on Ohio State with the spread, the team needs to win by at least three for your bet to be correct. If they win by one point you lose, and if they win by two points you will get your initial wager back.
On the other side of the coin is Penn State, and the casino lists the squad’s odds at +2. If you take Penn State with the spread, the Nittany Lions do not need to win for you to collect your winnings. A Penn State loss by one point is still enough for you to win the bet, and the casino will return your initial wager if PSU loses by two points exactly.
If you have bold predictions before the season begins about the long-term outcomes of teams or players, you can put money on them with futures. These bets cover things like a team’s win totals or a player’s statistics or awards at the end of the year.
For team futures, the most common wager gamblers make is on the over/under for wins. Sportsbooks set these totals based on preseason predictions, and you will need to determine if a team will win more games than the threshold. You may also wager on a team winning its conference, making the March Madness tournament, or cutting down the nets at the end of the season.
Player futures typically involve the player accumulating a certain amount of statistics throughout a season or winning an award. If you think Kris Murray of Iowa has the inside track to win Big Ten Player of the Year, you can lay money down on it before the season tips off.
If you want to make a high-risk wager, you can combine multiple bets into a parlay. In a parlay, you put two or more bets together for greatly increased odds. If you are correct on all aspects of the bet, the casino will payout to you. However, if even one part of the bet is incorrect, you lose your wager. Parlays are all-or-nothing affairs.
Where To Bet on College Basketball
Now that you are familiar with the basic sports betting terminology, we can look at where to make wagers and the best NCAA basketball game bets.
If you want to wager in the Keystone State, why not do so at a sportsbook local to the area? BetRivers is the sports betting app of the Rivers Casino located in the Steel City of Pittsburgh.
Las Vegas used to be the king of sports betting, and you can still gamble with one of Sin City’s casinos with the BetMGM app. BetMGM is the official app of the MGM Grand Casino.
Beginning life as a daily fantasy site in the 2010s, FanDuel now offers a sportsbook for Pennsylvania residents. The company has partnerships with several leagues.
List of Sportsbooks in Pennsylvania
- Caesars Sportsbook
- Barstool Sportsbook
Is it Legal to Bet on College Basketball in Pennsylvania?
Yes, it has been legal to gamble on sports online for several years in the Keystone State. In 2017, Gov. Tom Wolf signed into law House Bill 271. This law opened up the state to legalize sports betting and state-sanctioned sportsbooks.
To virtually gamble on sports in Pennsylvania, you must be 21 and reside in the state. When you sign up for a sportsbook, the app will ask you to verify your identity by providing an address and social security number. Once the company verifies your identity, you can make a deposit and start betting.
Advice for NCAA Basketball Games Betting
If you are new to gambling and need a few pointers on the best way to wager on NCAA basketball games, we will give you some advice.
Always set a budget and stick to it no matter the circumstance. While you may feel like you have a sure winner, nothing is secure enough to place your entire bankroll into it. There is too much variance in sports for anything to be safe, and irresponsible gambling is dangerous. If you want to bet on college basketball games online in Pennsylvania, do so with a plan.
Gather as much information from reputable sources as you conceivably can before making any wager. Research the trends, injury reports, and local reporters’ observations. Only use verified sources like prominent beat reporters and national sites.
Stay away from multi-leg parlays when you begin gambling. While big parlays may seem tempting with extraordinary payouts, they are incredibly difficult to predict correctly. There is no faster way of clearing out your bankroll than with ill-advised parlays.
Conclusion: Bet on College Basketball Games Online in Pennsylvania
Responsible gambling helps turn the somewhat drab college basketball regular season into one filled with must-see matchups. And when March Madness fires up, a few wagers can make the tournament even more exciting. If you enjoy NCAA basketball and want to take your enjoyment to the next level, consider signing up for a sportsbook.