Betting On College Basketball In NY

While you won’t be able to place online wagers on college basketball in New York at this time, sports betting is still possible at one of New York’s many retail casinos. Let’s break down everything you need to know about NCAA basketball betting in NY.

Can you bet on NCAA basketball in NY?

At the moment, the college betting situation in New York is complicated. For one, New York doesn’t have any online sportsbooks. You can only place sports wagers at one of the retail casinos with a sportsbook in the state, and you can only do so if the game you want to bet on doesn’t involve any New York college teams and doesn’t take place in the state.

Therefore, if you want to put down money on collegiate basketball games in New York, the games must meet the following requirements:

  • Take place in a state other than New York.
  • Not involve one of New York’s many college-level basketball teams.

College basketball betting lines & odds explained

If you do find a game you want to bet on, you need to know how NCAA basketball lines and odds work. Oddsmakers at sportsbooks create betting lines by analyzing data and other factors and considering lines that will attract an equal amount of action on both sides.

You’ll be able to place a variety of wagers on NCAA basketball games. As is the case with most sports bets in the US, NCAA basketball odds appear in relation to $100. Favored teams have negative odds, and underdogs are positive. Here is an example of what the numbers mean:

  • Siena State (-130) vs. University at Albany (+150)

Siena is the favorite. Odds of -130 mean you would need to wager $130 to win $100 on a correct bet. If you bet on Albany, you would stand to win $150 on a correct bet of $100. That’s because Albany is the underdog.

How to bet on NCAA basketball in New York

At the moment, you can only bet on college basketball in New York if you visit a casino with a sportsbook. The sportsbook and casino partnerships are as follows:

  • Bet365Resorts World Catskills
  • DraftKingsDel Lago Resort & Casino
  • FanDuelTioga Downs Casino Resort
  • BetRiversRivers Casino & Resort Schenectady
  • CaesarsTurning Stone Resort Casino, Point Place Casino, Yellow Brick Road Casino

Akwesasne Mohawk Casino Resort and the Seneca Allegany and Buffalo Creek casinos also offer sportsbooks, in partnership with IGT and Kambi, respectively. To place a bet, simply visit one of these casinos and place your wager at the sportsbook counter. You’ll need to provide some identification to prove that you’re 21 or older.

Types of college basketball bets

Sportsbooks will offer a range of bets. Here are some of the most popular for college basketball.

Moneyline bets

When you place a moneyline bet, you’re simply wagering on which team will win the game. They’re popular for their simplicity. The odds will be in the same format as the example above.

Totals, aka over/under bets

Totals bets are a little more complex. With these wagers, you’ll bet on total combined score by both teams over the course of a game. The lines might look something like this:

  • Over 139.5 (-110)
  • Under 139.5 (-110)

In this case, the bet is whether the two teams in the game will score 140 points or more (over) or whether they will score fewer (under). The odds for both sides are -110, meaning you would win $100 on a correct bet of $110.

Point spreads

NCAA spread bets are also popular. A spread indicates an estimated margin of victory. When you place a spread bet, you are trying to beat the oddsmakers’ expectations. For example, the odds could look like this:

  • Albany -13.5 (-110)
  • Binghamton +13.5 (-110)

In the above example, Albany is favored by 13.5 points, while Binghamton is the underdog. You can bet either that Binghamton will avoid losing by 14 points or more or that Albany will win by 14 points or more.

Bracket bets

Brackets are a distinctive wager associated with the March Madness tournament that happens each year. In a nutshell, bracket bets involve picking winners in a kind of parlay format. More information on March Madness appears below.

When filling out a bracket, you’ll be trying to pick a winner for every game of the tourney down to the championship. The number of games and potential for upsets make this extremely difficult, and one or more wrong picks early can cause havoc with your bracket.

NCAAB futures and props

Futures bets are also popular for college basketball. They involve wagering on more distant events, such as whether a particular team will reach the Final Four or win the national championship.

In general, the earlier you place your futures bet, the greater your potential payout can be. You can usually place futures bets on big events like the championships or playoffs before the season starts.

Prop, aka proposition bets, are also fun. They involve betting on specific events or outcomes within games, such as whether a particular player will score a certain number of points, whether a player will foul out of the game, etc.

Major New York college basketball rivalries

While you may not be able to place wagers on in-state rivalries right now, that doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy the rivalries when they play out on screen or if you catch a game in person.

Should you decide to visit upstate New York, you should try a game between Siena and Albany. These teams have a long-standing rivalry, and they drive what’s arguably the biggest sporting event in the capital region each year.

Buffalo is a major rival of St. Bonaventure. This rivalry began only a few years ago, and at the time of this writing, St. Bonaventure has won more games than Buffalo. Expect some intense games between these two over coming seasons.

Looking beyond the state, Syracuse and Georgetown also have a major rivalry that has persisted over the years. This is partially because Syracuse had a 57-game winning streak at home until 1980, which is when Georgetown broke it.

Betting on March Madness

March Madness is a single-elimination tournament for NCAA Division I men’s basketball. It involves 68 teams that compete in seven rounds for the national title. The Final Four face off against one another in the penultimate round after eliminating all but four teams.

March Madness kicks off on Selection Sunday, which was March 14 in 2021. This is when the NCAA reveals the tournament bracket.

March Madness will be slightly different this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic in that the entire tournament will take place in Indianapolis. The Final Four round is scheduled for early April.

Beginners’ college basketball betting guide

Betting on college basketball is a little different from placing wagers on other sports. Here are the best ways to make the most of your initial wagers if you’re a beginner.

When shopping for college basketball betting lines, pay attention to the data and remember that the oddsmakers made these lines with the intent of creating entertainment and money for the sportsbook. Don’t necessarily go against the odds just because you don’t like what they have to say about your favorite team.

  • For starters, analyze the major “four factors” that cause basketball teams to win games. These are their shooting, turnover, rebound and free-throw rates. If you analyze these, you should have a good idea about the actual viability of a team.
  • Look for so-called mismatches within a game. These are instances when the oddsmakers might have weighted the odds incorrectly.
  • Check out the recent form of teams and players.

Ultimately, betting on college basketball can be fantastically fun. At this level, basketball players are still professional and impressive to watch, but games aren’t quite as “perfectly” played as they are at the NBA level.

Therefore, there are great opportunities for exciting wagers and unexpected outcomes.


It’s likely. At the time of this writing, legislation is in the works to allow online and mobile sports betting. However, college sports betting on in-state games or teams will likely still be forbidden.

No. All of the retail sportsbooks in New York have wide and varied college basketball betting markets.

Yes. Parlay bets involve stringing together multiple single event bets into a larger collective wager.

No. As with other sports, you should make a strategy and stick to it to secure the best odds of success.