2023-24 College Basketball Futures Odds - How to Bet College Basketball Futures

SportsBetting3.com’s college basketball futures guide explains everything you need to know about college basketball futures bets. It explains what a college basketball futures bet is and how to place a futures bet. This guide also includes the latest odds for the most popular college basketball futures markets – like odds to win the Final Four – plus the best sports betting sites where you can legally place bets in your jurisdiction.

College basketball futures odds will update throughout the season, particularly for the NCAA Men’s National Basketball Championship. Odds for select conference winners will also update multiple times each week. Be sure to bookmark this page and come back after each week’s action has concluded.


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Table of Contents

  1. What are College Basketball Futures?
  2. Futures Example
  3. How to Bet
  4. Top College Futures Bets
  5. When to Bet
  6. College Basketball Futures FAQs

What are College Basketball Futures Bets?

A futures bet is placed on the outcome of a distant college basketball event. Your bet wins if you chose the correct outcome. You may bet on more than one outcome at once, however the odds for each outcome will likely differ depending on each selection.

Popular College basketball futures bets include odds to win the Final Four and March Madness tournament, along with individual conferences like the Big 12, Big Ten, Big East, SEC, and the ACC. Additionally, sports betting sites will have odds to win the John R. Wooden Award and other annual player awards.

You can place a futures bet up to any point before the actual event begins or the player award is announced. Odds will vary as the season progresses. For example, a team with a strong winning record will gradually become a favorite to win the their conference and potentially participate in the NCAA Men’s National Basketball Tournament. On the other hand, an underperforming player will gradually become a long shot underdog to win the John R. Wooden award.

College basketball futures odds offer sports bettors two opportunities. One, the chance to bet on a distant event with a potentially higher payoff than any single game bet. Two, insight into which teams or players are likely to come out on top by the end of the season. Whether you actually bet the future or not, the changing odds are a useful datapoint to sharpen your college basketball handicapping as the season progresses.

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How College Basketball Futures Bets Win or Lose

Your futures bet wins if you select the correct outcome. The bet loses if you select the wrong outcome, or if the team, player, or result you selected is no longer eligible for the event. This often happens with championship futures when a team is eliminated from the national basketball tournament or conference tournament. It also happens with player awards when a player gets injured early in the season and can no longer compete against rivals.

What College Basketball Futures Odds Mean

Each possible college basketball future outcome will have moneyline odds at American sportsbooks.

The most likely, or favorite outcome, will have a minus value. The minus value indicates how much you risk to win $100. -400 futures odds mean you risk $400 to win $100.

All other outcomes will have plus values. The plus value indicates how much you win if you risk $100. +350 futures odds mean you win $350 if you risk $100. Similarly, +1500 futures odds mean you win $1,500 if you risk $100.

Some futures bets will not have a clear favorite. In this case, all odds will have plus values. The lowest value is considered the most likely, while the highest is considered the least likely.

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How College Basketball Futures are Graded

The sportsbook will grade the college basketball futures bet when the event has officially passed.

In the case of an event like the National Championship Game, the bet will be graded when a winner is determined. Likewise, the sportsbook will grade a player award futures bet when the winning player is announced.

Some sportsbooks will mark your bet as a loss if your team, player, or selection is no longer viable. This happens when a team is eliminated from the national basketball tournament. It will also happen if a team is no longer in contention to win its conference championship.

When Do College Basketball Futures Come Out?

College basketball futures bets typically come out as soon as the current season’s Final Four has concluded. That means you can expect to see next year’s NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament futures within a month or two after the current year’s winner has been crowned.

Conference futures will take longer to firm up. College basketball conference futures typically come out after the schedule has been finalized, usually around mid-September to early October.

The final futures odds for the upcoming college basketball season will be published in late September and early October. These will include player awards, team performance futures, and any less popular futures bets that can’t be offered until oddsmakers have enough information to create a betting market. The last futures to come out are usually for smaller conferences that get less betting action.

College Basketball Futures Bet Example

2024-25 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament Odds

Team
BetRivers Sports Betting BetRivers BetMGM Sports Betting BetMGM
UConn
+800
Bet
+900
Bet
Kansas
+1000
Bet
+950
Bet
Duke
+1100
Bet
+1100
Bet
Alabama
+1200
Bet
+1200
Bet
Houston
+1600
Bet
+1600
Bet
North Carolina
+1400
Bet
+1700
Bet
Baylor
+2200
Bet
+2000
Bet
Gonzaga
+2000
Bet
+2000
Bet
Arizona
+2000
Bet
+2500
Bet
Arkansas
+3000
Bet
+2500
Bet

The following college basketball futures bet example is for the odds to win the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament National Championship Game. The example table contains odds for the top five teams.

NCAA Men’s Basketball National Championship Odds Example
Team Odds
Kansas
+1000
Duke
+1300
Kentucky
+1400
Purdue
+1500
Michigan State
+1600

Sizing Up the Odds

Reviewing the table, no team has a minus value that would indicate it is a clear favorite to win the Final Four. Instead, the top five teams all have plus values, with Kansas considered the leading underdog at +1000. Duke follows behind at +1300, then Kentucky at +1400 and Purdue +1500. Michigan State rounds out the top five at +1600. The odds suggest no real favorite to win the Final Four. And there’s not much certainty in the top teams, either, as odds for all five teams are +1000 or greater.

A $100 bet on Kansas to win the Final Four would pay $1000. Similarly, a $100 bet on Duke would pay $1,300.

The payouts for the remaining three teams would be slightly higher. A $100 bet on Kentucky would pay $1,400; the same $100 bet on Purdue would pay $1,500; and $100 for Michigan State would pay $1,600.

Of course, the odds will eventually offer more certainty about the most likely teams to win the Final Four after the initial games of the season.

Betting 2 or More Teams

Note that you could bet on two or more teams to win the Final Four. Though this strategy improves your chances of a winning wager, it will come at the cost of a higher upfront investment and potentially greater loss should none of your selections win.

For example, suppose you bet $10 on Kansas to win $100, and $10 on Duke to win $130.

If Kansas wins the national championship, your net result would be $100.00 (Kansas wins) – $10 (Duke loses) = $90.00. In this case, the $20 you risked returned $90.00, representing a 450% return on investment ( ($90/$20) * 100).

Since all the teams in this example are big underdogs, any one of them hitting would produce a substantial return. For example, suppose you paired a $10 bet on Kansas with a $10 bet on Purdue. If Purdue wins the national championship, your net result would be $150 (Purdue wins) – $10 (Kansas loses) = $140. With a Boilermaker victory, the $20 you risked returned $140, representing a 700% return on investment (($140/$20) * 100). That’s a big haul if you can swing it!

However, if the Michigan State Spartans end up winning the Final Four, you’d lose both bets and take net a -$20 loss. With some 15-20 teams potentially vying for the championship, and at least 4-6 likely contenders, futures bets offer the possibility for high returns if you’re willing to take a big risk.


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How to Bet College Basketball Futures

Time needed: 2 minutes

How to place a College Basketball Futures bet

  1. Review odds for College Basketball’s upcoming events

    Review futures odds for college basketball’s upcoming events. Popular events include the NCAA Men’s Basketball National Championship, conference championships, and the John R. Wooden Award winner.

  2. Each outcome has moneyline odds

    Each outcome will have moneyline odds at American sports betting sites. Minus values indicate how much you risk to win $100. Plus values indicate how much you win if you risk $100.

  3. Make your selection and place your bet

    Make one or more selections and bet your desired amount.

  4. You may place one or more futures bets on the same event

    You can place multiple bets on the same event at once or at different times. Simply choose a different outcome and place another wager.

  5. Your bet wins if you picked the correct outcome

    Your bet wins if you picked the correct outcome. Review your sportsbook’s rules to see when a futures bet can be cancelled.

College Basketball Futures Bets

The following are the most popular College basketball futures bets. These bets are the most commonly placed by recreational and professional bettors alike. Use the odds to guide your handicapping throughout the season.

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When to Bet College Basketball Futures

There’s an art and science to betting College basketball futures. The trick is to properly time your bet. You don’t want to bet too early without knowing much about how your team or player will perform. But you also don’t want to bet so late that your selection is an obvious winner with a small return. Consider the following before placing a futures bet:

  1. Do I have good data to backup the bet I’m making? – Don’t pick a team to win the national championship or their conference unless they have a winning record and are likely to win throughout the season. Review the team’s recent performances, standings, and stats.
  2. What does the rest of the schedule look like? – An underdog team that gets off to a surprisingly good start may just have an light early-season schedule. Check the back half of their season. If they’re up against powerhouse opponents, their record will take a quick turn for the worse and they might not be playoff contenders after all.
  3. Are key players healthy and will they remain in good health? – Though you can’t predict the future health of a particular player, you do know how they’ve fared in recent matchups. Keep tabs on injury reports, no matter how insignificant. A player that gets injured late in the season will almost certainly fall out of contention for an award, and may impact their team’s chances of progressing to their conference tournament and possibly the national basketball tournament.

Moderate Your Risk

For every person that wins a big bet on a longshot, there are dozens more that lose. Futures bets are inherently more risky than single-game wagers. Therefore, it’s best to bet on 1-3 selections with a reasonable chance of winning. You may also consider betting small amounts on longshots with higher payouts and larger amounts on likely winners with smaller payouts. This ensures your net result, no matter what happens, will at least produce a breakeven result or a small profit.

College Basketball Futures FAQs

What are College basketball futures bets?

A futures bet is placed on the outcome of a distant College basketball event. Your bet wins if you chose the correct outcome. You may bet on more than one outcome at once, however the odds for each outcome will likely differ depending on each selection.

What do College basketball futures odds numbers mean?

Minus values indicate how much you risk to win $100. Selections with a minus value are considered strong favorites. Plus values indicate how much you win if you risk $100. Selections with plus values are considered underdogs. A selection with the lowest plus odds value among a market with no minus value favorite would be considered a modest underdog to win.

How do College basketball futures bets win or lose?

Your futures bet wins if you select the correct outcome. The bet loses if you select the wrong outcome, or if the team, player, or result you selected is no longer eligible for the event.

What is the most popular College basketball futures bet?

The most popular college basketball futures bet is the team to win the NCAA Men’s Basketball National Championship. Odds for each team to win the next college basketball National Championship will be released shortly after the current year’s winner has been crowned.

When is the best time to place a College basketball futures bet?

There’s an art and science to betting College basketball futures. The trick is properly timing your bet. You don’t want to bet too early without knowing much about how your team or player will perform. But you also don’t want to bet so late that your selection is an obvious winner with a small return.

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College Basketball Betting Resources

  • College Basketball Betting Guide – Learn how to bet on college basketball with point spreads, totals, and moneylines, plus exotic bets like parlays and prop bets.
  • College Basketball Betting Sites – We’ve analyzed and reviewed the best legal sportsbooks for college basketball betting.
  • College Basketball Odds – Point spread, total, and moneyline odds for upcoming College Basketball games, including March Madness and the Final Four.
  • College Basketball Prop Bets – See prop betting lines and odds for upcoming College basketball games, including March Madness and the Final Four.
  • College Basketball Futures Odds – Learn more about how to bet on college basketball futures. Review odds to win the National Championship and key D1 college basketball conferences, plus odds to win the John R. Wooden Award.
  • Final Four Betting Odds – The latest Final Four futures odds, men’s basketball tournament schedule, matchup odds, and prop bets.
  • March Madness Betting Odds – Review odds to win the NCAA men’s college basketball tournament, then learn how to bet on the tournament with the latest matchup lines and odds.
  • Basketball Halftime Middling – Learn how to identify halftime middling opportunities that can help you make money betting on college basketball.
  • College Basketball Conference Futures Odds – See odds to win college basketball conferences, including the SEC, Pac-12, American, ACC, WCC, Big 10, Big East, and Big 12.
  • Undefeated College Basketball Teams – See which teams are still undefeated in the current regular season.
  • Early Season College Basketball Betting Tips – The first couple weeks of college basketball present a unique opportunity to get an edge as oddsmakers try to get their lines right. Learn a couple quick ways to improve your NCAA basketball handicapping techniques.