College basketball is one of the most popular sports in Ohio with many schools spanning the Division 1 landscape and plenty of action starting in November and spanning through the beginning of April with the NCAA Tournament.
There are high profile schools like Ohio State as well as mid-major darlings such as Mid-American Conference (MAC) schools like Ohio and Akron in addition to the Ohio Valley Conference programs that have a footprint in the Buckeye State.
If you are interested in wagering on sports in the state of Ohio and need some basic information to get started, you have come to the right place. Below you will find the best sportsbooks available in Ohio as well as key information in order to make smart decisions when wagering on college basketball!
College Football Ohio betting guide
- Best college basketball betting sites in Ohio
- Tips for those new to betting college basketball
- Calculating your payouts
- Ohio college basketball betting markets
- NCAA Tournament betting
- College basketball live betting
- How to watch college basketball in Ohio
- How to listen to college basketball in Ohio
- College basketball players and coaches in Ohio
- Ohio betting by sport
- Ohio betting by team
- Ohio sportsbooks
Best college basketball betting sites in Ohio
Tips for those new to betting college basketball
Reading college basketball odds
Point spread: This is the betting odds between the two teams, one team is favored by a certain amount and the other team is an underdog by that same amount.
A team that has a - sign next to it is the “favorite” or team expected to win by the listed margin.
A team that has a + sign next to it is the “underdog” or team that is expected to lose by a certain amount.
For example: If Ohio State is favored by 3.5 points (-3.5) against Michigan, the Buckeyes need to win by 4 to win the bet. If Ohio State wins by 3 or less, including losing outright by any amount, Michigan bettors will win.
Over/under: There is a total set for every college basketball game, and you are able to bet if the two teams will combine to score more or less than the slated total, otherwise known as going “over” or “under.”
By taking the “over” you are betting on teams to score more than the listed total. By taking the “under” you are betting on teams to score less than the listed total.
For example: If Ohio State and Michigan play a game with a total of 140, it is up to you if you want to wager on the two teams to combine to score more (“going over”) or less (“going under”) than 140.
Moneyline: A point spread lists a point difference between the two teams. An underdog can “cover” but not “win,” meaning that the underdog can lose within the point spread, but it may lose the game outright.
However, a moneyline is giving odds on the underdog to win for an enhanced payout because it isn’t expected. You are rewarded for a team expected to lose. On the other hand, the favorite has reduced odds to win outright because they are expected to with margin.
For example: Ohio State is -150 to win (- sign means favorite here too), Michigan is +120 to win. That means if you must wager $150 to get back $100 on the Buckeyes beating Michigan. However, you can risk only $100 to get back $120 on the Wolverines to pull the upset.
Calculating your payouts
If you are betting on sports, make sure to do it responsibility. One of the key ways to avoid making financial errors in sports betting is to know exactly what you are betting on, how much you are betting and how much you can win. As well, it’s important to know if you can maximize your potential winnings.
There are different wagers available to sports bettors, but to start we will look at a normal point spread or over/under bet.
Most games that have this type of market will have -110 odds on each side, which is known as the “vig” or the “juice” sportsbooks put on a game. This prevents sports bettors from taking both sides of a bet, this is the fee you are charged for placing the bet.
For example, Ohio State is -3 against Michigan with standard -110 odds on each side.
In order to calculate what you would be with a flat bet of $100 you would do:
- 100/110 * 100 = $90.09
This is the amount risked divided by the odds multiplied by the amount wagered.
However, the odds are different across markets. Let’s use our moneyline example from before.
If Ohio State is a -200 favorite in order to calculate the odds, you do as follow:
- 100/200 *100 = $50
Again, this is the amount risked divided by the odds * the amount wagered.
If you wanted to bet on an underdog, it would be a different formula to calculate your payout.
Let’s say Ohio State was now an underdog of +300 to Michigan. When wagering $100 on Ohio State here is how you can calculate how much you win.
Odds to win divided by 100 multiplied by the stake = 300/100 * 100 = $300
Ohio college basketball betting markets
The point spread is the line set between the two teams. The favorite is expected to win by a certain amount of points and the underdog is expected to lose by less than that same amount based on the point spread.
Similar to a point spread bet, this is betting on the team to win the game, but without the margin of victory. This is picking the winner straight up, but sportsbooks set odds to differ between the two teams. You need to risk more to win money on the favorite, and can get bigger payouts on betting the underdog.
Oddsmakers set a total amount of points scored between the two teams, known as the “over/under.”
If a team scores more than the listed amount, this is known as an “over”, but if a team scores less than the allotted amount, this is known as an “under.”
Parlays are combinations of multiple bets that enhance payouts. You can parlay many different games together to enhance the payout of an individual bet.
- Ohio State moneyline -110 vs. Michigan
- Kent State -3.5 (-110) vs. Akron
- Ohio vs. Western Michigan OVER 144 (-110)
These are three separate outcomes that are tied together and made as one wager. In order to win the bet, all three “legs” must win. If one loses, the other two don’t count.
While all three are -110 bets, the standard vig on a wager, the odds are now +595. A $100 wager would payout a $595 profit.
Parlays are riskier than betting each game individually as all three needed to hit to win, but this is a cheaper way to get involvement in multiple games for a bigger profit.
College basketball teasers are essentially parlays between two (and sometimes more) outcomes while receiving five points from the original line for a standard price of -120 odds.
Example: Ohio State is a +5 underdog and you want to tease them with Akron, who is a -10 favorite. By using a teaser, Ohio State becomes +10 and Akron becomes -5.
Similar to a parlay, both legs must hit in order to win the bet.
Make sure to check all sportsbooks for the best price on teasers as odds vary by book.
Futures are a popular way to wager on college basketball outcomes that are further down the road like the NCAA Tournament or the conference tournament.
Sportsbooks offer odds on who will win the National Championship the day after the prior season ends and it is a dynamic market that changes with every passing result, injury and news that would generate action.
Further, the National Championship market is open throughout the entire season, so you are able to make more bets as the season progresses and see the action unfold.
There are other markets such as conference tournament outright futures that open at the end of the regular season.
Another growing betting market is the Wooden Award, which is voted on by writers as the most outstanding player each season.
Prop bets are growing in popularity each year in college basketball and Ohio sports bettors can get in on the action in a myriad of ways. Here are a few prop bets available at a limited time in Ohio.
- Player total points
- Player total rebounds
- Player total assists
- Player 3-pointers made
- Will there be overtime
- Will the game end with an odd or even number total amount of points
Stay tuned for more information on prop bets on college basketball in Ohio!
NCAA Tournament betting
As mentioned above, the NCAA Tournament crowns the National Champion in college basketball.
This is a 68-team tournament that features 32 automatic bids for the winner of each conference tournament and 36 at-large teams that are decided by the NCAA Tournament selection committee.
Every game in the regular season counts towards the team’s record and each non conference tournament winner is judged across several key metrics to make the ‘Big Dance.’
After an opening round that features four games, known as the First Four, two No. 11 seed games and two No. 16 games, the field of 64 is set with seeds ranging from 1 to 16 and broken down into four regions.
This is a single elimination style tournament with the Final Four pitting the winner from each region.
The NCAA Tournament begins in the middle of March with each round spanning two days, and each team playing two games a weekend if it advances.
The Final Four is always the first Saturday in April and the National Championship is the following Monday.
College basketball live betting
Live betting has become more popular over the last few years and college basketball is a prominent source for it.
Once the game tips off, most sportsbooks offer live wagering on the game as it is going on, giving bettors the opportunity to watch the game and make bets based on what they are seeing throughout the game.
Markets offered include point spreads, over/under, moneyline and team totals that are adjusted for what is going on in the game.
Count on expanded live betting options in the coming years.
It’s worth noting that sportsbooks that offer certain bets that could be different due to updated information as the game is going on.
How to watch college basketball in Ohio
Each conference has its own unique television rights for the regular season, which is listed below. However, the NCAA Tournament is broadcast on Turner Sports related television networks, including TNT, TBS and TruTV, in addition to CBS. The Final Four and National Championship are exclusively broadcast on CBS.
Here are the regular season broadcast deals each network has with individual conferences for the regular season:
- ESPN: Atlanta 10, ACC, American (AAC), American East, ASUN, Big 12, Big South, Big Sky, Big West, Conference USA, Ivy, Mid-American (MAC), Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC), Missouri Valley Conference (MVC), Northeast Conference (NEC), PAC-12, Patriot League, Sun Belt Conference, SEC, Southern Conference (SoCon), Southland, Summit League, Southwestern Atlantic Conference (SWAC), Western Atlantic Conference (WAC), West Coast Conference (WCC)
- CBS: AAC, Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, PAC-12, Mountain West, SEC
- Fox/FS1/FS2: Big East, Big Ten, PAC 12, Mountain West
- ACC Network: ACC
- Bally Sports Regional Networks: ACC, MVC, WCC
- Big Ten Network: Big Ten
- BYU TV: BYU
- CBS Sports Network: Atlantic 10 (A10), Big East, Conference USA, Colonial Athletic Association (CAA), MAC), Mountain West, MVC, NEC, Patriot League, WCC
- FloHoops: CAA
- Longhorn Network: Texas
- PAC-12 Network: PAC-12
- SEC Network: SEC
- USA Network: USA
- NBC: Big Ten
How to listen to college basketball in Ohio
Every college basketball team negotiates its radio broadcasts through agencies such as Learfield Communications and JMI Sports to broadcast on local radio stations.
However, the NCAA Tournament and NIT Tournament is exclusively broadcasted on Westwood One.
College basketball players and coaches in Ohio
College basketball has a storied history in Ohio with plenty of legendary players playing in the state that had storied careers at the collegiate level and carried it over to have notable NBA careers.
For certain teams in Ohio, multiple have etched its history in college basketball history already.
Ohio State in particular has had a lengthy history, winning one National Championship (1960) with several runs in the NCAA Tournament, getting to the Final Four 10 other times. The Buckeyes also won 22 Big Ten regular season titles.
Other notable schools, include Cincinnati (two National Championships in 1961 and 1962) and Xavier (three Elite Eights since 2000) have had NCAA Tournament success as well
Here are some famous figures from the aforementioned three teams:
Famous Ohio Head coaches
At Ohio State, the team is currently led by coach Chris Holtmann after Thad Matta retired briefly following his successful run as head coach that included two Final Four runs. However, no coach had a more decorated career than Fred Taylor, who coached two future NBA Hall of Fame players in Jerry Lucas and John Havlicek and coached the Buckeyes to its first and only NCAA Tournament in 1960.
Overall, Taylor won seven Big Ten conference titles as head coach for OSU, putting the school in the public eye.
At Cincinnati, the school also had National Championship success in the 60’s and in this case right after its in-state foe that was led by head coach Ed Jucker. After years of futility, the team hired Bob Huggins, who was the coach for Akron, and led the school to the Final Four in 1992.
Lastly, Xavier has had recent success since the turn of the century, sparked by the aforementioned Matta, who coached the 2004 Elite Eight team. Matta left for the high profile Buckeyes job in state and paved the way for Sean Miller to take the Musketeers to new heights, including three straight Atlantic 10 regular season titles.
After leaving Xavier for Arizona in 2009, Miller returned in 2022, leading the school to the Sweet 16 in his first season back at the school.
Famous Ohio basketball players
Ohio State has plenty of historic players that passed through the school, including Lucas and Havlicek in the 1960’s. There’s also the school’s all time leader in points in Dennis Hopson and assists leader Aaron Craft.
Further, NBA legend Jim Jackson played in Columbus during the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, but it was when Matta took over the program that the team returned to it’s national prominence.
Greg Oden was a future No. 1 pick in the 2007 draft that led the Buckeyes to the National Championship alongside Mike Conley Jr. and Evan Turner was a National Player of the Year a few years after.
At Cincinnati, NBA Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson was the NCAA’s all-time leading scorer for years in in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s, but more recently future NBA Draft No. 1 pick Kenyon Martin donned the Bearcats jersey.
Xavier doesn’t have a lengthy history as the two schools mentioned above, but do have a National Player of the Year in David West, who won the award in 2003.
Betting online has never been easier in Ohio. There are a wide variety of sportsbooks for you to find the best odds, utilize betting promotions and wager responsibly!
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