Michigan fans will have to wait a little longer to be able to cast bets on college games after a surprise veto derailed a 2018 effort to legalize NCAA betting but the Wolverine State is widely expected to join others like New Jersey and Pennsylvania in legalizing sports gambling after the Supreme Court lifted a decades-long ban on sports betting outside of Nevada.
The Michigan state legislature, backed by strong public support, overwhelmingly voted to approve a bill that would allow the state’s existing casinos to launch online sportsbooks that allow bets on any professional or amateur sporting event by any adult over 21 in the state. Despite massive support, including 33 of the state’s 38 senators voting in favor of the bill, outgoing Governor Rick Snyder issued a surprise veto on his way out. New Governor Gretchen Whitmer replaced Snyder earlier this year, reviving lawmakers’ hopes of approving the bill once again this year. With little opposition to the bill, the Great Lakes State is largely expected to legalize sports betting in the very near future.
If you are eager to get a head start on the gaming action expected to hit the state soon, here is a quick primer on NCAA odds and the types of bets you will be able to place.
How Do NCAA Odds Work?
The majority of NCAA betting is geared toward college football and basketball, where most bets are placed using a point spread, which is the margin of victory the favorite, marked with a minus sign, must win by in order for your bet to hit. So if the Wolverines are a -3 favorite, they must win by at least 4 points for the bet to win. Underdogs are marked with a plus sign. So if Spartans are a +5 underdog, they can lose by up to 4 points for you to still win the bet. College hockey and baseball, which garner less betting action but pick up come playoff time, use “puck lines” or “run lines” instead of a “point spread,” effectively setting the spread for each game at 1.5 goals or runs.
You can also bet on who the winner will be straight up on the moneyline, which marks the ratio of your initial bet to the possible payout and offers higher winnings to underdogs. So if the Wolverines are a -150 favorite, you would need to bet $150 to win $100. But if the Buckeyes are a +125 underdog, your $100 bet would bring in $125.
Other Types of NCAA Betting?
As with professional sports, every game also features a projected point total. Every sportsbook will allow you to bet on whether the final combined point total will be “over” or “under” the projected total.
Many newer online sportsbooks also allow you to make in-game or prop bets on many individual events in a game. That means you can bet on whether Cassius Winston will have over or under 25 points in a game or how many points the Wolverines will score in a single quarter.
Some sportsbooks also allow you to wager on season-long events, like which team will the Big Ten championship or which player will lead the the NCAA in touchdowns.