College Basketball Picks Today (March 1): Bets for Spreads & Over/Under Totals

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James Madison head coach Mark Byington watches a call during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Virginia in Charlottesville, Va., Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2022. (AP Photo/Erin Edgerton)
(AP Photo/Erin Edgerton)
Chase Kiddy @chaseakiddy Mar 01, 2024, 10:40 AM

The college basketball betting schedule for today, March 1, 2024, includes Dayton-Loyola Chicago, Cornell-Penn, Troy-Texas State, and more. 

Read below for basketball odds, best bets, win predictions, and analysis for a few of the top games everyone will be watching today.

Best College Basketball Bets Today: March 1, 2024

  • Manhattan -120
  • JMU -14.5

Manhattan at Siena Prediction: Manhattan -120

On a night when I don’t like much, I feel drawn toward this horrific game between the two worst teams in the MAAC this season. 

The scouting report on betting MAAC games is to bet road moneyline underdogs constantly, because no one in this conference can ever seem to defend home court. And lest you think I’m overstating things, please note that Manhattan and Siena are a combined 0-15 in home games since Christmas. 

So take that context with you into tonight’s game, where Manhattan is a slight moneyline favorite on the road at Siena. The Jaspers are in last place in the conference and haven’t won a game since January. They also lost to Siena – at home, of course – on Feb. 10.

Why on earth would Manhattan be favored in this game? It’s a very strange number – so strange, in fact, that I have to go bet it. Perhaps that’s just life on the road in the MAAC. 

Game Time: 7 p.m. ET.

James Madison at Coastal Carolina Prediction: JMU -14.5

A memorable oddity: Coastal Carolina shot 48% from the floor against JMU on Feb. 1 and still lost by nearly 40 points. 

I was a bit floored to see JMU priced so heavily in tonight’s rematch, which will take place on Senior Night in Conway. 

I probably don’t need to tell you that this is a heavy number for a road conference favorite, but Coastal has been mostly lifeless against JMU and App State, the two best teams in the Sun Belt. The Chanticleers are 0-3 with a combined margin of 92 points. Yikes.

Most recently, Coastal lost at home to Arkansas State on Wednesday by 11 points. The Chants lost by 16 at last-place Old Dominion. It’s not unreasonable to expect another big night out of the Dukes, which is why the number is this rich. 

Game Time: 7:30 p.m. ET

College Basketball On TV Today

Time (EST)GameChannel/Stream
6:00 PMBowling Green - OhioCBSSN
6:30 PMArkansas State - Appalachian StateESPN+
7:00 PMDartmouth - YaleESPN+
7:00 PMFairfield - MaristESPN+, ESPNU
7:00 PMFlorida Gulf Coast - JacksonvilleESPN+
7:00 PMHarvard - BrownESPN+
7:00 PMKennesaw State - Queens UniversityESPN+
7:00 PMManhattan - SienaESPN+
7:00 PMMarshall - Georgia StateESPN+
7:00 PMMount St. Mary's - CanisiusESPN+
7:00 PMOld Dominion - Georgia SouthernESPN+
7:00 PMQuinnipiac - IonaESPN+
7:00 PMRider - NiagaraESPN+
7:00 PMStetson - North FloridaESPN+
7:30 PMJames Madison - Coastal CarolinaESPN+
7:30 PMNorth Alabama - Central ArkansasESPN+
8:00 PMBellarmine - Austin PeayESPN+
8:00 PMColumbia - PrincetonESPN+
8:00 PMCornell - PennsylvaniaESPN+
8:00 PMEastern Kentucky - LipscombESPN+
8:00 PMUL Monroe - South AlabamaESPN+
8:15 PMTroy - Texas StateESPN+
8:30 PMSouthern Miss - LouisianaESPN+
9:00 PMDayton - Loyola ChicagoESPN2, ESPN+
10:30 PMFresno State - NevadaCBSSN
11:00 PMAir Force - Utah StateFS1

How Do You Bet on College Basketball?

There are many different markets available for bettors interested in college basketball, and bettors may want to consider one – or several – different kinds of bets, based on their preferences. 

Spread

Like football, college basketball games typically have a spread market available to bet. The favorite must win by a predetermined margin, or point spread, in order to cover. 

If the underdog loses inside the margin, or if it wins outright, it has covered the spread. 

Because the point spread equalizes the market, both teams are generally paid out at or near -110 odds. For that reason, point spread markets are often the most popular option for football and basketball bettors. 

Moneyline

Who’s going to win? That’s essentially what moneyline bettors are predicting with their bets.

Because one team is typically viewed as the favorite, their payouts are reduced below a 1-to-1 rate of return. In American odds, these kinds of moneyline favorites are represented with a number after a minus sign. 

For example, a moneyline favorite might be -200, which would return the original bet, plus half that sum in profit. A $100 bet on a -200 favorite would return $150.

Because the underdog is not expected to win, their moneyline payouts are much more lucrative. In American odds, these moneyline underdogs are priced with a number after a plus sign. 

A moneyline underdog might be +400, which would return the original bet, plus an additional sum four times that bet. A $100 bet on a +400 underdog would return $500.

Over/Under Total

The total, or over/under, is a betting market that doesn’t revolve around the winner or loser of a game. 

Instead, bettors are predicting the total number of combined points that both teams will score.

Parlay

A parlay is a kind of combination bet that allows bettors to string together multiple legs for a higher payout. Each additional leg in a parlay leg multiplies the final return.

The downside? Bettors have to win every single leg of a parlay to win their money. So a bettor who builds a five-leg parlay and wins four legs has lost their bet.

This is a high-risk, high-reward kind of bet.

Teasers 

A teaser is a special kind of parlay that adds points to each leg for a reduced payout.

Say you’re considering the following college basketball parlay with three point-spread legs:

  • Duke -6.5
  • Marquette +3
  • Kansas -11.5

As a standard three-leg parlay, this bet would pay out at +595. 

However, if you make it a five-point teaser instead of a normal parlay, the point spread in each leg would be adjusted in your favor by five points. That would create this teaser:

  • Duke -1.5
  • Marquette +8
  • Kansas -6.5

Because your teaser has lower risk, it also has lower payout. This teaser would pay out at a rate of +120. 

Teasers betting can be built with point spreads, totals, or both.

Futures

If you want to bet beyond today’s games, you want the futures market. Futures bets are a way to bet on some distant aspect of the season.

In college basketball, that may be placing a bet on which team will win the national championship by examining BetMGM’s college basketball national championship odds.

Bettors who prefer awards markets can look at the Wooden Award odds

Visit the BetMGM online sportsbook for today’s college basketball odds, sportsbook promos — including BetMGM’s welcome offer — and more.

College Basketball Odds at BetMGM

BetMGM is the premier destination for college basketball odds all season.

Whether you’re a first-time bettor, casual fan, or seasoned pro, there’s something for everyone with college basketball betting at the sportsbook.

If you don’t have a sportsbook account, sign up for the BetMGM welcome offer, one of many sportsbook offers at BetMGM.

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About the Author

Chase Kiddy

Read More @chaseakiddy

Chase Kiddy is a writer for BetMGM and co-host of The Lion's Edge, an NFL and college football podcast available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and everywhere else. He has also written for a number of print and online outlets, including the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Washington Post, Daily News-Record, and HERO Sports. His first novel, Cave Paintings, is in development.

Chase Kiddy is a writer for BetMGM and co-host of The Lion's Edge, an NFL and college football podcast available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and everywhere else. He has also written for a number of print and online outlets, including the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Washington Post, Daily News-Record, and HERO Sports. His first novel, Cave Paintings, is in development.