College Basketball Picks Today (March 29): Bets for Spreads & Over/Under Totals

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North Carolina State's DJ Burns, Jr. (30) drives against Oakland's Tuburu Naivalurua (12) during the first half of a college basketball game in the second round of the NCAA men's tournament Saturday, March 23, 2024, in Pittsburgh.
(AP Photo/Matt Freed)
Chase Kiddy @chaseakiddy Mar 29, 2024, 7:55 AM

The college basketball betting schedule for today, March 29, 2024, includes Creighton-Tennessee, Duke-Houston, Gonzaga-Purdue, and NC State-Marquette. 

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 29, 2024

  • NC State-Marquette Under 150.5
  • Purdue -5.5

NC State vs. Marquette Prediction: Under 150.5

I went deep on the research for this game, looking for any potentially interesting angles that I could attack. The first thing I noticed is that, unsurprisingly, NC State’s late-season surge is accompanied by an offensive revival. 

The Wolfpack are averaging 81 points per game since the start of the ACC Tournament; on the season, they’re down at 76.5 points per game. 

Unsurprisingly, more than 70% of the bets on the NC State-Marquette total are on the over at BetMGM.

Here’s where things get interesting. Some of the NC State offensive renaissance is overblown. For instance, games against both Virginia and Oakland only went over because the games went to overtime. NC State scored 66 points or less during regulation in both games. 

Here’s where it gets really interesting. NC State plays with an average tempo, but its average possession length rates below 300th in college basketball. In other words, the Wolfpack wait deeper into the shot clock on an average possession than most other schools. And NC State is playing Marquette, whose possession length is so long that it’s longer than only one other school in Division I. 

And who is that one school? Virginia. Which NC State just played a 116-point regulation game against less than two weeks ago. 

Guess who else is a sub-300 possession length team? Duke. Which just played a 143-point game against NC State that went under on a smaller total.

You get the idea. This total is inflated, and the market is expecting big offense. The data tells a completely different story. This under has become one of my favorite bets of the entire NCAA Tournament. 

Game Time: 7 p.m. ET

Gonzaga vs. Purdue Prediction: Purdue -5.5

Matt Painter deserves all the heat he gets on his NCAA Tournament record, but I really do believe in this Purdue team. I think they’re clearly one of the three best teams in college basketball this year.

Gonzaga, on the other hand, walked into the Sweet 16 after comfortable wins against overrated McNeese and banged-up Kansas. 

The challenge of this Purdue team is on a completely different level than those first two teams, and this is not a Gonzaga team that’s putting guys into the NBA lottery this summer. I’m willing to lay it with Purdue. 

Game Time: 7:39 p.m. ET

College Basketball On TV Today

Time (EST)GameChannel/Stream
7:09 PMNC State - MarquetteCBS, Paramount+
7:39 PMGonzaga - PurdueTBS, truTV
9:39 PMDuke - HoustonCBS, Paramount+
10:09 PMCreighton - TennesseeTBS, truTV

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.

BetMGM First Bet Offer $1,500
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.