With 110 Division I college football teams on which to bet, NCAA football offers sports bettors plenty of chances to wager and make cash. The college football season, which includes non-conference and conference games, and the postseason, which runs from mid-December to mid-January are highly popular with sports bettors looking to make money.
The great thing about college football is the fact that each week there are some matchups where one team should be able to blow the other completely out of the stadium. Depending on the spread, these games offer great value. However, remember that the game must be played, and just because a team from the Big 10 is playing one from the Mountain West and are favored by 32 points doesn’t mean that they will cover or even win.
Before wagering on any NCAA football game, make sure that you crunch all of the numbers, work on your matchups, and create a solid analysis of the game. Sound, thorough work pays off when it comes to sports betting on college football.
NCAA Football Betting Articles
- How to Make Smart NCAA Football Bets
- NCAA Football Betting During Preseason
- NCAA Football Betting Daily Routine
- NCAA Football Betting and Matchups
- NCAA Football Halftime Betting
- Betting on NCAA Football Bowl Games
- How to Bet on BCS Championship Game
Preparation for the college football season starts in the summer when you can gather information on teams and players from their summer camps. Also, this is a good time to look back on last season and analyze which teams will have a strong returning class, which are reloading, and which promising teams may have a breakout season this year.
College preview publications and websites post their team and conference previews around the mid to late summer. These are helpful to get sports bettors primed and focused on the upcoming season. They are very important for preparation – you can begin to put teams in proper perspective.
Remember that unlike the NFL, there’s no college preseason, which means very little on-field evidence concerning how a club may perform. Find out more about how to prepare for the season by reading our in-depth college football preparation guide. You’ll learn the steps needed to be as ready as possible for the NCAA football season.
In the Trenches
For college football, much of the work you do each week focuses on matchups. Equally valuable is understanding the importance of national rankings and how they can affect games and your sports bets.
Also, knowing how to determine a good line and how totals work will be essential to any sports bettor’s success, as these tend to be harder to analyze if you’ve been betting on the NFL.
In order for you to succeed at college football betting, it will be essential for you to anticipate a possible upset, understand a team’s position and strength at a specific part of the season, and assimilate and translate accumulating facts, stats, and information into viable picks.
Entering bowl season, the sports bettor is faced with a rich array of games from which they may choose. There are many opportunities, and often huge challenges, in determining smart picks. Teams from different conferences meet in each bowl game, and a top club from a weaker conference may very well have a tough time beating a team that sits lower in the standings in a stronger conference. Bowl season can be a very lucrative time for a savvy college football bettor who has been engaged in the sport and involved in handicapping games throughout the regular season.
Make Smart Picks
When betting on college football it will be important to carefully select which games will receive your undivided focus each week. Spreads and totals can be deceiving, and college football teams can be unpredictable. Upsets are not usual, and being able to spot one will allow you to bet numerous units on that game, giving you a nice pay off. Still, most of your cash will be made the old-fashioned way: analysis of matchups, finding a good spread that will work in your favor, and betting a modest amount to turn a profit.
The most common wager for NCAA football games is the point spread. With a typical spread bet, the favorite must beat the spread while the underdog team will pay off if they either win outright or lose by less than the point spread. Sometimes with a spread the teams will be listed as even; in other words, no points are given or taken away. If that’s the case, it means that bookmakers see the matchup as being even.
If you’re used to playing the spread for NFL games, you may find NCAA football point spreads a bit confusing as some may be 32 points or more. The reason for this is that college football often sees two very unevenly matched teams playing one another.
This is often due to the fact that some conferences are much stronger than others. As an example, it’s very tough for a team from Conference USA to compete against one from the Big Ten. In a case like this, the spread could be huge. Don’t let a big spread throw you, as they are beatable. What the sports bettor has to do is carefully handicap a game with a big spread, just as he would any other game.
NCAA football moneylines have grown in popularity recently. Look for online sportsbooks that offer this bet, as it can be preferred over the point spread. If you believe a pure upset will occur, then this can be a great bet as you stand to win a lot of cash for a small investment. Likewise, if a team is highly favored and the spread is astronomical, this can be a great bet if you think the team won’t beat the spread but will definitely win. The fact is one of the best ways to beat the spread is not to play it.
Finally, NCAA football over/unders can be a solid bet to take. Totals are often listed at around +/-55.5 (however, they may be higher or lower). Handicappers create totals odds by using the season’s latest stats regarding how many points on average each team allows and scores. Make sure that you do some extra number crunching and research, including determining if either team’s defense is susceptible in some area or if one club will be able to shut down the other.
With college football, the less risk the lower the payoff, but the likelier you are to win money. Opt for numerous low risk wagers made over the course of a week. Utilize solid research, nicely crafted matchups, and completely sound handicapping methods to stand a good chance of winning.
Playing Early Lines
The next week’s odds are first posted on Saturday night and just after games are finished on other days; these first odds are more times than not soft. As a sports bettor, you want to find lines that are soft, as they will offer you good value. In order to bet on such odds, you must be able to recognize value in an early line. To do so, go through the point spreads as they are posted, looking for those that appear soft. Bet on those soft lines, and chances are as you get closer to game time they will be adjusted and tighten up.
Why do newly posted spreads often have value? It’s because the odds have been made quickly, basically right after the last game each team plays on Saturday, and they are there to create action. Chances are that a mistake or two will be made when posting early odds. Always be selective when deciding on which games to wager.
QB or Other Player Down
Take advantage of breaking news, such as the benching of a starting QB or an injury to a key running back, by betting on odds before they are adjusted. When an important player goes down or is designated to sit out the next game, you must act quickly to exploit the odds that had been created with the handicapper thinking that the player would be on the field. It’s important to act within 24 hours of the incident, or you’ll lose value after the bookies change the spread in relationship to the alteration in the team’s roster.
Many times the removal of a key player will put the favored team at a disadvantage, making a wager on the underdog a solid one. This type of bet can be advantageous to the sports bettor, as it can take bookies up to 24 hours to adjust odds to reflect the injury or benching. The bookmakers will change the spreads, probably posting the underdog with a reduction on the plus side and the favored a reduction on the minus one. You want to wager utilizing old odds to get as much value as possible.
Betting at Half-Time
Half-time odds are also very popular with NCAA football bettors. These odds are created quickly and posted immediately so that bettors have a chance to wager on them before the second-half kickoff. With these odds, you’ll be given a totals bet and spread. Both pertain only to second-half results.
Thus, if a team’s spread for a half-time bet is listed at -10.5 and they score 32 points in the second half while their opponent scores 3, they win the half, even though they may lose the game.
Online bookmakers will also offer second-half totals. Once again, this is an over/under on the second-half only. As it is with the second-half spread bet, these can offer good value to the savvy handicapper who has invested time in the first-half of the game.
A quick word of caution: When making second-half bets, you’ll need to have solid knowledge of how the first half went, and a good understanding of how the last half of the game will play out. Often a team that was favored to win and underperformed in the first half will crank it up in the second. Although they may not win the game, they could be victorious in the half.
As a handicapper, in order to play second-half lines and totals, you’ll need to work quickly. You’ll have about 10 minutes to make your bet.
Bets on the First-Half
Many sportsbooks also offer first-half bets. Once again, you are betting only on half of the game; this time, it’s the first. You’ll have access to spreads and totals. Because you have no prior performance on which to base your bet, this type of wager is harder to handicap than second-half offerings.
If you do make a first-half and a game wager, you’re attempting to determine two different results for one game. However, with the first-half bet you’re at a much bigger disadvantage than you are with the game bet due to the fact that teams have very little time in the first-half to adjust to defenses. With a full game bet, you’ve got an entire half of a game where, if your team is struggling and losing, they can make adjustments and battle back. First-half bets are a lot harder to get right than game or second-half wagers.
QBs in College Football
Certain quarterbacks in college football are just about always worth betting on. Those quarterbacks are the ones that are mobile, can run the option, and have solid field general skills. Because the college football talent pool is stretched thin and due to the fact that the quarterback tends to run a lot more than they do in the NFL, that position seems to have more of an impact than it does in the pros.
Betting on Defenses
In handicapping a college football game, one way to create your matchup is to emphasize each team’s defense. The object is to determine how the D will perform against the opponent’s offense, and if they have the potential to shut them down.
Many times sports bettors do the opposite by working from an offensive point of view to deduce how a team’s O will do against the opposition’s defense. But if a good offense is going up against a good defense, then chances are the defense can stop or hinder them. Remember that defense wins games.
Also, this type of analysis will enable you to look a little differently at the line on totals. If you can determine if a defense can or cannot stop an offense, you’ll begin to get a handle how many points may be scored by both teams. Of course, you will still utilize offensive stats.
Field Goal Kickers
College football teams are fairly inconsistent when it comes to kickers. Some teams have great field goal specialists, who are accurate and possess strong legs; other teams are really strapped in this area. In potentially close contests, carefully consider each team’s kicking game, and how it may or may not contribute to a team’s offensive output. Take special care in this area if the point spread is between 1.5 and 6.5 points. When you see that type of spread you automatically begin to consider the importance of a field goal.
Parlays, Teasers, Pleasers, and More
Many NCAA football bettors will play parlays as a course of their normal betting pattern. Others will also place bets on pleasers and teasers. Parlays are very hard to hit. If you are going to play a parlay, bet either a two-team or three-team. Although the odds on four-team and larger parlays are very attractive, these bets are very difficult to get right.
Parlay payouts vary from book to book, but usually a two-team bet pays 13-5 and three-team pays 6-1. As an example of how much more the odds go up, the four-team parlay offers odds of 10-1 and the five-team 20-1. But sports bettors rarely see any profit from a parlay, and the best way to realize cash on this type of bet is to limit your risk to two- and three-team bets.
Teasers let football bettors buy points on their parlay card. The more points a sports bettor buys, the lower their risk on the parlay, and the lower their payoff if they hit. Teasers are thought to be financially bad bets because the teaser negates the whole reason as to why people play a parlay, which is to garner a large payout.
Teasers range from 6 to 7 points. You may find some 10-point teasers. If you bet a three-team teaser, your odds on the parlay go form 6-1 to 9-5. That means that a $10.00 bet on a three-team parlay would pay $60.00, while a teaser would offer a small payout of $18.00
Pleasers are for sports bettors who believe that the teams chosen for their parlay will outperform expected projections by handicappers. With the pleaser a bettor actually gives points away to raise their risk and get a bigger payout. Pleasers vary from sportsbook to sportsbook, with the topmost point reduction standing at 7.
As an example of how a pleaser can change odds, a 7-point, three-team pleaser pays 25-1 and not 6-1. Thus, if you hit on your pleaser, you’d win $250, whereas you’d win $60.00 on a three-team parlay. Note: It can be difficult to find pleasers for college football.
Betting on NCAA Football
Sports bettors love wagering on college football and especially on the major conferences. If you’re looking to make the most out of your sports betting bankroll, then single game wagers are recommended. Also, make sure that you limit the number of teams on which you bet, look for value and soft lines, which are often published early, and consider second-half betting.
Don’t forget, there are two seasons in college football: the regular season and bowl season. Each can be lucrative as long as you are disciplined, knowledgeable, and do the work you need to do.