With sports betting, if you’re going to bet on both the NFL and NCAA football, you have to understand the differences between the two. Bettors often have a tough time switching from one to the other. If they’re focused in one area, they’re confused and stumped by the spreads and totals in the other. Here are five important points to remember about the differences between NFL and NCAA football betting.
Many times sports bettors who wager a lot on one type of football are stymied when they look at the spreads for the other. Here’s a basic fact: NFL point spreads are some of the best around. They are very tough for the bettor to crack. However, the spreads in college football tend to be less accurate and overall looser. Why is this? There are a few reasons.
The first is that the level of talent in the NFL is fairly even. As the saying goes, on any given Sunday any team can win. In the college ranks, there are a lot of mismatches which means there are many games with lopsided scores.
The NFL also has fewer teams and games than college football, and that allows sportsbooks to focus their energies more specifically on what are relatively few contests. College football has over 50 games per week. That is a whole lot of handicapping, and many times bookies are dealing with relatively unknown teams and talent. For the bettors, that means they can find amazing value in the NCAA.
Again, the over/under for the NFL usually looks quite different from those of college football. The amateur ranks tend to generate a lot more offense, and although you will find that there are teams with stingy defenses, often those same teams can also pile up the points. Many times each week you’ll find college games with totals of 56 or more points. That type of over/under is highly unusual in the NFL.
There are a few reasons for this. The first is that most NFL clubs tend to have solid defenses, and although there are teams that offer exceptionally dynamic offensive attacks, often a good D can shut down those explosive offenses. Plus, NFL teams will usually turn down the heat once they have a big lead. That’s not always the case with college football.
Why do teams run up the score in the NCAA? There’s one very good reason for that: national rankings. If a team is supposed to hammer a club and they don’t, even if they win the game, the margin of victory can hurt their ranking. The opposite is true for a team that is not favored. If they can pull any upset, that will help their cause in the rankings, and if the underdog is able to pummel their opponent, they will benefit from it while their opponent will suffer greatly. Depending on where they are ranked, the favorite that lost may have a major fall in the rankings.
In the NFL, a win – whether it’s by one or 40 points – is simply a win. For a pro team, the margin of victory means nothing in terms of where they sit in their division standings, and standings are all that really count in the pros.
Out of Conference Games
It’s true that both NCAA and NFL teams play out of conference games during the regular season. However, unlike in the pros, there can be a huge disparity between college conferences. Thus, if a team from the Big 10 plays a club from the Yankee Conference, there’s an automatic mismatch in terms of talent, size, and skill.
College football teams often play out of conference games early in the season, and focus on their conference games in the second half. Every game counts as far as national rankings go, but only games within a team’s conference are counted towards where they finish in the standings.
Finally, when betting on NCAA football you should always look for massive mismatches. Even with large point spreads, these games can pay off. You’ll find a lot more mismatches in college listings than you will in the pros.
Mismatches in games that are less popular can often be exploited, as these don’t attract a lot of bettors and bookmakers spend less time making the odds. Often, there are miscalculations in spreads that can benefit the smart sports bettor. Still, you will need to perform all necessary research in order to handicap any game properly.
Do Your Homework
It’s very important, whether you are wagering on NCAA football or the NFL, that you handicap using as many tools and skills as you can. Switching from amateur sports to the pros can sometimes throw off even seasoned sports bettors. Remember the basic differences between the NFL and the NCAA when making your picks.