Learn to Bet on NCAA College Football: Expert Tips and Advice
While the NFL is the most-wagered-upon sport in North America, college football is the most exciting brand of football you can watch on TV. The passion these kids play with is second to none, and the century-old rivalries amongst some of college's elite programs makes that one game a season sometime mean so much more than a national title. Since Michigan is generally out of the CFP discussion by November, their game against Ohio State is the most important of their season. Michigan wants to beat Ohio State so badly that some of the fan base would considered their season a success if that's the only marquee win of the year.
If you don't know some of the history of college football, I suggest looking into it. If you are like everyone else who reads this piece and want to understand how to bet on college football, you should keep reading.
Betting on the Moneyline in College Football
As a concept, this is the simplest wager you can make on any game in any sport. The moneyline betting option allows you to place a bet on the team you think is simply going to win the game. In college, this bet includes overtime. Unlike the NFL, college football games cannot end in a tie due to their overtime format.
Ohio State Buckeyes: -350 ML
Michigan Wolverines +200 ML
The moneyline betting odds correlate to the listed point spread. In this example, Ohio State is the favorite and you must wager $350 dollars to turn a profit of $100. If you are a homer or love betting on the underdog, Michigan will return you $200 for every $100 you wager on them if they pull off the upset.
Betting on the Point Spread
Regardless of if I am talking about the NFL, CFL, NCAA, Arena League or upcoming XFL, the point spread is the most popular wagering option for bettors who love to test football betting skills. The point spread is an indication of which team is the favorite and underdog heading into their matchup.
A negative betting line such as -5.5 indicates that the favorite team is expected to not only win the game outright but win by six or more points. On the flip side, positive betting lines such as +5.5 indicate a team's underdog status. Not only is the underdog expected to lose, but they are expected to lose by at least six points.
When looking over betting options for the college football, you will come across lines that look like the following:
Ohio State -5.5 (-110)
Michigan +5.5 (-110)
Depending on which side you select, your team must "cover the spread" in order for your wager to be graded a winner.
If you choose to take Michigan +5.5, you will be a winner if either of these two scenarios play out. The first being Michigan wins the game outright by any score. The second being Michigan loses by five or fewer points, thus "covering" the +5.5-spread.
If you decided to wager on Ohio State as -5.5-point favorites, they must win by six or more points in order for wager to be graded as a winner.
Betting Game Totals
Despite being classified as the same sport, NFL and college football totals are apples and oranges. In college, it's easy to spot the teams that play absolutely zero defense. The scores from their games are in the 70s/80s on a consistent basis. In the NFL, there were only a handful of games that games that reached those totals. College football is more receptive to the spread offense, which is why sportsbooks have no choice but to inflate totals to try and cover their own butts.
Let's look at an example of a game total:
Texas Tech Red Raiders/Oklahoma Sooners - "Over" 78.5 -110, "Under" 78.5 -110
If you bet the "over" 78.5, there must be a total of 79 points or more scored in the game in order for you to be a winner. If there are 78 or fewer points scored, then those who bet on the "under" will cash their tickets.
If totals are whole numbers such as 78 or 80 and the total happens to land exactly on the number, your bet, regardless whether it's an "over" or "under" bet, will be graded as a "push" and your money will be returned to you.
A futures bet is a wager placed in the time leading up to the start of the event on a team or player that you believe is going to win their respective competition. Heading into the 2018/19 College Football season, the CFP futures odds look like this:
2019 College Football Champions: Alabama +200, Clemson +700, Georgia +700, Ohio State +700, Michigan +1400, Penn State +1600, Oklahoma +2500, Wisconsin +2500, Florida State +2800, etc.
In order for you to successfully cash your ticket, you must correctly choose the team that will win the national title at the conclusion of next year's College Football Playoff.
College Football Betting Strategy
The best strategy for betting on College Football is similar to the best strategy for betting on College Basketball. There are more than 100 D1 football teams, so it's nearly impossible to properly handicap every team and every game every single week. Instead, focusing your efforts on one or two conferences will allow you to fully understand how a handful of teams perform on a weekly basis. Becoming a specialist in one or two conferences is much better than trying to handicap every single game and being all over the place with your thoughts. Not to mention, the smaller conferences typically have lines that are a bit more beatable than the lines that are put out on marquee games or conferences. Everyone loves betting on the SEC or Big Ten, which means the lines will be sharp and the value will be non-existent by the time game-time rolls around.
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