Did you know 7.6 million people placed online bets for the most recent Super Bowl? Yes, Americans love sports betting, and they especially love betting on football.
The NFL isn’t the only game in town, and with the NCAA season on the horizon, you might be itching to place some action. Do you know the ins and outs of college football betting? Gambling on the college game presents a different set of challenges, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make a profit on Saturday afternoons.
Do you want to learn how to bet on college football? Check out our in-depth strategy guide for the best betting tips and tricks.
Learn the Differences
College football and NFL football are both football. The rules are similar, and the scoring structure is the same. How hard can the transition be from betting NFL to the college game?
Making the transition can be a challenge. Though the game is the same, bettors must gain a new set of handicapping skills for the college game.
An NFL spread over 14 points is rare, while seeing a spread of 30 or even 40 points on a Saturday slate is common. Why is that?
NFL players are all professionals, and even though there are good and bad teams every year, the talent discrepancy is far narrower. Players drafted from the college ranks represent the best of the best, and the talent gap is far smaller because of this.
That’s not the case in the college game where the big schools recruit the best talent from high schools across America. These big schools like Alabama and Clemson often play non-conference games against smaller schools, and the talent gap is immense.
Less Money in the Market
The NFL is the most wagered and the most-watched sports league in America, and there’s not a close second. The average NFL regular-season game draws 15.4 million viewers.
Because there’s so much money in the NFL gambling market, the lines remain steady. You’ll see movement, but no more than a point or two. With less money in the college market, and many more games, college football lines move more often.
Many Styles of Play
Though conference realignment continues to change the landscape, college football is a regional game. The Power 5 conferences represent different geographical footprints, and players recruited from these places have different skill sets.
Traditional Big 10 football is a game of big horses on the lines and power running. Big 12 and Pac 12 schools play a wide-open offensive style, while the best of the ACC and SEC play a hybrid. On any given Saturday, you could watch a team running the triple-option play a run-and-shoot style.
These regional differences in playing style, unlike the NFL, will impact point totals and possible upsets.
College Football Betting Strategy and Tips
Though there are differences between NCAA and NFL football, the principles are the same. You will not make money without research and work. Making random and ill-informed bets will drain your bankroll in a matter of weeks.
Don’t fall for the gambler’s fallacy that all bets are a matter of random chance. A flipped coin probably won’t land on heads 100 times in a row, but that doesn’t mean it can’t.
Stack Early Season Cash
Oddsmakers are the most intelligent people, but the first few weeks of the college football season are a handicapping conundrum. Unlike the NFL, college teams don’t play a preseason. It’s much harder for handicappers to get a feel for how good a team will be.
Power 5 schools also fill their early-season non-conference schedule with cupcake smaller schools to guarantee wins before their conference schedule starts. Doing so means the spreads are much bigger, but a big lead in the first half could mean the starters get pulled from the game.
You can take advantage of these large spreads early on by finding matchups where the Power 5 school may underperform.
Be Wary of Home Field Advantage
Home field advantage is a phenomenon, but bookmakers know casual bettors overvalue it. They shift lines knowing most squares want to take the home team and will buy expensive numbers.
Some schools like Alabama have a clear advantage and rarely lose a game at home. That doesn’t mean they’ll cover the spread at home. Learn to look for spots where a bookmaker inflated a number because a favorite plays at home.
Lack of Late Season Motivation
The cream of the college football crop plays for a spot in the playoff. Elite teams with their eyes set on a national championship may lack motivation once the rankings make it clear they won’t make it.
Bowl games and conference championship games aren’t motivation for these teams. You’ll see that in late-season games, elite schools outside of the playoff picture don’t play as hard. Star players skip games and protect themselves for the draft.
Find a Reliable Information Source
With so many games on the docket, and so many teams, an average gambler won’t have enough research time. That’s ok because there are sites and news sources who’ll do it for you. Make sure you have a source you can trust to help you wade through the glut of information you need for football betting.
Check out the futures board before the season kicks off. There are so many teams to handicap. Doc’s NCAA win total odds will help you find the best futures bets that will get you big cash.
Cash In on Saturday With College Football Betting
College football season is almost here, along with crisp fall Saturdays spent in front of the television with your favorite beverage. The season represents the height of excitement for many sports fans, but you can make it even more exciting with college football betting.
Make sure you have the right strategies in place and pay attention to the numbers. The most important thing? Have fun with it!
Do you need more gambling tips? Check out the rest of our page.