Introduction to the NCAAF Betting
College football has been around since the 1800s, with the first game in the history of the sport taking place between Rutgers and what is now known as Princeton in 1869. Back then, there was no College Football Playoff or nationally televised games. But the sport of college football has grown to be more popular than the National Football League in some parts of the country thanks to its expansion across America. Follow NCAAF Picks.
Today, college football is played everywhere from California to Florida to Massachusetts and everywhere in between. There are over 125 schools split into ten conferences at the highest level of college football, which is known as the FBS. Each year, these schools make it their goal to make it to the College Football Playoff, where the top four teams in the country play in a single-elimination tournament, with the winner claiming the national championship.
There are five major conferences among the 10 in college football, which is known as the Power 5. The SEC, Big Ten, ACC, Big 12, and Pac-12 have programs that garner more media attention, bring in more money, and are able to recruit better players as a result of those advantages. Meanwhile, leagues like the Sun Belt, Conference USA, the MAC, Mountain West, and American Athletic Conference put talented teams on the field without those same advantages.
The College Football Playoff has been in existence since 2014, with a selection committee choosing the four teams they think are the best in the country to participate each year. Unlike the NCAA Tournament in basketball, there are no automatic qualifiers based on conference championship wins. Instead, the selection criteria is completely subjective, as teams do not need to win their conference or even play for their conference championship to get in.
During the College Football Playoff era, Clemson and Alabama have dominated the competition. In the brief history of the event, one or both of those teams have regularly appeared in the playoff, with those two schools winning the championship the majority of the time. Behind NFL quarterbacks like Tua Tagovailoa, Mac Jones, and Trevor Lawrence, those schools have set the standard for success in the College Football Playoff era.
Of course, there is more to aspire to for teams than just the College Football Playoff each year. Top teams that land just outside of the top-four in the country can make top bowl games such as the Rose Bowl, Fiesta Bowl and Sugar Bowl, which are part of what is known as the New Year’s Six games. These games, while not a part of the national championship competition, are still a big stage to build toward the future as a program.
The American Athletic Conference is an American collegiate athletic conference, featuring 11 member universities and six associate member universities that compete in the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (NCAA) Division I
The Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) is a collegiate athletic conference located in the eastern United States. Headquartered in Greensboro, North Carolina, the ACC’s fifteen member universities compete in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)’s Division I.
The Big 12 Conference is a collegiate athletic conference headquartered in Irving, Texas. The conference consists of ten full-member universities. It is a member of Division I of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) for all sports. Its football teams compete in the Football Bowl Subdivision, the higher of two levels of NCAA Division I football competition.
Conference USA is an intercollegiate athletic conference whose current member institutions are located within the Southern United States. The conference participates in the NCAA’s Division I in all sports. C-USA’s offices are located in Dallas, Texas.
The Southeastern Conference (SEC) is an American college athletic conference whose member institutions are located primarily in the South Central and Southeastern United States.
The Sun Belt Conference (SBC) is a collegiate athletic conference that has been affiliated with the NCAA’s Division I since 1976. Originally a non-football conference, the Sun Belt began sponsoring football in 2001.
In American college sports, NCAA Division I independent schools are four-year institutions that do not belong to a conference for a particular sport.
NCAAF Betting Picks
The most common type of NCAAF Picks will see throughout the college football season are single-game wagers. These include point spread bets, where a handicap is applied to the score, or over/under bets, where bettors have to predict how much scoring will take place in a game. But that is just the beginning of what bettors can wager on in this sport, with plenty of options to choose from in the preseason, all the way through the playoff.
There are a ton of team-oriented futures bets that can be placed each college football season. Bettors can wager on everything from which team is going to win the national championship to which teams are going to qualify for the playoff. But they can also bet on more granular items, such as which teams are going to win their conferences or over/unders based on how many wins a team is going to rack up over the course of a season.
Despite there being far more teams and players in college football than there are in the pros, there are far fewer futures markets based on individual players in college football. Bettors can wager on markets pertaining to who will win the Heisman Trophy each year, which is the most prestigious award in the sport. But there aren’t many markets pertaining to awards for each position, or coach of the year awards, in this form of football.
Fortunately, the odds are updated for team-oriented futures wagers throughout the season. Every win, loss, and upset in college football can drastically change the likelihood of each team getting into the playoff. And sportsbooks adjust their prices accordingly, allowing bettors to find value that may not have been there previously when backing a team to make it to the group of the last four teams standing.
NCAAF Betting Odds
Before getting into the specifics of how college football odds work, it is worth going over how betting odds work in general. Bettors may see numbers like -110 or +200 when betting on college football and not know what they mean. Fortunately, these are easy to understand, and knowing what they are will save bettors plenty of headaches when betting on college football in the future.
Any betting odds that start with a minus sign, like -110, signify that bettors need to wager the number listed in order to win $100. For example, at -110 odds, bettors need to wager $110 to win $100 on the bet they are placing. On the other hand, odds that start with a plus sign signify the amount a bettor would win if they placed $100 on that market, with a $100 bet yielding $200 in profit at +200 odds.
The odds for college football games are typically the same for the major betting markets, such as point spreads and totals. Markets like that usually see odds of close to -110, though they can vary slightly based on factors like demand on either side or the rules of each sportsbook. These games however, it should be noted that bettors do not have to bet to win $100, as they can adjust their bets to be bigger or smaller to fit their budget, with payouts increasing or decreasing proportionally.
There are more pronounced differences in NCAAF odds in markets like moneylines or futures, where things aren’t as close to even odds on both sides. Some sportsbooks pay out more on underdogs and longshot bets than others, which can really increase the potential payouts for those courageous enough to place those bets. As a result, shopping for the best odds across multiple sportsbooks in college football is essential to do before every bet.
NCAAF Betting Stats
NCAAF Betting Statistics are often used to justify wagers in college football on one side or another, and understandably so. After all, statistics help to shed light on what we have seen so far during a college football season and to provide context into the performances of players and teams. But bettors should be careful when using NCAAF stats, as they can be misleading and require bettors to contextualize what they have seen for themselves.
In professional football, teams are often evenly matched, with point spreads rarely getting much bigger than two touchdowns between the best and worst teams in the NFL. In college football, though, there are often massive disparities between the haves and have nots, which can create games that end in blowouts. These blowout games can dramatically impact the statistical outputs of each team and should be taken into account when betting on college football.
For example, a powerhouse program like Alabama might find a lower-tier program on their schedule early in the season. If that powerhouse team wins 56-0, their statistical outputs from that blowout win may look very good on both offense and defense. But those stats likely won’t mean much when that powerhouse program plays against its rival during the part of the season where teams from the same conference collide.
Bettors should also consider the difference between home and road games in college football, which can be much more impactful than in the pros. College football crowds can be much more hostile than pro football crowds, depending on the teams and conferences on each squad’s schedule. Looking for clear differences in performance between home and away for different teams and players can help illuminate where there is value in the betting markets.
Just like in pro football, bettors should try to use yards per play statistics when possible instead of yards per game. But it is important to focus solely on games against a similar quality of competition when evaluating a team’s statistics in college football. Doing so will help bettors avoid both overestimating teams they are thinking about betting on, as well as underestimating those teams.
NCAAF Betting Trends
Betting trends are often controversial in the world of college football betting, as bettors and sports betting media may use them to try and justify a wager on one side or another throughout the season. You may hear something like, “Oregon is 10-2 against the spread as a road underdog over the last ten seasons” and think that is worth throwing money behind. But trends require a massive amount of contextualizing and critical thinking to use successfully, if at all.
It is important to remember that college football players have a maximum of four years of eligibility in most cases, meaning that an entire roster in this sport will turn over every four years. This means that a trend dating back ten years will feature a roster that has turned over at least two full times during that time span. Whether or not that is something worth using depends on the preferences of the bettor at that point.
Bettors also have to remember that college football coaches switch schools on a regular basis, which could impact the usefulness of each trend. A trend that references a ten-year period could see a program hire and fire four or five different coaches over that period of time. And while bettors, fortunately, do not have to pay the buyouts of all of those college football coaches, they should consider whether or not the program was guided by several voices over the time period of each trend.
Trends in college football betting require bettors to walk a fine line. Going too far back with the data can result in data that simply doesn’t carry any relevance to a current college football roster. But not going far back enough can result in a small sample size that doesn’t carry any weight either, which is why bettors must be extremely careful when putting any stock into trends they see in this sport.
How to Bet NCAAF
To bet on college football, bettors must first realize that they should use multiple sportsbooks. Doing so will allow them to find the best betting odds and point spreads on everything they bet on. Doing so can save them money on bets they lose, or make them extra money on bets they win, making each bettor more profitable in the long run.
From there, bettors should be projecting what they think the final score will be in any game that they are interested in betting on. They can then compare their projections to the actual betting lines to determine if there is enough of a discrepancy to constitute a value worth betting on. The bigger the difference between a bettor’s projection and the sportsbook’s line, the more of a buffer a bettor has when trying to get things right.
But the most important advice on how to bet college football is centered around bankroll management. Bettors should wager the same amount, or close to it, on every bet that they make across this sport. This helps to reduce the harm of variance over the long run and to make sure that winning bettors will continue to win over the long run without that variance tripping them up.
NCAAF Betting FAQ
Many states do allow for legal college football betting, but the specifics of those laws will determine where and how it can be bet on.
This depends on what state a bettor is in, as some states allow for online betting, land-based betting, both, or neither.
The key to betting on college football is not to be afraid to take big favorites or underdogs if your projections call for it.
The best place to bet on any sport is completely in the eye of the beholder, as that depends on what a bettor values most in a sportsbook.
The point spread in NCAAF works as a handicap meant to level the playing field between two teams. Points are added to the score of the underdog or taken from the score of the favorite.
Sportsbooks set a total number of points they think will be scored in a game, and bettors are then able to wager on whether they think the score will go over or under that amount.
This changes on a season-by-season basis, as new favorites emerge depending on what each roster looks like each season.
Bettors can wager on college football year-round, as futures odds are made available after the end of each season before the start of the next season.
This is again completely based on personal preference, as different bowls have different meanings to different college football fans.