Like all competitions, there must be a winner and a loser. In the sport of college football, there are often lopsided matchups that may even come without moneyline betting offers.
Historical data is always something worth considering when betting on college football. However, kids cycle through every three or four years, and even more frequently with the transfer portal allowing a version of free agency essentially, so it must be taken in moderation.
The best way to handle historical data is to look at coaching matchups. Particularly between conference opponents. If two teams match up frequently, or even yearly, then the year-over-year and recent matchups can factor into betting.
Otherwise, looking at who has dominated a series doesn’t do much at a macro level.
Back to an earlier point, most teams will have a good record because of the way the sport is structured. Off the field, it is an arms race of sorts to build the best buildings for potential recruits to choose from.
It’s all in an attempt to secure the best products, though the addition of name, image, and likeness means a donor or booster base can flip a highly rated recruit quickly into glorified free agency.
As such, certain schools have the money to spend on facilities or offer recruits. Others don’t or choose not to develop as quickly, like strong academic schools like Vanderbilt, Stanford, or others.
Stanford is an exception, but smaller or academic-focused schools won’t always get the best recruits and sometimes have worse records.
Of late, Northwestern has great facilities, had a year where they finished at the bottom of the Big Ten West standings, and even a year when they won the division, which usually is a four-year trend.
Understanding Point Spreads
Other records, such as against the spread or over/under, have to do with how well a team performs against a betting line. A point spread is a number made by a sportsbook that handicaps a team, creating a favorite and an underdog.
For example, let’s say Ohio State is 5-0 and hosts Wisconsin, who is also 5-0. It’s hard to say who will win, but Ohio State may be favored by 7.5 points, meaning they must win by eight or more to cover the spread. At the same time, Wisconsin must win outright or lose by seven or less to cover.
This is betting against the spread, and looking at those numbers is more important, especially year over year and from a coaching perspective, than straight-up win/loss records. That’s true for a sport like college football, where it is cyclical, but the top teams stay the same for the most part.
The point total may be 58.5, meaning if the two teams combine for 59 or more points, the over hits, and if the two teams combine for 58 or fewer points, the under hits.