In college football the point spread or handicap is the most utilized bet and that’s because there is a disparity between the level of talent in the sport. In order to make a lot of the games a 50/50 proposition the bookmakers have to set big point spreads.
Example: Alabama -19.5 ($1.91) vs. Virginia Tech +19.5 ($1.91)
Point spreads on average are much bigger in college football than the NFL. Alabama is the #1 team in CFB and that’s why they’re a -19.5 point favourite to beat the Hokies in week 1. Alabama has to win by 20+ points to cover the point spread (handicap).
A bet on Virginia Tech would win if they were to win the game or if they lose by 19 points or less. Jumping on the points that the underdog is getting seems like an easy decision, but in college football it isn’t rare for teams to cover handicaps of 40+ points.
Betting on the money line in college football isn’t as popular as it is in other sports. In this bet you have to select the team that you think is going to win straight-up with no handicap involved. The problem in college football is most ML odds have no value.
Example: Notre Dame $1.65 vs. USC $2.25
There are two popular strategies to utilize money line odds in NCAA football. Betting on underdogs in close match-ups presents good value. Some punters also place multi-bets (10+ Teams) on big money line favourites that they expect will win easily.
Punters can bet on various over/under bets that I’ll explain. First off, the total game points is a wager where the bookmaker will set a total and the punter has to predict whether the combined points scored in the game will go over or under the posted total.
Example: Alabama vs. Virginia Tech – Over 47.5 $1.91 / Under 47.5 $1.91
Another over/under wager is on a single team’s point total during the game. If you expect one team to score a lot or you expect a defence to shutdown the opposing offence then betting on the team total wager is better than betting the total game points.
CFB Team Total Points Example: Alabama Over 34.5 $1.91 vs. Alabama Under 34.5 $1.91
Punters can wager on each quarter (1st, 2nd, 3rd & 4th) and half (1st & 2nd) in NCAA football. The markets available include the point spread, money line, over/under and team totals. Betting on the 1st/2nd half is common, but most punters avoid quarter markets.
The benefit of betting on quarter or half markets in college football is that you can see how each team is playing before you bet on the game. I enjoy the 1st quarter markets because underdogs are more likely to win the 1st quarter rather than the full game.
Multi-bets are what they sound like – a bet with multiple selections where each pick has to win. Parlaying big favourites is one way punters use this wager. When parlaying point spread or over/under bets together you should stick to 2-3 selections only.
Example: Alabama -19.5 + Michigan -8.5 + ND/USC Over 50.5 Points
The bookmaker edge increases when parlaying more than 2-3 point spread or over/under selections together. Some bookies will allow “open parlays”, which is where you can leave open spots on the multi-bet and fill them in over the course of the season.
The teaser is a popular college football bet while the pleaser is less known amongst punters. A teaser has 2+ selections (Spread or Over/Under) and the spread or total moves in your favour by 6 – 21 points depending upon the bookmaker you bet with.
Example: Alabama -13.5 + Michigan -2.5 + ND/USC Over 44.5 Points (6-Pt Teaser)
I’ve used the same games in the teaser as I used in the multi-bet above. As you can tell, on a 6-pt teaser the spread or total will move 6 points in our favour (Teasers = Lower Payout than Parlays). A pleaser is the exact opposite as a teaser and pays more.
Example: Alabama -25.5 + Michigan -14.5 + ND/USC Over 56.5 Points (6-Pt Pleaser)
With a pleaser bet the spread or total goes against our favour and we add points to the betting line. The payouts are big (3-Team 6-Pt Pleaser Pays $18.50) and in college football it’s possible to find soft lines where the pleaser is worth a punt.
A double result is a bet where two different results have to win in order to cash the bet. In college football punters can wager on HT (Half Time) / FT (Full Time), which is where you need to select Team A / Team B / Draw to win at HT and FT.
An example would be Alabama HT / Alabama FT, which means Alabama has to be winning at the half and at the end of the game to win the wager. If you think a favourite will dominate a football game the double result provides better odds than the ML.
The majority of college football games don’t have many prop bets available due to the number of college football games played each week. Each week there are a number of nationally televised games and these games will have the most prop bets available.
Prop bets allow punters to bet on other aspects of a football game other than the markets described above. One reason to look at the various prop markets in big games each week is because the lines aren’t as sharp as money line, handicap or O/U odds.
Prop Bet Examples:
-Will Team A or Team B Score First? / Will Team A or Team B Score Last?
-What Will the First Score of the Game Be? (TD vs. FG or Safety)
-Will Defence or Special Teams Score a TD? (Yes vs. No)
-What Will the Longest TD of the Game Be? (Over 40.5 vs. Under 40.5)
-Will There Be a Turnover? / What Will 1st Turnover Be? (Interception vs. Fumble)
-What Will Highest Scoring Quarter (1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th) or Half (1st or 2nd) Be?
-Will the Final Score Be Odd or Even?
There are prop bets for just about anything in college football games. The bookies that offer live college football betting have a lot of great live prop bets as well. Bookmakers also offer single game player prop bets for big NCAA football match-ups.
-AJ McCarron Over 210.5 Passing Yards vs. AJ McCarron Under 210.5 Passing Yards
-Eddie Lacy Over 95.5 Rushing Yards vs. Eddie Lacy Under 95.5 Rushing Yards
-Amari Cooper Total Receptions/Yards -16.5 vs. Tyler Eifert Total Receptions/Yards +16.5
– Eddie Lacy Rushing Yards -10.5 vs. Cierre Wood Rushing Yards +10.5
Player prop bets offer tremendous value to punters that study the statistics. These types of prop bets will have a handicap or an over/under total. In the last example Lacy has to have -10.5 (11+) more rushing yards than Wood in the game to cash the bet.
Season long bets such as what team will win the BCS National Championship are known as “futures” bets. They often have high odds (Especially when selecting an underdog), but the only downfall is the fact your money is tied up for several months.
Futures Bets Examples:
-What Team Will Win the BCS National Championship?
-What Team Will Win Each NCAA Conference? (SEC, Big Ten, Big 12, ACC, Pac-12, etc)
-What Team Will Have Most Points on USA Today Poll (Team A vs. Team B)
-What Team Will Have More Regular Season Wins (Team A vs. Team B)
-Regular Season Win Totals (Alabama Over 11 Wins vs. Alabama Under 11 Wins)
-What Player Will Win the Heisman Trophy?
Each season there are 35 bowl games at the end of the regular season and conference championships. Bowl games start before Christmas (Few Days Before) and this is the most exciting time to bet on college football, as almost every game is competitive.
The biggest bowl games include the BCS National Championship, Rose Bowl, Sugar Bowl, Orange Bowl and Cotton Bowl. There are more prop betting markets during the college football bowl schedule and some that you don’t see in regular games.
Next season (2014-15) college football will change for the better and introduce a playoff system for the first time in history. Four teams (Selected by a committee) will earn a spot in the playoff and will play a semi-final before the National Championship.
College Football has emerged as one of the leaders when it comes to betting on sports. The College Football world has stormed into the betting world, with odds for every game, every week. The big deal for College Football is that most of the games are played on one day, making every Saturday a Mecca for sports fans. There are over 100+ major college football programs, with odds for each of their games all season long. If that is not enough, after the regular season is over, the Online College Football Betting gets to see a series of bowl games, which are some of the favorites to bet. All of the games lead up to the BCS national championship game, which is second only to the Super Bowl as far as the enormous number of people betting on it.