If you love betting football - and who doesn't? - there is nothing that compares to the variety of wagering opportunities available during the college season. From small conference action to Power 5 battles, college football Saturdays are a betting bonanza. With a little handicapping acumen and the right sportsbook, a player can enjoy all the excitement without ever setting foot on Las Vegas soil.
Best College Football Betting Lines
Sports betting is about exploiting weak lines and college football is full of them. The sheer number of games on the board each Saturday gives the college football bettor a distinct edge over his NFL-wagering counterpart. With only 32 NFL teams, Vegas lines tend to be airtight, but there are many more variables to consider with 124 FCS college teams competing. Therefore, it's much more possible to find favorable matchups and appealing odds that simply escape the grasp of oddsmakers and the betting public.
How To Win Your College Football Bets
Value is an overused term in sports betting because it only exists when the player has a logical reason to believe that the line is "off." Vegas has a way of getting things right, but the book is also beatable. For a player to recognize true value, he must be able to have a unique angle or feeling about a game. In college football, it is entirely possible for discerning fans to know more about a given team or conference than the oddsmakers do.
Creating an Angle
Football fans come in all forms, but those who truly enjoy the game often see things and notice trends that aren't readily apparent when using statistical measures. Let's say it's week 5 of the college football season and a bettor has had the opportunity to watch a given team play a few times. The team he's been following in our hypothetical scenario has given up some points, but its defense actually isn't all that bad. They've been plagued by fluke penalties and the offense has turned the ball over, constantly putting the defense in disadvantageous field position.
In this situation, the bettor may notice that the oddsmakers and betting pubic haven't fully considered or accounted for what's actually been happening on the field. In other words, the oddsmakers and betting public seem to be proceeding with the assumption that the team is prone to giving up a lot of points. In this situation, the bettor has an angle and may feel confident that the line is off. He feels the defense will play better and that he's receiving a generous line.
Types of Wagers
Like all football betting, the two basic forms of college football betting are side or against-the-spread (ATS) and total, or over/under bettting. In both types of wagers, the Vegas oddsmakers handicap the games using advanced statistical measures and other forms of information it can collect regarding the two teams.
Side or ATS Betting
In ATS or side betting, the bettor simply chooses Team A or Team B. If Team A is -7, it means they are a 7-point favorite. To win a side bet, Team A would have to win by at least 8 points to "cover the spread." A bettor taking Team B would only need his team to lose by less than seven in order to cash in on his bet.
Commonly called "over/under" betting, wagering on a total requires the bettor to predict whether the two teams will combine for a total number of points over or under a predetermined value. For example, Vegas may set a total at 45 points. If the bettor sees the game being a low-scoring affair between stifling defenses, he would likely take the under. This type of wagering can be effective when a bettor has an idea about how the game will be played, rather than who might win.