College football is one of the great American sporting traditions. With rich traditions, heated rivalries, and powerhouse squads across the nation, the beginning of the season marks both the beginning of fall and one of the best times of the year to gamble. With over 128 Division I programs, nearly everyone has a school to which they’re loyal, either geographically or as alumni.
What makes the collegiate game so exciting to bet is the massive slate of matchups available for wagering. This means that if you find an edge, there are tons of opportunities to exploit it. Plus, the young players are more susceptible to letting emotion fuel their performances, meaning many opportunities for upset picks for the smart handicappers.
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If you’re as enthusiastic about betting on college football as we are, you’re going to want a legitimate online sportsbook to take your wagers. The recommendations listed above are our experts’ top college football betting sites. They earned this distinction for a variety of reasons, including the factors we’ll highlight in the next section.
Once you’ve signed up with one of the best betting sites for college football, it’s time to break down the matchups and get your picks in! In this guide, we’ll summarize the many types of wagers, the differences between the NCAA and NFL games, and some betting tips and strategies.
For more in-depth discussions about any of the concepts written about on this college football hub page, click the corresponding links that will be shared throughout this article.
They’re Safe and Secure
Luckily, if you stick with our recommended sites, you’ll never have to worry about being scammed. Our team of experts puts safety and security at the very top of our list of priorities. In fact, preventing gamblers from being ripped off is the reason this website was created. Don’t risk losing your cash on some site you found from a search engine; our team is continuously vetting online betting operations to ensure that our readers can enjoy the fun of gambling without having to worry about the legitimacy of the website they’re using.
Best Betting Odds
We only recommend the locations that offer fair, competitive odds. Also, because these sportsbooks are the top college football betting sites, they tend to attract lots of action, meaning the lines will be on the move each week. This offers lots of opportunities to fade the public and get a reasonable price if you know when and where to bet! With our many betting and strategy guides, that shouldn’t be a problem for our readers.
Wide Range of Betting Opportunities
Maybe you know the conference your alma mater plays in like the back of your hand. You need a college football betting site that offers those games, even for a smaller school, so that you may exploit that knowledge. The same goes for any specific wager, from first-half bets to which team will score the first field goal. The more options, the better!
Bonuses and Loyalty Awards
If you’re consistently wagering on games throughout the year, the loyalty rewards programs sweeten the deal even more. Depending on how often you gamble and the amount you typically bet at a time, these prizes can be precious. The average bettor can expect gifts like merchandise, cash back for losses, and entry into larger raffles and contests. High rollers have been known to receive anything from vacation packages to vehicles!
College Football Betting Tips for Beginners
Stick with What You Know
There are so many Division I college football teams that nobody could be completely up-to-date and knowledgeable about them all. Your best bet is to focus on programs with which you’re most familiar. If there’s a local school or a favorite program that you’ve been watching for years, stick to their contests or the teams within their division.
Trying to bet outside of your knowledge base is too tricky, especially in a sport like football where statistics can often only help you so much. You need to understand the systems they run, their key players, the depth of their bench, and multiple other variables.
Play the Emotional Highs and Lows
College athletes are prone to the emotional highs and lows of the football season. A useful college football betting tip is to bet against teams coming off of a big unexpected win and squads with a smaller opponent right before playing a huge rivalry. Unlike the pros, players at the NCAA level are prone to let-down games and are often caught off guard by active underdogs.
They’re also intimidated by massive crowds on the road at times. It happens every year when two top-five teams are set to meet up, and the away squad completely folds shortly after the kickoff. There aren’t too many sporting arenas where athletes have to deal with 100,000 rabid fans, especially in their late teens and early twenties.
Smaller Programs/Games Offer More Value
Wagering on the marquee matchups each week can be tough because the oddsmakers focus more of their attention on those games, as does the betting public. But smaller schools and conferences are often overlooked. Sure, they still set lines and accept bets, but those lines are more exploitable.
If your area of expertise happens to be one of these lesser programs, you’re in luck. That’s where you’ll find the most value in any given week. Focus on those matchups and study the schools nobody else is researching, and you should clean up this season!
Besides a few powerhouse programs like Alabama and maybe Ohio State, most college football teams have apparent weaknesses. The kids are too young, and the turnover is too high for most programs to stay consistently loaded in all facets of the game. The trick is to understand which side’s weaknesses will play the more prominent role in a given matchup.
In most cases, you’ll want to bet against the team with weaknesses at the most vital positions. A program won’t get very far with poor offensive line play or quarterbacking, for example. With so many teams running spread offenses these days, a strong secondary is also crucial to defensive performance.
Before making a wager, lay out both teams’ biggest issues and try to anticipate how they will influence each other during the contest. An All-American defensive tackle going up against an injured and depleted offense? You’ll take bets like that any day of the week!
These are just a few basic examples of college football betting tips. For a more thorough article detailing what to look for and how to approach betting on NCAA football, check out the following link.
Types of College Football Wagers
The top college football betting sites will offer many different approaches to taking action on the games. Not only are there tons of individual matchups each week, but there are numerous ways to bet on each one as well. Here are some of the common forms of sports wagering.
Moneyline betting is probably the most straightforward, in that you’re merely picking the winner of the contest. It doesn’t matter how many points they win by or what kind of game it is; you just choose the winning side. The way the odds are expressed, however, does tend to confuse novice bettors.
When betting the moneyline, you’ll see the line expressed as a three-digit number, led by either a “+” or “-”. The underdog will have a positive number such as +200, for example. This means that a $100 bet on that side would earn $200 in profit if won. The favored team will be negative, like -175. This means that you must stake $175 in order to win $100.
Point Spread Betting
Point spreads are the most frequently used form of betting on football. Rather than offering different odds as with moneyline bets, this form of wagering applies a handicap to bring both sides close to even-money. So, if a team is heavily favored, they will give up points. For example, the line will say “Alabama -31.5.”
This means that the Crimson Tide must win their game by at least 32 points to win the bet. Meanwhile, their opponent will be given those 31.5 points and only has to lose by fewer than 32 points to win the wager. This way, you can bet either team in a contest at roughly -110 odds.
Totals betting is a way to take action on a game without picking a winner at all. Instead, you’re gambling on the number of points scored in the matchup. The sportsbooks will set college football totals betting lines at a number like 72.5, for example, and bettors wager on whether the combined final score will fall “over” or “under” that number. In fact, these bets are often referred to as “over-unders.”
Prop betting is a type of sports wagering that can cover just about any aspect of the contest that’s not already included in these other methods. You may see college football betting lines on things like “which team will score first?” or “which QB will throw the first interception?” They can be on anything!
Typically, the more mainstream matchups attract the most proposition wagers. The NFL Super Bowl is the most significant prop betting event of the year, but college playoff games have their fair share as well. When gambling online at one of our college football betting sites, you’ll find that most books will accept at least a few variations of prop bets per contest. Land-based locations often only offer them for larger events.
Parlay betting is a way of combining two or more wagers into one bigger one with a much heftier payout. A widespread use of parlays is betting on a team to both win and go over or under the totals line. This way, you’re making a full prediction on the outcome of the contest with a more substantial payout than you’d get by taking each bet individually.
The more wagers you add to a parlay card, the larger the earnings grow. However, if only a single aspect of the card loses, the entire parlay bet is lost. Many sportsbooks will allow bettors to add up to ten picks on a single parlay, but winning those is almost as unlikely as winning the lottery. Your best bet is to stay between two and three lines per parlay.
All of the best college football betting sites also offer futures betting. As the name suggests, these are odds that can be purchased on an outcome that won’t be decided until the end of the season. Before the first kickoff of the fall, you can find betting odds on which team will win the NCAA championship, for instance.
In college football, you’ll also find futures lines on the Heisman Trophy winner. Another option is to wager on conference championships. The odds for these college football betting lines will shift and change from week to week in response to whatever takes place on the field.
NCAA Division I Football Betting Strategies
Consistently winning at college football betting takes more than some luck and picking winners each week. The best handicappers create systems and strategies to identify which matchups to choose and what side to take. For example, some bettors look for games with point spreads greater than 30 points and bet on the underdog every time.
Others base their strategy on the weather forecast. They’ll look for games with 13 MPH winds or higher and hammer the under. This way, rather than searching through a vast slate of games and trying to deduce which side to take, they’re seeking specific scenarios and betting those based on historical numbers and data.
Our experts are always writing gambling guides that cover betting systems and strategies for our readers to use when betting on college football. If you’re interested in learning more about how these systematic approaches to wagering work, click on either of the following links.
Betting the College Playoffs and Bowl Games
Bowl games occur at the end of the college football season. The major bowl games still host some of the top teams in the country, while the majority of them are merely one-off contests scheduled to bring in tourism and money to a local stadium.
The biggest bowl games are the Rose Bowl, Sugar Bowl, Orange Bowl, Cotton Bowl, Fiesta Bowl, and Peach Bowl. Each year, two of these locations will host bowl games that count for the college football playoff and thus have championship implications. The others invite schools from the major conferences. For example, whenever the Rose Bowl isn’t a playoff event, it’s contested by the Pac-12 and the Big 10 champions.
Betting on these matchups can be a bit different than regular-season showdowns. They’re frequently played between squads without much experience against each other and thus may require additional research to handicap. To read more about the differences of betting on bowl games, follow this link.
The top four programs in the country at the end of the season are invited to compete in the college football playoffs. Of the six major bowl games, two become the host of a single-elimination semi-finals showdown to determine which schools advance to the championship game.
These contests involve the very best squads in the nation, which makes handicapping the games a bit closer to betting an NFL game. For the top college football betting sites to gamble on the playoffs, check out the link below.
The final game of the year is for all the marbles. The college football championship game is played by the two squads who survive the playoffs. It’s a massive event for sports bettors and attracts a ton of betting action. This includes a broader variety of prop bets than usual. For the best betting sites for the college football title game, follow this link.
Sports Betting Basics
If you’re new to sports betting, you still have a bit to learn before diving into the college football scene. First, you should take some time to learn the basic concepts that will be essential to your long-term success. If you learn the fundamentals now, you’ll be much better off in the long run.
Before the college football season begins, you should have a general idea of how much you want to wager and how often. Put aside an amount of money that you can afford to lose without causing any significant disruption to your life or finances. Then decide how frequently you wish to gamble and divide the bankroll so that it will cover all of those contests.
Once you’ve created your bankroll, stick to it and avoid dipping back into your personal funds before you intended. For more in-depth explanations regarding bankroll management and how to create a staking plan, check out our articles on the topic.
Shop for the Best Lines
While all of the top college football betting sites that we recommend will be offering fair, industry-standard betting odds, you shouldn’t stop there. It’s worth signing up with more than one online sportsbook so that you may shop for the best lines for each individual game. While they’ll always be relatively similar, even getting a half point here and a few percentage points there will add up quickly to make a drastic difference in your bottom line.
Betting for Value
One of the most significant lessons you can learn about sports betting is to learn about finding value. Many people approach betting on sporting events under the impression that it’s all about picking winners. This is false. Victorious bettors convert the odds to a percentage, which is called “implied probability.”
They then long-term the game and set a probability that each team has of winning. If the likelihood of a side earning a victory is higher than the implied probability suggests, that wager holds value. If you’d like to dig deeper into the concept of value as it applies to sports betting, check out our detailed guide on the subject.