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NCAAF Betting Explained
College football is one of the most popular sports in America for a variety of reasons.
It features legendary programs, pageantry, traditions, rivalries and deep loyalty. Plus, it’s football, which Americans flock to anyway.
Betting on college football is far less scientific than wagering on the NFL, but it’s still extremely fun because college games can be unpredictable. Maybe your alma mater or favorite team is a 30-point favorite, but you can still root for them to win and for your arch-enemy to get upset.
But how do you bet on college football online? There’s a bunch of ways to do it. Here’s a look.
NCAAF Betting Types
There’s a ton of options when betting on college football. Here are a few to consider.
Moneyline bets are simply who will win a game. Teams are assessed odds depending on who is perceived as the better team, or the favorite, and who is the underdog. The favorite will typically have minus odds, and the underdog will usually have plus-money odds though sometimes will also have a minus number closer to 100.
If you bet on a college football team to win in a moneyline bet at -200 you’ll receive about half the profit of the stake you put in. However, heavy favorites could be -500 or shorter especially when FBS teams play FCS opponents or Power-5 conference teams take on clubs from the Group of Five.
Against the Spread
Sportsbooks will create a spread for just about every game, with the favorite giving or laying a certain number of points and the underdog getting points in the vernacular. Favorites listed on a line will be -3 or -4 and favorites will be listed as +3.5 or +4.5.
If a team is +3.5 that means it covers if it wins or loses by three points or fewer. The favorite covers if it wins by four points or more.
Totals, or Over/Unders, is a type of wager where the bettor chooses whether there will be more or less points than the line indicates. Because offenses have become so dynamic in college football, and as defenses try to keep up, totals for individual games are usually high — like 50 or more.
To bet on the Under a bettor must root for there to be fewer than the number of points listed.
Parlay betting is when a gambler combines multiple markets to get better odds. Some college-football parlays may seem like easy money, but given the robust number of upsets each week across conferences, hitting a 4- or 5-leg parlay is extremely difficult.
Still, parlay betting is among the most popular ways for gamblers to bet, especially on football. Parlay betting on college-football Saturdays gives users a stake in games across multiple TV timeslots or it could enable fans to toggle between national-TV games to see if their parlay could hit.
There are also same-game parlays, where bettors combine markets from the same game. Same-game parlays are conducive to Thursday nights when there is only one game on TV to monitor.
Player prop betting on college sports isn’t legal everywhere as some states don’t want to risk the threat of game and match fixing from players who do not receive significant compensation for playing. Still, props, which are bets made outside of who wins and loses, are among the most popular way to gamble on sports. A bettor can pick which team will be the first to 10, 20 or 30 points or create alternate spreads and totals that are more likely to pay out.
Futures are bets made on which team will win the national championship, individual conference championships or whether a team will finish with over or under a certain number of wins in a given season. Odds are assigned to teams depending on the likelihood of them winning each potential future bet.
Futures can take a while to pay out but are a great way to get great odds on a team to have a successful season.
How We Make NCAAF Bets
Betting on college football and coming up with great picks might seem easy, but there is a science behind it. Here’s a look at how we come up with our best bets:
- Search for trends, including coach vs. coach records, streaks and weather. Basically, assess anything that could be a factor
- Confirm starting lineups. Is there a marquee player, like a quarterback, who isn’t playing due to injury? Is the top running back from the team your school is playing against hurt? Maybe a star defender is suspended or will miss a half after violating team rules. Make sure to get all the facts before placing that wager.
- Odds shop. Is there a specific upset you’re targeting? Is it boosted at any of the sportsbook apps? The best odds make the best profit.
- Assess market inefficiencies. Is there a team getting no love from the oddsmakers? If so, be sure to take advantage.
NCAAF Betting Picks
We, like you, are huge college football fans who will stop at nothing to ensure bettors can make the most informed decisions on their college football betting.
We curate the very best picks in college football and share the best lines and odds on our NCAAF page. The goal is to give bettors the most info and best odds to max out their winnings while betting on college football.
How to Make an NCAAF Bet
Making an NCAA football bet is as easy as placing any bet. Here’s a look at the steps:
- Open your preferred online sportsbook (If you don’t have a preferred online sportsbook, take a look at our helpful reviews and sign up via our special link to max out the new-user bonus)
- Log into your sportsbook account
- Click on the NCAAF tab at the top or search for NCAA football in the sportsbook’s list of sports
- Peruse the betting markets or find the one you want to pick
- Enter the amount you want to wager
- Press “Place Bet"
- Root for your wager to win!