College Football Odds
College Football is not only fun to watch but it’s a sports betting buffet. NFL is great, but there are only 32 teams. For College Football there are 130 FBS teams, and multiple sportsbooks offer different odds on each game. That is where our College Football Odds Tool comes in.
With our odds tool, you can see where lines have opened and how they have moved. Most importantly you can shop for the best price between books to make sure that you are making the best bet. Additionally, you can get expert picks, track the TV schedule, and look for arbitrage opportunities.
College Football Odds Explained
College Football odds are one of those things that looks confusing like Army’s triple option offense but is simpler than pee-wee football.
Here is an example of how the odds work, using lines from Caesars for the 2020-2021 College Football National Championship:
- Point Spread: Ohio State +9.5 (-110), Alabama -9.5 (-110)
- Money Line: Ohio State +285, Alabama -345
- Point Total: 75 Points (Over -110, Under -110)
This is how are odds are typically displayed, and to the rookie eye, it may look confusing. Luckily once you know what you are doing, odds are easy to read.
If odds are preceded by a minus symbol (-), it means that to make $100, you need to bet that amount. Conversely, if odds are preceded by a plus symbol (+), that is how much money you would make if you bet $100. Even though the odds are written based on bets or profits of $100, sportsbooks typically have a minimum bet size of only $0.10. It is simply the ratio at which you get paid for winning bets.
For Alabama, if you had bet $345 on them (-345), you would have made $100 since they won the game. Similarly, if Ohio State had won and you bet $100 on them, you would have netted a $285 (+285) profit.
Where the college football odds tool comes in is that it shows you the odds from other sportsbooks. For the National Championship game for example, BetMGM had Alabama favored by only nine points, which was half a point off from the consensus line.
One reason why odds differ among sportsbooks is that sportsbooks have different odds providers. As a result of shopping around, you can find the best odds for games, and this process is easier when using our odds comparison tool.
Another great feature of our odds comparison tool is that you can see how lines have moved over time. For College Football this is great because you can see a bookmaker’s true opinion for when they set opening lines on Saturday afternoon when everyone is paying attention to NFL. As the week goes on, oddsmakers change the betting lines based on other books and the opinions of sharp bettors.
Finding the Best College Football Odds
For College Football, the most popular bets are money line, spread, and point total bets. Below find out what these bets are, and how to shop for the best prices with our odds comparison tool.
What to Look for in College Football Moneyline Odds
A money line bet is a wager on what team will win the game. Why is it called a money line and not a winner bet? I don’t know. For whatever reason, the bookie who invented this term lacked a marketing background.
Money line odds are priced with a plus or a minus symbol. If a money line is preceded by a minus symbol (-), that team is the favorite. Underdog money lines are preceded by a plus symbol (+).
What makes money line bets tricky for college football is that teams are rarely evenly matched, but there is so much variance in the sport that heavy underdogs occasionally win.
When Alabama the defending National Champion hosted New Mexico State one of the worst FBS teams in 2021, Alabama was a 51.5 point favorite. As a result, NMSU was a +2200 underdog and unsurprisingly lost the game. Alabama as a -10000 favorite netted $100 bettors only $1 in profit.
Even though the payout was pitiful for the Crimson Tide, a 1% return of investment on a bet that is almost a lock can be a smart bet to make. Your only danger is that heavy underdogs occasionally do win as Louisiana-Monroe did in 2021 as a +4000 underdog against Liberty. For $100 bettors who backed ULM, they netted $4000 dollars.
For college football money line bettors in particular, our college football odds comparison tool is a must have in your sports betting toolbox.
What to Look for in College Football Spread Lines
By far, the most popular college football bets are spread bets. A spread bet is a simple two-sided bet on the margin of victory. Favorites are priced with a minus symbol (-) before how many points they should win by, and underdogs are priced with a plus symbol (+) for how many points they should lose by.
For a favorite to “cover” a spread or win your bet they must win by more points than they are favored by. For underdogs they must either win or lose by fewer points than the favorite is favored by.
Unlike money lines where the payouts are inconsistent, spreads are typically priced at -110 “juice” on each side meaning you must wager $110 if you want to make $100. The one exception to this rule is that books typically may price each side of the spread with a different juice and that is where our odds comparison tool comes in. If the consensus price is -110, but one book has -105, you will make more money using that book, and who doesn’t like more money except for Monty Brewster.
For example, Army was a 14.5 point underdog against Wisconsin in 2021. Army lost the game 14-20, but if you had a +14.5 spread bet on Army you would have won. That is the beauty of spread bets, for underdogs it is easier to win, and for favorites you get more money than money lines if they exceed expectations.
One thing to look out for besides differing payout between books are differing spreads. If a team is a seven-point favorite at most books and only win by seven points, you are simply refunded your bet. For that same team with our odds comparison tool, you could have found that team as a 6.5-point favorite and you would have won. That is why getting an extra half or full point on a football spread is essential particularly around the numbers 3, 4, and 7.
What to Look for in College Football Totals
Outside of spread bets, point total bets are the most popular college football bets. With 130 FBS teams, there are different styles of play and as a result the scores are all over the place. Teams can combine to score around 100 points, or only 21 points in defensive matchups. That is where total bets come in because you can bet on the total number of points scored between both teams.
For totals, there are only two choices over and under. If you believe more points will be scored than the total, you bet the over. For low scoring games where fewer points will be scored than the total, you want to bet the under. Like spread bets, both sides of a point total are typically priced at -110.
As an example, let’s say that a point total was set at 73 points and you think there will be a lot of scoring. Even though 70+ points tend to be high for a college football total, the over will occasionally hit. When the final score is 49-45, the over will hit since 94 points were scored.
One thing to watch out for with totals is that much of the time the oddsmakers nail the final score. This is where line shopping with our odds comparison tool comes in. If you get an extra half point or point on a total, that could be what causes you to win what is otherwise a losing bet. Particularly for low scoring games where an extra point or half point is worth more than in a high-scoring game with more variance.
What Other College Football Bets are Available?
In addition to pre-game money line, spread, and total bets, most sportsbooks offer in-game or live odds. These are bets that can be made while the game is going on. For college football this makes games way more entertaining, even when you know who is going to win. For example, a team can get to a 21-3 lead at half time, and you can bet on the spread or total to make the rest of the game interesting, even when half of the fans are asleep.
Another one of my favorite college football bets available are alternate or alt lines. With alt lines you can buy or sell points. If a team is a 3.5 favorite, you can make them a 6.5 underdog but get a worse payoff. You could also make them a 9.5 favorite and get more money if they win by ten or more points than you would if you took the regular spread.
For college football, the world is your oyster, and with the different bet types you can have lobster, shrimp, clams, and mussels in addition to your oysters.
Finding the Best Odds at US Online Sportsbooks
Price shopping for the best odds is just like going to the grocery store, only instead of getting chicken and cheese, you are shopping for the best spreads, totals, and money lines.
Imagine that you are in the grocery store and there are ten shelves with Charmin paper towels all at different prices. Would you grab the paper towel that costs more money when it will soak up as much water as the cheapest one? That is what line shopping is in essence.
Different sportsbooks offer different odds for games than each other. A bettor randomly picking spreads at -110 on both sides is betting into a 4.55% hold or house advantage. If a bettor is using our odds tool, they should bet into a 2.4% house advantage or better.
Book A: Team 1 -9.5 (-110), Team 2 +9.5 (-110)
Book B: Team 1 -9.5 (-105), Team 2 +9.5 (-115)
Book C: Team 1 -9.5 (-115), Team 2 +9.5 (-105)
Best Prices: Team 1 -9.5 (-105) (Book C), Team 2 +9.5 (Book B)
When you combine Books A, B, and C together, you get -105 on both sides or only a 2.38% hold. Cutting the sportsbook’s edge almost in half without doing any hard work is nothing to sneeze at.
Having as many apps as possible increases your chances of being a winning bettor. If a sports bettor uses only one app and randomly picks a side in five college football games over the 14-week regular season, then on average they would lose $318.50 over the season. If they bet into a 2.4% hold by using our odds comparison tool, they would lose only $168 for a savings of $150.50.
For bettors that are close to breakeven with one app, the odds comparison tool could make them winning bettors.
One thing to lookout for is what sportsbooks use for line providers. Some books create their own odds and manage their trading. Other books hire line providers to set odds, adjust odds, and manage trading.
Kambi for example provides odds for several sportsbooks, while SBTech provides odds for others. Sportsbooks like FanDuel and Caesars manage their own odds in-house.
Best Sportsbooks with NCAAF Odds
How to Use the Odds Comparison Tool
Using the odds comparison tool is like boiling water, it is easy. Here is your step-by-step guide for using our College Football Odds Comparison Tool:
- Step 1: Select your bet type: On the odds page you can easy toggle between spread, total, and money line bets.
- Step 2: Find your game: With so many college football games each week, finding the game that you want to bet on can seem like finding your flight in a foreign airport. Luckily with our odds tool it is easy. You can scroll down the page to see the games ordered by time, or you can type your team’s name into the search bar.
- Step 3: Place your bet: After you find your game at the best price, the next and final step is to make your bet. If you already have an account with the app that has the best price, you can log into your account and make it.
If you don’t have an account with the app that has the best price, you can click the link on the odds page and then sign up for an account and get a bonus. Besides shopping for the best price, getting the best bonuses is the other reason to sign up for multiple apps.
How to Sign Up to an Online Sportsbook
Making bets is tough, that is why it is fun. Signing up for a sportsbook on the other hand is easier than ordering a Happy Meal. It will only take ten minutes to do, and it will save you money, or even make you money if you get lucky. Here is your step-by-step guide for signing up:
- Step 1: Click the link: In the odds comparison tool each image of the best odds is hyperlinked with a link to down the app with the best odds. Simply click the image.
- Step 2: Sign-up: Answer a handful of questions so they can confirm your identity and mail tax documents (for when you win big). These are questions about your name, address, birthdate, etc.
- Step 3: Deposit: After signing up, you can deposit money into your account to access your welcome offer and be able to bet. There are many different deposit options depending on the book including Credit/Debit, Checking/ACH, Paypal, and many other options.
- Step 4: Bet: Now that you have money in your account, bets can be placed. If you need help coming up with winning bet ideas, you should check out our College Football expert picks.
Including line shopping, your best way to make money betting sports is to maximize your sign-up offers. There are multiple sportsbooks, all competing for your business. To stand out, they are basically handing you money in exchange for you depositing money and laying bets.
One popular sign-up offer is a deposit match where your first deposit is matched 100% up to $250 or even $750. With deposit match sign up offers you can deposit $250 and have $500 to bet with. The only requirement is usually a rollover requirement where you must bet your bonus amount a certain number of times before you can make a withdrawal. For regulated sportsbooks this is usually only one to three times.
The most popular welcome offer is a risk-free bet where if your first bet loses you are awarded either free bets or site credit. If your first bet wins you get a large chunk of money, if you lose you get compensated with either free bet credits or site credit. Site credit is just like cash where you get your stake back in addition to your winning. Free credit, you only get your winnings and not your initial stake.
Risk-free bets can be up to $1000 or more, but you can bet as little as you want if it is usually at least $10. In my opinion you should maximize your sign-up offer because you only get one offer per book.