Many online sportsbook bettors regard the NFL as the undisputed king of American sports. Let’s not forget that college football is the next big thing on the American sports roster. So, if the NFL is Bill Gates, then college football is Steve Jobs. Or, so to speak.
The same betting strategies that apply to the NFL also apply to college football. The most popular betting strategy bettors use when they bet on college football is the total and the spread. However, the fundamental difference between the two is that NFL players are professionals while college players are students. This article covers the ins and outs of college football.
Why College Football?
The competition is college football is not as severe as the NFL’s. Meaning that casual live bettors can make a quick buck if they bet smart. There’s a lot of disparity going on in college football as well. Because the top schools compete against small schools, so the outcome can be lopsided sometimes. Furthermore, the NFL has 32 teams while there are 130 Division I-A teams in college football. See the difference?
The Associated Press and a poll the coaches conduct, rank the top college football teams from one through to twenty-five. As the teams perform they update the rankings every week. It’s always best to bet on the favorite when two ranked teams play.
Before we get to the meat and potatoes of college football. Let’s cover the basics first. The NFL plays all their games on a Sunday. This reminds us of the Hollywood blockbuster film “Any Given Sunday” with Al Pacino in the lead. By the way, it was a cracking film. College football plays all their games on Saturday, and they play more or less 12-regular season games.
College Football Home-Field Advantage
We can’t help but roll our eyes at home-field advantage. The biggest mistake bettors still make is that they bet blindly on the home team. Yes, we get it because there is usually a lot of sentiment, and the hype is off the charts. Although home-field advantage is as real as the Dallas Cowboys, it’s overvalued. No matter how you look at it fans love to bet on the home team.
Now, the fundamental difference between college football players and NFL players is stark. NFL players are older, they have the experience, and they’re more mature. They’re less likely to fall for the obscenities of a hostile crowd. Unlike NFL players, college football players are still amateurs.
The average age of a college football player is 18-21 years. A college football game can be daunting at times. Especially, if a team hasn’t played in front of a capacity crowd before. Thing is just because college football players are still young it doesn’t mean they’re immature.
Contrary to popular belief some of the best trainers coach college football teams. Sportsbooks usually reward 2.5 points to a college football team if it plays at home. Depending on the team, the stadium, the point difference can be 1 to 4 points. A team will only receive 4 points if it beats the spread at home consistently. If a team seldom covers at home, we’re looking at 1 point.
Let’s Crunch The Numbers
If home-field really that overrated in college football? To a degree yes. Statistics indicate that home college football teams win roughly 58 percent of their games. There is a snag though because they often fail to cover the spread. College football teams that play at home only cover the spread 48.8 percent of the time.
If you bet $100 on the home team for more than 10 years you would have lost around $50,000. Online sportsbooks know that the public always backs the home teams hence the reason they shade the lines. The public is then left with numbers that are inflated.
As far as the spread and road teams go. Road teams go 51 percent against the spread. We’re not saying that you should back any road team and avoid the home team. All we’re saying is that make provision for it next time you place your bets.
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Low Totals and Road Underdogs
By now you should know that the underdogs usually fare better against the spread. For the simple reason, the public backs the home team 90 percent of the time. Is there a profitable trend on the go here? Maybe so, because the underdog normally performs better when they’re the road team. Road underdogs go around 51 percent against the spread. Note, we’re talking about road underdogs here and not all underdogs.
Don’t forget about the low totals. Just like in the NFL, underdogs also benefit from low totals. In a low-scoring game the home team usually fails to cover the spread. Also, in college football the totals are way higher than in the NFL. You’ll often see games were the totals are in the 70s. Compared to the NFL the totals seldom hit the 50s.
The underdogs do pretty okay in conference games. When college football teams play a lot against each other, they begin to know each other’s strengths and weaknesses.
To such an extent we call them “rivalry” games, and they’re also the biggest games of the year. It’s a smart move to back the road underdog in conference games because they go 55 percent against the spread. Only if the the road underdog has totals of 45 or less.
Short Road Underdogs
If we can share a secret with you. Bet on road underdogs in college football with short or small spreads. For the simple reason, the public backs the home team which allows you to exploit this bias. What’s the takeaway here? It all boils down to the small spread. On the condition, the short road underdog gets 4 points or less, or 54 percent against the spread.
When the public sees that the spread is low they believe the home team will cover the spread easily. Not! Don’t forget to factor in the home-field advantage too. The sportsbooks typically give 2.5 points to the home team. If the road underdog receives 3 or 4 points it means they’re Even Stevens.
It’s a different story when two college football teams play against each other on a neutral field. How so? The game would then be a pick’em. When the sportsbook awards less than 4 points to the road underdog on a neutral field. The road underdog is the favorite to win the game. If you want to chase a juicy profit you can go with moneylines against spreads.
College Football: Bet Against The Public
We consider is a good betting strategy in college football when you bet against the public. Also, don’t forget that there are more than 60 games every Saturday.
This means that public college football bettors can pick and choose their games. It goes without saying when two schools play they rake in about 40,000 votes. The smaller schools only snag around 6,000 votes, maybe more. Don’t just bet on any team but choose your team wisely.
Only go contrarian in games where the public goes nuts. We have a reason for this because contrarian teams do well against the spread. Teams that receive less than 33 percent of the bets can turn a profit for you.
Bye Week Favorites College Football
Every year college football teams receive one bye week. Strictly speaking, that they don’t play a game for one week during the season. The off week gives teams much-need rest, to reset, and to recover from any injuries. But, there’s a major difference between underdogs and favorites that come of the bye.
Favorites that come of the bye usually go more than 51 percent against the spread. We don’t consider then cash cows but they will make you a quick buck or three. Underdogs fare poorer against the spread when they come off the bye. Keep an eye on ranked favorite teams that come of the bye; they clock around 58 percent against the spread.
Why is the bye week so advantageous to the favorites? First, they have top coaches and better players. Coaches have a two-week break which gives them ample opportunity to strategize and come up with a game plan.
Low-Scoring Games Fade Home Favorites
Home favorites who scored less than 10 points in their previous outing clocked more than 40 percent against the spread. What happens when you faded teams in this position? Faded is when you bet the underdog to win against the home favorite who scored 9 points, or less.
Why is it good for sportsbook bettors? Public bettors always assume the home favorite will cover their next game. Big mistake! Home teams feel the pressure and they often tank. To such an extent it creates a “hangover” effect.
When you bet on college football focus on conference matchups. The most popular conferences are the ACC, SEC, Big Ten, Big 12, and the Pac 12, or the “Power 5”.
If we look at the betting totals, public bettors have a dismal record when it comes to overs. Once again the sportsbooks shade the totals which force them to take overpriced, inflated lines. Remember, when college football teams are in the same conference, it leads to more unders.
The teams know each other which leads to low-scoring games. More to the point, it leads to familiarity. When the sharp bettors take the under it falls. Try and avoid overs as well because they are overvalued. Always bet on unders when two teams with excellent rushing offenses play. That is, when they run with the ball instead of throwing it. It means the teams score less points, and fewer possessions.
College football is way better than the NFL as far as windy unders go. If a wind of 5 miles per hour blows the quarterback will struggle to throw the ball.
Therefore, the under has a 54 percent chance of winning because there will be fewer touchdowns. If the wind blows more than 20 miles per hour the under has a 64 percent chance of winning. All we can say, it’s one of the most profitable college football betting systems. Another thing to look at is the college football kickers. If the weather is foal they struggle with field goals. Before you bet on a college football total, check the wind!
College football starts a few weeks before the NFL. The games start when the summer is still hot usually around August and September. You can target the over when two teams play against each other on a hot day. The best number is when it is 85 degrees, or higher because the over shoots up to 58 percent.
Why does hot weather have an impact on the over? Defensive players must then defend against offensive players. This causes them to become tired which gives the offense and edge. Always have a look at the weather forecast before you bet on a college football game. The hotter it is the smarter it is to bet on the over.
In college football they play each bowl game on a neutral field, therefore there are no true home teams. Only the best college football teams reach a postseason bowl game. On the whole, it’s advantageous to the underdog, especially if the public writes it off. Moreover, it pays to bet against the public. Plus, bowl season is the best time of the year to go contrarian.