I have this friend who has the perfect saying for Football season. “I make all my money on Saturdays, just to lose on Sundays.” He is a tremendous College Football bettor; yet, he is borderline inept when it comes to the NFL. So, it got me to think. NFL vs. College Football betting, which one is better? I listed five things I think explains where the balanced should lean on.
1. Knowledge of the Football teams:
Let’s start with an easy one. There are 32 NFL teams against 126 schools in the Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). Just by math itself is easy to know the pros a lot better than the joes. Yes, we usually cover the Top-25 teams in College Football, but they don’t always play each other. That means whenever they play a smaller school you will have to search under the rocks to see if you get any information on them. In the NFL you pretty much know what color of Gatorade each player like. I’m giving the nod to the NFL in this one. Advantage: NFL
2. Style of play tells you everything
Since the start of the NFL Free Agency era players come and go. Cuts and trades happen to make the best 53 rosters. Maintaining the same identity of your style of play is hard. Even if you have the same players. Look at the Patriots for example. Tom Brady and Bill Belichick went from being a running team first in the early stages of their successful run, to the juggernaut approach in 2007, two a two freak tight ends routine in 2011, to the small white guys aka minions in the last few years.
In College Football we pretty much know the Big 12 means insane offenses and blown defensive coverages. We know the totals will be at stupidly high numbers and that’s the way we want it. We know the Big Ten and the SEC are defensive driven conferences. And we know the Pac-12… well, we don’t know the PAC-12 that well because their games finish really late. Ha. Advantage: College
3. We get to know the coaches:
This goes back to the previous point. It’s harder to fire coaches in College Football, so we get to know their tendencies and styles. The window of an NFL coach closes fast. A bad year and you are gone. Not in College. I pretty much know how Nick Saban’s teams will play. Same goes with Dabo Swinney, Urban Meyer and the rest. Advantage: College
4. Team Rivalries:
How much fun is to bet on the Iron Bowl or the Red River Rivalry to name a couple. The NFL doesn’t have that level of hate between teams. They win or lose and move on to the next game. That doesn’t happen in College. You lose to a rival, and they won’t let you forget about it for a year.
We want the winnings but also enjoy the emotions. The thrill of betting on College Football rivalry can’t be compared. It’s something else. Advantage: College
5. Upsets on Any Given Sunday:
They made a movie about NFL upsets… “Any Given Sunday.” It didn’t say Any Given Saturday. It was Sundays as the NFL. The talent level on even the worst NFL team is so good any team can beat any other on a given Sunday. While that’s great for the narrative, it will drive bettors insane. The stability is just not there. Advantage: College
In the end, the winning margin in College Football is more significant. It’s also a lot more fun. I would stay betting on both because what else am I going to do on the weekend, but College wins this one. If you want to learn more about betting on either of the these we recommend our two comprehensive guides NFL Football Handicapping Guide and NCAA College Football Handicapping Guide.
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