College Football Handicapping

Written by: Alonzo Solano, Sports Analyst and Content Writer
Last updated:
6 minute read

Handicapping College Football GamesCollege football games handicapping is a skill that every bettor should possess if they are betting on NCAA football. Learning to how to handicap college games arguably has more value than betting on NFL football. It allows those will more time to dive deeper into the larger number of teams in college football and offers far more betting opportunities.

In general, handicapping college football takes plenty of work. The game is far different from the NFL, but with proper strategy and know-how, it can be highly profitable. Once you nail down the basics, the rest comes with research and adequately shopping your bets. In no time, you’ll be a profitable college football handicapper.

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What is Sports Handicapping?

Sports handicapping is the practice or process of assigning an advantage to different teams or contestants that will equalize the chances of winning. “Handicapping” a game also applies to the methods in which the advantage is measured. Sportsbooks handicap each football game using a point spread and total, and other bets, such as money lines and propositions.

The college football sites are, in fact, handicappers themselves, but they’re oddsmakers first. It’s the job of sports handicappers or sports bettors to beat the numbers posted by the sportsbooks. Handicapping sports or college football isn’t easy, but can be done with college football knowledge, plus an understanding of sports betting basic and advanced sports betting strategy.

How Does Handicapping College Football Help In Betting?

Handicapping College Football Improve Betting ResultsBetting a sport without any handicapping knowledge is the equivalent to flying a plane blind. The results aren’t life and death for you, but they may be for your bankroll. Handicapping football encompasses many factors, including line shopping, bankroll management, and general NCAA football knowledge.

Before we get started with some of the best tips for handicapping college football, let’s go over some of the biggest mistakes that bettors make when betting the college game. These are three mistakes you must avoid when handicapping college football:

Mistake #1 – Betting Too Many College Football Games

It’s one of the biggest mistakes bettors make. You simply don’t have an edge on every game or even close to it, especially when it comes to later in the week after the markets have adjusted. Focus on the numbers and teams you want to attack and leave the rest of the board alone unless you find a clear edge by shopping odds.

Mistake #2 – Not Managing Your Bankroll

College football isn’t a daily sport like baseball or basketball, where you’re wagering lots of money every day of the week, but bankroll management is still vital. It’s the only way to assure yourself that you will stay in action. Losing streaks are very common in sports betting. The most important thing as a college football handicapper is to remain in action. Even if you go on a bad run, drop down in limits, so you don’t risk going broke.

Mistake #3 – Not Betting at Online Sportsbooks

Wagering at online college football betting sites will offer you far more advantages and perks over local bookies and regulated sportsbooks in the areas where it is legal. Deposit bonuses, higher better limits, and more markets are just a few of the major draws. College football action should be done online, preferably at a few different sportsbooks.

How to Handicap College Football

College Football HandicappingThere are many reliable steps to becoming a successful college football handicapper and picking winners. It’s also worth noting that there isn’t one-size fits all approach to betting on NCAA football. Some players don’t use spreadsheets and algorithms and instead handicap by feel. While others are strict line shoppers. You can adopt any number of the steps below and they will help improve your skills as a football handicapper.

  1. Focus On Smaller Conferences – Oddsmakers are all over the sides and totals for the bigger conferences, such as the SEC, Big12, Big 10 and so on, but can’t much time to focusing on smaller conferences. These conferences play football too and learning the teams and players in lesser-known conferences is one of the best edges you can find when betting college football.
  2. Examine Motivations – Motivations are a bit different in college compared to the NFL. Younger human beings, students, are a bit more impressionable than the professionals. What motivates them week-to-week is entirely different. Examining their situation each week and the coach leading is players is a factor few considering when handicapping college football.
  3. Look-Ahead and Let-Down Spots – These both fall under motivations a bit, but teams looking forward to their next opponent often fail to take an opponent in the current week seriously enough. Likewise, those off a massive victory against a top team or rival may not have their full attention on their matchup that week.
  4. Statistics Can Be Deceiving – When it comes to the professional game, offensive and defensive statistics and rankings offer more value. College is different in that sense because of the different levels of competition that teams face. The best defense or offense in the country regarding ranking should be taken with a grain of salt, and their schedule should be heavily weighted.
  5. Focus On College Total Bets – Point spreads are the choice of the masses, but college total bets are often easier to predict. After all, it’s easier to guess how a game might play out rather than which team will win. At least, in most cases. Totals, in general, have lower betting limits than point spreads, for a reason. Sharper bettors attack them more often, and the oddsmakers know this.
  6. College Football Live Betting – Live betting offers bettors plenty of edges, and it’s something that many are ignoring who profit on pre-match wagers. There are plenty of advantages when it comes to in-play college football betting that others are ignoring – don’t be one of them.
  7. Correlated College Football ParlaysCorrelated parlay bets should not be bet blindly, and many times they aren’t accepted by online sportsbooks, but they do have some value. The combination of favorite and over and underdog and under is what to focus on, as the outcomes in many cases are linked. If a favorite blow out a team, it’s more likely to go over, and if an underdog keeps the game close, it may end up going under.
  8. Using Multiple College Football Betting Sites – This is vital for line shopping and will always leave bettors with the best price when it comes to handicapping games. My strategy is to have money at one reduced juice sportsbook, one professional level sportsbook with higher limits, and one that is more geared towards recreational bettors. Using multiple college betting websites will always give you the best shot of getting the best odds.
  9. Get A Full Deposit Bonus – Deposit bonuses are essential, as mentioned above, to maximize your bankroll. It’s important to maximize your deposit bonus or reload bonus, if possible. That essentially means always maxing out your free play. If you have a 100% Deposit Bonus offer up to $1,000, try to deposit $1,000 to receive the full $1,000 in free play. Extra bankroll is always crucial for new bettors and even for experienced handicappers
  10. College Bowl Games Betting – Betting limits are often higher bowl games and especially for the College Football Playoff. This is the best time of year if you’re betting college football and is the period when top handicappers make the most money. Keep your calendar open throughout December and into January for the National Title game if you want to maximize your earnings as a college football handicapper.

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About the Author

Alonzo Solano

Alonzo Solano

Sports Analyst and Content Writer

Alonzo is a Sports Betting Analyst and casino games enthusiast who has covered Football extensively at SBS, but don’t be surprised if you read him on other sports. He's the host of the NFL Latino TV podcast.

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