College Football Betting Strategy

Written by: Alonzo Solano, Sports Analyst and Content Writer
Last updated:
7 minute read
An NCAAF betting strategy is a structured approach to college football betting with the goal of producing a profit.

A college football betting strategy is a structured approach to wagering on NCAA football with the goal of producing a profit.

Strategies used in college football betting are very similar to those used for NFL football betting. However, there are a few key differences one should be aware of.

You just need to learn more about college football betting strategies and what’s involved before jumping in, and that’s precisely what this page is about.

Betting on NCAAF has some advantages that shouldn’t be ignored as they can lead to high betting profits.

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Best College Football Betting Strategies

Now that we’ve covered the more general aspects of NCAA football betting strategy, let’s go into the more practical side of things. Take these tips into account when planning your betting strategy:

Betting Strat #1Consider Look-Ahead & Let-Down Spots

We all know look-ahead and let-down spots can be trouble. They affect professional athletes being paid millions, how do you think this translates into the college game?

These kids aren’t being paid and are undoubtedly more emotional and less prepared mentally than their professional counterparts.

College football offers a ton of situational handicapping.

Teams coming off emotional wins against lowly opponents are an excellent target.

Likewise, teams that are playing a critical game a week later against a top team or conference opponent may be due for a let-down the week before.

Looking at a team’s schedule before the season and identifying potential look-ahead or let-down spots ahead of time can give you a jump that few other bettors are considering. If these spots meet the criteria you’re looking for when the time comes, you can jump on the lines early without hesitation.

Betting Strat #2Take Into Account Team Coach Preparation

College Football Team Coach Preparation

Of course, some coaches prepare their teams better than others.

Teams with a lot of upperclassmen will also likely be able to hand the ups and downs of a season better.

Luckily, in the social media age, we can usually get a good bead on how teams are feeling during the week and, by following the sport closely, we’ll know which coaches are the best at keeping teams playing their A-game.

Many forget that players are human beings just like everyone else. They may not get up for a game for a variety of reasons.

Betting Strat #3Road Favorites Can Be Fool’s Gold In College Football

The oddsmakers make a living profiting off of favorites and overs, two of the most popular wagers of the general public. This isn’t specific to college football, but it is one sport in which road favorites seem particularly appealing, especially when away from home and facing poor competition.

Like college basketball arenas, college football stadiums can be brutal places to play for opposing teams.

Players and coaches don’t just have a rabid and usually drunk section of students to worry about, but entire communities who support their college football teams with greater dedication than even the biggest professional teams.

Bettors might believe they are getting a “discount” when a powerhouse travels to face a weak team on the road, but don’t be a fool, it’s obviously priced into the line.

Home teams have an advantage for a reason – games on the road are harder to win, it’s that simple. You’re playing right into the hands of the sportsbooks when you look for betting spots that involve favorites on the road.

Betting Strat #4Rankings Have Little Handicapping Value

Knowing a team is 20th in the league in defense or 10th in offense doesn’t give us much information in terms of actual handicapping value.

The strength of schedule, the caliber of opponents that a team faces, is the most important factor in evaluating college football statistics.

Analyze The Stats

Bettors can hurt themselves by using these national rankings and not evaluating how teams performed based on their competition.

While a team may have no issue rolling through a Swiss cheese defense, their averages may drop substantially once they face tougher competition.

Analyzing a team’s statistics and factoring their performances against tougher competition (and their degree of dominance on much worse opponents) is the best way to get behind the numbers and give you an edge when handicapping. This is definitely key to build your college football betting strategy.

Betting Strat #5Focus On Smaller College Football Conferences

Smaller College Football Conference

Almost all of the mainstream sports media and most sports bettors will be heavily focused on the major conferences.

This is mainly for two reasons. The quality of play and talent on these teams is much better than the rest of the nation and they’re most often the teams in contention for the National Title and the ones making the College Football Playoff.

Most Popular Conferences In The Country

  • The Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC)
  • Big Ten
  • Big 12
  • PAC-12
  • The Southeastern Conference (SEC)
  • There is certainly a lot of value knowing these conferences, but these teams and conferences will also be heavily followed by the oddsmakers.

    Breaking down teams from smaller conferences can be even more interesting. The odds, in general, will be a bit softer and if you heavily focus on these conferences, then you may be a step ahead of the oddsmakers.

    This strategy can also be utilized for NCAA Basketball betting.

    Betting Strat #6Target College Football Proposition Bets

    Player and team proposition bets aren’t as popular in college football as they are in the professional game, but they’re now an every-week available market at many betting sites.

    Propositions are always much softer betting markets than sides and totals, which is why the betting limits are substantially lower. There is a tradeoff with betting props though; that your bet size may be limited if you’re successful.

    Props Are An Excellent Bankroll Builder

    However, betting prop bets at sportsbooks that don’t offer much else, or simply using them as a bankroll builder, is an excellent NCAAF betting strategy. You also may find much higher limits on propositions when betting with local bookies.

    Beating propositions is simply a matter of hard work. Understanding player usage, talent and offensive schemes, and utilizing this knowledge, will allow many to find an edge against sportsbooks when it comes to betting props.

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    College Football Betting Systems

    College Football Betting Systems

    Bettors are always looking for a system that will make betting a breeze. If sports betting were that easy, everyone would do it.

    It’s true that there are betting syndicates with advanced algorithms that are beating the sportsbooks for big money, but those aren’t the systems that are being promoted online.

    Some sports betting advice websites will even charge money for their “profitable college football betting system.”

    A Lot Of Hard Work

    Imagine if you had a betting system that could beat the college football lines at most, if not all, sportsbooks? Would you be giving it away for free or selling it for a few hundred or even thousands of dollars?

    Of course not, you would use it yourself to bet as much as you can. The reality of betting college football and betting sports profitably is that, in general, it takes a lot of hard work and there are no shortcuts. It’s also a much bigger grind, rather than a get-rich-quick scheme or some system you can find on the internet and blindly bet for profits.

    Betting on College Vs. NFL Football

    Betting on College Vs. NFL Football

    It’s obvious that there are a lot more games in college football than in professional football. We’re talking about just 32 NFL teams and 128 Division I NCAAF teams.

    It’s also clear that the quality of play is much better in the NFL. Rules for betting on point spreads, sides, totals, and moneylines, however, don’t change between the two sports.

    The biggest difference between NFL betting and college football betting is the influence of public money versus sharp money.

    It’s important for bettors to realize that, for the most part, public money doesn’t move the odds. The one major exception to this rule is the NFL.

    Public bettors bet on the sport heavily and in significant amounts. The oddsmakers don’t respect the public’s betting acumen, but they do have to be careful not to overexpose themselves if they’re getting an overwhelming number of bets on one side.

    For the most part, that isn’t the case in college football. It might be true for some high-profile regular-season games, such as SEC rivals facing off or the College Football Playoff and National Title game, but, for the most part, the public isn’t moving college betting markets.

    This is especially true for games between lesser-known teams for the smaller conferences, as mentioned above. For the most part, any major movement in college football betting lines is due to the sharps’ betting action.

    In College Football, Statistics Can Be Deceiving

    College Football Betting - Statistics

    More than in any other sport, statistics can be extremely deceiving in college football. Due to the gargantuan differences in talent in college football, ranked teams can run over college football’s worst teams in decisive fashion.

    This type of talent disparity doesn’t exist in the NFL. September marks the beginning of the college football season, which amounts to a warm-up for the big conferences as they face off against low-level teams, many from the FCS (Football Championship Subdivision).

    It’s essentially pre-season for the top schools, which are playing against low-level schools that shouldn’t even be on the same field with them. These schools might average 10 yards per carry running the ball against these cupcakes and fly up the national rankings in terms of offense. They also may shut out their opponents and shoot up the defensive rankings as well.

    Remember, college football pundits and stat sites alike often refer to the national rank in terms of offense, defense, among other statistics.

    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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