NCAAF Betting Guide

college football betting guide

How To Bet On College Football

College football has long been an extremely popular pastime among US sports fans and bettors. Thanks to its widespread popularity, the NCAA has a massive following of fans from all corners of the US and even around the world. As a result, college football has become a mainstay at sportsbooks, with bettors eager to make bets on a weekly basis while the NCAA is in season.

Like our other betting guides (such as this one for the NFL), this page will give you a full rundown of what to expect when you’re betting on NCAA football. Plus, we’ll give you tips and tricks to make the most of your college football betting experience. There’s a lot to learn, but we have you covered from kickoff to the final touchdown.

NCAAF Vs. NFL: How They Differ

College football is prime training ground for NFL hopefuls. But the NCAA has carved out an identity of its own, earning its place as a beloved sport. For this reason, there are some crucial differences between the NCAA and the NFL.

Looking At The Stats For College Football Games

When you’re considering betting on NCAA football, there are a few things to consider. Statistics can be exceedingly helpful in placing bets, but sometimes it pays to wait for a bit more information before springing for that moneyline or point spread that’s caught your eye.

Be aware that stats aren’t always up to date. The nature of college football relies on new players entering the system as others leave. Once a player graduates, they’re not going to play anymore, so the school has to attract new talent. This turnover leads to wild variations in statistics and performance. While some of this can be mitigated by good coaching, it’s just more of that unpredictability we discussed above. Without a ton of history to look back on, it’s hard to judge how good a team will be out of the gate.

It’s not necessarily a bad thing to bet early in the season, but there’s a level of inherent risk that’s hard to overcome. Make sure you’re placing bets backed by solid data to keep from losing too many wagers.

If you want to take the cautious route, wait till mid-season. By then, most teams will have shown their true colors, separating the studs from the duds. Mid-season is an excellent time to place a college football bet because you have current, updated data sets to help you inform your decisions.

Capitalize On Favorable Betting Lines

Because NCAA football betting encompasses smaller betting markets, it’s more difficult to find niche lines similar to what you’d see in the NFL or other professional sports.

This creates a snowball effect. When college football bettors home in on a favorable line, they’ll pounce. And once enough bettors pounce on that line, it’ll change and become a lot less favorable. For this reason, speed matters when placing NCAAF bets.

Simply put, you should grab a good betting line when you see it’s available. Chances are that line won’t be available for long before the sportsbook changes it based on all the bets rolling in.

Specialize In A Particular Conference

ACC, SEC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12…the list goes on. There are a number of college football conferences, and some of them collect teams in similar geographies. Others, like the Big Ten, started that way and quickly expanded or transformed to include teams from the east coast in addition to the longtime midwestern roster. The make-up of a conference doesn’t matter so much to your betting overall, but it does help to focus on one in particular.

When you follow a specific conference, you’ll come to know the teams that play in the conference. You’ll know their quirks, their plays, their performance at home and away, and their rosters.

When you know a college football team or conference inside and out, you’ll find it much easier to make smart bets with a higher chance of winning.

If you were to focus on the overall college football arena, you’d quickly get overwhelmed and have trouble narrowing down the list, and you’d have to pay too much attention to a wide variety of data. Focusing on a single conference (or perhaps two) keeps your head in the game.

Don’t Just Focus On The Big Games

Big rivalries draw a crowd for good reason. It’s hard to beat the buzz of Michigan vs. Michigan State or Alabama vs. Auburn. And while those games can provide good, profitable bets, they aren’t always the best choice available.

Smaller games—even if they’re expected to be blowouts—can offer great betting lines simply because they aren’t getting a ton of attention. Those match-ups may seem dull, but they can really benefit the smart NCAA football bettor. Without a bunch of bettors placing wagers and by extension moving the line, you’re more likely to find beneficial odds on under-the-radar games. Do your research on those smaller teams to give yourself an edge when you do place a bet.

Finding The Best NCAAF Sportsbooks

In many states and markets, bettors have access to multiple sportsbooks. Some states have more than a dozen options that offer lines and odds on NCAA football games. With a huge platter of options, how does a college football betting enthusiast decide which sportsbook to use?

First and foremost, you can check out our NCAAF sportsbook page, which outlines our top recommended sports betting sites for college football bettors. We offer reasoning and reviews for our top picks, making your job significantly easier.

If you’d like to shop around for an ideal NCAAF sportsbook, there are a few things you should keep in mind. We recommend finding three or four sportsbooks that you can use as a rotating list. This number is manageable and will ensure you have access to competing lines from a few different options. Plus, you won’t be overwhelmed with too many options. It’s a lengthy process to sign up, claim a bonus, and deposit at 5+ sportsbooks. Don’t get us wrong: you can do that if you want to, but it can be cumbersome and you don’t really need access to that many sportsbooks.

When you’re hunting for good college football sportsbooks, check for market depth ad variety. How many bets does the sportsbook offer on NCAA football every week? Does the sportsbook offer good college football promotions? Are there a lot of games available to bet on? Are the odds competitive? Ask yourself these questions to help narrow down your list of sportsbooks.

Types Of NCAAF Bets You Can Place

Though NCAAF betting markets are slightly more limited than those of the NFL, there’s still plenty to enjoy.

The Big Three - Moneylines, point spreads, and totals. Those represent the big three, and you’ll find these bets available for pretty much every major team sport. Lets look at each of those in relation to College Football Betting Below:

How To Find Value On College Football Bets

Like the NFL, college football has a lot of external factors that can impact the outcome of a game. Football is played outside and it’s a full-contact sport, meaning things like weather and injuries should always be taken into account. Keep these things in mind when placing bets on college football.

Where Is College Football Betting Legal?

Here’s a list of states and markets where sports betting is legal:

  • Arizona
  • Arkansas (retail only)
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut (retail only, but online expected soon)
  • Delaware
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Michigan
  • Mississippi (retail only)
  • Montana (retail only)
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico (retail only)
  • New York
  • North Carolina (retail only)
  • North Dakota (retail only)
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Dakota (retail only, online permitted at retail sportsbooks)
  • Tennessee
  • Virginia
  • Washington (retail only, online permitted at retail sportsbooks)
  • Washington, D.C.
  • West Virginia
  • Wyoming

As you’re looking for sportsbooks in your state (or neighboring state), be aware of college-specific restrictions. Some states limit which matches you can bet on. For example, both Illinois and New Jersey do not allow bets on college matches that include in-state schools (even if they’re played elsewhere).

This means Illinois bettors can wager on Northwestern games, and New jersey bettors can’t bet on Rutgers. Both states are considering removing such restrictions, but they’re fairly common in sports betting regulations. If you’re not finding your desired match on a sports betting app, that might be why.

Where To Find NCAAF Picks And Predictions

Every week, we offer our insight for college football match-ups over on our NCAAF picks page. You can check back on a weekly basis for new picks, data, and bets with full reasoning from tried-and-true college football fans.

We won’t deem ourselves “experts” per se, but we do make informed betting decisions based on real data with the goal of giving you the maximum chance at a NCAAF betting win.

NCAAF Betting Mistakes To Avoid

As you’re looking to make bets on college football, avoid these common pitfalls:

NCAAF Betting Online Vs. Retail Sportsbooks

In many states, you can choose between retail sportsbooks or online sportsbooks. There are big differences between the two.

How To Place A College Football Bet Online: Step By Step

Ready to palace a college football bet? Here’s how you can do it.

  1. Find the best line or market on your preferred bet. Let’s use Georgia State vs. Ball State as an example. We’ll say you want to be the Georgia State moneyline.
  2. Compare the odds at a few sportsbooks. In this example, DraftKings has a better line (-200) than FanDuel (-205). So we’ll go with DraftKings.
  3. Select Georgia State moneyline as your bet. This will pull up your betslip.
  4. In the proper field, type your bet amount. For this example, let’s go with $100 (for a possible payout of $150).
  5. Select “Place Bet” and wait for the sportsbook to process the bet and confirm your wager.

That’s it. Super simple! From there, all that’s left is to watch the Georgia Stat vs. Ball State game and hope your wager wins. Rinse and repeat for any other bets you’d like to place, or add multiple bets into the same betslip for a streamlined approach.

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