Sports Betting 101
Basics by Sport
Insider Betting Tips for College Football
by Dave Schwab
The only thing more popular than the sport of football itself is wagering on the games for anyone who considers themselves an avid sports bettor. While the NFL may be at the top of many bettors’ lists, the popularity of betting on college football is a close second and it continues to grow year-in and year-out.
In order to increase your chances for a positive return on your college football wagers, there are a couple of insider tips particular to the college game that can easily be applied to your personal betting strategy.
Bet on What You Know Best
Chances are that if you bet on college football games you are also a big fan of the game. Maybe you follow a handful of teams or an entire conference as a whole, but whatever the case may be, you should also try and gear your betting activities to the teams you know the best.
This betting tip is heavily grounded in common sense. There are over 120 teams in Division IA football so it would be next to impossible to take the time to properly handicap every single one. Even professional handicappers tend to gravitate towards a limited selection of teams when it comes to releasing selections for the games.
The more you know about a particular team, the better you will become at trying to predict the outcome of their games. Focusing your efforts on a particular conference as a whole will help tremendously when it comes to betting on head-to-head matchups within that conference
Look for Opportunities with the Mid-Majors
The betting public tends to gravitate towards the top 25 teams in the nation when it comes to betting on college football. The sportsbooks are well aware of this and it is reflected in some very sharp betting lines for games involving these teams.
Mid-Majors tend to fly well under the betting public’s radar and many times the Oddsmakers will not delve as deep into the matchups when it comes to setting the odds. The result is a few bad lines getting released on almost a weekly basis. Uncovering these lines can present a golden opportunity to cash-in on those games.
Another reason to focus your energy on Mid-Majors is the gap in talent that exists between the top and bottom teams within that particular conference. This tends to set-up some huge mismatches that may not be properly reflected in the point spread for the games.
Know your Head-to-Head Betting Trends
One of the biggest differences between college football and the NFL is that the majority of the players at the collegiate level are in it for the pure love of the game, while the pros play to get paid. This adds a highly emotional aspect to the games, which in turn makes some of the recent betting trends for head-to-head matchups all that more relevant.
If the home team in a game has covered in the majority of the past several meetings, then that trend has a good chance to hold true in future matchups. If the total has gone over the betting line in the past few meetings, that could point to another high-scoring game this time around.
Go Against Large Point Spreads
The recent past tells us that when one team has been listed as a heavy favorite of 30 points or more the underdog has covered about 60 percent of the time. The sportsbooks fully understand the betting public’s love affair with wagering on favorites and they will tend to tease these huge spreads in an obvious mismatch upward in an effort to get bettors to take the bait.
As mentioned above, college football is played on a very emotional level and you can almost guarantee that a 30+ point underdog is going to come into a mismatch with a huge chip on its shoulder because it has something to prove. While the wide gap in talent between the favorite and the underdog could still result in blowout that covers the spread, the actual results favor the underdog covering with the points more times than not.