Most division one college football teams play 12 regular-season games each year. There are 130 D1 teams in the NCAA, so when you factor in bowl games, that’s almost 1,000 college football games each year.
That means that every college football season, there are plenty of college football betting opportunities out there for you to take advantage of. But betting on college football can be tricky, as there are so many teams and games to choose from.
How do you know which games are worth betting on? And are there any basic rules that you should follow when betting on college football?
In this article, we’ll give you the beginner’s guide to betting on college football. That way you can increase your chances of winning money, and thus, have more fun while betting on games.
Understand the Numbers
Before you can start betting on college football, you first need to understand how the numbers work. If you’ve bet on the NFL before, or any other major team sport, you most likely already know how point spreads operate.
With that being said, if you don’t, or you need a refresher, doing a bit more research before you place your first bet is a good idea. Also, it’s important to note that fewer people bet on college football games than NFL games. That means that point spreads aren’t going to move a lot, which can make picking between two teams that much harder.
Stay Away From Bigger Spreads
Another notable difference between betting on college games, as opposed to betting on NFL games, is the size of the point spreads. Each week, you’re going to find multiple spreads that are larger than 30 points.
While correctly betting on the underdog can get earn you more money, the reward is usually not worth the risk. Because of this, we recommend that you stay away from larger point spreads when you can, as again, they’re a great way to lose out on money fast.
This is especially true if you’re used to betting on NFL games, where spreads very rarely get that large. So, unless you’re feeling extra lucky, stick to point spreads that are less than two or three scores.
Avoid Prop Bets Completely
Looking for more college betting tips? Want to increase your chances of winning big? We recommend that you avoid prop bets completely, as they’re a bit too unpredictable and risky.
Simply put, you’d be much better off placing bets on point spreads of games than betting on any college football prop bets. Prop bets are just too uncertain, especially for newcomers, which is why you should stick to the teams (and games) that you know best.
Stick to One Conference
Want to increase your chances of making money while betting on college football games? Stick to one conference, that way you can spend more time studying the same teams and their players.
Remember, there are 32 NFL teams. Most power 5 conferences have anywhere from 10 to 14 teams, which means betting on teams from multiple conferences can get tricky.
If you have a favorite team, go ahead and bet on teams from that team’s conference only. Just make sure you don’t let your heart cloud your judgment, especially if you’re betting on games that feature your personal favorite team.
Listen to the Experts
If you’re going to miss on a pick, you want to make sure that you missed on that pick personally, and not someone else. With that in mind, letting the experts help you out can be a good idea, especially at first, as they have a really good idea of what they’re doing.
We recommend that you check in with a few experts each week to see what they’ve picked for the weekend’s slate of games. The folks at Doc’s Sports, in particular, are very trustworthy and have a good track record when it comes to betting on the spread.
They even offer free picks, too, which means you won’t have to sign up for anything to get some quality advice. Pretty neat, right?
Pay Close Attention to Injuries
Did you know that the NFL is required to report more details on injuries that college football teams are? That rule exists for gambling purposes, but again, doesn’t exist for college football, making those games even more difficult to bet on.
Some coaches, like Will Muschamp, don’t report any injury information at all. That means that Muschamp’s teams could have a star player out, and you won’t find out until game time, which of course isn’t a good thing.
With this in mind, these types of things do tend to leak out. So, stay glued to message boards and social media sites like Twitter, as injury news tends to make it out into the public, even if coaches don’t want it to.
Understand the Unpredictability
As you’ve probably realized by now, college football is hugely unpredictable. From larger point spreads to hidden injury information, there are a lot of hurdles that you have to overcome to make the right pick.
Keeping this fact in mind will ensure that you’re extra careful when placing bets. It’ll also encourage you to avoid games that you deem to be too risky, which is always a wise move.
Lock in Your Picks Early
If you know anything about betting on sports, you know that point spreads can move up and down all the way until game time. Because of this, it’s often a good idea to lock in your picks early to give yourself the best chances to win a game.
For example, a game may open up with the home team being a 3-point favorite. If you like those odds, you can go ahead and lock in your pick before the point spread moves. That way, if it goes up or down, and becomes riskier, you don’t have to worry about it, as you’ve locked in your pick at that 3-point spread.
Don’t Bet on Too Many Games
Because there are so many games each week, it can be tempting to bet on a ton of them at once. After all, there are over 120 college football teams, and only 32 NFL teams, which means the number of games each week is more than 3 times the amount of NFL games.
If you stick to one conference, you’ll be betting on 7 games or less each week. But even that many games can be too much for beginners, which is why we recommend that newbies stick to 3 games or less, especially at first.
Picking 3 games with low point spreads will give you the best chance to win more than you lose, which of course is the overall goal here.
Don’t Avoid Lower-Tier Games
We get it. You want to bet on the primetime games that feature two big-time teams going head-to-head in a meaningful matchup. But lower-tier games between two small teams can be a ton of fun, too, especially if you’re familiar with those two teams and their players.
The same tips and tricks that we’ve mentioned so far apply to these types of games. Do your research, know the teams, and make smart picks.
Know What Stats Matter
The game of college football is all about offense nowadays. Because of this, teams are scoring more points now than ever before.
If you’re betting on a team because of their defense, make sure that the other team’s offense isn’t ranked too highly. Because if it is, odds are they’re going to score plenty of points, which means picking against the spread for that game is going to be harder.
Factor in Home Field Advantage
While some teams in the NFL do indeed have a great advantage when playing at home, in college, home-field advantage is a much bigger deal. This is especially true when you’re talking about power 5 teams, as their fans are often some of the loudest and rowdiest fans in any sport.
When you placing a bet, make sure you know which team is the home team. Remember, the spread gives the home team about 3 points, so if it’s close, going with the home team is often a smart move.
Need More College Football Betting Tips?
Knowing everything there is to know about college football betting is next to impossible. Even if you do the research, and make an educated pick, there’s still a good chance that you end up picking ht wrong team to win a game or cover a spread.
Looking for more tricks you can use to take your betting skills to the next level? Check back with our blog often, as we’re always giving out useful gambling advice