College Football Betting Tips – Learn the Basics, Get College Football Odds
College football is the second most popular sport to bet on in the United States, behind only the NFL. And with a steady stream of states legalizing sports betting in the US, the 2019 college football season could bring with it a historic amount of online sports betting.
Just like NFL football betting, bettors can wager on college football games in a variety of ways. Some of the most popular betting options for college football games include point spread, moneyline, teasers, parlays and futures wagering. These college football betting tips will break down the different wagering options, terminology and guide you through placing your first college football sports bet.
College Football Betting Odds Explained
College football is a fun sport to bet with many different wagering options but what do college football odds mean? Next to every college football bet is a number with a plus (+) sign or a minus (-) sign next to them. This number will determine the final payout on winning bets. When there is a plus sign next to the bet this indicates an underdog and a minus symbol will be next to the favorite.
All college football betting odds are based on a $100 bet. If you were to bet on the Clemson Tigers (-200) and Alabama Crimson Tide (+140) game, Clemson is the favorite and Alabama the underdog. A winning bet on Clemson would return $122 that includes your initial $100 bet plus $22 profit. A $100 bet on Alabama would return $240, $100 bet plus $240 profit.
Types of College Football Bets
- Point Spread
- Totals (Over/Under)
College Football Point Spread Betting
The most popular way to bet college or pro football is taking a team against the spread (ATS). This involves making a wager on either the favorite or underdog to cover the point spread. The point spread is how much the better team (favorite) is projected to beat the weaker team (underdog) by for the bet to win.
For example, the Clemson Tigers are -3 over the Alabama Crimson Tide. Clemson is the favorite and Alabama is the underdog. If you place a bet on Clemson, they must win the game by more than three points. If you bet on Alabama, they must lose by less than three points or win the game outright. If the game ends on exactly three points, the bet is considered a push and your wager is refunded.
The vig, or juice, is the amount charged by a sportsbook for taking the bet. That means whether the bet is on Clemson or Alabama, you must wager at least $1.10 for every dollar you win. A $110 bet pays $100. The typical vig on a college football wager is -110 but it can vary depending on the online sportsbook. Sportsbooks might also offer promotions like “No Juice,” meaning if you place a bet for $100 and it loses, you pay $100 instead of the standard $110.
Check out some of our college football betting resources:
College Football Games Of The Year Odds
College Football Moneyline Betting
Betting the moneyline means you are wagering on the team to win the game outright with no point spread involved. Moneyline prices vary depending on the point spread. The higher the point spread, the more money you have to wager on the favorite and the bigger return on the underdog.
If Clemson is a -200 favorite on the moneyline, you have to risk $200 to win $100. If Alabama is +140 on the moneyline, a $100 bet wins $140, for a profit of $240. Sometimes people will bet the moneyline on an underdog they think has a chance to win outright because the payout is higher than taking that team on a straight bet with the point spread.
College football point spreads vary much more than in the NFL because there are are 100 teams and the gap in talent level is much wider in some matchups. College football games can sometimes see point spreads in the 40s. There is no moneyline option with spreads that high. Bettors have to lay too much money to win on the favorite and sportsbooks would lose too much if there was a monumental upset, so there is no moneyline offered in some of the more lopsided college football games.
College Football Totals (Over/Under) Betting
Another way to wager on football games is betting the total. You can bet on over/under the total number of points scored by both teams. If the total is set at 49, the final score must be more than 49 points to win the over and fewer than 49 points to win the under.
If Clemson beats Alabama 28-24, the over 49 wins because the total number of points scored is 52. If the final score is 21-17, the under wins because the total points scored ended on 38. Should the score land exactly on 49, the bet is considered a push and the money wagered will be refunded.
College Football Teaser Betting
Teaser are popular because bettors can move the point spread to their advantage. Bettors either move down the point spread for a favorite or move up the spread for an underdog. Bettors can play teasers that give them anywhere from six points per game all the way up to 20.
With teasers, bettors choose at least two games and both must win for the bet to cash. Let’s say you play a three-team 7-point college football teaser with the Clemson -3, Ohio State -8 and Notre Dame +5. Since you can alter the point spread by seven points, the teaser would be Clemson +4, Ohio State -1 and Notre Dame +12. If all three teams cover the new point spread, you win the bet.
Teasers give you a better chance to cover each game and offer a better payout than straight bets but are more difficult to win because two or more teams must beat the point spread. Again though, because the spreads alter so much in college football, teasers are more popular in NFL games, because spreads are rarely more than 10 points. If Ohio State is -21, a 7-point teaser makes the Buckeyes -14, so they still need to win the game comfortably by two touchdowns or more.
College Football Parlay Betting
Parlay bets are wagers that include two or more teams with larger payouts than a straight bet. Parlay bets may include different sports, point spreads, moneylines and totals but all must win or the wager loses.
A parlay payout depends on the number of teams in the bet and the sportsbook. A three-team parlay will often pay out at odds of +600. So, if you bet a three-team parlay with the Clemson -3, Ohio State -8 and Notre Dame +5 for $100, the payout would be $600 if all three entrees win, for a profit of $700. Like teasers, parlays are harder than straight bets because at least two separate wagers must hit for it to win.
College Football Futures Betting
A futures bet is exactly what the name suggests: a bet paid out in the future if it wins. The most popular futures bet in college football is wagering on which team will win the National Championship. Let’s say you bet $100 on the Ohio State Buckeyes to win the National Championship at odds of +700 in July. If the Buckeyes win the title, you win $700, plus the $100 you wagered for a profit of $800, but have to wait until February to collect the money. Bettors can often find value with future bets early because odds change throughout the season.
Another popular college football future is wagering on which player will win the Heisman Trophy. Last year, Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray won the Heisman Trophy after opening at odds of 20/1. A $100 bet on Murray at those odds would have paid out $2,000, netting a profit of $2,100.
College Football Prop Betting
There are many different college football prop, or proposition bets, including player props, game props and season props. A player prop is exclusive to the outcome of a particular player. For example, Kyler Murray to throw over/under 2.5 touchdowns in a game.
A game prop is something specific to that game like will their be a safety scored. Bettors can wager yes or no. Last year’s National Championship game offered over 200 player and game props. Player and game props are more popular in the NFL. Most fans know a greater number of NFL players, in large part due to the popularity of fantasy football.
A season prop is how a player or team will perform overall in that year. You can bet whether or not teams make the college football playoffs or over/under how many wins they have at the end of the year. If you wager on over Clemson 10.5 wins, the Tigers must record at least 11 victories for the bet to cash. It’s important to note that college football win totals are regular season victories only. Bowl games don’t count toward the win total.