College Football Picks – Guide To College Football Betting 2024

Georgia vs. TCU National Championship
(Getty Images)

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 and dozens of mobile sportsbooks available in some states, the 2022 college football season will likely bring with it a historic amount of college football betting at online sports betting sites.

Just like NFL football betting, bettors can make college football picks in a variety of ways. Some of the most popular betting options for college football games include college football picks on the point spread, moneyline, teasers, parlays and futures wagering. These college football betting tips will break down the different wagering options, and terminology and guide you through placing your first college football bets.

Odds to win the 2024-25 National Championship

Courtesy of our friends at BetMGM. Odds will be updated regularly.

Ohio State+375

Odds to win the 2024 Heisman Trophy

Note: Wagering on the Heisman Trophy is not available in every state with legal sports betting. Odds are courtesy of our friends at BetMGM and will be regularly updated.

Carson BeckGeorgiaQB+500
Quinn EwersTexasQB+900
Dillon GabrielOklahomaQB+1100
Jalen MilroeAlabamQB+1200
Will HowardOhio StateQB+1400

College Football Odds Explained

College football is a fun sport to bet on with many different wagering options. But what do the different odds mean when you go to make your wagers at online sports betting sites? Next to every 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. A plus sign next to the bet indicates an underdog, and a minus symbol is next to the favorite.

All college football odds are based on a $100 bet. For example, you might see a matchup listed like this:

Georgia -200
Alabama +140

In this example, Georgia is the favorite and Alabama the underdog. A $100 bet on Georgia would return $122, which includes your initial $100 bet plus a $22 profit. Put another way, because Georgia is -200, it would take $200 to win $100. A $100 bet on Alabama would return $240: $100 from the bet plus $140 profit.

Types of College Football Picks

College Football Point Spread Betting

The most popular way to make college football picks is by 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, in our hypothetical matchup, the Georgia Bulldogs are -3 over the Alabama Crimson Tide. Georgia is the favorite and Alabama is the underdog. If you make a spread bet on Georgia, they must win the game by more than three points. If you make a spread 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 Georgia or Alabama, you must wager at least $1.10 for every dollar you win. A $110 bet pays $100. The typical vig on football bets 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.

College Football Moneyline Betting

Betting the moneyline is the simplest form of sports betting. It simply means you are wagering on a 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.

As discussed above, if Georgia 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 total return of $240 ($100 bet + $140 winnings). Sometimes people will make bets on the moneyline and 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.

Point spreads for college football vary much more than in the NFL because there are over 100 teams and the gap in talent level is much wider in many 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 college football is by 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 Georgia 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 is refunded.

College Football Teaser Betting

Teasers are a popular way to make sports bets 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 college football 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 Georgia -3, Ohio State -8, and Notre Dame +5. Since you can alter the point spread by seven points, the teaser would be Georgia +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 of your 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 picks 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 Georgia -3, Ohio State -8, and Notre Dame +5 for $100, the payout would be $600 if all three win, for a total return of $700 ($100 wager + $600 winnings). 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 another way to bet during the college football season. A futures bet is exactly what the name suggests: a bet paid out in the future if it wins. The most popular futures bet is by choosing which team will win the National Championship. Let’s say you bet $100 on the Ohio State Buckeyes to win the National Championship in July at odds of +700. If the Buckeyes win the title, you win $700, plus the $100 you wagered for a total return of $800, but you have to wait until February to collect the money. Bettors can often find value by making college football picks like this before the season starts because odds change throughout the season.

Another popular college football future is wagering on which player will win the Heisman Trophy. For example, 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 total return of $2,100.

College Football Prop Betting Picks

There are many different college football props, or proposition bets, including player props, game props, season props. A player prop is exclusive to the outcome of a particular player. For example, a bet on Caleb Williams to throw over/under 2.5 touchdowns in a game is a prop bet.

Game props are something specific to that game, such as whether a safety will be 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.

Many states with mobile sports betting do not allow player prop bets on college games, so don’t be surprised if the option is not available when you pull up an upcoming game on your favorite sportsbook app. Team prop bets are available in most states.

A college football season prop is how a player or team will perform overall in that year. You can wager on 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 Georgia 10.5 wins, the Bulldogs 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.

College Football DFS and Props

For those of you who don’t know, DFS stands for Daily Fantasy Sports. DFS is a take on fantasy football, which is played by millions. DFS shortens the season into one week for football and one day for other sports. It’s a great way to play fantasy sports and has become extremely popular.

Many top DFS sites (most of which we have reviewed) offer college football DFS, in which people can create their own lineup of college football players and compete in large contests for huge prizes. Additionally, many of these sites offer prop betting on college football, in which bettors pick whether a player will go over or under a certain outcome, such as passing yards or touchdowns caught. This is similar to parlay betting; the more picks you get correct, the more $ you can win.

College football DFS and prop betting are not available in every state, but DFS is legal in many states that don’t allow online sports betting, which makes it an appealing option for a wider variety of bettors. Here are the biggest prop and DFS sites that offer college football as an option along with a special promo code that unlocks a generous new customer promotion:

About the Author

Thomas Casale (tcasale)

Thomas Casale is an editor/writer for RotoGrinders, where he focuses on sports betting. He has been following the sports betting industry for 25 years. Thomas has also provided fantasy sports analysis for multiple websites and print publications, covering the NFL, college football, college basketball and MMA.