Football is a beloved American pastime, and college football has its unique place in the hearts of many.
While cheering for one’s alma mater or favorite team is thrilling, betting on NCAAF games adds another dimension to the experience.
Whether you’re a new or experienced bettor, deciphering college football betting odds can be challenging.
Below, we will take you through the various bets you can place, help you make sense of the odds, and enhance your college football betting experience.
How to Bet on College Football Odds
NCAAF Moneyline Betting
When you hear the term ‘moneyline,’ it refers to the most straightforward bet you can place. It’s a wager on which team will win the game outright, with no point spread considerations.
With moneyline betting, odds can be positive (+) or negative (-).
For instance, if Alabama has odds of +125 to beat Georgia, it means that for every $100 you wager on the Crimson Tide, you could win $125 should Nick Saban’s team emerge victorious. Conversely, if Georgia’s odds in that game are -140, you would need to bet $140 to net $100 if the Bulldogs win.
Moneyline odds give bettors a clear picture of the perceived favorite (denoted by negative odds) and underdog (positive odds) in every matchup.
NCAAF Spread Betting
One of the most popular college football betting options is spread betting.
Spread betting provides a way for oddsmakers to level the playing field between two teams that aren’t evenly matched. They do so by providing a margin (the spread) that represents the expected point differential between the two teams.
When betting the favorite against the spread, they not only have to win the game but must do so by more than the expected margin of victory for you to cash your wager. On the other hand, when backing the underdog, they can either win the game outright or lose by a margin smaller than the spread to win your bet.
- Want to bet on more football? Learn how to bet NFL odds.
Let’s look at last season’s game between Big Ten powerhouse Ohio State and Rutgers as an example. In that contest, the Buckeyes had -100000 moneyline odds and were 38.5-point favorites (-110) against the Scarlet Knights.
In lopsided matchups like this, moneyline betting isn’t practical because a successful $100 bet on Ohio State to win the game outright would only net a profit of 10 cents. However, a spread bet of $110 on either team would yield $100 if successful.
In this example, Ohio State needed to win by 39 points or more to cover the spread. However, if Rutgers kept the margin within 38 points or pulled off a massive upset victory, the Scarlet Knights would cover the spread.
In the end, the Buckeyes won 49-10, covering the spread by the hook (a margin of 0.5 points).
NCAAF Over/Under Betting
Over/Under betting, or totals betting, focuses on the total number of points scored in a game.
Bookmakers will set lines for each matchup, and bettors will decide if the actual combined score of the game will go over or under the total.
For example, if the set total for a game between LSU and Tennessee is 49.5 and the game ends with a combined score of 57, those who bet on the Over will celebrate. If the Tigers and Vols failed to reach the 50-point threshold, Under bettors would win.
In college football, totals can vary significantly depending on the quality of the offenses and defenses participating in the contest.
Over the last few years, we’ve seen some Big Ten clashes involving Iowa, Wisconsin, and others with totals in the low 30s. We have also witnessed some shootouts in the Pac-12, with teams like USC, UCLA, and others playing games that often eclipse 70 total points and sometimes approach (or even exceed) 100.
What other types of college football betting odds are available?
NCAAF Parlay Betting
If you’re looking for high-risk, high-reward college football bets, parlays are the way to go.
Parlay betting involves combining multiple bets into a single wager. However, the catch is that each of your selections must win for you to collect your payout.
Parlays can comprise point spreads, moneylines, and Over/Unders from different games. Its appeal lies in a potentially massive payout, but it’s essential to remember the increased risk since one wrong prediction will ruin the entire bet.
NCAAF Prop Betting
While some bettors prefer to stick to the standard game outcomes, there are plenty of ways to dive deeper than moneylines, spreads, and totals.
Another attractive option is prop betting, which focuses on specific events or stats within a game. These are generally split into three categories: game props, team props, and player props.
NCAAF Game Props
Game props give bettors a way to wager on specific outcomes that don’t necessarily have to do with the final score.
For example, you can bet on which team will score the first points of a game or even how those points will be scored (touchdown, field goal, or safety). There are also markets for first-quarter or first-half betting, which will have their own moneylines, spreads, and totals.
If you’re looking for different ways to bet the whole game, you can also wager on a team’s winning margin (1-6 points, 7-12 points, etc.) or whether the total number of points scored in the game will be odd or even.
NCAAF Team Props
There aren’t a wide variety of team props, but team totals are a popular alternative to betting the Over/Under on a game.
Let’s consider our Ohio State-Rutgers example from earlier. A bettor would likely have confidence in the Buckeyes running up the score against an inferior opponent like the Scarlet Knights. However, that bettor wouldn’t necessarily have the same confidence in Rutgers contributing many points to the total.
Taking the Over on Ohio State’s team total is an excellent option in this situation because you’re solely betting on the Buckeyes’ offensive potential and eliminating Rutgers from the equation.
NCAAF Player Props
Last but certainly not least, player prop betting is the most popular prop wager on the market.
These types of bets can include picking a player to score the first touchdown, the number of rushing yards the star running back will accrue in a game, or the number of interceptions a quarterback might throw.
For most statistical props, oddsmakers will set a line for a given category, like passing or rushing yards, and then you’ll have the opportunity to bet Over or Under that total.
Player props are a great way to dive deeper into the game and exploit certain positional matchups rather than relying on the overall team performance.
Unfortunately, NCAAF player prop betting isn’t available in every legal sports betting state, and some states have rules that forbid bettors from wagering on college football teams located within their state. Make sure to check the terms and conditions at your favorite sportsbook for their specific rules and regulations.
NCAAF Futures Betting
As the name suggests, futures bets are wagers placed on outcomes that will be decided in time.
These types of wagers are typically season-long bets that involve a specific outcome coming to fruition. For example, picking a team to win the National Championship or a player to win the Heisman Trophy are among the most popular college football futures bets.
Another common form of futures betting involves win totals, where you wager on how many victories a team will record in the upcoming season.
While they require patience, futures bets offer substantial payouts, especially if you have an early hunch about a team’s potential success. They are also a great complement to a weekly betting card, which involves more variance as it is based on a single result.