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NCAA Football Handicapping Tips | How To Bet On College Football

How To Bet On College Football

Is college football betting different than NFL football betting? In a word, yes. Sure, the sports are mostly the same and many of the basic principles don’t need to be covered again.

Looking for NFL Picks for all the weekly NFL Matchups? CLICK HERE!

For those, consult my “How to bet on NFL” article.

In this case, I’ll focus on some tips that specifically show how college football betting differs from betting on the pros.

How to Bet on NCAA Football

1. Home field carries lots of weight.

It’s common to see teams go undefeated at home or winless on the road year-in, year-out. There’s something magical about home field in college. The players are deeper-tied to their home environment, as they live there, and the fans have a greater investment in the team for the same reason. The passion level is off the charts.

2. All conferences are not created equal.

You must tread very carefully if an opponent from a smaller conference faces a team from the big boys like the SEC, Big 12, Big 10, Pac-12, Big East or ACC. A team like Hawaii or Houston may post some impressive stats and even blow out opponents in the WAC or Conference USA but the level of play in those conferences is a tier below. It’s not uncommon to see a team dominate opponents within its dinky conference, then get massacred when it faces a major school.

3. Pay attention to “specialized” college offenses.

Gadgety college football offenses don’t always have balance. You’ll see teams like Georgia Tech run the Triple Option and throw the ball just a couple times per game. You’ll see crazy passing team like Houston do almost nothing but throw. If an insane rushing team faces an opponent ranked horribly in run defense, you can predict the winner pretty easily.

4. The run matters more than the pass.

The NFL has become more of a passing league but teams oriented around running and stopping the run in college are often easier to bet on. The reason: great rushing teams translate well against almost any opponent because they turn over the ball less than great passing teams. [soliloquy id=”82219″]

If you’re torn between riding two different top contenders throughout the year, leaning toward the rushing team isn’t a bad idea. Defenses especially strong against the run also tend to go hand-in-hand with great teams.

5. Momentum matters.

Because of the BCS structure, in which one loss is often enough to ruin a team’s season, we can’t take momentum lightly.

A team with national title hopes that loses in Week 1 may lack killer instinct against an undefeated foe later in the season. A team like USC, banned from playoff contention again this season, may not have that extra mental push to topple a contender on the road in November.

In the back of their minds, the Trojans will know the game just doesn’t matter.

6. A single offensive star can take over a game.

Remember Michael Vick’s insane performance against the Eagles last season in the NFL, in which he threw for four scores and ran for two more? It was viewed as epic, one of the greatest games ever played by a quarterback.

In college, that type of effort happens every season – heck, every week. Teams often struggle to gameplan against certain dominant players.

Cameron Newton beat Alabama on his own last season, accounting for every Auburn touchdown during a wild comeback; Wisconsin’s Montee Ball ran for 14 touchdowns in his last five games.

If you notice a standout player obliterating his competition, it’s possible that no team can stop him. College defenses sometimes just aren’t sophisticated enough to do so.



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About Shea Matthews

Shea Matthews the Senior Writer at CP. Lives and breathes sports. He made the transition from athlete to sports journalist at a young age, writing in TV & national papers. Shea applies his knowledge to sports betting + handicapping daily, and shares winning picks with the world.