After a long off-season of regular-season baseball and 6 AM Olympic events, we’ve finally reached the light at the end of the tunnel – the start of football season.
This Saturday, known as Week 0, features the first college football games of the year. Sure, these are mainly one-sided matchups between powerhouse programs and small schools looking for a paycheck. But you know what? We don’t give a shit because we’ll be fully entertained while betting our way through the day.
Before you place any bets, make sure you’re prepared with our top tips and strategies for betting college football this season.
Top Tips and Strategies for Betting College Football This Season
1. Seek Out Big Point Spreads
While it might not seem like it, college football is a vastly different beast than the NFL, especially when it comes to betting. Unlike the NFL, where parity is king, the gap between the top 10-20 teams in college and the rest of the country is absolutely massive. As a result, it’s not uncommon to see point spreads in the 30-40 range, which is unheard of in NFL betting, where spreads are rarely in double digits.
These spreads are massive opportunities to find value and win consistently. There are two basic approaches to exploiting these situations.
A. Taking the Points
Here’s a crazy stat. Over the last decade, if you took the team getting +30 points or more, you’d win 65% of your bets. In a gambling world where the most successful bettors are winning 53-55% of the time, that’s an insane rate that you need to capitalize on.
When the books set a line this high, it’s not because they think that’s what the score will actually be. It’s so they can entice the public to place money on it. This is especially relevant when a nationally-recognized team like Notre Dame or USC is playing a smaller school at home. When you see these spreads jump all over the little guy.
B. Moneyline Favorite Parlays
On the flip side, you could play it safe and follow the advice of a literal MIT scientist and use the Mike Wohl method. This guy did the Lord’s work. He researched the results of games with point spreads between 20 and 25 points over the last 10 years. (There’s normally 4-5 of these a week.)
We found that the favored team won 95% of the time. 95%. Now, this isn’t that surprising and the odds you’ll be getting for a moneyline bet on a heavy favorite are pretty bad. But, if you parlay 3-5 different moneyline favorite bets together, you can stack odds to get around -130 odds for each bet and grow
your bankroll overnight.
2. Watch Out For Let-Down Games
The best and worst part of college football is that it’s played by 18 to 22-year-old shithead college kids. Sure, these teenagers are way more talented at football than I’ll be at anything in my life. But they’re still generally morons with underdeveloped brains. Sorry guys, but it’s true.
With this immaturity comes a struggle to deal with high-pressure moments or the tendency to let focus slip against lesser teams, especially when a team is looking forward to an upcoming rivalry game or coming off a big win.
This tweet from 2019 changed my entire betting approach and how I evaluate teams approaching rivalry games.
Whether it’s Army-Navy, Auburn-Alabama, or any other big matchup, make sure you’re looking out a week in advance for look-ahead games. The same applies to let-down games. After a team has a big win against a rival or upsets a heavy favorite, it’s always a good idea to bet on a let-down in the next game.
3. Stick to What You Know
This is evergreen betting advice, but particularly relevant when it comes to college football. There are over 100 Division I football teams, and it’s impossible to actually know enough to bet responsibly. I know, you want to bet MACtion on a Tuesday night or put together a crazy
parlay on 11 different Saturday football games. But that’s a fool’s errand and the easiest way to lose your entire bankroll.
My advice is to stick to one conference to specialize in. There are enough teams that you can have enough action going every weekend. And when they play out of conference teams, you’ll have the edge on the average bettor and be able to take advantage of value opportunities.
This is life advice, but the best way to get rich in life is to specialize in one thing instead of trying to be mediocre at everything.