The Sports Betting Guide for NCAA Football

While Sundays are reserved for NFL football, Saturday is completely dominated by the college football league, the NCAA. Games in the NCAA take place between colleges from across the country, separated by divisions and conferences. College football differs from the NFL due mainly to the recruitment system by which teams formed, leading to weekly mismatches in quality.

Due to this, top schools will routinely be the highest competitors each year. The NCAA season is split into both regular season games, NCAA Playoffs and the Bowl Games. With the popularity of college football, bettors can lavish in a large selection of betting types for each game. 

Main NCAA Football Sportsbook Bets

With the high number of NCAA betting lines available each game, it’s easy to get confused what to bet on and how. For beginners who are just getting used to betting, there are only a few bet types that really need to be known. There are three main types of bets for NCAA football which will be front and center for every game. Here we will discuss these bets in more detail to gain a better understanding when wagering. 

Moneyline Betting on NCAA Football

An NCAA football moneyline bet is a standard on the main betting line. The way this bet works is simple. Bettors must correctly select the winning team. The margin that the team wins by is irrelevant for this wager type. Whether the game is won by three or 30 points, as long as the winning team is correctly chosen then the moneyline will cash. 

For moneyline bets on NCAA college games, there are three possible outcomes. This is due to the possibility of overtime, where both teams are still tied at the end of four quarters. In some sportsbooks, a moneyline bet placed on either team would lose here. For this reason, it is important to first make sure that overtime is included in the sportsbook’s moneyline. This way, even if the team wins the game in overtime, the bet will still be counted as a win. 

Spread Betting

This is a favored option by many betting on NCAA football. This spread is a variation of the moneyline bet, which aims to even the chances of both teams in the game, regardless of either side’s quality. The sportsbook’s spread is a number which represents the perceived difference of quality in points between two opposing teams. Once in play, this number is either added or subtracted from a team’s final score. 

For bets on the favorite, the team must win the game by a higher margin than the spread. A spread of 7.5 means the team will need to win by eight points or more. For underdogs in this instance, they can either lose the game by seven or fewer points, or win the game outright for a successful bet. The spreads in college football will have more variation than the NFL due to major differences in quality between the teams.

NCAA Totals Bets

Bets placed on the total points scored in a game round out the three main wagers on the NCAA football betting line. For this wager, the sportsbook will again designate a number to bet on. This time, the number represents the predicted amount of total points that will be scored. The main bet is on both teams combined score, and not just points from one side. 

The way a totals bet, or over/under bet, works is bettors will need correctly guess whether the total points scored in a game will be higher (over) or lower (under) than the sportsbook’s number. Totals bets are not only restricted to points, and the same type of wager can be made on many different outcomes. These include total yards thrown, touchdowns scored and many other variations. 

NCAA Prop Bets

For more variation with NCAA betting, prop bets have the most variety. These are defined as wagers that do not directly affect the outcome of the game. For football especially, these are a particularly popular option. Sportsbooks know this and will have long lists of prop bets available for the biggest games, as well as a decent amount for smaller teams. 

The fun with prop bets is that they can be on pretty much anything. We never truly know what will be placed in the sportsbook’s line in this category, but there are some staples to expect. Common NCAA prop bets include which players will score a touchdown in the game, the time of the first touchdown, whether the final score will be odd or even and so on. Each bet here has different requirements to win, but all will be straightforward enough to immediately understand how they work. 

Futures Bets on the NCAA

NCAA football has one of the most exciting postseasons in all of sports. The Bowl Game format brings forth many unique matchups and means that multiple teams will be lifting a trophy at the end of the season. There are also the playoffs, in which the top four best teams will compete against one another to determine the title of NCAA Champions. 

Futures bets are long-term wagers that are placed on which teams will win the titles at the end of the season. Common sportsbook futures for the NCAA include bets on the future NCAA Champion and on individual award recipients such as the Heisman Award. These are not wagers placed on specific games, but on full season performances of teams and athletes. As such, these bets can be made throughout the year, with odds constantly fluctuating for each. 

The Top Characteristics of NCAA Betting

There are many features that make NCAA football more distinct than the NFL or other sports leagues. Teams playing here all belong to a college and community that they play for, not just a team. Colleges also form teams not through a draft or trading but through their recruitment systems. In college football, it is vital to know the key factors of the league and what affect they have on betting. 

Importance of the Spread

College football programs depend almost entirely on their recruitment systems to put together winning teams. Typically, bigger football schools with prestigious histories will attract the best recruits to play for them. This means that the good colleges are consistently good and competing for the top spots in the conferences. It also makes for pretty sizable mismatches throughout the season. 

For this reason, the spread bet is especially important in the NCAA. It’s also the reason that college football spreads can range anywhere from three points to 50 points. Regular moneyline bets can have extremely low odds for the favorites, and upsets by underdogs are a very rare occurrence. The spread is therefore a viable option to get higher odds on the favorite and better chances for the underdog. 

Rivalries and How They Affect Betting

NCAA college football gets the highest amount of hype from its intense rivalries. In the NCAA, rivalries are usually formed in one of two ways. One way is if two teams both have historical good programs and the rivalry develop through past matchups. The other is if two teams reside in the same state, sometimes located just mere hours from each other. The latter type of rivalries is extremely common and most colleges will have at least one. 

Games between two rivals have more intensity and motivation behind each team to win. A rivalry between two close proximity teams can have a big impact on home field advantage and spread betting. The advantage of playing at home is usually worth three points for the spread. However, traditionally teams playing their rivals have exceptional records against the spread and playing away. While these factors may be important in most games, for rivalry games they can be downplayed as their importance is generally less significant.

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