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How To Bet NCAA Football

• Betting
• Football
• NCAA Football
• Sports Betting

Learn how to bet on NCAA Football

If you love betting on football, then college football is the crown jewel of your sports betting calendar. From August through January, and on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, the online sportsbooks are your best friends.

But for the sports bettor who didn’t take advantage of 130 FBS teams playing 12 regular-season games and the 40 bowl games offered for the 2019 season (that’s more than 800 FBS college football games), there is much to learn.

Choose your state

College Football Betting Types

Because of college football’s popularity among sports bettors and the large number of games that are played each week, if there is a type of bet that’s been conceived, it’s available for the college football season.

Point Spread Bets

Spread betting is the most basic of all football bets. With even odds on both teams, points become the difference between the underdog and the favorite.

Spread betting is the most basic of all football bets. With even odds on both teams, points become the difference between the underdog and the favorite. 

In the NFL, these spreads can be quite stable, with only a point or so change between the opening line and kickoff. But in NCAA football, these spreads can be far more volatile, as the differences between the teams are usually greater, and the money wagered is less.

One thing to keep in mind for college football spread betting - injuries are less likely to shift a spread in college because of the much larger rosters.

Totals Bets

Betting on the total points of a game (also known as over/under betting) is tricky in the NCAA. Conferences are hardly uniform in their style of play. While 21-17 may be a final score in the SEC, it might reflect only the first quarter in the Big 12. 

And because of the disparity between Alabama and Georgia State, when the two teams meet in 2020, the total points will be hard to predict.


Parlays are popular for the bettor and popular for the bookmaker. If you can combine three outcomes into a single bet and hit on all three, the payout is big. That’s why bettors like them.

But if you lose just one of the three bets, the entire wager is a loser. And that’s why the book likes parlays.


Teasers are also parlays, but with a twist. You can move the point spread six or seven points or as many as 10 points for sportsbooks that offer sweetheart teasers. 

Of course, moving the spread to make it more favorable to you does lower the total potential payout.

Futures Bets

Almost any team result can be placed as a futures bet. The winner of the Big Ten, how many wins Oregon will finish with, to which team will ultimately win the National Championship, all of it can be wagered any time prior to the event taking place. 

Although picking the National Champion in August will generally result in a much bigger payday than waiting until December to place your bet.

There are also player futures bets, such as the eventual winner of the Heisman Trophy.

Live Betting

You’ve heard of live betting, no doubt. And if you haven’t yet tried it, college football is a great sport to get your feet wet. There are shifting odds and point spreads as the game progresses, multiple potential buy-outs, and, because the in-game odds are generated automatically by a computer, they tend to be fairer.

NCAA Football Betting Tips

As with any sport, before betting on college football, be sure to do your research. Information is easy to find, and sometimes it can be overwhelming just how much of it there is. 

But find sources that you trust and then use that information to best formulate your own successful sports betting strategy.

Homefield Hype

We see the crazy crowds at places like Auburn, Virginia Tech, and Clemson and automatically think that visiting teams enter games at a distinct disadvantage. And in straight-up betting, they do. 

Home teams win 58% of the time, and because of that, bettors love to put their money down on the home team.

But since bookmakers know this, they tend to shade the line toward the home team, leaving the away team with the better value. And the away team ends up covering the spread more than half the time.

Bye Hunting

Teams coming off a bye are better rested and more prepared since coaches have had an extra week to prepare for an opponent. And favorites coming off a bye are in even better shape since they typically have better coaches and players. 

Use this to your advantage and find those opportunities.

Home favorites off a bye cover the spread more than other weeks, and this is especially true if that home favorite coming off a bye is also ranked.

Find Your Zone

There are simply too many teams and too many games for you to follow it all. And if you end up spreading yourself too thin, betting on Top 25 action, Thursday kickoffs, early Big East games, late Pac-12 games, and everything in between, you’re doing yourself a disservice.

Pick a conference, and become an expert in that conference. And not just the best teams in that conference. 

Everyone is going to be focused on Alabama and LSU in the SEC, and the lines will be harder to exploit. But if you have the inside info on Vanderbilt and Missouri, you are more likely to find an edge.

Where to Bet on NCAA Football

As sports betting continues its nationwide march to legalization, there are more and more places coming online that accept sports wagering. And if a sportsbook is available to you, NCAA football wagering will be prominently featured.


If betting is legal in your state, FanDuel is there. Although it’s important to know that each state has different regulations regarding NCAA football betting. 

In New Jersey, for example, you are not allowed to bet on teams that play in the state, so no betting on Rutgers football. But in West Virginia, you can bet on the Mountaineers, which is a good thing for West Virginia since college football wagers account for the majority of betting in the state.


Another one of the Daily Fantasy Sports giants that has transitioned into a major player in the sportsbook world, DraftKings is taking NCAA football wagers in New Jersey, West Virginia, Indiana, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, and Iowa. And more states are coming online each month.

William Hill

William Hill online is currently taking your college football bets in Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, and Rhode Island. They also offer deposit bonuses and a variety of college football promotions and special bets during the season.

Betting in Las Vegas

If you know how to bet on college football online, you know how to bet in person. And all sports bettors should make at least one trip to Las Vegas to take in the spectacle of a full college football Saturday in one of the larger sportsbooks.

As much fun as you have placing bets on your computer at home, there is no substitution for the cheering crowds (and groans) of a room full of bettors agonizing over every point scored. And nothing feels better than walking back up to the window and cashing in your winning betting slip.

Betting on NCAA football games is straightforward and easy to master. But there are always questions, even if you have down all of the fundamentals of placing a wager.

How to Bet NCAA Football FAQ

What are the Advantages of Betting College Football?

Because there are so many teams, you might think that it is harder to be a successful bettor on college football. But that number of teams and games can also be used to your advantage.

It’s hard to know everything about the sport, and that means it’s also hard for the bookmaker to know everything. When you get outside of the Power 5 conferences, it’s possible to find point spreads that are off.

Find those, and you find your edge over the bookie.

What are the Disadvantages of Betting College Football?

Knowledge is the key ingredient in making successful predictions. But unlike the NFL, that is dealing with highly paid and largely consistent professionals, NCAA football players are considerably younger, more inexperienced, and far more prone to inconsistency.

So while you may have done all the right homework, and made the best possible bet, a player’s performance may not match from week to week.

Should I Pay a Handicapper for Picks?

If you don’t have the time to invest in researching a particular matchup but really want to bet it, then paying a handicapper for pick advice can be a good idea. It’s like paying an expert in any field for their services.

There are no guarantees that it will work, but it’s probably a smarter decision than making the pick by yourself with no information.

Paying for handicapping service is a personal choice, and should only be done with the understanding that there is no magic formula for picking college football winners. Experts lose picks all of the time, just like everyone else.

Photo Credits: Eric Espada / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

About this author

Ayden Fahlstrom author profile

Ayden loves sports. There is no doubt about that. He is a walking calendar when it comes to the latest events in sports. He has grown into the passion of writing about them, and settled into his role as a writer after many freelancing jobs. He can write about any sport out there! This is the guy!

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