College Football Betting Guide 2024

Football is far-and-away the most popular sport in the United States among fans and bettors alike, and it’s not only the professional ranks seeing all the action. Saturdays in the fall, the NCAA game is the king as college football betting online takes its turn as the star of the show.

When the regular-season ends, a month-long barrage of bowl games leading up to the College Football Playoff rakes in millions of dollars in wagers across the country in states like New Jersey. Altogether, NCAA football betting only trails the NFL in the number of bets taken and serves as the second-biggest sports wagering market there is.

Just like with all sports gambling, the most convenient way to wager on the NCAA is by visiting one of the many reliable college football online betting sites. Gone are the days of waiting at the sportsbook window while you could be using an app from the location of your choice. Platforms like FanDuel, DraftKings, and others offer odds for every Division I-A football game along with a variety of prop betting categories for many of them. So not only are using these sites easier, they provide additional gambling options.

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Is It Legal To Bet On College Football Online?

If you’re interested in legal college football betting online, you may be in luck. Gambling on NCAA football has never been more popular as the number of legal bettors across the country increases and it’s only continuing to grow beyond newly-formed wagering hotbeds like New Jersey, where hundreds of millions of dollars in online sports bets have been placed since June 2018.

Pennsylvania is achieving early success after recently launching operations and more than a half dozen other states including Iowa, Indiana, New Hampshire and Montana passed legislation early in 2019 with plans on launching full-scale sports betting in time for the college football season. In an ever-growing number of territories across the United States, there is no questioning the legality of betting on football any longer. While you are betting on football don’t forget to bet on NCAA basketball also. 

How To Pick The Best NCAA Football Betting Sites

  • Step 1: Figure Out What You’re Looking For

Several platforms make up the best online betting sites, but not every single one is the same. Some sites offer larger welcome bonuses than others, while some offer more advantageous lines on sports odds and such. Know the combination of what you’re looking for before shopping around different sports betting apps.

  • Step 2: Compare Sportsbook Features

Go from site to site and keep track of how the sportsbooks compare to one another based on your priorities. Without having an account, you can still see which conferences, games, and markets are offered across Division-I football along with the types of bets you’re allowed to make. Because we all prefer a clear and easy-to-use interface, you can also compare how each site is laid out aesthetically.

  • Step 3: Read Review Sites Like BonusSeeker

Websites that rate and review various sportsbooks oftentimes paint an all-encompassing picture of what each platform has to offer. For example, at BonusSeeker we spend countless hours pouring over the features of various sports betting sites and using the apps themselves. We compare odds, promotions, bonuses, customer support, and overall reliability on a regular basis, so the experience is there. Review sites are a great resource for finding out what each mobile sports betting app does best from those who have spent the time using them.

  • Step 4: Try Out Multiple Sportsbooks

In your search for the best college football online sportsbooks, you may have a hard time making a final decision. In that case, why not sign up for multiple operators? That’s double the welcome bonuses, double the promotions, and guarantees opportunities to shop around for the most profitable lines possible. Having more than one account is also the easiest way to find out how the sites stack up.

College Football Betting Tips

Making NCAA football betting picks is unlike gambling on the NFL, so it comes with its own set of things you need to be aware of once you sign up for an online sportsbook. Below are some tips to remember when handicapping college football games:

  • Account For College Football Rules

A major rule difference in college compared to the NFL is that the clock stops on first downs until the ball is set. This leads too ultimately more plays, more possessions, and oftentimes more points. Totals are oftentimes set higher than in NFL games, but can still go way over the number. Strong offense can move the ball at will, scoring while barely using any time because they keep getting first downs. Similar to NFL wagering, however, bettors want to take over and root for points. With that in mind, stout defenses still make for good under bets if the public has inflated the over too much.

  • Rivalry Games Are Unpredictable

The phrase “all bets are off” accurately describes rivalry games. Statistics can’t account for unquantifiable things like rivalry and bitter hatred of another school. Rivalries like Ohio State and Michigan or Notre Dame and Southern California take on lives of their own that have spanned decades at this point. The records matter much less when rivals meet up, and the line usually reflects that to begin with, but can still sometimes be off entirely.

  • Stats Don’t Tell The Whole Story

Statistics in the college game can be far more misleading than in the NFL. Professional football has a certain amount of parity, where the difference between the best teams and the worst teams aren’t as wide. Most games on an NFL schedule remain competitive and at least half of them are decided by 10 or fewer points. In college, there’s less parity within conferences and even less once you get to the out-of-conference schedule. Stats can be inflated when a top-five school plays a low-level team or even a Division I-AA school, so take them with a grain of salt.

  • Don’t Bet Too Many Games

One of the biggest mistakes gamblers make when it comes to making college football picks is simply getting in on too many games. Just because the schedule each Saturday is nothing short of overwhelming with well over 100 games each week, that doesn’t mean you need to try and bet on as many as possible. Don’t put too many teams in a parlay or make half a dozen straight bets, as each time you do it your chances of winning are decreased. Taking some shots later in the day with profits is fine, but don’t plan to bet on 10 games and win the day very often.

  • Shop Around For Line Movement

Line movement is the key to understanding which way the odds are trending. It can give you an idea which side of the action sharp bettors are on and belong to multiple sites will help you get the most value as you shop around.

Want to learn about wagering on pro football? Check out our online NFL betting guide for everything you need to know!

Many of the popular college football online bets mirror those seen with NFL wagering. Moneylines, spreads, and totals are most common, followed by exotic wagers like parlays and props. Which direction you go is based on several factors including what the odds are, how many teams you’re looking to wager on and the type of payout you’re looking for.

Below, we will use DraftKings Sportsbook odds for Miami (FL) vs. Florida to help clearly explain each football bet type.

College Football Moneyline Bets

Moneyline wagers are the easiest way to gamble, as they require only a pick on which team will win the game. Favorites will have a negative next to its moneyline and underdogs will have a positive symbol next to its odds.

Wagering on the moneyline with underdogs can be profitable but taking favorites will cost you some extra juice. For example, taking Miami to win the game at +225 means a $100 bet can win $225 if they win. Gambling on the favorite at -286, however, means risking $286 to win $100 if Florida wins as oddsmakers expect.

College Football Point Spreads

Point spreads are among the most popular college football online bets and requires players to pick a side based on a line set by oddsmakers as opposed to simply choosing which team will win the game. Not all football teams are equal, and the point spread is the oddsmakers’ way of evening things out for the betting public. At -7, Florida would have to win by eight or more in order to ‘cover’ the number while selecting Miami against the spread would mean them needing to lose by six points or less.

Think of the spread like hypothetical points you get to add or subtract to a given team’s score based on the line. If you took seven points from Florida’s score, do they still win the game? If so, they covered the spread. If your spread is a round number and is the exact margin of victory or loss (Miami +7 and they lose 17-10), the wager is a push and your original bet is refunded.

Spread bets make sense if you think 1) a favorite will win by a large margin or 2) if you like an underdog, but are unsure about them winning the game straight up.

College Football Parlays

Parlays allow you to combine two or more sides into one wager, which creates more beneficial odds and a higher payout. In order to hit a parlay, each one of the individual sides needs to win. If one side of the bet loses, which is what makes parlays tough bets to win consistently.

College Football Online Parlays

In our example, a three-team parlay with point spreads at the conventional -110 odds pays out at +597. With each side added to a parlay, the payout grows extensively but also makes the wager more difficult to win. Including underdogs is another way to enhance the potential profit on one of these bets.

For those seeking a low-risk, high-reward wager, parlays are for you. Not only do you get the chance at a huge payday, but they also allow you to make several NCAA football betting picks if you like more than one game.

College Football Futures Bets

NCAA football futures are wagers made on markets that will be decided at some point later in the season. These are popular wagers for bettors who are interested in a long-term rooting interest beyond just a single game or week. Depending on the market, futures odds can also be quite profitable and normally provide excellent value. Among the categories offered at various sports betting sites in NJ for college football are:

  • National Champion
  • To Make College Football Playoff
  • Conference Winner
  • Division Winner
  • Regular Season Win Total
  • To Make Conference Title Game
  • Heisman Trophy Winner

College Football Betting Strategy

NCAA football betting isn’t exactly like gambling on the NFL, and that’s because the two aren’t exactly the same even if they’re both the sport of football. The dynamics of the sport do shift between the collegiate and professional ranks, so college football betting strategies can vary from what they’d be when gambling on the professional game. Keep the following things in mind before making NCAA football picks this season:

  • Homefield Advantage Matters

Playing in your home stadium is usually a boost for any team in any sport, but college football is a prime example. Not only are all the best schools dominant, but even the bad ones tend to be far better at home than on the road. Teams play better with a packed crowd behind them and it’s evident all over the sport, making home underdogs a popular betting pick. For example, last season we saw an average (3-3 record) Purdue team demolished No. 3-ranked Ohio State by 29 points, ending its undefeated run despite being underdogs by two touchdowns.

In 2018, the Minnesota Golden Gophers were a mediocre-at-best Big Ten team, managing to become bowl-eligible despite a 1-4 road record because of a 5-2 home record. That’s only a couple of examples, but there are certainly more. Teams play better with a packed crowd behind them and it’s evident all over the sport, making home underdogs an especially popular betting pick.

  • Find Value Outside The Top 25

Professional bettors and the public are all over lines on the games featuring the top 25 teams or the most popular schools. Outside of the top 25 and in many cases outside of the bigger conferences altogether, a value can be found on lines that haven’t been poured over as closely by sharp bettors and are less impacted by the public as well. Keep in mind that many conferences, big and small, have a reputation for a certain playing style that several of its teams will adhere to.

  • Focus On Specific Conferences

Whether you’re gambling on the bigger schools or venturing into the territory of lesser-known teams, consider focusing on one or two conferences as one of your college football betting strategies. Each week, check in on lines and scores of those leagues and get to know those teams a bit better. Midway through the season, you’ll be able to make more informed picks on a much smaller pool of teams you know well, rather than using all of college football as a large pool filled with teams you haven’t closely monitored.

  • Be Ready To Bet Early

Because there are so many NCAA games, not all of them are getting as much action as NFL games do. For that reason, lines can easily shift much faster because it takes fewer wagers and less money to move it. Determine your optimal line and be ready to jump on it early in the week in the event it moves the wrong way. It can move in your favor as well, but that may not be a risk worth taking on Saturday morning.

  • Motivation/Incentive Matters

Depending on a given team’s current situation, you need to be mindful of what their potential motivation (or lack thereof) might be going into a game. Large-conference schools with championship aspirations can’t lose more than one or two games and still have a shot at the ultimate prize. Later in the season, they may not play with the same urgency a team battling to keep its pristine record alive. Even smaller schools battling for spots in bowl games late in the season make profitable picks because they have something to play for. Know where each team stands and what it has to gain in the contest you’re betting.

College Football Playoff Betting

The NCAA football betting market reaches its busiest point at the end of the season when the top four teams in the country reach the College Football Playoff. The two semifinals and the championship are the three biggest games of the season and some of the most popular sports betting days on the calendar.

College football national championship game betting at online sportsbooks is extremely popular, as the games are a little like the Super Bowl. Along with conventional options, there are hundreds of prop betting options going into the national championship game. Below are just a few examples:

  • 1st Half/2nd Half Totals
  • Team Totals 1st Half/2nd Half
  • Full Game Team Totals
  • Point Spreads by Quarter
  • Totals by Quarter
  • Passing/Rushing/Receiving Yards

Many of these props possess value and are worth a look, as the moneyline, spread, and total have been poured over by oddsmakers, professionals and the public and could not have as much value. Compare lines for your favorite NCAA football betting props at multiple online sportsbooks to ensure you get the most profitable line possible.

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