If you are all familiar with betting on the NFL, then betting on college football will be exactly the same just with hundreds of choices to choose from. The only difference between the two is NCAA betting lines are usually much higher than those of the NFL. This difference is due to two things: The number of teams in the NCAA versus the NFL and the difference in quality between teams.
The lines sportsbooks use try to attract more action on the two teams involved in each game. Like NFL games, each game has a favorite and an underdog. For instance, if Ohio State were facing Michigan the line might appear as follows.
Ohio State (-7) -200 Total – 54
Michigan (7) +300
The (-7) next to Ohio State refers to them as the favorite by seven points. If you choose them to win a bet, they would have to win by more than 7 points to cover the bet. The (7) next to Michigan means they are the underdog and can win or loss by less than 7 for you to win if you choose them.
The second set of numbers is used if you make a straight bet without a point spread involved. It means if you chose Ohio State, you must wager $200 to win $100. If you chose Michigan and wager $100 you will be paid back $300. The Total represents the combined total amount of points that will be scored in the game. If you believe the two teams will combine for less points then you would bet UNDER and vice versa if you feel the combined score will exceed 54 points.
College football betting in the long run can result in large sums of income. The spreads are much higher, but the talent difference between schools is very high. It is not uncommon to see spreads of 20, 25, 30 or more points as teams that regularly are in the top 20 in the country often times have matchups against teams that have no realistic chance of covering the spread much less win the game outright.
At times because of this vast difference, bookmakers will not allow straight up bets on the very large point spreads. Nevertheless, if enough work is put into reading about a matchup; ollowing the trends between the two teams playing; following recent matchups; recent common opponents; and injuries a very good educated bet can be made with the expectation of winning.
Key symbols to learn and watch for include:
- ATS – Against the Spread
- SU – Straight Up
- OU – Over/Under – total score for any give game.