College Football Betting
Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

Football, both professional and collegiate is one of the most popular sports to bet on. Once you know what you’re doing and understand all the terminology, college football betting can be a lot of fun and makes watching the game a little more exciting.

However, if you’re new to betting, the odds can be a bit confusing and overwhelming – but that’s where we come in. 

 If you’re looking to learn a little more about college football betting, or looking for a college football betting strategy, this guide will answer all of your questions.

Choosing a Sportsbook for College Football Betting

Before you start betting on college football, you need to select a sportsbook that caters to your specific needs. As more and more states legalize sports betting, this will be easy – as you can just drive over to the local sportsbook and place your bet. 

However, if you don’t live near a sportsbook or your state isn’t accepting wagers yet, there are plenty of online sportsbooks with some great bonuses and promotions as well. When choosing an online sportsbook, make sure it fits your sports betting needs – namely that it accepts bettors from your country, or whether it accepts the form of payment you wish to use. It’s also worth looking into whether that book offers any sort or rewards program or signup bonus as that could be an easy way to make some extra sports betting money. 

College Football Betting Guide

There are several different ways to bet on college football. We’ll cover the four most common types of bets – the spread, moneyline, totals, props and futures.

Understanding College Football Odds

The odds – the numbers in parenthesis that usually look something like (-110) or (+250), are basically telling the bettor how much they need to wager to win $100. For example, if a team is listed at (-110), the bettor will need to wager $110 to win $100. The reasoning behind this is that the college football team is favored to win the game, therefore the sportsbook is protecting itself by offering a smaller payout. If you’re betting on the underdog, the returns are greater and the odds are listed much higher. For example, if a team is listed at (+250), a $100 bet would generate $250 in winnings. 

You can bet any dollar amount you want on a specific game, but $100 is the best way to explain this specific example for college football betting. 

College Football Moneyline

Betting the Moneyline in College Football is the simplest and easiest betting method for new bettors. You simply have to pay attention to the NCAAF odds and ensure you have a good grasp on who the favorites and underdogs are, and decide who will win – it’s as simple as that.

If Alabama (-150) is playing Clemson (+120), Alabama is the favorite and you will have to lay more money down for your bet to be profitable. If you think Clemson can pull off the win, you will win $120 on a $100 wager.

College Football Point Spread

Betting the point spread in college football, while a bit more complex than the moneyline, isn’t as intimidating as it sounds. Simply put, the point spread can indicate how much a team must win by. If Alabama is a six-and-a-half point favorite (listed as -6.5) against Clemson, then the Crimson Tide need to win by seven to win the bet.

Conversely, if Clemson, a six-and-a-half point underdog (listed at +6.5), keeps the game within six (or wins outright) then they covered the spread and you will have won the bet.

Another way to look at it is, adding or subtracting the spread from a team’s final score. If you take 6.5 points away from Alabama’s score and they would still win the game, then they covered the spread. If you add 6.5 to Clemson’s score and they win, they covered the spread. 

College Football Totals (Over/under)

If you’re unsure of who will win, or aren’t a fan of either team, betting the totals is another fun option for college football betting beginners and pros alike. The total – also commonly referred to as the over/under – is based on the total number of points expected to be scored in the game. 

If a total is listed at 44.5 points and you think both teams will 45 combined points or more, bet the over. If it’s a matchup of two stout defenses and you anticipate a low-scoring game, bet the under.

One thing to keep in mind for regular season betting is that with spread offenses, college football games are typically more high-scoring than the NFL. So if you are used to betting the NFL, but new to college football betting, keep that in mind.

College Football Props

Bet on College Football, College Football betting
Credit: Rick Wood/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel via USA TODAY Sports

Prop bets aren’t always offered in regular season betting, but some online sportsbooks have great proposition bets, often surrounding big games and especially during the College Football Playoff Bowl games.

Prop bets are a bit nontraditional and while fun, there can be plenty of value found.

Whether a certain player will score a touchdown, how many receiving yards a player might accumulate or how many points a team might score in a quarter are good examples of prop bets.

College Football Futures

Futures bets are exactly that, looking into the future. In college football the most common futures are the Heisman Trophy Winner, Conference Champions and the College Football National Champion.

College Football Futures are fairly straightforward – the bettor is simply predicting who will win the Heisman trophy, a particular conference or the national title.

NCAAF Futures odds will change throughout the season based on a team or player’s performance, but generally you can get a good return on these since you are betting something that is weeks, if not months, away. The earlier you predict the winner of a wager will result in a larger payout as well – though it is much trickier than you’d think. 

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College Football Betting Strategy

While college football betting can be fun  way to pick up some money here and there, it shouldn’t be counted upon as income. Never bet with money that you can’t afford to lose.

It’s also important to stay disciplined while betting, with both how much you wager and which games you choose to bet on. All too frequently new and intermediate bettors alike will win a few bets and decide to start betting more because they’re feeling lucky.

Each bet should be treated the same – there’s no need to “chase money” (betting large amounts to make up for prior losses) or get greedy and start betting away all the profits after a hot streak. Bankroll management is key to be a successful sports bettor. 

When talking about college football game selection, some weeks are more profitable than others. While you may bet on 10 college football games one week, you may only bet two games the next. The college football schedule certainly has some dull weeks and it’s often better to just let some weeks pass by rather than betting on team’s you’re unfamiliar with. 

Shopping around is also a great way to ensure you’re getting the best college football odds possible. If you know which game you want to bet on, it could be beneficial to check a couple of different sportsbooks. Each sportsbook have their own oddsmakers and some can be better than others at predicting scores, team’s performance and more, so when betting on college football, you should pick a sportsbook with the odds that will result in the better payout.

This Week’s College Football Betting Odds and Schedule


Virginia Tech (+6, 53.5) vs. Cincinnati, Noon ESPN

Pittsburgh (+6, 52.5) vs. Stanford, 2 p.m. CBS

Michigan State (+1.5, 47.5) vs. Oregon, 3 p.m. Fox

Missouri (-10, 71) vs. Oklahoma State, 3:45 p.m. ESPN

Northwestern (+7.5, 45) vs. Utah, 7 p.m. FS1

NC State (+4.5, 58.5) vs. Texas A&M, 7:30 p.m. ESPN


Iowa (+5, 44) vs. Mississippi St., Noon ESPN2

Kentucky (+4, 47.5) vs. Penn State, 1 p.m. ABC

LSU (-8, 54.5) vs Central Florida, 1 p.m. ESPN

Washington (+5.5, 58) vs. Ohio State, 5 p.m. ESPN

Texas (+11, 57.5) vs. Georgia, 8:45 p.m. ESPN


Eastern Washington (+12.5, 59) vs. North Dakota State, Noon ESPN2

Monday, Jan. 7

Clemson (+7, 60) vs. Alabama 8 p.m. ESPN