Before you dive into the action, we’ve devised a quick walkthrough guide that will help you understand what the three most popular types of college football betting methods and how to use them.
The point spread is the most common way handicappers bet
on college football. The spread is a number that’s created by the college football odds makers
to even out the matchups between two teams. For example, if one successful, big
college football school is playing a weaker team, a point spread will even out
the matchup. Here’s how:
Houston Cougars +21
USC Trojans -21
In this setting, USC is a 21-point favorite. When there’s
a minus sign in front of the number, that’s how many points the team needs to
win by to cover the point spread. In this case, USC would need to win by 22
points or more to cover. As for Houston, they are +21, which means they are
receiving 21 points. If they lose by 20 points or less, or if they win the
game, then they cover the point spread.
If the game lands exactly on 21 points, it’s considered a
tie or a push, as it is called in the industry. Usually, spreads end with a .5,
as in 7.5 or 20.5. That way, there can’t be a tie.
While the point spread makes the bettor focus on how many
points need to be scored to cover a spread, the money line simply refers to a
team winning outright. So in the above case, if you placed your college football picks on USC on the money line,
they wouldn’t have to win by 21 points. If they won, you would win your bet. If
you were betting Houston, the same would be the case: if they win, you win. If
they lose, you lose. However, the odds change significantly in a money line bet
and the numbers even look a bit different. Let’s take a look at another
LSU Tigers +140
Alabama Crimson Tide -160
In this example, the Alabama Crimson Tide favored by -160. With the
minus sign in front, what this means is if you bet $160, you win $100. With
LSU, the plus sign indicates the amount of money you would win if you bet $100
($140 in this case). Although these numbers are based on $100 bets, you can bet
whichever amount you want. The ratios simply change.
The key with a money line bet is that you’re betting on a
team to win outright; that’s all. No points are involved.
Total betting in college football is pretty much exactly
how it is in any other sport: there’s an over/under and you bet on whether the
two teams will combine to score more or less than that number.
For example, let’s say the total in the Alabama-LSU game
is set at 39.5. In this case, let’s say you think it will be a shootout. You
can bet over and predict that there will be more than 39.5 point scored in the
game. Now if you think it will be a defensive struggle, you’d probably bet
That’s how the total works. It’s that simple.