NCAA football games can’t really match high-profile NFL games in terms of popularity, but there’s no denying the fact that college football has plenty of die-hard fans in the United States. Consequently, many online sports betting sites are proud to offer a complete NCAA football coverage, allowing you to wager real money on pretty much every NCAA event.
As a result, experienced NCAA bettors are free to compare the odds listed by the best bookmakers and settle for nothing short of the most advantageous bets, which allows them to maximize their profits while minimizing the risks. However, comparing those odds requires you to understand how each of the popular bet types works – and while this guide won’t turn you into an expert, it should definitely help you in making the first step in the right direction.
Point spread betting is a great alternative for bettors who’d like to wager on the underdogs, as they handicap the stronger team by modifying the overall score. In most cases, bets of this type allow you to win $100 for every $110 you wager. Consider the following example:
Harvard Crimson +7.5
Brown Bears -7.5
In this case, the bookmaker set the spread at 7.5 points. Consequently, receiving a payoff for a bet placed on the Brown Bears would require your team to win by 8 points or more. On the other hand, if you put your money on Harvard Crimson, your bet would be successful even if your team lost by 7 points.
Over/under bets are different from point spread or money lines, as they require you to predict the combined score of both teams instead of the actual winner. Each over/under bet comes with a total set by the sportsbook. Whenever you place an over bet, you wager that the combined score of both teams will be higher than that total. Conversely, if you place an under bet, you win only if the combined score is lower than the total.
Betting the money line is the most intuitive way of putting your money on a college football games, so it should come as no surprise that most casual bettors prefer to stick to bets of this kind. Each time you bet the money line, your goal is simply to guess which team will win the game outright. The odds for money line bets are expressed using a $100 basis. The lines for underdog teams are marked with a plus sign and allow you to win the amount listed on the site by wagering $100, while the lines for the favorites are always listed with a minus sign and require you to wager a pre-determined sum to win $100. For example:
Harvard Crimson -230
Brown Bears +210
In this sample scenario, the Harvard team is the favorite, which means that you’d have to put $230 at risk for a shot at winning $100. Conversely, betting on Brown Bears would require you to pay $100 for a chance of winning $210.
NCAA football parlays are an excellent way to combine two or more sure-bets into a single ticket for a bigger payout, but you should keep in mind that losing even one of the selections results in forfeiting all of the money that you’ve wagered. For example, if you place a three-team parlay and two of your teams win, while the third one loses, you’re going to lose all the funds that you’ve invested. In most cases, bettors prefer to parlay several money line bets or a single money line and an over/under bet placed on the same match, but there’s nothing to stop you from experimenting with some of the more exotic combinations. Please note that parlays are sometimes referred to as accumulators or multipliers.
Most of the bookmakers that allow you to wager on NFL futures will also allow you to bet on NCAA futures – usually, the only option is to put your money on the team that is going to win the NCAA Championship next season. As is often the case with placing bets of this kind, NCAA futures tend to come with amazing odds, but tie up your funds for prolonged periods of time. Consequently, you be very careful not to place a NCAA futures wager that you can’t afford – otherwise, you might run out of money for standard money lines and point spreads.
NCAA proposition bets are also referred to as “props.” Wagers of this type are simply bets that don’t really fall into any broad categories. Props usually require you to predict the performance of a specific player throughout the game, but keep in mind that most sites offer a different selection of props, so it’s always a good idea to take a look at the available prop markets before signing up for any NCAA-friendly sportsbook.