How To Bet On College Football in 2020

NCAA college football games can’t match high-profile NFL games in terms of popularity, but there’s no denying the fact that college football has plenty of die-hard supporters in the United States.


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Consequently, many bookmakers cater to NCAA football bettors. Every sportsbook worth their salt has betting lines, trends, and adjusts their odds based on where majority of the money is going. As a result, NCAA college football handicappers are free to compare betting lines listed by the best bookmakers and track line movement and betting trends to capitalize on the most advantageous bets.

However, the first step in that process is understanding what betting options are available. This guide for how to bet on college football is here to answer questions and aid in that understanding.

How To Bet On College Football?

how to bet on college football

If you are looking to wager on NCAA football, there are three core options: points spreads, moneylines, and totals. One of the best parts about these options is they aren’t limited to just full games. Most sportsbooks offer quarter lines and halftime lines.

As sports betting has become more mainstream, sports betting sites have begun to expand their offerings as futures have become commonplace and prop betting has become routine for bowls games and the college football playoff.

Betting on the College Football Point Spread

Point spread betting in college football is great for anyone who’d like to wager on the underdogs, as they handicap the favorite team by modifying the overall score. In most cases, bets of this type allow you to profit $100 for every $110 you stake. Consider the following example:

  • Notre Dame +7.5 (underdogs receiving 7.5 points)
  • Michigan -7.5 (favorites laying 7.5 points)

In this case, the bookmaker set the spread at 7.5 points. To cash on a wager placed on Michigan it would require your team to win by 8 points or more. This is commonly referred to as covering the spread. Conversely, if you bet on the Fighting Irish, your bet would win even if Notre Dame lost by 7 points.

Betting on the College Football Moneyline

Betting the moneyline is the most intuitive way of betting real money on college football games. To cash on an NCAA football moneyline, you simply pick the winner. That is it – the number of points is irrelevant. The odds for moneyline bets can be best explained using a $100 basis. The lines for underdog teams are marked with a plus sign, while the lines for the favorites are always listed with a minus sign.

For example:

  • Alabama -230 odds (favorites)
  • Auburn +210 odds (underdogs)

In this case, Alabama is the favorites. To win $100 betting on them, you would need to put up $230. On the flip side, betting $100 on the underdog Tigers would yield a $210 profit. The underdog is called that for a reason. Your chances of winning are smaller, but the reward is much bigger.

Betting on NCAA Football Totals

Totals, or over/under bets, are different from spreads or moneylines, 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 sports betting site. Whenever you place an over bet, you wager that the combined score of both teams will be higher than the total. Conversely, if you place an under bet, you win only if the combined score is lower than the total.

Types of College Football Bets
  • Moneyline
  • Point Spread
  • Point Totals
  • LIVE Betting
  • Parlays
  • Futures
  • Prop Bets

Parlay Betting

See a few bets you like and want to combine them? Parlays have you covered.

NCAA college football parlays allow bettors to combine two or more bets into a single ticket and potentially a larger 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. You need to hit all of your games on your bet. Losing even one will result in an overall loss.

In most cases, bettors prefer to parlay several moneyline bets or a single moneyline and an over/under bet 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.


Betting on future outcomes is becoming a more and more popular way to bet. Futures bets allow bettors to make money on outcomes down the road, such as regular-season wins, point production, and a championship game appearance. These wagers, like NCAA college football future bets, these come with great initial odds, but long-term bets take time and can tie up funds until the outcome is decided. If you are a patient gambler, futures is the way to go. If you want an immediate payoff, a different betting strategy is probably for you.

Prop Bets

NCAA college football proposition bets are also referred to as “props.” These types of wagers are simply bets that don’t fall into any broad categories. Props range from predicting the performance of a specific player throughout the game or more irreverent wagers such as the length of the NCAA National Championship halftime show.

Props can be anything as long as the bet does or does not occur during a specific game. 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.

College Football Betting Glossary

College Football Betting Term Definition
Slip / Ticket another word for bet slip in which your wager is printed on
Point Spread a type of bet where one team must win by a certain amount of points or the other team must lose within a certain number of points. For example, LSU (-7) vs Clemson (+7) means the LSU must win by more than 7 points to win or the Clemson must lose by fewer than 7 points or win outright. If the final score is LSU 28 Clemson 21, the bet is a PUSH.
Push a sports betting term for a tie and wagers are returned to the player
Moneyline (ML) another term for an outright win sports bet. When betting the moneyline you believe one of the two teams (or player) will win the event.
Point Total (Total)  also know as an Over / Under bet, is one when you must guess whether the total points scored will be over or under a certain number
Parlay a multi-game, multi-event bet, in which 2-or-more wagers must be correct in order for the ticket to cash. Because you are betting on more results to happen successfully, parlay bets often enjoy great odds than single bets.
Teaser similar to a parlay, a teaser contains multiple event bets where the point spread and/or totals can be adjusted by “buying” points.

An example of this would be a 2-team, 6-point teaser where the LSU are originally -6 (6-point favorites, must win by 7) and Clemson are -3 (3-point favorites, must by 4), but with the 6-point teaser, you move the spread to LSU (EVEN, all they need to do is win) and Clemson (+3, they can win or lose by 2 or 1) and still win the bet.

Juice / Vig is another term for cost of placing a bet and is easier to show an example than define. When you look at a moneyline bet on an oddsboard, it’ll look something like: LSU -110 Clemson +105
Prop / Proposition Bet these typically have to do with a certain player or team achieving a certain goal threshold within an event. An example of a prop bet would be Trevor Lawrence OVER/UNDER 300 passing yards
Specials an off-shoot of prop bets, specials are unique to a certain time frame. For example, during MLB playoffs, who will score more points/runs, the Maryland Terrapins or Nationals?
Futures betting on the result of a future event or outcome (i.e. Alabama futures are +300 to win the 2021 National Championship)
1Q/1H/2Q/2H/3Q/4Q shorthand for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th quarter and 1st and 2nd half bets
LIVE Betting some online sportsbooks allow you to bet LIVE while the game is in progress

How To Bet On College Football FAQs