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How to Bet on College Football Online: an Expert Guide

Posted by Chris Spencer on
Last updated:

When it comes to US sports betting, college football has always been a draw, and it’s even better online.

Our expert college football betting guide will cover:

  • The best college football betting sites for US players
  • How to bet on college football
  • Different bet types, including moneyline and point spread bets
  • Winning NCAAF betting strategies
  • Frequently asked questions about college football betting

Best College Football Betting Sites for US Players

Our team of gambling experts have carefully curated a list of the industry’s best NCAAF betting sites for US players:

College Football Online Bet Types

College Football Moneyline Bets

College Football Moneyline Bets

Bet on who you think the winner will be

Moneyline bets are simple & straightforward—you simply bet on who will win the game, regardless of the point spread. Whether they win by 5 or 20, you just have to pick the winner. This is the most intuitive way (for new bettors especially) of betting real money on college football games.

The betting line for the underdog team will be marked with a plus sign, while the line for the favorite will always be listed with a minus sign.

For example:

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

The odds for moneyline bets can be best explained using a $100 wager size.

In the above case, Alabama is the favorite. To win $100 betting on them, you would need to put up $230 (odds of -230). On the flip side, betting $100 on the underdog Tigers would yield a $210 (+210 odds) profit.

The underdog is called that for a reason. Your chances of winning are smaller, but the reward is much bigger.

NCAAF Point Spread Bets

NCAAF Point Spread Bets

Wager on the predicted winning margin

At its most simple, a college football point spread is the number of points by which one team is favored. Your online sportsbook will choose the favorite, and the number by which that team is expected to win (the “line”).

As a bettor, you would then wager on whether the favorite will win by that amount (“cover the spread”) or won’t win by that amount. For a bet on the favored team to be considered a winner, they must win this game by at least the point spread amount.

Here’s an example of a college football point spread:

  • Notre Dame +7.5 (the underdogs)
  • Michigan -7.5 (the favorite)

In this instance, the sportsbook set the line at 7.5 points.

To cash on a wager placed on Michigan, they would need 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 if Notre Dame won the game, or lost by 7 points or less.

NCAAF Point Totals (Over/Under) Bets

NCAAF Point Totals (Over/Under) Bets

Wager on the total amount of points scored in a game

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.

Here’s an over/under example—Alabama and Auburn have a total of 47.5 set for their game. You will often see this stylized like this:

Alabama vs. Auburn (Totals)

  • Over 47.5 (-110)
  • Over 47.5 (-110)

The numbers in brackets signal the odds of each wager. In this instance, both wagers are at -110, signaling an even bet.

Alabama wins with a final score of 29-20. This is a total combined score of 49 points (29 + 20), which means the over would hit (49 > 47.5).

Live College Football Betting

Live College Football Betting

Place bets on a game while it’s being played

 Just because the game’s started, doesn’t mean it’s too late to place a bet. Live betting is straightforward—bettors can wager on the game while it’s being played, with odds that adjust in real-time to the game’s score.

This is a great opportunity to take advantage of momentum, capitalize on an early score, or bet the favorite at increased odds if they’ve surrended points early.

Typically, all bet types (spreads, moneylines, totals, and more) will be available even in the middle of a game. This offering does vary from site-to-site, so be sure you understand what your favorite sportsbook offers.

For example, Alabama and Clemson are playing – the online sportsbook originally had Alabama favored to win, meaning a smaller payout for wagers on Alabama. However, halfway through the second quarter, Clemson is leading 20-10.

Now that Clemson is up, they’re the new favorite. With live betting, bettors can wager on Alabama with their new odds, adjusted to reflect a higher payout.

NCAAF Parlay Bets

NCAAF Parlay Bets

Connect multiple wagers to increase your potential payout size

A parlay bet is when you place two or more connected bets.

In a parlay, all connected bets must win in order for your wager to pay out. This is a great way to increase your potential payout, but beware that the risk is much higher when combining bets.

Depending on your sportsbooks, parlays can typically include multiple bet types, whether that’s moneyline, point spreads, over/unders, or more.

For example, you could combine the Over in Clemson/Alabama with the Ohio moneyline on a parlay.

In this instance, you would need both the Clemson/Alabama over and the Ohio moneyline to pay out in order to win your parlay. If they both won, you would be in for a bigger payout – your payout would be your wager size, multiplied by the odds of Clemson/Alabama over, multiplied by Ohio’s odds.

This is a great way for bettors to get additional value, but beware that parlays – particularly those with more than 2 games – are harder to win than you might expect.

College Football Prop Bets

College Football Prop Bets

Place a bet on something other than the outcome of the game

Prop (or proposition) bets, or proposition bets can vary greatly, depending on the game and the sportsbook. These involve things that don’t necessarily include the outcome of the game itself, like which songs will be sung at a halftime show, or how long the national anthem will be.

Note that some sites offer a wide selection of props, so if you’re interested in prop betting, it’s always a good idea to take a look at the available wagers before signing up for any NCAA-friendly sportsbook.

Winning College Football Betting Strategy

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Manage Your Bankroll

We can’t say this enough: have a wagering strategy and stick to it. We recommend that each individual wager size should make up no more than 5-10% (at most) of your available bankroll.

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Bet on Home Favorites After a Bye Week

This one isn’t complicated: good teams, that are favored to win, playing at home after a week off, win at a statistically relevant rate.

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Coaches Matter

Obviously college footballs have home teams and favourite players, but knowing the coach’s history of wins, losses and gameplay style is a simple way to benefit when placing college football bets.

How To Bet On College Football FAQs

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