NCAA College Football Odds: Point Spread, Moneyline, Over/Under
With sportsbook going mainstream in the US, most people turn to major sports leagues like the NFL, NHL, and MLB for their gambling fix.
However, betting on NCAA college football games is also gaining popularity among bettors and sports fans.
After all, most bettors who try their luck on NFL sports betting place their stakes on NCAA Football as well.
You can bet that the Texas A&M Aggies will win against the Arkansas Razorbacks during the SEC. But did you also know that you could make other kinds of bets too?
HOW TO READ NCAA COLLEGE FOOTBALL ODDS
If you want to bet on NCAA college football, you should first know how to read sports betting odds.
College football odds will usually look like this:
|Date/Time||Rotation Number||Team||Point Spreads||Moneyline||Totals|
|September 4||109||Iowa State Cyclones||+4 (-110)||-120||O 59.5 (-110)|
|7:00||110||Minnesota Golden Gophers||-4 (-110)||+220||U 59.5 (-110)|
|Sept 5||111||Western Kentucky Hilltoppers||-6 (-110)||-200||O 60.5 (-110)|
|7:00||112||Western Michigan Broncos||+6 (-110)||+300||U 60.5 (-110)|
- Date and Time – Date and time of the game
- Rotation Number – teams are assigned standard rotation numbers used by all bookies. Rotation numbers list matchups in order. It also lets bettors make their wager without mentioning the game or the teams that are playing. This makes it easier for gamblers who are placing bets on land-based sportsbooks because they only have to refer to the rotation number(s).
- Team – Visiting Teams are always listed first, with home teams listed second. This information is useful for bettors since home teams have the advantage of their home court over visiting teams, so they almost always win.
If Syracuse Orange is up against the Florida State Seminoles, the first team listed will be playing in the second team’s home court.
Odds can be listed in either fractional, decimal, or American odds. In the United States, the majority of sportsbooks use something called “American Odds.”
This is used in all kinds of sports betting, from the NBA to even the UFC.
American odds are characterized by negative and positive signs and numbers.
Mainly, American odds show players how much money they can win versus how much money they bet, and which teams are favored to win.
Note that American odds always use a standard amount of $100 to make gambling a lot easier to understand.
+ and –
American odds also use – and + or positive and negative signs.
Negative signs indicate that a team is favored to win, while positive signs indicate that the team is the underdog.
However, do take note that sometimes there’s no favored or underdog team. When that happens, the groups are simply listed as EVEN or PICK.
HOW TO CALCULATE NCAA COLLEGE FOOTBALL ODDS
– or negative odds also show how much you have to bet to win $100.
The Memphis Tigers have odds of -150 in their matchup with the Cincinnati Bearcats.
This means that they are the favored team to win the game. It also shows that you have to bet $150 to win $100.
If you proceed with betting on the Memphis Tigers and win, you will get a total payout of $250.
- Memphis Tigers have -150 odds.
- Bet $150 to win $100
- If you win the bet, your total payout will be $250
- Total Payout of $250 = $100 profit + $150 original bet
- You get a profit, and your original wagering amount returns to you.
+ or positive odds, on the other hand, show you how much money you can win for every $100 bet.
For example, the Louisville Cardinals have betting odds of +300 in a matchup with the Tennessee Volunteers.
This means that bettor can win $300 if he bets $100 on the Louisville Cardinals. The total payout would be $400.
- Louisville Cardinals have +300 odds.
- Bet $100 to win $300
- If you win the bet, your total payout will be $400
- Total payout of $400 = $300 winnings + $100 original bet
Why are you getting bigger winnings by betting on +odds? It’s because they’re the underdog team, and in the bookmakers’ eyes, they’re most likely to lose.
So, bookies devised this system for bettors to still gamble on the underdog by offering a substantial winning payout if they do. More risks, more rewards.
Remember that the most common college football odds you will see are – / + 100 or -110. This just means that you can make $100 in winnings for every $110 bet you place.
However, sports gamblers can actually make bets of any amount they want! Although American odds use the standard of $100, beginners can always use odds calculators when placing and calculating wagers.
HOW TO BET ON NCAA COLLEGE FOOTBALL ODDS
The moneyline is the simplest to understand and easiest to do in all of football betting.
Basically, the moneyline lets you wager on which team you think will win the game.
Sports gamblers can make moneyline bets during the regular season and even post-season or bowl games.
|Ohio State Buckeyes||-167|
In this example, the Buckeyes are the favored team, while Indiana Hoosiers are the underdog.
For the underdog, betting $100 and winning the wager, can you get $140 in profit, with a total payout of $240.
However, calculating the odds for the favored team is a bit more complicated.
In this example, betting $100 on the favored team and winning the wager can get you a profit of $58.88.
Obviously, the sportsbook will provide an odds calculator that will do the mathematics for you, and will help you understand the following:
- Bet $100 on Ohio State Buckeyes who have odds of -167
- Bet = $100, Odds = 167
- Ratio: Odds/100 = 167/100 = 1.67
- Win: Bet/Ratio = 100/1.67 = $58.88!
So yes, sportsbooks don’t put random numbers on the odds of every bet. They are carefully calculated by studying the factors that could lead to a game’s result.
Again, betting on the underdog gets you higher winnings because it involves higher risk.
The Point Spread is a bet that’s popular not just with NCAA college football, but with all of sports betting.
Essentially, point spreads are betting lines that give the underdog team an advantage. Instead of betting on the likely winner, sportsbooks will list a margin of points called the spread.
For the winning team, these are a range of points they should exceed to win the bet and “cover the spread”.
For the losing team, these are a margin of points they can lose by and still win the bet or cover the spread.
Take, for example:
|Team Name||Point Spread|
|Wake Forest Demon Deacons||-6.5 (-110)|
|North Carolina Tarheels||+6.5 (-110)|
Here, the spread is 6.5 points. The favored team, the Wake Forest Demon Deacons, must win by more than 6.5 points by the end of the game to cover the spread and win the bet.
Meanwhile, the underdog team North Carolina Tarheels must lose by less than 6.5 points to cover the spread and win the bet.
If they lose the game by 3 or 6 points, the bet is won! If they manage to even beat Wake Forest and win the game, you also win the bet!
However, if they lose by 7 points to the Demon Deacons and fail to cover the spread, you lose the wager.
Note that -110 simply means that if you bet $110 and won the wager, you’ll get $100 in profit.
Over/Under or Totals
The Over/Under or Totals bet lets you wager on whether the game’s total amount of points will go “over” or “under” a certain amount.
The sportsbook will set a total combined number of points they think both teams will score by the end of the game.
|Penn State Nittany Lions||O 60.5|
|Pittsburgh Panthers||U 60.5|
If you think that the game will end with more than 61 total points, then bet on “over” (O 60.5).
But if you think that by the end of the game, the total points will be less than 60, choose “under” (U 60.5).
Sports betting sites put half-points or a .5 in case a “push” happens.
For example, a game between the Oregon Ducks and Arizona Wildcats resulted in a combined score of exactly 60 points.
A push is when the total score doesn’t go over or under. When that happens, the bookie will have to refund your money.
Parlays are one of the riskier but fun types of college football betting.
Essentially, bettors can merge multiple wagers into one ticket to get potentially higher winnings.
In short, it’s putting multiple bets into one major wager.
For you to win a parlay, all of your bets must also win. It’s an example of high risk, high reward type of gamble.
For example, you want to bet on the moneyline between a matchup of the Oklahoma State Sooners and Iowa State Cyclones.
But you also want to bet on the point spread for Clemson Tigers vs. Boston College Eagles, and Boise State Broncos vs. Air Force Falcons.
Not to mention totals on Wisconsin Badgers vs. Michigan Wolverines and Georgia Bulldogs vs. Baylor Bears.
You can combine all these wagers into one major bet. If you win every single one, you will also win the parlay!
However, if you lose even one bet, you won’t be able to cash in your ticket.
Futures bets are wagers on events that are yet to happen. Examples of these include wagering on who bettors think will win the National Championship, Playoffs, or even the Heisman Trophy.
Futures odds will look a bit different compared to other college football odds:
|Alabama Crimson Tide||+350|
The higher the team’s chances of winning, the shorter the odds.
In the table above, Alabama Crimson Tide has a higher chance of winning the National Championship than the LSU Tigers and USC Trojans.
If you bet $100 on the Crimson Tide and they win, you will get +350 profit.
However, the payoff is enormous when you bet on the USC Trojans, and they manage to recover from their slump and win the championships. Betting $100 can give you a shot at a $20,500 win!