Watching college football is a lot of fun when you have money riding on the games, but it is even more fun when your bets are winning. Here are 7 tips to help you win more college football bets than you lose this season.
Tip #1 – Power Rankings
In college football there are so many teams (and such a small sample size of games) that it is often hard to determine where teams rank in comparison to one another, especially when it comes to out of conference games. But power rankings are here to help. I suggest checking out some quality power rankings to see where experts have teams ranked as a starting point to making any picks for the College Football week.
Tip #2 – Notable Injuries
You should also always take into account notable injuries. In college football the difference between a star player and a backup can be tremendous, which means injuries can really affect a teams performance. This is even more so true than in the NFL. So be sure to check each team for notable injuries and compare how skilled the players backup is when choosing your pick. DonBest has a very good injury report each week.
Tip #3 – Head To Head
How teams match up against one another is also a big part of college football. Certain defenses may be great against a team that runs the ball 2 out of every 3 plays, but be horrible against a team that airs it out. That is a very basic example. The more in depth you get into each teams strengths and weakness the better picture you can get as to how the game may play out.
Tip #4 – Recent Results
The recent results of each team can also tell you a lot about how they are playing and their confidence level coming into the game. Just looking at scores is one thing, but what you should really be doing is looking at the reason for those scores. Did a careless fumble lose them the game? Did several turnovers by the opposition help them pull out a win when they shouldn’t have been in the game? Or did they downright dominate in every aspect of the game. Looking at the reasons for the results is what you should really care about and looking past just the numbers will put you in a better position to make a smart bet. You can see each teams recent scores at the ESPN website, but it’s up to you to analyse these past games.
Tip #5 – Bet Against The Public
Those first four tips were really just research based tips that should help you handicap the game yourself and basically compare your thoughts to the bookies. These next 3 tips are a little different in that they don’t require any research or knowledge of the teams at all.
In general it is smart to bet against the public. Now, over the length of an entire season if you bet against the public percentage on every game I am still confident you will lose money to the bookie, but it will be significantly less than if you bet with the public on every game. So taking that further it is more likely to find sharp lines betting against the public. This is because the books will often shade the lines in order to make shorten the lines of the public’s choice, making betting with the public a sucker bet more often than not.
It should also be noted that in general the public bets for the favorite, but this is not always the case.
Tip #6 – Watch Line Movement
It is also very important to watch line movement. If a line moves significantly it can tell you that a lot of money is being put on one side of the line. This could mean that the line was inaccurate to being with a large bettors are taking advantage which is why the line moves. If you notice this you can try to find a bookie where the line hasn’t moved yet and jump on board. When a line moves significantly in one direction this is generally called a ‘steam play’. There is often a reason for the move and even after the move it can sometimes be advantageous to bet on the side of the bet the line moved towards.
Taking this theory and the betting against the public bet theory a little further we get into ‘smart money’ plays. When there is line movement in the opposite direction of the side of the line the public is favoring then there has to be a lot of smart money moving the line. These are the best types of bets and if you can place your wager on the line before it is moved by the smart money you will probably be laughing.
By simply following smart money plays you can make bets without doing any research, because all of that is being done for you by sharp bettors who then move the lines. You can then see these movements and act accordingly.
Tip #7 – Shop For Lines
I touched on this a little bit when referring to the line movements (looking for sportsbooks with lines that haven’t moved yet and wagering there before the line changes). However this tip is really much simpler than that.
If you know which team you want to bet on make sure you get the best line. Very simple. Look around at online sportsbooks and find the best spread or moneyline or over/under or whatever you want to wager on. A half point here or there can be the difference between a winning and losing college football betting season.
Here are three top sportsbooks that you should compare lines between for each game you bet on: