5 Steps to Winning Your First NCAA Football Wager

NCAA Football Player and Man Holding Cash Celebrating

NCAA football is a gold mine for smart sports gamblers. You have plenty of games to pick from and the lines aren’t always tight. If you learn how to handicap college football, you can make a lot of money.

But you have to win your first college football wager before you can learn how to be a pro. The good news is that this isn’t too hard. All you have to do is follow a few simple steps and your first win is within reach.

Here are five steps you can use to help you win your first NCAA football wager.

1 – Take the Easy Win

The way these five steps are designed is to start with the first one and build with each as you work through them. You narrow down your choice with each step and end up with the best opportunity for a winning wager at the end.

The best place to start is to look at the schedule and immediately eliminate all of the teams playing on the road. Yes, the best teams in the country playing on the road have a good chance to win, but you want to have as many things in your favor as possible.

The next step is to eliminate all of the home teams playing against a good team. Any team playing at home facing a top 20 team should be eliminated. You don’t want to bet against Clemson, Oklahoma, Alabama, or Ohio State even when they’re playing on the road.

NCAA Football Running Play

This still leaves you with a large pool of teams, but you can start zeroing in on a few teams that have a high percentage chance of winning.

For example, if one of the top teams in the country like the ones I just mentioned are playing at home, they need to be in consideration for your first wager. The top teams in the country almost never lose at home, and it’s even rarer for one of them to lose at home against a team that isn’t in the top 20.

How many top 10 teams are playing at home against an opponent that isn’t in the top 20? These are the main games you want to find.

This is what I mean by taking the easy win. If Oklahoma is playing South East Central Little School University at home, it’s an easy way to bet on college football.

2 – Moneylines Over Point Spreads

In order to be a long-term winner gambling on college football, you need to learn how to use point spread or against the spread wagers. But if your sole purpose or objective is to win your first wager, you need to focus on making a moneyline wager.

In fact, long-term profitable NCAA football gamblers use all different kinds of wagering options, including point spreads, moneylines, totals, and sometimes props and live betting. You need to learn about all of these wagering options and learn how to find value for each of them.

You learned how to look for an easy win in the first section. When you identify a team that looks like it has an easy win and want to win your first wager, you need to place a moneyline wager on them.

The truth is that you’re going to win most of these games, possibly as many as 90% or more of them. This is why it’s a good strategy for your first win.

NCAA Football Sooners Players

But the problem comes into play with the 10% or so of these wagers that you don’t win. The moneyline on these types of games costs a high price. You might have to take a line at -1800 or -2600 or worse on a lopsided game.

Are you willing to risk $260 to win $10? If you want to win your first college football wager, you might have to. And the odds are heavily in your favor, but as a long-term, college football betting strategy, you have to be careful. A single upset eliminates a large number of wins.

If you’re wagering $260 to win $10, you have to win at least 26 out of every 27 times or you’re going to lose money. And the truth is that you probably will win 24 or 25 out of 27 times, but this isn’t a safe long-term strategy on its own. You have to use handicapping skills when you evaluate these games in the long run.

3 – Five-Star Recruits

College football has evolved into a game that relies heavily on recruiting. Quality recruits have always been important, but now, there’s a huge divide between the top recruiting teams in the country and everyone else.

The teams at the top of the standings year after year are the teams that are at the top of the recruiting rankings. The top 10 teams over the past 10 years are also the top 10 teams in the recruiting battle over the same time period. This isn’t a coincidence.

Evaluate each team in a game based on their recruiting rankings over the previous four seasons. The team with the better recruiting rankings are going to win a high percentage of the time, especially when they play at home.

Recruiting isn’t the only thing that influences the outcomes of college football games. Coaching still matters, but the best coach using inferior talent is still going to have a difficult time beating teams with better talent on a regular basis.

This is something that can help you win your first NCAA football wager, but it’s also something that’s going to help you learn how to win in the long run. This is something that you’re going to be using as a handicapper for as long as you bet on college football.

4 – The Best Quarterback

Football at almost every level is dictated by quarterback play. Teams with good or great quarterbacks almost always win when they play teams with weak or lesser quarterbacks. This is nothing new, but it’s quite helpful when t comes to finding the single best game to place a wager on.

In NCAA football the best quarterback isn’t always the 1 that’s the best passer. The best can be as much of a runner as a thrower at this level.

NCAA Football LSU Quarterback

The best quarterbacks are the ones that don’t turn the ball over often, and can extend plays and drives whether it’s using their feet or their legs, or both.

When you narrow down your options for the best games to wager on, evaluate the best quarterbacks, and/or the biggest gap between quarterbacks on the two teams in the game. This is going to be your safest wager.

5 – A Proven System

A proven system can mean two different things when you’re gambling on NCAA football. The first thing a system can mean is a betting system that you develop that helps you find value in games and lines. This should be your goal as a college football gambler.

But a proven betting system takes a lot of time and effort to build. While you can practice handicapping and building a system before you make your first wager, that’s not what this page is about. Just remember your long-term goal is to build your own system.

The type of proven system I’m talking about in this section is a coaching staff and team that has a system that’s been working well for a long time. This can be a head coach that’s able to recruit at a top level for several seasons, or a coaching staff that has some continuity and predictable results.

Nick Saban has been able to build a system at Alabama that tends to produce top level play over several years. Urban Meyer built a winning system at Ohio State, and Ryan Day seems to be carrying on with the same type of results.

These are the types of systems you’re looking for to win your first college football wager. You’re looking for consistency and predictability. These are the things that can lock in a game that shows promise for your first wager.


If you’re looking for a first easy win, college football is your best option. Simply make a small moneyline wager on a big home favorite and collect your winnings.

Learn how to handicap teams and games for long-term profits, and start every evaluation with the quarterbacks. Also, follow the recruiting battles closely to see which teams have the most talent.

Finally, look for proven systems on teams, and work on building your own profitable gambling system. When you develop your own handicapping system, you can make a great deal of profit gambling on college football.