Betting on NCAA football is different than any other sport. While it’s still football, much like in the NFL, the fact is that players have a set number of years they can play and there are many different levels of play in different conferences.
This is all good news, because it gives you opportunities to find and capitalize on value. Here are nine facts about betting on college football that you can use to improve your results. This list includes one of the secrets I’ve used to profit on college football games for years. The secret is about conferences, and it’s going to be one of the most important things you can use to make more money.
1 – Stars Matter
When I say that stars matter, it means two different things. The best players in college football are stars, and each team has some players that are better than others. You have to evaluate the stars on each team and judge how much they influence the performance of their teams and the outcomes of games.
But you also have to track the recruiting rankings for each team in NCAA football.
Look at the number of five star, four star, and three star recruits every team gets every year. Keep track of these rankings year to year. Each player has five years to play four years, so you need to track the recruiting rankings for each team on a five year rolling system.
Track the recruits for each team as they come into the program and leave the program. This is going to give you a leg up when you’re betting on NCAA football. The teams with the most talent tend to win more often than teams with lesser talent.
2 – Historical Data Is Garbage
I don’t know how many times I’ve read how one team has covered the spread in 14 out of their last 16 games, or something similar. Every time I see something like this I roll my eyes and wonder who the suckers are that are buying whatever these people are trying to sell.
The fact is that anything that happened last season doesn’t have much, if anything, to do with what’s happening this season. And anything that happened before last season is a complete waste of time.
You need to know who the best coaches are and which teams do the best job recruiting, but the only thing that really matters is how each team is performing, or going to perform, this season and in the next game.
3 – Each Conference Is Different
You probably understand that the SEC is a different animal than the MAC, but the fact is that every NCAA football conference is different. And this can give you an advantage.
Teams play out of conference games early in the season, and then start playing games within the conference. The production outside the conference doesn’t always predict the results in the conference.
And inside each conference, teams have different talent levels and production. One of the best things you can do is pick one or two conferences and become an expert on every team in the conference or conferences.
This way you can do a better job evaluating teams and games once they get into conference play. Be careful about reading too much into non conference games, because the talent level is usually quite different.
Not long ago Cincinnati played Ohio State early in the season and Cincinnati looked terrible. But once they got into conference play it was clear they were a top team in the conference. If you placed too much faith in the early season game it leads to mistakes in conference play.
4 – Evaluate Equal Talent
One of the toughest things to do as a college football bettor is to evaluate teams that don’t have the same talent level. This is why it’s so important to track the recruiting rankings for each team, and why you have to be careful when you evaluate non conference games.
The problem is that teams with equal talent levels don’t play against each other often. So you have to learn how to predict how each team is going to perform when teams with equal talent play.
Teams with equal talent do meet in conference play sometimes, but where you see it most often is in bowl games. When you look at the talent level and the differences in each conference, it helps you evaluate games better.
5 – Coaching Matters More Than in the NFL
The most important thing that college coaches do is recruiting. I’ve already discussed the importance of recruiting, so in this section you’re going to learn about in game coaching and results.
Some college coaches are better at getting more out of their players than others, and some do a better job making pre game and in game decisions. This is usually evident in the results, but don’t forget about evaluating talent levels.
Identify the coaches that are able to get their teams to consistently get their teams to play above their talent level. This is particularly valuable when teams get into conference play.
6 – Defensive Position Evaluation
When you evaluate teams in college football, you need to evaluate each defense as a whole and by position. You don’t have to break it down into 11 positions, but you do need to look at the defense in three groups.
You need to evaluate defensive line play, linebacker play, and defensive back play. One area where college teams struggle is in pass protection, so teams with good defensive backs tend to be at the top of the standings.
Defensive line play is important because it helps control the run game and can help the defensive backs by putting pressure on the passing game. Linebackers are involved in both the running and passing game and one of the keys to look for is the speed at the linebacker position.
7 – Offensive Position Evaluation
When you’re evaluating the offense for each team you need to look at the passing game, run game, and offensive line play. The passing game starts with a close look at quarterback play, but includes the ability of the offensive line to protect the quarterback, and all of the skill position players.
You also need to look at the offensive scheme the team uses. Is it a scheme that is good at getting mismatches in the passing game, or does it rely on superior talent to beat team? A team that relies on talent is in danger when they face a team with equal or better talent.
In the running game, you need to know how well the offensive line creates holes, and how well the running backs find the holes. You also need to know how much the quarterback is involved in the running game.
8 – Quarterback Tendencies
When you evaluate quarterback play, you need to learn what their tendencies are. The main tendencies to look for are how much they run, especially how often they end up running on pass plays, and which receivers they look to when they’re in trouble or need an important completion.
The only way to learn some tendencies is to watch them play as much as possible. This is one reason why I recommend focusing on one or two conferences. You need to watch games so you can build a knowledge base to help you make good betting decisions.
9 – The Best Betting Line
If you take my advice and concentrate of one or two conferences, you have a choice. You can focus on the big conferences that everyone else concentrates on, or you can follow one or two smaller conferences.
It doesn’t matter which conferences you focus on; you need to shop the lines on every game before you make a bet. This can be the difference between winning and losing several games over the course of the season.
NCAA football is one of the best options for sports bettors. You have many different conferences and there are dozens of games every week. And it’s easy to find recruiting rankings to build your database to help you evaluate game.
Online sportsbooks don’t always set tight lines on games in smaller conferences, so you have an opportunity to find value every week. You can safely ignore historical data, because every season has new players.
Use the nine facts about betting on NCAA football games on this page to win more games. As you learn how to use what you just learned, develop a college football betting system to help you make smart betting decisions faster.