NCAA Football is a bettor’s paradise. The scores are high, the pace is fast, and the stream of games is seemingly endless thanks to there being 131 programs and a dozen conferences. Below are live odds from a huge range of online sportsbooks, weekly NCAA football best bets, betting strategy, and more! Bookmark this page and visit us all season long for weekly college football picks.
2024 NCAAF Betting Picks | Best Bets For This Week’s College Football Games
PlayPicks helps get you set for every Saturday of the college football season by providing picks for every contest on the schedule. So when it comes time to place your bets, check out our CFB previews and predictions! Check back later this summer for Week 0 and Week 1 college football analysis.
2024 College Football Odds
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How to bet on college football
Moneyline betting is equivalent to picking which team will win an NCAA football game, regardless of the score. It’s one of the most common bet types and it’s the simplest to understand, which makes it the perfect starting point for beginners. An example of what moneylines look like at online sportsbooks would be:
- Alabama -250
- Georgia +190
Favorites are indicated by a negative number while underdogs will have positive (or “plus”) odds. To bet on Alabama -250, it will require laying out $250 to win $100. Risking $100 on Georgia +190 can result in a $190 profit.
It should be noted that college football has a lack of parity compared to some other sports. This means that plenty of games each week feature teams that are so much better (or worse) than their opponent, the moneyline is an impossible bet to make on either side. There’s no value on the favorite and– even though the payouts are beautiful– the underdog has virtually no chance in these scenarios. If games are lopsided enough, moneylines are taken off the board entirely.
If moneylines isn’t at the top of the mountain, then point spread betting is when it comes to popularity. Point spreads are a projected winning margin for the favorite and losing margin for the underdog. Again, favorites will have a negative line and underdogs will have a positive sign next to their odds.
- Alabama -7.5 (-110)
- Georgia +7.5 (-110)
Betting favorites means needing that team to win by more than the spread indicates to “cover” the number. Underdogs can win the bet even if they lose the game, so long as the margin is fewer points than the spread.
A wager on Alabama -7.5 (-110) would need the Crimson Tide to win by eight or more points to win the bet. At -110, the bettor needs to risk $110 for every $100 in profit. Placing a wager on Georgia +7.5 (-110) means that the Bulldogs can win the contest or lose by seven or fewer points and still earn a payout for bettors.
In the event a spread is on a whole number and the favorite wins by exactly that amount, backers for each team will have their original wagers returned to them, referred to as a “push.”
Also known as over-unders, point totals are another popular and simple bet. This involves selecting whether the combined score of the game will go over or under a predetermined total set by the sportsbook. Unless otherwise noted, totals include overtime as well, which is untimed in college football. An example would look like this:
- Alabama-Georgia Over 54 (-115)
- Alabama-Georgia Under 54 (-105)
If the final score of the game adds up to 55 points or more, that’s a win for the over. At -115, it would take a $115 risk to win $100. The under would hit if the combined score was 53 points or fewer, and a -105 line means laying down $105 for every $100.
The juice for totals mirrors point spreads in that it begins around -110 but can vary in the range of -125 to +100 in almost all cases. Many times, the juice will slightly differ between the two teams, as illustrated in our example.
NCAAF Futures Betting
Futures betting refers to bets placed that will be played out over a set duration, typically a season when we’re talking about college football. These bets can cover team success, such as the winner of the College Football Playoff, but there are also plenty of other options including player awards such as the Heisman.
- College Football Playoff (CFP) Champion
- Conference Champion
- Division Winner
- Heisman Trophy Winner
- Over/Under Regular Season Wins
- To Reach The CFP
For anyone looking for the largest payout possible, correctly picking a Heisman winner can come with a huge payday. The same can generally be said for national championship odds, though the favorites which dominate college football don’t have odds as lofty as we’d like to see. Picking over or under a win total will come with modest odds similar to a typical point spread, though it can still provide a rooting interest and wind up being a lucrative practice.
NCAAF Prop Bets
The growth of online sportsbooks has led to an explosion in the number of betting markets being offered, with many of the new additions being proposition bets. Widely referred to as props, these wagers are virtually any bet that isn’t on the full-game moneyline, spread, or total.
Props are broken up into several categories including game, team, and player props, and each is pretty self-explanatory. Player props are based on individual performance, while team props focus on one individual side and game props are centered around in-game occurrences having to do with both teams.
Player props are rare in the NCAA game and are usually only offered during big bowl games or the College Football Playoff. But sportsbooks do still offer several props on a weekly basis for individual matchups including the following examples:
- Quarters/Halves Moneyline, Spread, & Total
- Alternate Spread & Total
- Home/Away Team Totals (Full Game, Halves)
- Winning Margin
While there are several props available for individual contests featuring Power Five schools, there are also player props offered for entire seasons, though these bets are less common.
College Football Picks Strategy
Focus On Specific Conferences
There are 131 programs in the Division I Football Bowl Subdivision of the NCAA, which make up 10 different conferences. There are just too many teams to cover them all in an intimate way, as you would with a league of 30 teams. So one piece of advice is to focus on specific conferences and become familiar with a small group of teams before branching out.
Two to three conferences will make up about 30 teams or so, and that is a more manageable number. And once you get to conference play, many of them will be playing one another, and it’s likely you’re much more comfortable than when you started back at Week 1.
The smaller the conference, the likely bigger edge bettors will have if you do your homework. With conferences like the MAC or C-USA, lines are set with less data and less action, meaning there’s a greater chance bettors can get a one-up in these situations. Conversely, high-profile SEC games will have odds set with nearly as many data points as NFL games, making it tougher for bettors to have the upper hand.
Specializing will help nail your college football picks.
Look For Sharp Signs
Recreational bettors should understand they aren’t going to be an expert on some of the factors that make a huge difference in the game, including team makeups and the schemes they run. To help diagnose the right bets, look for signs from the people who are experts: sharps. That means bettors need to analyze the odds and how the line changes to perhaps learn about which side the professional bettors are on.
One thing to look for is reverse line movement. This takes place when the masses are on one side of a game, but the odds shift in the opposite direction. Reverse line movement is often an indicator of the sharps fading the public.
Tracking line movement is important, as are bet percentages. These numbers are usually only doled out to cover a small sample of the betting public, but they can give you an idea of the difference between the number of bets and the overall handle going to one particular side.
Use The Correct Metrics
Anyone can look at win/loss records, scoring, and yards to determine which bets to place. Statistics can be misleading– especially totals– and should be used in context. Knowing which stats to look for and how to use them will help you handicap. Consider the following:
- Yards Per Play
- Offensive/Defensive efficiency
- Turnover Margin
These are just some of the stat categories that should never be ignored and can be more valuable indicators of success than just looking at their points per game and where they sit in the standings. But keep in mind that all stats should be used in context and as a guide. There’s no end-all-be-all metric that’s the skeleton key for unlocking betting success.
Understand the difference between college football picks and NFL betting
This might seem like a dumb inclusion at first, but the college model does not reflect the NFL.
Successful NFL teams couple complex schemes with slightly better players but the overall talent gap is mostly razor-thin. In college, complex schemes mostly go by the wayside and the victor comes down to which team simply has the better players. Don’t overthink the value of a superstar quarterback or an experienced offensive line in college.
Also note coaching, as the weight of coaches in college football is disproportionate. NFL coaches rarely are as blatantly out-executed as college coaches are. Like the players, the talent gap in this department is much wider in college.
In college football, it’s not uncommon to see 35-point blowouts whereas in the NFL, that game would draw headlines. For early-season matchups between the league’s giants and small programs getting a payday can see point spreads in excess of 30 points regularly. With lesser defensive talent and explosive athletes on offense, you’ll also see much higher point totals; it’s not out of place to see some totals in excess of 70.
Multiple Sportsbook Accounts
If you live in one of the growing amount of states that has several online sportsbooks to choose from, you’d be wise to open up an account with more than one of them. Having more than one resource has several advantages, beginning with receiving a welcome bonus for each new account.
Perhaps the most important reason to establish more than one sportsbooks account is to shop for lines. One site may have Ohio State -10 (-110), but another site could have the Buckeyes at -9.5 (-110). That half point could mean the difference between earning profits or not. Whether you’re comparing the spread, the total, or just the juice attached to either one, line shopping is a surefire way to gain the most value possible.
Know The Weather Report
The weather report should be a major part of the pregame checklist. It’s a variable that nobody can control, but everyone must adjust to when it comes to betting. Inclement weather can play a huge role in the decisions you make as a bettor, and it also plays a role in how the line got to the point where it currently sits.
If the forecast calls for consistent rain or snow, an up-tempo team could have some trouble executing its game place. That could cause a change in the spread toward the other team that wouldn’t exist if the sun was out. The point total is most affected by weather and favors under betting.
Take Advantage Of Boosts & Bonus Bets
Sportsbooks are always offering odds boosts and bonus bets to entice wagering on NCAA football. There’s no downside to this and anytime you get a chance to take advantage of a generous promotion, you should. Examples could be the following:
- Odds Boost: Enhances odds for a specific team, game, or wager. Think 20 percent profit boost on CFB parlays or a boost for betting either side of a game.
- Bet & Get: This involves placing a wager on a certain team or game (set by the site) and earning site credit or bonus bets in the process.
- Bonus Bets: These can be used to bet on CFB without spending your own money. It’s recommended that you use these on parlays or another bet that can turn a larger payout.
Best college football betting apps
There are several important qualities that all bettors need to consider before signing up for a sportsbook. This includes welcome offers, deposit options, the range of sports and markets offered, promotions and amenities, and much more. Each of the options on the below list would be a good one for anybody who is looking to wager on college football odds throughout the season.
DraftKings isn’t a sportsbook that needs an introduction. In every state where it operates, DraftKings is among the most popular sites out there, and for good reason. It’s known for a generous welcome bonus, which currently includes a deposit bonus of up to $1,200, and for having a huge number of betting options to choose from.
Whether there are 100 games on the slate or just a few, DraftKings is one of the sites that bettors can rely on to have odds and props available.
DraftKings is constantly rolling out daily odds boosts for college football wagers, and also has promotions centered around the sport including parlay profit boosts and Bet & Get deals.
FanDuel is much like DraftKings and it makes perfect sense that the two are competitors at the top of the food chain in every common ground that they share. Not to be outdone, FanDuel is another site with a huge list of amenities for the college football bettor, and this would definitely be a site to belong to for the NCAAF season.
On top of all the standard markets, FanDuel offers some unique college football props along with parlays for most games, giving bettors a way to correlate a side and a total into the same bet. FanDuel also has daily odds boosts and bonus bets associated with betting on NCAA football.
While no sportsbook is quiet on the level of FanDuel or DraftKings, we must admit that BetMGM is getting pretty close. This is a brand name everybody already knew, but it’s fast becoming one of the very best sportsbook options in a growing number of states.
BetMGM rivals the biggest names in the business when it comes to the number of markets offered both on a daily basis and when it comes to futures. With DK and FD constantly competing against one another, bettors can sometimes find more advantageous lines at a site like BetMGM, and having this account could prove valuable.