How Do I Know Which College Football Games to Target?

Fullback Kai Puailoa-Rojas #21 of the Navy Midshipmen is tackled by cornerback Ja’Quan McMillian #21 of the East Carolina Pirates. Patrick Smith/Getty Images/AFP

The college football season is loaded with betting opportunities but it’s important to isolate the best spots and get the most advantageous lines if you want to make money throughout the season.

Let’s talk about which games to target and how to evaluate these ideal situations.

Do Your Homework

Nobody likes homework but it is a necessary evil if you want to know what games to target and which teams to bet. Moreover, the homework starts before the season begins because there are futures to take advantage of that will pay dividends when the season is over.

LEARN MORE: How to Shop for the Best Lines

Many novice bettors will assume that College Football Playoff (CFP) teams from last year will automatically be in the running this year. That is not always the case as there is always a transition between graduating seniors, transfer portals, coaching changes, and incoming freshmen that will all change the dynamic to one degree or another.

The betting markets at all of the best U.S. licensed online sportsbooks like BetMGM, Caesars, FanDuel, and BetRivers, to name a few, all have props on total wins, conference, and national championship odds, as well as player proposition wagers.

Understand the Public Money

Take it one conference at a time and make a checklist as to whether teams got better, stayed the same, or are likely to regress based on the roster changes from the previous year. If a team lost their star quarterback, then determine if the replacement is serviceable enough to run the offense.

However, if a team has lost all of their skill players, then the offense is likely to regress and the casual bettor will be unaware of the major overhaul that took place in the offseason.

LEARN MORE: Why You Need to Identify Inflated Point Spreads in College Football

And in the early part of the season, you can isolate those games in which successful teams from last year that have lost key players are still likely being viewed in a positive light by the masses. This means that the lines on their first few games could give you ample opportunity to fade them (bet their opponent).

Did you know: Household names like Ohio State, Alabama, Notre Dame, et al, in games where they are 30-point or more favorites, covered only 35 percent of the time over the last decade?

That’s because the oddsmakers understand the public will throw money at heavily favored popular teams no matter how high the spread and they can inflate the NCAAF odds in anticipation of all this “square” action.

Small Conferences

The Power 5 conferences are the most popular among college football fans and bettors alike. The teams from the SEC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, and ACC are routinely on national television broadcasts and, thus, get the lion’s share of attention.

And by default, there is much more betting action on these games which means the oddsmakers must be on their toes so they don’t miss any late injuries or any other development that could impact the game.

However, the smaller conferences don’t get nearly as much scrutiny and if you become familiar with the Sun Belt Conference, MAC, MWC, or even the AAC then you will likely find soft lines waiting to be exploited. These are opportunities to which the average bettor will not avail themselves and allow the sharps to pounce.

LEARN MORE: How Home Field Advantage Impacts College Football Games and Affects the Betting Market

Big Favorite Moneyline Parlays

In college football, the home-field advantage means much more than in professional sports. The kids are playing in front of their peers and alumni which gives them an emotional lift not found with the “strictly business” professionals.

Home teams that are 14-point or higher favorites win at a stunning rate. And while they won’t necessarily cover the spread, they do win a vast majority of the time.

Because betting them on the moneyline would be prohibitive as it would require a lot to win a little, what you can do is put four of these teams that fit the criteria in a four-team moneyline parlay.

LEARN MORE: Should You Bet Parlays and Teasers in Football?

As long as the point spreads are around 14-points, no less but not much more, then your parlay odds will be approximately -130. All four teams must-win for the parlay to cash but if even one team loses its game outright then the parlay will flame.

However, if the parlay does go down then you only lose the cost of the parlay but if it wins then you will get nearly double your investment. It is just one of many strategies for your college football picks this season but make sure you are using only the best online sportsbooks found right here at OddsTrader! is your sports betting command center. Read featured betting strategy compiled from a panel of leading sports betting experts.

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