How to Bet on NCAA Football – College Football Betting Guide

General view prior to the College Football Playoff National Championship. Michael Reaves/2020 Getty Images/AFP

New to college football betting or looking to improve your betting strategy? Here is the guide you are looking for.

Types of Bets

Spread and Total

In order to follow my explanation, please go to OddsTrader and click on “NCAAF” on the left side of the page. On a mobile device, tap the icon atop the page. I will explain how to read the college football odds.

You see the spread that has been published for a given game. Next to Nebraska, for example, you see “-9.5 (-117)” -9.5 means that Nebraska is favored by 9.5 points. 

So if you bet on Nebraska and the Cornhuskers win 30-21, to tell if they’ve covered the spread you subtract 9.5 points from their final team total. In this case, Nebraska failed to cover the spread by half a point.

The -117 listed next to the spread is the “juice,” the amount that you have to risk per 100 dollars. So to bet on Nebraska -9.5 you have to risk 117 dollars to win 100. [Please note the odds may have fluctuated after publication.]

On the left of your screen, click on “Spread” and scroll down to “Total”.  

Here you can see the over/under that is posted for each game.

If an over/under for a game is 59 and both teams in that game combine to score more than 59 points, then the “over” has hit.

If you need help deciding which wagers to place, the power rankings can help you find an edge.

Moneyline and Parlay

On the “Odds” page, you can click on “Spread” and go to “Money” to see what the moneyline is posted at for each team.

In Nebraska’s case, you will have to risk 400 dollars to win 100 dollars if you want to bet on them to win.

If you want to bet on a heavily favored team to win without having to worry about it covering the spread and without having to risk so much more money, then you should put that team in a parlay with other teams. A parlay bet will hit if every “leg” of the parlay hits.


Next to where you see “Odds” you can see the ATS standings. The team at the top is the one that is doing the best job of covering the spread.

These standings are important to look at because you win in betting by gaining an edge over the oddsmakers. 

So you want to know which teams are consistently getting disrespected by oddsmakers. Maybe, for example, a team has a freshman quarterback who is surprising everybody. Such an unexpected variable can be a factor that you consider for your Sports Betting, at least until oddsmakers make an adjustment by giving that team proper respect.

The same concept applies to the Total standings.


You can also bet on “futures.”

For example, you can bet on a team to win the national championship, to win a given conference, or you can bet on a player to win an individual award.

For your Best Bets, it is best to invest in futures earlier when you feel confident because, as the season progresses, the odds will change and the team or player that you are interested in investing in may lose value.

Bankroll Management 

Bankroll management is at least as important as breaking down games because you can have a better record but, with poor bankroll management, have less money.

I recommend “flat betting” or betting the same amount on each game. You can keep track of your action using the OddsTrader Bet Card. Simply click or tap any odd, open your bet slip, plug in the amount and go bet.

You can also save your wager and place the bet when you are good and ready.

Betting Tips 

Look at the number, not the team. You can see in the ATS standings that a large disparity often exists between a team’s performance ATS and a team’s performance on the moneyline.

Injuries are an overrated betting factor. Players fit into a scheme and they match up better or worse against an opponent. So don’t dismiss a team simply because a well-known player isn’t playing because that player is only one cog in the machine.

It would be a shame to lose money because one leg in a parlay doesn’t come through. A team can make a silly mistake to ruin a good parlay. So that you may still profit from good handicapping, I recommend placing individual wagers on every spread or total that you put into your parlay. is your sports betting command center. Read featured betting strategy compiled from a panel of leading sports betting experts.

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