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College Football Betting Tips

(1 vote, average 5.00 out of 5)
College football is one of the most enjoyable and exciting sports in the country. The emotion, the pageantry, the history and the rivalries are unparalleled. These factors are also what make college football one of the best sports to bet for gamblers the world over.
However, college football is one of the most difficult sports for bettors to consistently beat. And what starts as a hopeful and exciting season can quickly go sideways for even the most experienced bettors.
I always say that gambling isn’t magic, it’s math. Variables determine complexity in any math equation, and college football has the most variables impacting a wager of any sport. There are 11 offensive starters, 11 defensive starters, and numerous other players in sub packages, backups and specialists – any of whom can blow a perfectly good wager with a missed assignment, costly penalty, horrific turnover, or some other mistake. That is nearly 40 players per team and around 80 players involved in each game.
Comparatively, a sport like basketball has roughly eight contributing players per team. Add in the coaches and officials, and you have maybe 20 guys that can influence your wager. That is about one-quarter as complicated to handicap and really gives perspective about trying to beat the college football betting market.
But never fear! There are a lot of different tips, tricks and tidbits that professional handicappers like my associates at Doc’s Sports Services and I utilize to stay above the insanity and ahead of the sportsbooks. The overwhelming majority of gamblers lose money betting on football. However, if you incorporate my suggestions into your overall betting game plan, you have a good chance of turning things around on the sportsbooks and making one of the most popular and enjoyable sports become one of the most profitable.
Here are some tips for how to bet on college football from a professional handicapper:
1. Money Management.
Regardless of sport, money management is the key to successful sports betting. At Doc’s Sports we use a standard 1-8 Unit System, with each “unit” representing one percent of your bankroll. You should generally not be betting more than three or four percent of your stack on any one given game, with the exception of those rare situations that warrant slightly more. And even then you shouldn’t commit more than seven percent on any situation throughout the season.
So if you have $2,000 in your account, you should be betting around $60-$80 per game. I know, I know: that’s not as sexy as betting $200 or $300 per play. But leave “sexy” to the amateurs and tourists. Play within your means and you’ll stay in the game a lot longer. And if you do that then you can eventually turn that $2,000 into $4,000, $5,000 or $10,000. And then you can be the high roller you always wanted to be! But not before. 
2. Have a plan.
“Every battle is won before it is ever fought.” Sun Tzu was a brilliant strategist and a big fan of the read-option and zone blitz. And Tzu is right: so much of college football betting success is based on preparation.
Professionals like myself spend countless hundreds of hours readying for a college football season. You’re busy. You don’t have that kind of time. I get it. But if you’re going to be wagering hard-earned dollars on the gridiron, you need to be somewhat prepared. Every hour that you spend doing work before the regular season begins will save you two hours once the footballs start flying.
Put in time before the season starts figuring out which teams you like and which ones you don’t. Determine whom you think is underrated and who is overrated. Check out coaching changes and look at which teams lost the most talent from last year’s squad. And maybe most importantly, it always helps to scan over teams’ schedules in order to target some games where you think a team will be ripe to bet on or against. This way when mid-October rolls around, you already have a few upset specials or high-value situations in your sights, and you won’t be swayed by peripheral factors.
3. Continuity Counts
Constant roster turnover is a trying feature of college football handicapping. Graduation, transfers, injuries, and freshmen are all constantly reshuffling the deck of the 130 teams in the FBS. There are literally thousands of players to keep track of, and it can be overwhelming.
That also makes continuity a key factor in performance. Teams with a high number of returning starters – at least 15 or more – and teams with upperclassmen-heavy rosters are generally worth keeping an eye on, especially at the beginning of the season. Conversely, even the top-tier programs aren’t immune to rebuilding seasons or regression when they lose a good portion of their starters.
Also, offensive and defensive coordinators are always changing addresses. New schemes and systems can have a dramatic impact on performance, and there is usually an adjustment period. On the flip side, teams with proven systems – think about Chris Peterson at Boise State or the Quack Attack in Oregon – can be counted on year-in and year-out. And their coaching infrastructure can more easily offset personnel losses.
4. Understand what the books are trying to do.
One of the biggest mistakes bettors make is they believe because they know a lot about a sport that they will be good at betting that sport. This isn’t true. Knowing a lot about sports is not the same thing as knowing a lot about gambling, just like eating a lot of food doesn’t make you an expert chef.
To ignore or underestimate the oddsmakers is to seal your own doom. Trap lines, reverse line movements, false line moves – the sportsbooks have a lot of tricks up their collective sleeves. And you need to understand what these concepts are and how to spot them. The best bettors are also usually good oddsmakers themselves. And they know which teams the books want to take action on and which games are vulnerable.
Before looking at the spreads each week, you should jot down what you think the odds will be on each game. Compare your numbers with the pros’ and then try to figure out the discrepancies. Throughout the week you should check to see if a spread is moving and how those movements reflect the betting patterns for that game. Compare those movements to the actual results, and over time you’ll start to see patterns emerge. And all of that can be done with the same amount of time someone may spend fumbling through an injury report mid-week, and the long-term benefits will be much more significant.
5. Turn the Top 25 against the books.
This one is kind of a continuation of the last strategy. Nothing ropes in square money for the sportsbooks like the Top 25. Common bettors see those rankings and think that those little numbers by the team name somehow ascribe magical powers to the teams they adorn. When the reality is that the college football rankings system is one of the biggest farces in all of sports. And that flawed, subjective system has only a fleeting basis in reality and little tangible impact as to what happens on the field.
The sportsbooks love the Top 25 because the rankings help foster a sort of herd mentality about teams. Oddsmakers adjust the spreads accordingly and almost “tax” teams because of their rankings, knowing that square bettors will blindly pour money into these top-rated teams.
That said, the Top 25 could be a sharp bettor’s best friend. By being able to target which teams are grossly overrated and underrated, you can stay ahead of the general betting public in finding line value. Also, little tricks like spotting an unranked team that is favored over a ranked team or understanding that road ranked teams laying big points are usually sucker plays can help a novice college football bettor keep some cash.
6. Emotion, emotion, emotion.
There is no more important factor when handicapping college football games than emotion. After all, these are 18- to 22-year old kids that we’re dealing with. (Unless we’re talking about Utah, whose players are like 28.) These kids are erratic and unpredictable. But these are also capable of doing incredible things when they get caught up in the emotion of a specific situation.
Rivalry games, injuries to star players, and the revenge factor are all key handicapping components each week. Look Ahead Games – when a team overlooks its current opponent because they are focused on next week’s game – are a very real phenomenon. Let Down Games – when a team plays poorly in the game following a peak emotional effort – are just as common. You need to be able to pinpoint both and bet on teams accordingly.
7. Know your history and let it be a guide.
College football’s historical rivalries are one of its defining characteristics. Knowing the idiosyncrasies and historical trends of these games is important before you try to put your money in the middle of these high-stakes, highly-volatile situations. The underdog is 17-4 against the spread in the Arizona-Arizona State series. But the favorite has gone 12-3 ATS in the Florida-Florida State series. Navy is 18-8 ATS in its last 26 tries against Army. Knowing tidbits like that can be helpful to keep you out of losing situations.
8. Keep a long-term perspective and do what works for YOU.
If you want to survive the highs and lows of gambling through a full college football season, you need to be prepared for the highs and lows of a full college football gambling season. That is why money management is so critical. But it is also important to set a reasonable goal for yourself for the season and then keep your focus on attaining that. I go into every season looking for a 35 percent return – or going +3500 – on the season.
Also, one of the worst things that bettors can do is listen to other gamblers. I know it always seems like someone out there is winning more than you or making more money than you or doing things a better way than you are. But usually the exact opposite is true. The
The best method is the one that keeps you playing and that steadily earns you money in the long term. Not everyone can have a 68-percent winning system like I do with my KING College Football Betting System. But that is OK. If you have a method that works then stick with it. If you make money just betting on the ACC then don’t try to branch out and bet on the MAC. Keep it simple and do what works for you. Don’t overwhelm yourself and don’t get greedy. Keep those long-term goals in mind, and remember that slow and steady is the way to go.
College football betting is a challenge for even the most seasoned gamblers. But the sport is beatable. My associates at Doc’s Sports and I have been doing it for over 40 years, and this is the stuff that we live for. Hopefully this article has given you some tools to use against the sportsbooks. You can try to bet like the pros, or you can sign up and sit back and let the pros do all the work. Either way, as long as you are making money and having a great time doing it, you are already way ahead in this game.

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