College Football Odds Explanation: Understanding NCAAF Betting Lines
While the NFL usually dominates your sportsbook on a weekly basis, NCAA football gets more than its share of attention from the first snap of the season to the national championship game, which of course is now a four-team playoff. You can bet on all this and more in your online sportsbook, but you h.ave to know the foundation first, and these four types of betting should get you started.
College football odds come in many varieties, but one of the most popular tends to be point spread betting. Spreads are when your sportsbook will try to predict what the final margin of victory is for a team. You’ll have two sides to it: one will be the favorite, as shown by a negative sign, and the other will be the underdog, as shown by a positive sign. So you could see Alabama as a favorite by 6.5 points over Florida, so Alabama would be shown as -6.5, while Florida would be +6.5. In this example, Alabama would have to win this game by 6.5 points for it to be considered a cover for them while Florida can lose by 6.5 points or of course, win the game, in order to cover. That really means Alabama would have to win by seven points because there aren’t half-point results.
The reason you will see a lot of spreads with a half-point as sportsbooks are trying to avoid a push, which is when the margin of victory and the spread are the same and in that case, the player would just get their money back.
Moneyline wagering is still popular in the sports betting community and all that matters here is who wins the game, not a margin of victory. The same rules apply for the favorite (negative sign) and the underdog (positive sign), so you could see Alabama favored as -325 with Florida valued at +250. In this case, you would have to bet $325 to win $100 on Alabama as the favored team, while Florida would require a $100 wager to win $250 as the underdog. Again, the margin of victory is not a factor, only which team wins and which team loses.
When it comes to totals, sportsbooks will put a number on the amount of points they think will be scored between both teams, and you have to bet on if you think the actual total of points will be over or under the number set by the sportsbook. So if Alabama and Florida have a total set for their game of 53.5, your task will be to figure out if the final score will be over or under that number. Again, the half-point is to avoid the chance for a push.
Futures are a type of wagering that deals with as the name says, future events, but farther down the line. An example of a futures wager is who will win the national title, or who will win a certain conference or when it comes to players, who will win the Heisman Trophy. This uses the basics for moneyline betting in that most of the options will have a positive sign by their odds, although in some circumstances, a team/player will be an overwhelming favorite, so you will see a negative sign by their odds.