College Football Betting: NCAAF Handicapping Tips & Strategies

Friday, June 28, 2013 6:59 PM UTC

Friday, Jun. 28, 2013 6:59 PM UTC

Sports handicappers are chomping at the bit for action on the college football gridiron, but there’s plenty to be done in terms of preparation over the next two months.


Let’s take a closer look at five handicapping tips that should serve you well in choosing your football picks during the course of the season—especially in the early going.

Returning starters

The most important factor to focus on leading up to the season, as it really lays the foundation for breaking down Week 1 match-ups.

Most handicappers will focus on the offensive side of the ball, especially the quarterback position, but I find one area to be far more important at the betting window.

A team that returns multiple starters on the offensive line is already ahead of the game, and one that I circle in preseason publications.

Don’t fall in love with this angle for an entire season, with younger programs becoming more dangerous once experience is gained.


Don’t fall into the category of being a fan by simply looking at opposing team names on a program’s schedule, as there’s definitive value in breaking down the road ahead on a weekly basis.

It definitely matters when a particular game is played, especially for programs that have national title aspirations—such as the Alabama Crimson Tide.

The defending national champions have to play the likes of LSU and Texas A&M this season, but both of those high-profile affairs come after an advantageous bye week.

Also, I’m always looking to play against a team in a conference opener if it hasn’t faced a quality opponent in the early portion of its schedule.

Betting Value

Recreational bettors aren’t spending the necessary time to gain an advantage over the sports books during the offseason, as many of their wagers early on are based on what they saw from the program the previous season.

Don’t fall into this trap, and you’ll likely have success in the first three weeks.

Coaching strategy

If you do your proper homework during the offseason, I believe this area creates a major advantage in terms of betting totals, as even college footbal odds makers will struggle to post strong numbers in the early going in this area.

A new head coach or coordinator may bring a different philosophy to the table than his predecessor, which could lead to much different results in terms of offensive and defensive production.

Early Betting Trends

I’m always looking to uncover new betting trends during the course of the season, but for your sports picks don’t place too much stock in this area of sports handicapping, as it should only enhance the strength of your plays based on other areas of research.

In preparing for season openers, I’m always looking to identify coaches and programs that perform well out of the gate.

This approach will serve you well.

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