Exploiting soft schedules and matchup mismatches are all part of cashing in your college football picks and here we examine some sharp betting tips to do just that.
Early Schedule Can Net Big Results
There are many unknowns when the season begins. One of the ways college football odds makers use to determine the strength of a particular team is to assess the returning starters. These players have a familiarity with the system and a proven track record to back it up. Injuries aside, the returning starters and even the backups who will be starters, have another year to get stronger and hone their techniques. The more returning starters the merrier as opposed to incoming freshmen who have not been battle tested at the college level. The teams that are fortunate enough not to have been stripped of their best players either through graduation, the NFL draft or transfers will be able to get off the blocks more quickly and possess a big advantage in the early going.
Five Soft Spots
Third Year Quarterbacks
This is a key component to getting the best betting value for your hard earned dollar. Quarterbacks that begin their third season under the same head coach and offensive system are already familiar with both and need no learning curve unlike freshmen and sophomore signal callers that need to acquaint themselves in the early part of the season before confidently executing as the season progresses. Under the radar QB’s can often escape the attention of college football odds makers and the betting public leaving plenty of value for sharps who know how to ferret out this nuanced angle.
The New Gun In Town
So the big star quarterback has left for the bright lights and big money of the NFL and now the team they led to glory is crossing their fingers and praying that the replacement will be up to the task. More often than not the understudy is more than ready for his close-up especially in a big-time college football program. For instance Baylor’s Bruce Petty is now a Jet but who will lead the Bears this season? The answer is junior Seth Russell who had just one start last season but punished Northwestern State for five touchdowns and 438 yards all coming in the first half alone. Russell looks ready for prime-time and will begin forging his reputation from the get-go.
The big boys in the trenches are critical to offensive success. As we stated previously it can be an enormous advantage if a team has returning starters and if that team has four or even five returning offensive linemen then homerun! Protection will be set from Week 1 since the linemen have played together and know the offensive patterns and schemes. This can be a huge betting edge but you’ve got to do your homework to find out which lines will stay together for the coming season.
Second Week Sensations
The public, aka the squares, live week to week. They recall the previous week with enough clarity that leads them to smash teams that won handily against weaker opponents or fade weaker teams that got crushed. Week 1 will lead many to some not so savvy opinions. The odds makers know this and skew their lines accordingly. The sharp approach is to fade the high flyers from Week 1 and back the weaker teams that got crushed.
The early weeks are littered with teams from major conferences scheduling against non-conference cupcakes and the college football odds reflect as much. Unlike the NFL where double digit favorites are few and far between college football routinely has point spreads that are in the 20’s, 30’s and beyond. But while the public loves to lay the lumber because nothing beats cracking open a cold one and watching their team annihilate the opposition it can be a huge advantage to bet the live underdogs who may employ unique systems that can frustrate the chalky major conference teams when the game begins. Therefore betting non-conference games against big name opponents can be a lucrative way to cash in your college football picks.