College football point spreads are one of the most commonly bet on markets in all sports. With spreads being available from the non-conference schedule all the way through the College Football Playoff national championship game, just about every game can be wagered on against the spread during a season. In this guide to college football point spread betting, find out what the point spread means and how to navigate it.
College football point spread betting is easy to understand. The goal of this type of bet is to make a prediction as to which side will be the winner after the point spread is applied. Unlike the money line market, the team that covers the spread doesn’t have to be the winner of the game.
In point spread betting, the team that is the favorite has points subtracted from their score to determine the winner. Conversely, backing the underdog results in points being added to that team’s score. The betting line in the point spread market can change based on the matchup between the two teams, and how big the gap is between them.
In this example of a college football point spread bet, let’s say that Alabama is playing against LSU in an SEC matchup. Alabama is a seven-point favorite, while LSU is a seven-point underdog in the game. This means that at the end of the game, Alabama will have seven points subtracted from their score or LSU will have seven points added, depending on which side a bettor takes.
If Alabama wins the game by eight points or more, they cover the spread, as they would still have more points after the subtraction of seven points. If the game is decided by exactly seven points, the bet is graded a push and everyone gets their money back. And if LSU loses by six or less, or wins the game, they are the winner in the point spread market.
When making college football picks, it is important to understand the significance of college football line movement. Bettors should always keep a close eye on the odds page of their sportsbooks to monitor line movements, and to understand why they are happening. The goal of any bettor, aside from winning, should be to get the best lines they can on each game they bet. Understanding why line movement happens, and why it might be different in big conference like the Pac-12 and smaller conferences, is key to successful college football wagering.
Bettors looking to earn payouts in college football are likely familiar with the key numbers in the NFL of three and seven points. Those are the margins where most games fall in the pros. But oddsmakers have to account for the potential for larger margins of victory in college football, so bettors should remember that those same key numbers do not apply as often as they do in the NFL.
To place a point spread bet on college football, bettors should go to a legal sportsbook in their state. Different states have different laws regarding sports gambling, and bettors are encouraged to know their state’s legal status before they look for a place to bet.
In states with legal sports betting, there are ample opportunities to place college football bets. In addition to spread betting, many states also allow bettors to wager on things like moneylines, player props and college football futures. Among the most popular CFB futures odds are on the national championship game and who will win the Heisman Trophy. Bettors can also link multiple bets together with college football teasers or parlays if they so choose.