Sports Betting 101: How To Bet On NCAA Football

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With the NCAA football season still a few months away, now is the perfect time for fans to do their research and learn about the many ways to bet on the sport. The college game is so much different than the NFL with everything from the rules to the amount of games that are played each week. Here is a look at the many different ways you can bet on football.

Betting The Point Spread

The most popular bet in college football is the point spread bet. Just like in the NFL, the sportsbooks will generate an appropriate line in an effort to try to pull in as much money as possible for both teams in a matchup. The spreads are usually released the same week as the games. Some sportsbooks will have early lines posted as well.

The majority of the best sportsbooks will start with -110 as the default juice for betting the underdog although it could change depending on the book. For example, if Alabama is playing LSU, you could see a line that looks something like this:

Alabama -6.5 (-110)

LSU +6.5 (-110)

Therefore, if you take Alabama, they have to win by at least seven points in order to cover. In this case, the moneyline is set at -110.  If you bet on LSU, then as long as they don’t lose by more than six points, you win. They can lose by 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 or win the game, and you'd win. The moneyline on their side is also set at -110.

College Football Moneylines

The moneyline in college football works the same as it does in any sport. Players simply bet on which team they think will win the game straight up. The odds will look a lot more different though with much bigger disparities between some of the favorites and underdogs. For example, Alabama would be listed at -375 as the favorite on the moneyline. Meanwhile LSU, would be listed at +260 as the underdog.

When there's a minus sign in front of the odds, that's what you bet to win $100. In this case, you would bet $375 on Alabama to win $100. On the other hand, if there's a plus sign, it's the opposite. That tells you how much you'll win if you bet $100. In this case, a $100 bet on LSU would pay $260 if they win.

Totals (Over-Unders)

Another popular bet for college football is the total, which is the same as in the NFL. The sportsbooks will determine an appropriate line for each game and adjust based on factors throughout the week including the amount of money they take in on each side. In a high scoring affair such as a matchup between Oklahoma and Baylor, the line could look something like this at NCAAF betting sites:

Over 63.5 (-105)

Under 63.5 (-115)

Betting on the total is as simple as picking whether you think the combine score between the two teams will be above or below than the set number.

1st Quarter/Half Lines

Football games are broken down in to two halves and four quarters. The sportsbooks do a good job of breaking the games down so that you can wager on each of them as if they were their own game. For example, if the Crimson Tide and Tigers met, there would be a line for both the half and for each quarter.

The spread could look something like this: Alabama 1st Half (-3.5, +115). The total would look the same way it would if you were betting the total for the entire game. The difference would be that the number would be adjusted to account for only a half or a quarter of the game.


Anybody betting on NCAA football could choose to combine a series of spread bets or money line bets in to a parlay or a teaser. In order for a parlay to hit, every single wager made as part of the parlay must hit. If one misses, then the bet is considered a loss.

A teaser allows players to buy a certain amount of points on each of the lines that they choose for their wager. Players can exchange paying more juice in exchange for adding points to the lines of the games in their favor.