NCAA Football Schedule: Where Saturday’s Were Made For Betting
Betting on football in the United States is as American as a greasy cheeseburger, but nothing may compare to betting on the pageantry that is college football.
While the NFL has Sunday’s booked on your schedule every Fall and Winter, college football has Saturday earmarked.
With 130 schools across the country playing 12-game schedules, every Saturday is jam-packed with well over 30 games on the board.
College football games usually go down on Saturday, but smaller conferences will play games throughout the week for added TV exposure to aid recruiting and bring more money to the schools athletic program budgets.
As such, there is ample opportunity to quench your thirst for betting on college football.
Within these scheduling wrinkles, comes additional opportunity to find an edge when wagering on college football. We’re going to assess a few of these nuances when it comes to betting on this fantastic game.
Home-Field Advantage in the College Football Schedule
Playing at home in any sport typically brings with it a lot of perks. You don’t have to travel, you get to sleep in your own bed the night before the game, and most important of all – you have thousands and thousands of fans screaming at the opposition when the game kicks off.
College sports are no different in this regard, and many times home-field advantage is more impactful in college football than in any other sport.
From the loud and raucous crowds at Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Oregon to the absurdly packed stadiums in Ann Arbor and Columbus, all the way down to the different world of college football in the southern United States – home-field advantage can be found anywhere in college football.
It should be no surprise then that identifying the teams that have the strongest home-field advantage can give you a discernible edge when it comes to wagering on the sport.
When handicapping the weekend action from across college football, be sure to factor in just how strong certain teams play at home as opposed to when they travel into some of the many unfriendly confines from across the country.
NCAA Football Cupcakes and Neutral Field Fun
One of the many ways college football is different from professional football comes with the gigantic talent differential from the college football programs in a Power 5 conference to those who are in a smaller conference. And while there are a handful of non-Power 5 teams that are very good, most of them simply do not have the personnel to hang around with a Top 10 college football team.
It’s with this reason that you will see many college football powerhouses play host to some immensely weak competition, resulting in eye-popping point spreads and a lot of blowouts.
Another way the college football is unique from professional football comes in early season neutral-field games. While playing at a neutral location is much more common in college basketball non-conference action, many big programs will have their more difficult non-conference games played at neutral site. Alabama is especially known for this, as they are often involved in a kickoff game at sorts that will be played in an NFL stadium.
These two subtle nuances that separate college football from the NFL are just a couple examples of how a bettor can extract value when they are handicapping their games. Understanding this and implementing it within your wagering will go a long way towards ensuring your college football betting season is a profitable one.
There Ain’t No Season Like Bowl SZN
Unlike the NFL where the season ends if you do not qualify for the postseason or lose at any point in the playoffs, college football rolls out a second season of sorts that most casual fans of the sport simply refer to as “bowl season”.
Every year at the conclusion of the college football season, the teams that won at least half the games on their schedule are eligible to take part in one of the 40 college football bowl games that take place from mid-December all the way until the conclusion of the College Football Playoff.
With bowl season comes additional opportunity for action, and the opportunity to capitalize on mismatches, teams with all the motivation in the world to be in that bowl game, teams with no motivation at all to be there, teams with entirely new coaching staffs after another school hires away their guy, and many other variables. Combine all of these elements with the fact that a lot of these games happen around the holidays and bowl season is a special experience just on its own.
Other College Football Schedule Betting Strategies to Consider
Because college football has far more teams and far less parity than the NFL, that leads to lopsided scores and gigantic point spreads. Because of this added element of difficulty, here are some other things to consider before wagering on college football.
- Rivalries – Regardless of record, some rivalries just bring out the absolute best out of a team. Be aware of any heated rivalry with a larger point spread as these games tend to be a little closer than usual.
- Pace – College football is a different animal from the NFL. Teams pride themselves on being able to move up and down the field like the 2017 Golden State Warriors. Knowing the teams that play at a faster/slower pace can go a long way towards finding additional handicapping edges.
- Weather Conditions – College football has numerous teams that love to run a fast tempo, spread based offense and when those teams run into inclement weather or wind, you should probably factor this into your handicapping as well. Likewise when a triple-option oriented team is playing in a cold weather, pound you into submission type game. Remember, most college football teams do not have a Russell Wilson or Patrick Mahomes type QB that can excel in any environment. Weather has a bigger impact on college football than most sports.
- Injuries/Player Punishment – Unlike the NFL, college football teams can be much more secretive with their injury report. Make sure you do your due diligence in ensuring a star player is not playing injured or is set to not play. Additionally, always be sure to double check that a key player was not suspended for conduct or a targeting violation in the previous game that would leave him suspended for part/all of their next matchup. Again, this is news that is not touched upon nearly as much as it is in the NFL.
Here at OddsUSA, we strive to keep you armed with the best trends, analysis and insight in the sports betting universe to ensure your most profitable season yet. Good luck and happy wagering!