College Football Handicapping
Posted by Jimmy Boyd
We have put together a few of the items that our experts look for when doing their college football handicapping. There are plenty of different ways to go about trying to beat the sportsbooks each weekend, so this is by no means an all-inclusive list. Remember though that with all forms of gambling you can put all the time in the world in and use all the right resources and still end up losing more of your bets than you win. By putting the time and work in you will however, give yourself the best chance of profiting over the books and making money. We think that you will use a lot of the same techniques as in NFL handicapping, but this is really a different sport entirely. There isn’t as much parity and good teams should be able to win outright over their inferior opponents each week. In pro sports the talent difference is not nearly as significant.
The schedule is more important in NCAA action than in the pros. You’ll find kids overlooking this week’s opponent for their major rivalry is coming in one week later. You’ll see teams looking past to the next week more than you will in the NFL where the players are more focuses on what needs to be done now.
If you find a team that is terrible at stopping the run or pass and they are going against a school that is great at their weakness, the team isn’t likely going to be able to game plan around this like they can in the NFL. Take a look at the matchups and use any strengths v. weaknesses you find to your advantage.
You’ll find a huge difference between a star quarterback and his backup in the NCAA ranks. In the pros all these guys were stars at the previous level, but that’s not necessarily the case when a school gets a great recruit that takes them to national prowess, only to lose that star and hope to continue to compete.
Don’t take into account the public action nearly as much as you do for the pro football scene. You can make a living going against the public in the NFL, but in college a lot of small schools only see action from the area people who are wagering. These guys know more about their small team than the books do and you’ll get burnt going against them.
Our Handicapping Articles
- Home Field Advantage - which teams had the best and worst home/road splits the last 20 years.
- Key Numbers - how often games land on numbers and when you should buy a half point.
- Coaching Changes – see what team’s have a new head man.
- Biggest Upsets – see underdogs who shocked the world.
- Conference vs Conference Records – see how different conferences perform against each other.
- College Football OT Results – how teams perform coming off an overtime game.
- Non-Conference Games With Conference Game on Deck – how teams perform in non-conference games with a conference game next on the schedule.
Great Resources to Check Out:
- Athlon’s CFB section - news and notes covering the sport from one of the best in the business.
- Archives Scores & Odds - all you have to do is click on the calendar to set a specific date.
- CFB Stats - great site with stats covering all of the teams and in specific situations.
- College Football Talk - NBC Sports news and stories.
- Covers Matchups - get an idea of how each team has done recently, betting trends, stat comparison, and matchup history.
- Covers Statsheet - a downloadable PDF with a quick look at each game of the week.
- Data Warehouse - detailed archives of records for teams and coaches.
- Detailed Records - lists all of the teams and how they have done straight up, against the spread, and against the totals, or if you would prefer by conference.
- Don Best Injury Reports - find out the status of key players before making your bets.
- History - see how each team has done against the spread in previous seasons.
- Message Boards - listing of forums for each school and conference. Can find out how the fans think of their team’s chances.
- Mr. NFL Stats - check the stats out for every game played last week or any week of the season.
- Phil Steele - a must read every summer is his magazine.
- Power Rankings - if you want a complete list of sources of power rankings, here they are.
- Prediction Tracker - I like the side by side comparison of different power rankings, plus you can see their records.
- SB Nation - their CFB blogs and articles.
- Scout - detailed football coverage from a well-known source.
- Statfox Matchups - compare offensive/defensive statistics along with betting trends for each game.
- Sporting News - another great site for well-rounded CFB coverage.
- Team Pages - index of unofficial sites covering each school.
- Team Rankings - computer based analysis on each game.
- Vegas Insider Matchups - quick look at each game this week if you want streaks and betting percentages.
- Weather Reports - make sure you check this page out before betting any totals.