In the past we have talked about how to bet on NCAAF and one option is money lines. If you aren’t familiar with this form of wagering, it’s simply betting on who you think will win the game outright. This also means there is no point spread involved. The risk involved is adjusted based on the betting line, or the odds of each team winning the game.
Let’s look at an example. A 3-point favorite is usually around -151. What this line says is that you must wager $151 for every $100 you want to win. The reverse is true for when betting on an underdog. A 3-point dog would likely have a line around +124. Here you would win $124 for every $100 you wager if that team wins the game outright.
How to Convert NCAAF Spreads to Moneylines & Calculating Value
Now that you know the most basic concept of handicapping NCAA football, the question you should be asking is, “Are moneyline bets profitable?” I’ve researched over 17,000 NCAA football games to try and find the answer.
The charts below show two different money lines. The “expected moneyline” represents a composite outright win percentage of every game in each situation at the line given. It’s converted from a percentage to a money line. The “actual moneyline” shows the typical line that a book would set at each spread (e.g. -3 is typically -124).
Comparing those numbers we can see if the bets are historically profitable. As you will see, there are some situations that have been profitable, but most are not.
For example, at your typical sportsbook, a favorite of -5 would have a moneyline of -204. As our history shows, the actual value of 5-point favorites is only -164. You are paying far too much juice. On the flip side, favorites of -5.5 have an advantage of -241 to -214 (expected vs. actual, respectively).
College Football Spread to Money Line Conversion Charts
I’ve broken the data down into four charts for the four main situations. Those are as follows; home favorites, road favorites, road underdogs, and home underdogs.
*Please note that some higher lines did not have enough games to qualify as significant data. For those games we used estimated win percentages to better represent those numbers.
You should think about these numbers before taking the moneyline on any college football game. You should also compare the latest money lines using our odds page tool.
As with most everything in gambling, the house does have the advantage overall. However, there are still instances to take advantage of. This also doesn’t mean to avoid these typs of wagers. Just be aware of what your expected odds are, versus the actual odds you are getting on your wagers.
Point Spread to Expected Win % Calculator
The table below shows the expected win percentage at each point spread for the favorite and underdog.
|Point Spread||Favorite Win Chance||Underdog Win Chance|
|20 & Up||100.00%||0.00%|
One thing that you will notice is that if you are going to take favorites of around a touchdown, you might be getting better odds if instead you just did a college football teaser. That is, if you like two teams and were thinking of doing a heavy favorite money line parlay.