The key numbers when referring to NCAAF spreads are common knowledge. We use it each and every week when we do our NCAAF handicapping.

For those of you that don’t know, the most frequent winning margins are 3 and 7. It’s why each is referred to as a key number. It’s also why there’s such a perceived value when you get a team at -2.5 or -6.5 when betting a favorite and +3.5 and +7.5 when betting the dog.

What I find interesting is that amateur bettors don’t use the same principals with totals. For the most part, if ‘John Doe’ sees two great offenses, he looks to bet the OVER regardless of the number.

Handicapping Most Common College Football Over/Under Lines

Below I’ve put together an in-depth table that looks at data for every NCAA football game dating back to 2000. I tallied how many times a game landed on a specific score (both teams combined). For example, if a game ended 24-14. That would be a final score of 38.

As it turns out, the most popular outcome is 55-points for a NCAA football game. It’s happened 3.32% of the time. Quite a bit higher than the NFL, but that should be no surprise. Defenses aren’t nearly as good in college, where offenses can get away with all these up-tempo spread attacks that feature dual threat QBs.

Knowing that more and more schools are transitioning to the spread attack, I wanted to check on the data for just the last 5 years. You have to think that with this huge movement, the average final score has to go up.

It turns out that 55 is still the magic number when you only look at the last 5 years. Note that dating back 2000 it was 3.32% and in the last five it’s up to 3.98%.

While 55 is still at the top, you can definitely see that scoring is rising. Just look at the difference in how often games are occurring. There’s clearly been a rise in games reaching 60+ points. For all the data 65 points happened just 2.22% of the time, but is at 2.63% over the last 5. Over a 12-year period (2000-2011) there 186 games that ended at 65. It’s happened 113 times in just the last 5 years.

Key Numbers for Betting NCAA Football Totals

Points ScoredGames% of All GamesGames (Last 5 Years)% of Games (Last 5 Years)
554483.32%1713.98%
514022.98%1162.70%
454012.97%1142.65%
593862.86%1012.35%
483832.84%1242.89%
523772.79%1202.79%
413722.76%992.30%
583702.74%1212.82%
443652.70%1262.93%
623172.35%1022.37%
473002.22%791.84%
652992.22%1132.63%
372962.19%841.95%
492742.03%841.95%
382742.03%751.74%
612631.95%932.16%
662591.92%862.00%
542591.92%701.63%
692531.87%962.23%
632311.71%741.72%
342281.69%651.51%
572261.67%751.74%
432141.59%601.40%
562051.52%801.86%
402031.50%571.33%
732021.50%631.47%
311951.44%541.26%
501941.44%581.35%
301831.36%531.23%
531821.35%551.28%
421821.35%370.86%
721791.33%671.56%
331781.32%551.28%
681721.27%551.28%
761701.26%711.65%
641701.26%561.30%
271671.24%370.86%
351591.18%511.19%
771541.14%641.49%
711511.12%531.23%
461451.07%380.88%
701441.07%491.14%
751431.06%541.26%
791421.05%551.28%
601381.02%491.14%
361300.96%280.65%
671230.91%420.98%
231190.88%240.56%
801090.81%400.93%
831070.79%380.88%
241050.78%210.49%
391030.76%260.60%
291030.76%180.42%
26860.64%170.40%
87760.56%300.70%
82760.56%350.81%
74680.50%260.60%
28680.50%140.33%
85670.50%250.58%
20660.49%140.33%
32650.48%130.30%
78640.47%310.72%
84590.44%250.58%
89540.40%240.56%
86510.38%280.65%
90470.35%140.33%
91450.33%180.42%
81450.33%170.40%
93440.33%150.35%
97400.30%240.56%
22400.30%90.21%
17400.30%100.23%
21390.29%80.19%
19370.27%90.21%
16340.25%50.12%
94250.19%120.28%
25250.19%60.14%
100240.18%160.37%
92240.18%120.28%
88240.18%90.21%
13210.16%100.23%
103190.14%110.26%
101180.13%110.26%
95180.13%100.23%
99160.12%80.19%
15160.12%50.12%
98150.11%50.12%
105140.10%40.09%
96130.10%50.12%
107120.09%70.16%
12120.09%30.07%
10120.09%40.09%
102100.07%20.05%
10890.07%50.12%
990.07%20.05%
10480.06%30.07%
11170.05%30.07%
1470.05%30.07%
11760.04%20.05%
10960.04%40.09%
11550.04%30.07%
11050.04%40.09%
350.04%10.02%
13340.03%30.07%
12340.03%20.05%
11440.03%20.05%
10640.03%30.07%
740.03%00.00%
11930.02%20.05%
11630.02%20.05%
1830.02%00.00%
13620.01%00.00%
12520.01%10.02%
11320.01%20.05%
13710.01%10.02%
13510.01%10.02%
13410.01%00.00%
13210.01%00.00%
12910.01%00.00%
12810.01%00.00%
12710.01%00.00%
12410.01%10.02%
11810.01%10.02%
11210.01%00.00%
610.01%00.00%
510.01%00.00%

You’ll notice that the frequency isn’t too high for any number.  That is why teasing CFB totals isn’t a great idea.  We didn’t find any that were profitable and worth your time when doing our research.

Hopefully this information will help when you are betting NCAA football over unders.  There is a lot that goes into beating the books, but making sure you get the best number is a big part of it.  Once you start shopping around and getting value, you’ll have a better chance of putting money into your pocket.

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