- NFL games are more closely matched, leading to closer odds between opponents compared to college football games.
- College football sees far fewer upsets than in the NFL as winning teams are more predictable in college football due to talent imbalance.
NEW YORK – With the college football season underway, bettors should examine the differences between the two football leagues to see why the betting approaches are also different.
Most of the differences boil down to the balance of talent at the professional level versus collegiate level as the top schools recruit the best talent and have a dominating presence over others.
Football fans can see the differences when looking at NFL and college football betting lines and notice the stark contrast in how short the favorites are in each league.
College Football Betting Differences
When betting on college football, especially when looking at the odds for the top 25 AP-ranked schools, their odds are usually way shorter than their opponents.
The spread is also usually set very high.
Alabama Crimson Tide Vs Miami Hurricanes
- Moneyline: Alabama -1200, Miami +700
- Spread: Alabama -19.5
- Totals: O/U 61.0
Looking at the Alabama Crimson Tide’s odds to beat the Miami Hurricanes, betting fans can see sportsbooks are leaning heavily towards Alabama.
Alabama is the #1 ranked program, the defending college football champions, and has held the number one ranking for the better part of a decade. Meanwhile, Miami is ranked #14 in the nation and has not won a championship since 2001.
Alabama is one of the best-recruiting programs in the nation and it has reflected in their dominant wide margin of victory wins. Hence why the spread is set at -19.5.
Contrast this with betting on the NFL the defending Super Bowl Champions Tampa Bay Buccaneers are not as heavily favored in their first game of the season.
Dallas Cowboys Vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Moneyline: Buccaneers -350, Cowboys +275
- Spread: Buccaneers -7.5
- Totals: O/U 51.5
The Dallas Cowboys were one of the worst teams in the league last season finishing with a 6-10 record and missing the playoffs completely. Dallas coming in as the underdogs in this matchup is no surprise, but the odds are not as long as Miami’s to beat Alabama.
Additionally, the spread set for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is just -7.5, slightly more than a touchdown. Big blowout wins are far less common in the NFL than in college.
Tips For Betting On College Football
When looking to bet on a college football team bettors should not only look at the successes of a team’s past season, because it is likely a completely different team altogether.
Senior’s graduate, star players enter the NFL draft, and a new batch of freshman talent joins the roster every school year. The best teams in college are the ones who constantly recruit well over years and manage to return players during the offseason.
It’s best to look at the returning players for each program specifically for teams with star QBs; if the star QB was the reason the team was good and that QB leaves for the NFL, the college team may not remain a top program.
Another thing to note is that college teams with high spreads tend to cover often. Betting fans may see a -19.5 spread and be nervous, but it is likely set that high for a reason. Upsets also rarely happen, so betting on longshot odds to win on any given week could be viewed as a bad bet.
Tips For Betting On The NFL
Looking at last season team stats is a far better strategy when betting on the NFL because many top athletes are under years-long contracts so the core of the team will be returning; specifically for positions like QB.
Bettors can check trends for starting QBs as many have been with the same team for multiple seasons and have a large sample size for bettors to pay attention to.
For football fans looking to wager on underdogs, the NFL is a far better league to do so as upsets can happen on any given Sunday.
The same goes for futures betting as teams with long odds have won the Super Bowl on plenty of occasions. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers had +6000 odds to be Super Bowl Champions but went on to win it all.
The NFL is more unpredictable than college football, so longshot betting as a whole benefits more from NFL odds. Both leagues will be hosting great odds at legal sports betting this season, and football fans can win big placing action on both.
Coming from a background in narrative-based writing, Giovanni strives to write stories that will keep the reader engaged. Although he does pride himself in being accurate, how the story is told is also very important to him. When he’s not keeping readers up to date on sports betting laws and legislation, you can find him writing and recording music, playing videogames, or engaged in heated sports debates with his friends.