College Football Betting Markets

College Football betting markets is what we’re learning about today.

Key Points

– Betting on college football is extremely popular, especially among U.S. bettors.

– Winning college football bets starts with understanding the various markets.

College Football Betting Markets

It is one of the most popular sports for bettors. College football betting markets are a plenty, and loaded with value. And this is each and every week and all season long. They attract bettors by the millions.

College football, along with the NFL, makes up the most-watched spectator sport in the U.S. With the increase in popularity of sports betting in general, there are now more bettors than ever entering college football betting markets.

To get the most out of betting college football, bettors need to understand some of the basics.


Picking The Moneyline

The most basic of bets is the easiest for new bettors to understand. It’s like when you were at school and bet your buddy $20 that Ohio State would beat Rutgers. Your buddy was from New Jersey and was obviously not very bright, but when the Buckeyes won you collected a $20 bill. 

We are looking at the premise of the moneyline bet. There are odds involved which will identify which team is the favorite and which is the underdog. The odds will also help to calculate a payout based on how much is wagered. Using the same Ohio State-Rutgers matchup, we may see the moneyline presented like this.

Ohio State -750

Rutgers +550

Moneyline favorites are designated with the minus “-” sign and underdogs with the plus “+” sign. The odds help us calculate a payout. In this case, a bettor would have to lay out $750 just to win $100 on the Buckeyes. 

On the other end of the bet, a $100 wager on the Scarlet Knights would pay out $550 if they were to pull the upset. 

Because of the number of teams (131) in FBS college football, there are huge differences in talent between schools like Ohio State and Rutgers. Upsets happen, but there are occasions when a moneyline underdog might be given +1000 or even +2000 odds to win.

Point Spread Bets & College Football Betting Markets

Betting the point spread is the most popular of all NCAA football bets. Oddsmakers set a point spread as a means of leveling the playing field between two teams. Again, because of the vast differences in talent among teams, college football bettors should not be surprised by the number of double-digit point spreads. 

In the NFL, there are fewer teams and any team can beat any other team in a given week. That’s why double-digit point spreads are not as common in the NFL. 

Using the same Ohio State-Rutgers example, oddsmakers level the playing field by giving the Scarlet Knights a certain number of points. Let’s say it is 18.5 points. Essentially, a sportsbook is saying that there is a 50/50 chance that the Buckeyes will win the game by 19 points or more. 

The line on the game might look like this.

Ohio State -18.5 (-110)

Rutgers +18.5 (-110)

The Buckeyes are the favorite (it’s the same as the moneyline where the minus “-” sign designates) in this game. Rutgers is the underdog. The odds, or juice, is -110 meaning a bettor must wager $1.10 to win a $1 on either side of the bet. 

If you like the Buckeyes, you wager $110 on Ohio State to cover the spread. Your bet wins if the Buckeyes win by 19 or more points. Your payout is $100.

Totals – Over / Under

Another popular college football betting market is the game total, or Over/Under. Here, bettors wager on the final combined score of a game. Football oddsmakers establish a total number of points. Bettors wager that the final score of the game will go Over that total or Under it.

The total is a great bet when a bettor can’t come to a decision on picking a side. Any bet on a game total is not affected by the outcome of a game, only the final score.

We are going to stick with Ohio State and Rutgers. We are going to say their total is set at 62.5.

Ohio State O 62.5 (-110)

Rutgers U 62.5 (-110)

Let’s say you know Ohio State’s powerful offense will have its way with the Rutgers defense. You predict the total to go Over, so you bet $110 on the Over. 

The Ohio State offense goes off and Rutgers scores a couple touchdowns late in the fourth quarter. The final score is 55-14. The combined total is 69 points, which is well Over the posted game total. Your bet pays you $100.

College Football Betting Markets – Props

Prop bets are making a strong run to become a favorite among college football bettors. Props are fun. And they are not necessarily tied to the outcome of a game, whether is team or player props that you are into. Typically, prop bets are listed much like a totals bet where the bettor will wager on the Over or the Under.

Take the following example with Player A in the category of rushing yards.

Player A O 75.5 (-120)

Player A U 75.5 (-120)

If Player A’s rushing average per game is around 75 yards and his team is playing a defense that gives up a lot of rushing yards, you might wager on the Over here. A $120 bet would pay out $100 if Player A ran for 76 or more yards. Note that props bets typically carry a little higher juice than the standard -110.

There are also Yes/No props and others like First Touchdown or Anytime Touchdown where you wager on a player to score a game’s first touchdown or to simply score a touchdown at any point during a game.


The NCAAF futures market includes wagers on things that will happen in the future. The most popular of CFB futures bets is on the team to win the College Football Playoff national championship. 

The odds for the national champion will be coming out soon after the previous year’s champion has been decided. It is not unusual to find a favorite to win the CFP national title at +500 or even higher odds. The strong contenders may even be given odds closer to +1000 at top sportsbooks.

Bettors can get in early and cash in on a larger payout. A $100 bet on a team to win the national title at +1000 odds pays out $1000.Odds will change, of course, as the season plays out.

Bettors can also find futures odds on things like the Heisman Trophy winner and the NCAA Coach of the Year.