Why is Betting on College Football Futures So Popular?
The college football futures market has dramatically grown in popularity in recent years. National championship odds and Heisman Trophy betting lines get the most action, but lines are also available for each conference championship race, from the SEC to the Sun Belt.
Why have college football future odds become a go-to wager for college football odds pros and novices alike? If you really know the game, there is opportunity to exploit odds that may not be as sharp as the lines for games produced by analytics-driven sportsbooks. In addition, odds are out all offseason, so there is action to be had months before any games are being played. If you have a strong feeling the Ohio State Buckeyes are going to win the Big Ten, you can place that bet right now – there’s no point in waiting for results to push the odds down.
Going with Auburn to win the national title may be a reach compared to other teams in the conference, such as the LSU Tigers or Alabama Crimson Tide. But the payout is much bigger. That’s another big draw with NCAAF futures – if you hit your mark, especially on a darkhorse, you’re raking it in compared to your typical point spread or Over/Under wager. In college football, there are typically a small handful of teams with low odds, and the lines jump way up for everyone else. You can get the fifth-ranked school in the nation at +2000. It won’t take many surprising results for your team to have a real shot.
For those who closely follow one team or conference, betting on the total wins on a season is a growing way to take advantage. West Virginia may not look like a national title contender, but if you believe the Mountaineers should win more games than the oddsmakers believe, you can pick the Over on their total wins. Notre Dame isn’t in a conference, but you can still choose the Over or Under on its total wins for a season.
The flexibility of when you can bet on college football futures is another big bonus. National title odds for the coming football season are released soon after the previous season’s championship game ends. Heisman Trophy odds are up in due time, as well. Will Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide get back to the College Football Playoff and earn a sixth national title since 2009? There’s no need to wait on placing that bet. If you like coach Dabo Swinney's Clemson Tigers to rebound behind the play of quarterback Trevor Lawrence, you can do that, too. If the odds are high enough, you can select both teams at your favorite online sportsbook and come out ahead in the end if either team wins it all.
What Impacts NCAAF Futures Odds?
College football futures change dramatically in the opening month of the football season, more than any other sport. That’s because a bad loss or a big win can dramatically increase – or decrease – your chances to win a conference. If a Clemson or an Ohio State is upset in an early non-conference game, it can be a big climb to get back into the top four and secure a College Football Playoff berth. Heisman odds are affected by big efforts, too. Jalen Hurts broke the Oklahoma Sooners’ passing record in his first game for the team, jumping up the Heisman Trophy odds. He ultimately finished second in 2019 Heisman voting to LSU’s Joe Burrow.
Early odds are based on the previous season, on recruiting and the class of seniors and early draftees leaving. A team like Alabama, which has a top-five recruiting class annually, is going to be a major title contender regardless of how the previous season went. Conversely, the UCLA Bruins may need a few solid recruiting classes for oddsmakers to take notice.
Injuries don’t move the needle in college football odds as they do in NBA and NFL futures, with the exception of star quarterbacks.
RELATED: Make sure to bookmark our expert handicappers’ college football picks and check them every week of the season
Future Bets for the NCAAF Season
NCAAF Championship: Pick the team that wins the College Football Playoff and adds the ultimate prize to its trophy case.
Heisman Trophy: One of the iconic individual awards in sports, the Heisman is handed out to the top college football player annually, selected by a large swath of voters across the nation.
Conference Championship: Futures for every NCAA Division I conference are available. If you believe Washington can overcome Oregon and USC to win the Pac-12, you can bet on it and earn a nice payout if it hits.
Use our odds calculator to check out potential payouts on your futures bets. Looking to parlay a Heisman and national title bet? Our parlay calculator will tell you how big of a payday to expect if you nail it.
Strategies When Betting on College Football Futures
College football future odds are available as soon as the previous season ends and throughout the offseason, preseason and regular season at the top sports betting sites in your state. Odds fluctuate based on how the season progresses, so picking a team or player at the right time can pay off bigger than waiting too long or locking in too early.
Visit multiple sportsbooks to find the best price for the team or player worth backing. Sites post different lines for the same player, and you can find considerable value just by looking around. Backing the Georgia Bulldogs to win the national title might be +900 at one online sportsbook and +1200 on another. That’s a $300 difference in potential profit off a $100 wager just by shopping betting lines and picking the right sportsbook.
While you’re placing a bet, remember that you don’t have to let it all ride on one player or team, especially during the offseason or early going. Taking both Alabama and Auburn boosts the likelihood you’ll likely have one team in the SEC title game after the Iron Bowl.
Powerhouses win titles: Of the 24 spots in the College Football Playoff’s first six years of existence, all 24 have been given to power conference teams. On three occasions, a non-power conference team that finished undefeated was passed over.
Look for the powerhouses: Of those 24 spots, 17 of them have been filled by Alabama, Clemson, Oklahoma and Ohio State. Every other team in the nation, combined, has seven.
Go QB For the Heisman: Thirteen of the last 15 Heisman winners have been quarterbacks.
Go for QBs on good teams: Only once in the six-year history of the College Football Playoff has the Heisman been given to a player that didn’t lead his team to the four-team tournament (Louisville’s Lamar Jackson, 2016).
Darkhorses can win the Heisman: After Week 1 of the 2019 college football season, LSU quarterback Joe Burrow was +10000 to win the Heisman. Those who put $100 on Burrow at that point won $10,000. There are opportunities to buy low with a chance for the player to make a push later.