Nothing beats the excitement of a college football Saturday, but for sports betting enthusiasts, the real fun lasts all week. Studying college football odds from the second they open up until kickoff is a fall tradition unlike any other. Monitoring point spreads, moneylines and totals is a must for college football betting enthusiasts. At Bookies.com, our college football odds are constantly updating with the latest lines. And we provide all the tools you need to make the smartest college football betting decisions all season long.
College Football Odds
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Does Bookies Provide the Best College Football Odds for Each Game?
Yes. College football odds move throughout the week for any number of reasons – injuries, sharp money, weather forecasts, etc. That’s why it’s essential for bettors to access the very latest college football odds. Our Bookies.com odds page has the most accurate, up-to-date point spreads, moneylines and totals from Week 1 through the national championship game from the top legal US online sportsbooks.
Simply consult the table below for this week’s matchups to see which teams are favored and by how many points. The college football betting odds are listed just like you’d find them at a sportsbook. Make sure to check back throughout the week – if you’re on the fence about betting an underdog, it could be beneficial to wait a day or two and see if the odds change to give you more points before you place a bet.
How to Read College Football Odds
Reading college football odds is easy with a little practice. Things such as point spread and moneyline will soon become part of your second language. Once bettors have a solid understanding of college football odds and how they all work, they can start to look for value in specific games or point spreads that don’t look right. For example, one team could be favored by two touchdowns when you believe they should only be favored by 10 points. That’s your cue to bet the underdog.
Here are the most common odds you’ll see posted throughout the college football season.
Look, there’s plenty of disparity in college football. Teams like the Alabama Crimson Tide have a huge advantage over lesser programs with far fewer resources. Superior infrastructure for recruiting means consistently landing elite talent, which keeps the cycle going.
College football point spreads essentially even the playing field on game day. Let’s say Alabama is playing an overmatched Mississippi State. Adding a point spread handicaps the action so that there’s incentive to take Mississippi State, even if you don’t think they’ll win the game outright. A common point spread could look like this:
- Mississippi State Bulldogs +17 (-110)
- Alabama Crimson Tide -17 (-110)
The -17 next to Alabama indicates the Crimson Tide are a 17-point favorite. A point spread bet on Alabama here means you’re expecting Alabama to win by 17 points or more. The -110 shows what you’ll need to risk in order to win $100. So the -110 indicates bettors need to risk $110 in order to win $100 with a bet on Alabama.
We already know Mississippi State is the underdog. The +17 number shows they’re a 17-point underdog. That means the Bulldogs don’t need to win outright in order to cash the bet. As long as they don’t lose by more than 17 points, the bet is a winner. Even if Alabama wins 42-28, that means the Bulldogs cover the spread and reward underdog bettors.
Moneyline is the easiest bet in all of sports. You’re just picking which team will win the game outright. There’s no point spread. These college football betting odds are about finding value in the risk/reward required for various moneylines.
Let’s say the LSU Tigers are traveling to Notre Dame early in the season for a big nonconference matchup. We’ll say LSU is the better team, but Notre Dame has a strong home-field advantage. The point spread could be something like LSU -5.5. But the moneyline allows you to pick the winner straight up. Here’s what this moneyline might look like.
- LSU Tigers ML -220
- Notre Dame Fighting Irish ML +180
The first number is LSU -220. This means that bettors can risk $220 to win $100 on LSU moneyline. Then they just need the Tigers to win the game outright. They could win by one point or 21. As long as they’re ahead when the game ends, the bet cashes.
The second number is Notre Dame +180. This means bettors can risk $100 to win $180. The payout is much better for the Fighting Irish because they’re the underdogs. This is a good example of why moneylines can be so effective. If you like Notre Dame, you could take the Fighting Irish at +5.5. But that’s not even a full touchdown. So if you’re confident this is going to be a close game, +180 is solid value on Notre Dame.
The odds shown above are American odds, and it’s how most U.S. bettors make their football picks. If you see moneyline odds that look different, such as in decimal or fraction format, fear not. Our free odds calculator can easily convert point spread and moneyline odds from all the common formats. It can also tell you a potential payout based off of what you want to bet.
Total betting is a different way to approach college football odds. The outcome between the two teams doesn’t matter. Instead, you’re betting whether the teams will combine to score a certain amount of points.
Let’s say the Clemson Tigers are playing the Ohio State Buckeyes in the college football championship. These programs are known for explosive offense, so sportsbooks will likely be expecting plenty of points. Here’s how the total could look for this game.
- Clemson Tigers vs. Ohio State Buckeyes
- Over: 61.5 (-110)
- Under: 61.5 (-110)
College football bettors then pick whether they think the final score will be more or less than 61.5 combined points. The winning team doesn’t matter. If Ohio State wins 35-31, the total is more than 61.5 and the over is a winning bet. If Clemson wins 30-29, the total is less than 61.5 and the under hits.
This is a good way to change it up when making college football picks, and there’s often more value in total betting than point spread betting for a sharp observer. You can also combine totals bets with point spread and moneyline wagers on a parlay. Play around with different odds using our free parlay calculator to see the potential payout of combined bets.
How Are NCAAF Odds Generated?
A number of different factors go into college football betting odds. Handicappers and oddsmakers usually make the opening lines on Sundays, a full six days before the game. The opening line is usually set based on their personal systems in assessing how much better one team is than the other for a given matchup.
Oddsmakers will consider variables such as matchups, weather, home-field advantage, head coaches, injuries, motivation, etc. This is a challenge with so much annual roster turnover and so many teams to follow, so there is often value to be found in the betting odds early in the week. Sure, a betting line on the Rose Bowl will be pretty razor sharp early on. But a midweek MAC game in November? You might be able to exploit some loose point spreads there.
RELATED: Check out our experts’ college football picks all football season, from Week 1 through the national title game.
How Often Do NCAA Football Lines Change?
College football odds change frequently throughout the week. That’s why it’s so important to stay on top of the line with our odds page. One of the biggest reasons lines move more in college football than NFL betting is the injury factor. College football teams aren’t required to release injury reports in the day’s leading up to a game. Coaches often don’t announce injuries ahead of time, so if a star quarterback is day-to-day the betting line might move based on media reports from practice.
Things like weather forecasts can also have a big impact on the total – it’s a lot harder to put up points in rainy conditions, which could bring the total down as the forecast changes throughout the week.
You don’t want to get caught by surprise with a betting line on Saturday morning. And you won’t really understand why a college football betting line moved the way it did unless you’re paying attention throughout the week.
When Are NCAA Football Lines Released?
NCAA point spreads are usually released on Sunday mornings, though on some matchups odds might not come out until early in the week. The oddsmakers at online sportsbooks have watched all the teams in action the previous day and will set their lines for next week’s games accordingly. This leaves a lengthy betting window and plenty of opportunity to find value.
Bowl games are different. The Fiesta Bowl or Rose Bowl betting line will be released shortly after the matchup is set, which could be more than a month ahead of the game. College Football Playoff odds are released as soon as the final four teams are announced, and the national championship odds are posted as soon as the playoff semifinals are finished.
NCAA Football Championship Odds
The championship is what every team aims for, but in college football just four teams get an opportunity to play for it as part of the football playoff. That narrow point of entry typically leads to the sport’s most elite programs facing off again and again, and the lone four playoff spots going to power-conference teams with a high strength of schedule, conference championship credentials and near-spotless overall records.
Two losses are usually enough to knock a team out of the running, and very few programs can meet that bar. That pecking order is reflected in college football futures odds — bets that can be made on the champion during the college football season and well in advance of the playoff, usually presented in a moneyline format.
Michigan +800, for example, means a bettor collects $800 for every $100 wagered should the Wolverines take the title. Perennial contenders like Alabama, Clemson and Oklahoma will typically have the lowest NCAA football odds, especially as the season goes on. There’s a better potential payoff in wagering on a longshot, but the College Football Playoff doesn’t usually leave room for those.
NCAA football betting odds will change over time as teams fall in and out of championship contention. It all culminates in odds posted after the semifinal or title game matchups are set. Typically, the earlier you wager on a team, the better odds you’ll get. So watch those NCAA football latest lines and pounce before offers begin to lose their value. Finding the most favorable NCAA football futures lines requires perusing the best college football betting sites, such as those found at Bookies.com.
NCAA Football Playoff Odds
But before the NCAA football champion is decided, there’s the College Football Playoff itself, beginning with a pair of semifinal games rotated annually among the Rose, Orange, Sugar, Peach, Fiesta and Cotton bowls. Many sportsbooks will offer futures odds on whether teams can make it that far. While the potential payoff won’t be as high as taking a squad to win it all, being one of the last four teams standing is more far realistic for many programs than finishing No. 1.
As always, knowledge and research are key. In the case of the College Football Playoff, helpful hints are left along the way.
Although there are no automatic bids as in the NCAA basketball tournament, the College Football Playoff Selection Committee still weighs conference championships very heavily in determining the four participating teams. So knowing league hierarchies can be as important as an awareness of the national landscape at large.
Beginning each October, the selection committee releases a ranking of the top 25 teams in playoff contention. So the public knows where each squads stand. Given that the elite programs rarely lose regular-season games, futures bettors may find the top of that weekly update to be a very helpful guide. And always monitor NCAA football betting lines on a week-to-week basis to pick up on trends.
Once the four-team championship field is decided, bettors can wager not just on one team to win the title, but also which of the eight possible combinations — based on the four programs playing in the semifinals — will comprise the championship game matchup. Those options are typically weighted in moneyline format, with the most likely title matchup receiving the lowest odds.
NCAA Football Heisman Trophy Odds
Odds aren’t placed only on games. Bettors can also find them on the race for the Heisman Trophy, college football’s most prestigious individual award. Like the national championship, Heisman betting odds are often available in the preseason and updated throughout the campaign. Unlike the football playoff, it’s not at all unusual for someone to come out of nowhere to win.
Consider that the 2018 winner, Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray, started out with +2000 odds, well behind the preseason favorite, running back Bryce Love of Stanford. In the preceding decade, seven of 10 Heisman winners opened with odds of +1600 or higher. Favorites so rarely win the Heisman, it’s difficult to pinpoint the last time one did.
But there are trends. Heisman winners are usually on teams contending for playoff spots, and Murray became the 16th quarterback to win in the previous two decades. Defensive winners are exceedingly rare. In an award first bestowed in 1935, Michigan cornerback Charles Woodson in 1997 was the first winner ever to play exclusively on that side of the ball.
Heisman odds, especially in the preseason, can prove an excellent value option given the fluid nature of the race.
Types of Sports Bets Made from College Football Odds
College football betting is extremely popular, which means sportsbooks offer a lot of different ways to bet on NCAA games. Here are some of the different options for college football bettors:
- Point Spread
- In-game betting
- Player props
- Game props
- Alternate spread
How the Latest College Football Odds Can Impact Your Betting Decision
Savvy college football bettors know that making good bets is all about the number. Anyone can look at Alabama and predict they’ll beat a weaker SEC opponent. But can they cover a -7 spread? What about -7.5? Even those half-points make a big difference in college football, especially when it means winning by more than one touchdown.
Your average college football bettor might roll out of bed at 10 a.m. Saturday morning, take a quick look at the games and fire off their bets. This is not a good way to do it. This is the tightest those lines will be all week. The key is identifying games you like on Monday or Tuesday, when the lines are still taking shape. Then you can find games you might like if the point spread moves to a certain number throughout the week. You can also turn to our college football consensus tool to see where the money is going in a matchup.
It’s not just about picking the right point spread or moneyline. It’s about doing it at the time when there’s the most value. That’s how bettors can make good decisions and consistently build a bankroll over time.
In order to do those things, bettors have to stay on top of the college football odds throughout the week. This allows you to do your research in a more efficient fashion.
Bookies.com provides all the tools to become successful college football bettors. Our odds page is constantly updating with the latest college football lines, and our experts provide weekly college football picks to provide even more context to line movement.
Take advantage of our resources and stick with Bookies.com throughout the season to start making smarter betting decisions.