NCAAF Odds Legend
There is a saying in football betting circles that ‘you win it on Saturday and give it back on Sunday.’ It suggests that beating the college football point spread is easy to do on Saturdays, while beating the NFL spread on Sundays is difficult. Regardless, the NCAA point spread, also known as the line or spread, is a favorite way to wager on football each fall.
It works this way. If bettors believe that Alabama is two touchdowns better than Auburn, they may bet them as 14-point favorites. In a point spread, the negative value (-14 in the example above) indicates the favorite and the positive value (+14) indicates the underdog. The favorite will need to win by at least 15 points to cover the college football point spread. Meanwhile, the underdog team can lose by 13 points and still cover the spread.
When you note a moneyline value associated with the point spread (example -14, -115), this is known as the vig or juice and is the percentage commission paid to the sportsbook to handle the bet. You must risk $115 to win $100 in the example above. The underdog may look like +14, +105 and this means you can risk $100 for the chance to pocket $105 in profit if your dog team covers the spread.
Usually reserved for baseball and hockey betting in days gone by, college football moneylines have become much more popular in recent years as handicappers have gotten better and believe in their ability to pick upsets. There is no spread to worry about, so your NCAA team needs only to win the game, not win by a certain number of points. As with a spread, a negative value means a favorite (-150) and a positive value indicates a dog (+130). Picture the number 100 sitting in the middle of these two values.
For example, if you bet a -180 favorite, you risk $180 to win $100. On the +160 dog, you risk $100 and win $160 if the underdog wins straight up. Remember the team must win the game SU in order to earn a moneyline victory for your bankroll.
Also known as college football over under betting, these are wagers on the total points scored by both teams combined. Will the final score be over or under the total? If the total is 60.5, you need 60 points or less to win an under bet (example 40-17 final = 57 points which is under 60.5) and 61 points or more to win over (example a 40-27 final = 67 points which is over 60.5).
NCAA football totals are not available on every game and they are sometimes posted later in the week than NFL totals. Keep tabs on the college football odds menu to see which books post these lines first.
Who will win the BCS championship next year? You can bet on your favorite college football program at any point during the year and these types of predictions on the outcome of a future event are known as NCAA football futures.
If a team is dominant and ranked in the Top 5, they may have short BCS odds. A slumping team mired in a tough schedule and with injuries galore may have longshot odds. If the No. 1 ranked team is +280 to win the title, it means a $100 stake returns a $280 profit if that team wins it all. However, that slumping 0-5 team may be +2500 and would pay a huge $2,500 profit as a longshot on a $100 wager. There are other futures available soon here at Odds Shark including odds to win the SEC, Heisman Trophy odds and more. Stay tuned!