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College Football Handicapping Myths

There are so many myths surrounding college football betting that it can be hard to debunk each one. We’ll take that challenge and debunk the most important myths. Here at OddsShark, we eat challenges for breakfast along with high-protein smoothies because there’s nothing we hate more than silly systems that you might read on a blog written by a guy who works at Wawa and thinks Penn State is going to cover the spread every time.

Some betting angles are worth exploring but the five myths we explore below are pure college football lore.

Myth: I can be an Expert on All Conferences

Just because you have the college football package and have access to every game, doesn’t make you an expert on the USC Trojans – unless you’re Matt Leinart then you better be an expert on the Trojans. At the same time, a New Yorker could know everything about Southern Cal. The point is, it’s still best to bet on just a few select conferences when wagering on college football.

There are simply too many teams out there for one bettor to know it all, regardless of how much you think you know or can know. Instead of focusing on the entire NCAA football organization, pick a conference you like best and learn everything there is to know about those teams. Our Standings page can help you with that.

Myth: College Football is just like the NFL

“Betting on the NFL is the same as betting college football!” If we had a dollar for every time we heard novice bettors say that one, we’d be really rich, like “top of the Forbes list” rich. “Football is football,” they say. “Hogwash!” is what we say. What works when it comes to betting on the NFL doesn’t always translate to college football.

The disparities in talent level and style of play are much more apparent in the college game, making matchups and tendencies all the more important when getting a handle on NCAA football games. Keep in mind that if it works on Sunday, it may not work on Saturday.

Myth: Mo’ Games = Mo’ Money

Money makes the world go ‘round – just ask the Wu Tang Clan. However, you can’t look at the typical Saturday college football schedule and assume you’re going to get paid by betting on all the games.

Even if you did place a wager on every college football game played on any given Saturday, there’s no guarantee that you would win each bet. There are more betting opportunities for college football based on the sheer amount of games played each week, but you still need to be smart about your wagers, otherwise you will annihilate your bankroll like Arkansas State did to Central Arkansas in 1917. The Red Wolves destroyed the Bears by 110 points. The Bears were held scoreless, which is crazy because in real life a bear would beat a red wolf in a fight.

Myth: Only Bet on Ranked Teams

For some reason, this myth continues to be perpetuated even though there’s no clear science on why you should only bet on games that feature top 25 teams. If you do your research on any particular matchup, no matter which teams are playing, you can still make an educated wager. See our page on Betting Against Unranked Teams for more info.

Myth: Totals Betting is the Only Way to Make a Profit

Totals betting, aka OVER/UNDER, is a fine way to bet on college football – but it’s not the only way to bet on college football. In totals betting you’re wagering on the combined number of points scored by both teams to be OVER or UNDER a certain number. Since college football is often a high-scoring affair, it would seem to some that totals betting is easier than other bets you can make.

Instead of making all your college football wagers as totals bets all the time, you can try the spread betting or moneyline. 

Momentum in the college game is a much bigger factor than in the NFL. Winning your wagers requires going against the myths to avoid the pitfalls that can damage your bankroll week to week. One of the best developments over the last decades has been the advent of the online sportsbook. Check out any of our top picks and find a place to make your college football wagers. And remember, myths are only worth it if they’re Greek.