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NCAAF Betting: Making College Football Picks and Parlays

What do you do if you like Michigan moneyline odds and the totals for LSU vs Alabama? You think you’ve got the betting know-how to bet on both games, so why not put them on the same ticket? Betting on football teams at the collegiate and university level gives you many opportunities and we’ll show you how to make college football picks and parlays like it’s our job. OK, it is our job.

What is a Parlay Bet?

A parlay bet combines multiple wagers on one ticket. Sometimes referred to as accumulator bets, parlays provide you with the chance to take two or more point spreads, moneylines or totals from games that are occurring on the same day. However, if even one game on the card doesn’t go your way, the entire ticket is a bust. All bets must hit in order for your parlay to be considered a winner.

Parlays can encompass anywhere from two to 10 teams. Some sportsbooks even let you add up to 15 teams on your ticket. Remember that the more teams you have, the higher your risk. Don’t let that discourage you. With the right strategy – which we will help with – you can take advantage of parlay betting in college football and hopefully turn a nice profit.

Parlay Betting: Making NCAA Football Picks

With so many different teams in college football, each week features matchups between two squads that can clash in styles. These games give bettors excellent opportunities to parlay a moneyline and a total. There are also times when you may want to throw a spread in there when a talented team is taking on a lesser opponent.

Let’s take a look at the Big Ten since here you’ll find powerhouse institutions of mostly ranked teams. If the Penn State Nittany Lions are set to visit the Ohio State Buckeyes, at the sportsbook, odds for the moneyline would look something like this:

OH -225

PA +180

You like the Buckeyes’ chances of winning so you take them SU. On the same day, the Michigan Wolverines are hosting the Purdue Boilermakers with the total set at 58.5. All signs are pointing to the combined score from both teams going OVER the oddsmaker’s set number. Finally, you see the Nebraska Cornhuskers are primed to cover the spread against the Minnesota Golden Gophers at 14.5.

In this scenario, your parlay ticket would look like this: Ohio State SU + Michigan vs Purdue OVER + Nebraska -14.5. You don’t have to wager exclusively on the Big Ten. Any college football game from any conference offers ample opportunities for betting parlays.

What if One Bet in the Parlay PUSHES?

A PUSH occurs when the totals or point spread hits the oddsmaker’s set number on the nose. For instance, if the combined score for the Ole Miss Rebels and Florida Gators is set at 67 and the game ends 42-25 for the Rebs, that’s 67 exactly. In this case, you would get your money back since neither the OVER nor the UNDER hit. In a parlay situation, that bet is removed from your ticket entirely.

Cross-Sports Parlays

College football picks and predictions will keep you busy for months. The great thing about the NCAAF season is that it overlaps with the NFL, NBA and NHL seasons. It also overlaps with the MLB playoffs. You can create parlays that involve different sports and leagues. A cross-sport parlay card would look something like this:

Texas A&M Aggies Moneyline +

Toronto Raptors vs Boston Celtics UNDER +

New Orleans Saints -3.5 spread +

Jon Jones Method of Victory via TKO (UFC)

Profiting from Your Parlays

To get the most mileage out of your parlay betting, we suggest splitting your favorite NCAA football games into smaller tickets. For example, let’s say you’re looking at the slate of games on any given Saturday and there are many matchups you’d like to bet on.

• LSU Tigers vs Alabama Crimson Tide

• Oregon Ducks vs Washington Huskies

• Oklahoma State Cowboys vs TCU Horned Frogs

• Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs USC Trojans

• Arkansas Razorbacks vs Kentucky Wildcats

Instead of creating a five-team parlay, you can break these down into smaller two- and three-teamers based on the odds. This way if you win one out of two parlay tickets, you’re not only reducing your risk, you’re still going to make some cash or at the very least break even.

Using Odds Shark’s Parlay Calculator

Our Parlay Calculator is a tool you can use to see how much you’d win based on the odds and amount bet. Use it before placing your wagers to get a better understanding of what’s at stake for you.

First, choose your odds: American (-500), Fractional (1/5), or Decimal (1.20). We use American odds for our betting news and handicapping pages, but you can choose another style if that makes more sense for you. Then hit Add Bet as many times as necessary to get all your parlay picks in there. You can add up to 100 teams but no sportsbook is going to offer parlays that big.

Our calculator is set at $100 for the bet amount, but you can adjust it. There’s no law that says you have to bet $100 for every parlay. You can wager $2 if you want to. It’s your money and you’re entitled to make as many bets as you want at any price you want.

Once all your betting info is added to the calculator, hit Calculate and you’ll see what your potential payout will be.

Handicapping your College Football Picks and Parlays

Making smart picks is important with parlays since each bet on your ticket must hit in order for you to make any money. To help you make educated bets, check out Odds Shark’s college football handicapping pages.

Futures – A team’s chance of making the CFP

Free Picks – See what our Super Computer is predicting

Consensus – Which teams the public is heavily betting on

Scores and Schedules

Standings – ATS and O/U records, streaks and home/road data

Offensive and Defensive Stats

Betting Trends – See how a squad stacks up ATS, SU and O/U against their upcoming opponent

Power Rankings – Teams are ranked based on their last 10 games

Team Reports – A look at injuries and upcoming game info

Database – How a team performs historically ATS/SU, as an underdog/favorite, at home/on the road