Predicting winners in college football is easy, if you aren’t picking football games against the line. When you are predicting college football games against a Las Vegas line, your job becomes a whole lot more difficult. That being said, there are ways to predict college football game results and be consistently successful at it.
Check the Injury Report
If key injuries happen to one team, that tip the favor towards one team in the bet. That’s why you’ll find certain games that don’t have a line early in the week, because some key star (like a Quarterback) is injured and the oddsmakers don’t have enough injury information yet to set a line. When an injury or suspension happens in practice after a line is set, run out to make your bet based on the new situation.
An accumulation of injuries to less pivotal players can have a similar effect. For instance, if several members of a defensive squad are injured, that can have a major effect on the game. Or if one offensive line has multiple starters missing, that can throw off the effectiveness of the entire offense. If you find one of these situations, it can stack the odds in your favor.
Look at Toughness of Schedule
Study the records of the opponents a team has played this year. If one team has a bad record, but has played a brutal schedule, that team might be better than its record looks. This can be a double-edged sword, though, because a team can be beaten down from too many tough games in a row.
Another pitfall of the toughness of schedule is that it can change as the year goes on. Early in the college football season, toughness-of-schedule stats can be misleading. This stat works better later in the season.
Bet on Interconference Games
If there’s a conference you believe in, you might bet on that conference when they play another conference. On the other hand, if there’s a conference you think is overrated or is having a down year, you might bet against teams from that conference.
Look at the Schedule
A team coming off a big rivalry game often has a letdown the next week. This doesn’t mean that team is going to lose, but they might not beat the line.
Teams preparing for their chief rival or a highly-ranked team are going to be more intense in practice and prepare harder for that game, even if the difference is subconscious. That kind of intensity is hard to maintain, so the next week, there’s a chance for a letdown.
Look For Teams in the Bowl Chase
Find teams that have motivation to run up the score. When you have teams vying for the #1 or #2 spot in the rankings, they sometimes will try to impress voters by running up the score against opponents.
Pick Against Teams and Not For Teams
Some of the most predictable things in football are the teams that are really bad. There are so many things that go into a successful football team, that you have to have several things happen for your prediction to come true when you are picking for a team to win. But you can find the teams that are complete wrecks and bet against them.
Bad teams have lots of injuries, instability in their coaching situation, unhappy fans, unhappy players, controversy in the locker room and lots of bad results. Find the teams in college football which are the biggest wrecks and pick them to continue that trend. It’s ultimately more predictable.
Most people predicting football results focus to much on the favorite. Focus on the underdogs and find the easiest pickings in college football.
Tips For Predicting Winners in College Football
Here are some gamblers tips you might consider. This is advice to keep in mind when predicting winners for college or pro football.
Oddsmakers Lines Don’t Always Represent Who They Think Will Win
Usually, when a Las Vegas oddsmaker sets a line, the favorite according to the odds is usually going to represent the team who’s favored to win on the field. But you have to keep in mind something about oddsmakers setting lines. They aren’t an accurate gauge of who that oddsmaker thinks is going to win and by how much. The line has a different purpose for oddsmakers.
Betting books make their money off the action. They make their money off the juice, also known as the vig or vigorish. To make sure they make money off the juice, oddsmakers and bookies need there to be an equal amount of money bet on either side of the bet. So a betting line set by an oddsmaker is actually an indication of what that oddsmaker thinks is in the mind of the betting public. They set the line to get half the gamblers to bet for one team and half to bet for the other team.
For example, if the USC Trojans are playing the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame and USC is installed as a 7-point favorite, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the oddsmaker thinks the Trojans will win the game by 7 points. The USC -7 is meant to get half the gamblers to bet on USC and half the betters to bet on Notre Dame. When a bunch of bets come in on one side, the oddsmaker moves the line accordingly, trying to drive betting to the side with less money bet on it.
Go Against the Betting Public
Despite that, the oddsmakers have very precise formulas for setting lines. These formulas might include +3 for the team at home and pluses for star players, so the casino betting lines usually do indicate who the best team is. When a lot of money comes in for one side and moves the line significantly, many professionals gamblers say you should bet against the betting public. So if USC is a 7-point favorite over Notre Dame and enough people bet on the Trojans to move the line to USC -10, you should bet against the betting public. That is, you should lay a bet on Notre Dame.
The idea is that the professionals know better than the amateur gamblers. The professionals know something the public doesn’t know.
Pick Home Underdogs
Many gamblers will say you bet on the home underdog. This works really well in the NFL, where professional football teams are likely to keep the game close at home. Feeding off the energy of the crowd and eating home cooking, teams are just more likely to play better at home. This generally has to do with lesser players playing better at home and worse on the road, because they are distracted by travel and the hostility of the crowd.
Watch As Many Games As Possible
Remember to watch as many games as you can. There’s nothing like personally scouting a team. If you don’t see them, you’re going by a second hand opinion of someone who might or might not be scouting the team right.