College Football Spreads Explained – Guide How To Win College Football Spreads Bets

While moneyline payouts vary depending on who the heavy favorite (or underdog) is, college football spreads are the sportsbook’s way of evening out the competition. Though it makes the bet more difficult to win, a proper understanding of how college football points spreads are made and how the odds work can give you an advantage. 

In this piece, we’re going to take a closer look at all things related to college football spreads, what certain numbers mean, advice on how to beat college football spreads in 2023, and some other misconceptions. Let’s dive into the details and some real-life examples.

What Is a College Football Spreads Bet?

A college football spread, otherwise referred to as a college football points spread, is the finishing point difference that oddsmakers are expecting in a given game. Said another way, it’s the number of points sportsbooks expect that Team A (the favorite) is better than Team B (the underdog) by. 

Unlike in college football moneylines, the payout for winning a college football points spread bet is usually the same whether you bet the underdog or the favorite. That is because the point spread, in theory, sets two teams on an even playing field from a sports betting perspective. While we’ll get into some examples here shortly, the college football spread is simply the expected difference, in points, between the two teams.

How do College Football Spreads Odds Work?

While the point spread is not unique to college football, the college football spread does have some key numbers that are unique to the sport. Because seven and three are the two most common increments of points scored in football, oftentimes, spreads will be set with these key numbers in mind. 

If a team is noted as -3, that means their team has to win by a minimum of four points or more in order to win the bet. If they win by three exactly, the bet is graded as a push, which essentially means it is canceled and no money exchanges hands. Let’s take a closer look at how a potential matchup between the best two programs in college football might be listed by sportsbooks.

College Football Spreads Bet Example

Team Spread Odds
Alabama +3 -110
Georgia -3 -110

How are College Football Spreads Bets Paid Out?

Like all sports bets, college football spreads bets are paid out once the game concludes and is graded. In our example above, winning Alabama (underdog) bettors and winning Georgia (favorite) bettors will be paid out the same with both having odds of -110.

Unlike the moneyline, the college football point spread most commonly has odds of -110 on both sides. In sports betting, -110 are the odds set by the sportsbook when they consider the likelihood of both sides at 50%. A bet that is -110 means that a bettor has to wager $110 to win $100. The same methodology applies whether you are betting $100,000 or $10, and scales accordingly. 

FAQs about College Football Spreads Bets

Why do college football spreads odds change?

How does a sportsbook earn money from college football spreads?

How does a sportsbook determine a college football spread?

What if the price changes after placing a college football spreads bet?

Are college football spreads good bets?

Can you put college football spreads bets in parlays?

How do I bet the spread in college football?

What does a +7 spread mean in college football?

What does a negative spread mean in college football?

What is the largest point spread in college football?

How do I pick college football games against the spread?

How to Place a College Football Spreads Bet

Placing a college football spreads bet can be an adjustment for those used to betting moneyline bets or betting on other sports. Fear not, as today we are going to walk step by step at the number one sportsbook on the planet over at BetOnline.

1. Sign Up for an Account

Starting in the upper right-hand corner of the landing page, press the green ‘Join’ button to begin the signup process. Once in the form, enter the information that is asked for.

BetOnline registration page

2. Add Funds to Your Account

Once your account has been set up, you may start adding money to it so you can start betting. Navigate to the green deposit button in the top right corner of the home screen. The choices available to you from this point on include Bitcoin, Credit Card (9.75% charge), Echeck, and Altcoins. Each has a minimum deposit range of $0 to $25 and a maximum deposit range of $0 to $500. Choose the solution that best suits your needs, then adhere to the on-screen directions.

BetOnline deposit options

3. Select Your College Football Spreads Bet

It’s time to place your bet now that you have money in your account. Go to the sports area by selecting it from the home screen’s upper left corner. Once there, select Football > NCAA > NCAA Football Game from the left side menu. You may find college football spreads for each game in the second to last column, which reads from left to right.

BetOnline college football spreads

4. Choose your Bet Amount

Once you’ve found the college football spread you want to bet on, click the number. Then, pay close attention to the “Risk” and “Win” boxes at the bottom of the screen; they both have $0.00 in them.

BetOnline college football spread bet

From here, type a value into one field, and the other will automatically fill in the appropriate value. Here is an illustration of a $115 (risk) wager.

BetOnline college football spread betting

5. Place Bet

All that’s left to do is place the wager now that you’ve chosen the game and determined how much you’re ready to risk.

BetOnline place bet

As you wait for the game to end, the money will be deducted from your account when the wager is put in. If the wager is successful, your account at BetOnline’s sportsbook will be credited with the sum of the staked and won amounts.

Advantages of College Football Spreads Bets

For bettors who are prepared to do the study, college football offers several benefits that other sports just do not. Although professional football and other sports share many commonalities with college football spreads, there are some specific considerations for college football point spread bets that other sports just don’t have.

Softer Market than the NFL

Unlike the NFL which is the most heavily bet sports betting market in the United States, the non-Power Five conference games in college football are mostly an afterthought. Because of the lack of attention paid to games such as Eastern Michigan vs. Akron in the MAC, for example, bettors who are prepared can often gain an advantage on the sportsbooks in these matchups.

With such a small amount of action (compared to the NFL) booked on games such as the aforementioned, oddsmakers care less about their college football spreads than they do their professional counterparts. For bettors willing to put in the work, there is plenty of money to be made as edges exist much more often.

Research Wins

We alluded to this point, but bettors who put in the research, especially with Group of Five teams, can really find value when it comes to college football points spreads. While the NFL has such a high level of parity where we see underdogs win every week, college football is, by its nature, often lopsided. 

Because of things such as recruiting, and now with NIL where schools attract players for financial incentives, bettors who know teams the best can gain an advantage simply not found in NFL Betting.

Our Top Tips for How to Win a College Football Spreads Bet

There are a few fundamentals that every bettor has to be aware of when it comes to placing winning college football spread bets. Now that we’ve established what a college football point spread is, check out our top college football spread advice to consistently cash in winners. 

1. Shop for the Best College Football Spreads

Competition is at an all-time high with more than 20 states now offering some type of legalized sports betting, plus even more overseas. You as a bettor should take advantage of the varying odds that each sportsbook offers on every game as a result. Look at a few different sportsbooks before placing your college football spread wager to find the best odds.

2. Take Home Field Advantage Into Account

There is nothing like the roar of a college football stadium, despite the fervor of NFL fans and what they might think.  The home crowd may be noisy and quite intimidating for opposition teams, particularly in games between in-state rivals or those with storied histories. Home-field advantage in college football is an even bigger consideration when you consider that you are dealing with 18 to 21-year-old kids, many of whom are experiencing this environment for the first time.

3. Bet With Your Head, Not Heart

This is sound advice for betting on any sporting event, but it’s especially relevant for college football spread bets given the intensity of the rivalries. College football fans are typically the most enthusiastic in all of the American sports, regardless of whether they attended a particular university or are merely lifelong supporters. Never allow your emotions to trump your logic when placing a wager on a college football point spread.

4. Coaching Matchups Matter

Coaches matter when choosing the greatest college football spread bets in a given week more than they do in any other sport besides college basketball. In contrast to professional sports, collegiate coaching involves working with very young men who are constantly experiencing new situations (and places). Leadership at the top often determines how they handle certain challenges, and being on the ride side of that matchup can be the difference between winning and losing. 

5. Quarterbacks Are Worth The Most Points

Anyone who follows American football at any level is aware that a team’s quarterback frequently determines whether they win or lose. Players are evaluated in the college football landscape when they graduate from high school, and college football spreads frequently mirror these early evaluations at the start of the season.

As the season progresses, quarterbacks determined to be the best in college football will routinely be worth anywhere from five to eight points when it comes to the spread. 

The Sports Daily College Football Spreads Picks

Our crew of skilled handicappers is among the best in the industry at selecting college football point spreads today. They analyze the most important games every Saturday, making predictions and offering analysis, then compiling their top picks to share with our readers.

Even the smallest advantages can separate long-term winners from losers when betting on a college football spread. Our team of specialists has years of expertise making predictions and offering insights every week by taking into account team matchups, weather forecasts, situational edges, historical trends, and more.

To find this week’s key matchup selections and other college football spreads picks every week, head over to our college football picks page.

How do College Football Spreads Bets Work with Live Betting?

As college football and sports betting at large continues to grow in popularity, so does the option of live betting. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at how live betting works when it comes to the college football point spread. 

  • Once the game kickoff, the college football spread market is paused until the first time the goes to a game to a TV timeout
  • Throughout the game, every time the clock stops via timeout, a new college football spread is posted to live bet at your online sportsbooks
  • As you might anticipate, if the favorite scores, the live point spread only gets larger
  • Conversely, if the underdog scores, the live college football point spread shrinks

The Best Sportsbooks for College Football Spreads Odds

It’s crucial to shop around at several sportsbooks, whether you’re seeking the biggest sign-up bonus or simply the best college football spread for a specific game. In light of this, we’ve compiled a thorough list of the best college football betting sites available for your shopping.

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