College Football Betting Tips From a Pro

Matt Fargo

While the NFL is the sport wagered on the heaviest, college football has become more and more popular as people realize it’s a game that can be beat. The NCAA football season gets longer each year with the addition of numerous bowl games and with that comes more opportunities for more money in your pocket, if handled correctly.

Betting on college football is not the same as with the NFL, so make sure you separate the two. Because of the vast number of teams, the parity between college football programs is slight and thus, you are going to see some high numbers in the NCAA. Teams favored by more than 40 points are not uncommon especially early in the season when teams playing their non-conference schedules.

The best advice when trying to tackle these enormous spreads and is to just stay away. A team that is favored by 40 points is favored by that many for a reason while teams getting 40 points are bad enough that they shouldn’t be touched. Set yourself a spread limit. Getting rid of these games will cut down on the number of contests that you need to handicap while staying away from backdoor or front-door covers.

What is a backdoor and front-door cover you ask? A backdoor cover is a team that is getting beat by more than the spread, but scores late to get within that number thus covering the spread. A front-door cover is just the opposite where the favorite scores late and covers the number they are favored by.

These front-door and backdoor covers are common when second and third string players enter games in college football and it can be the worst nightmare for some bettors. These players can also be your best friend, but ask any bettor and he will give you more instances on losing in this situation than winning. It just seems to work out that way even though everything evens out in the end.

College football has some of the softest lines of any sport and it’s being able to find these lines that will make you a successful college football handicapper. The NFL and NBA have the tightest lines around and while those sports can be beat by looking at situations and systems, college football doesn’t quite work that way. It’s much more manual, but when done correctly, it’s much more gratifying as well.

Getting into the nuts and bolts of college football means looking at the many stats in order to beat the number. As opposed to pro football, college football is less dependent on situations and angles and more on certain statistics. Rushing offense and defense, pass efficiency offense and defense and turnover margins are huge. These are vital in the NFL, but even more so when it comes to college football.

Being able to run the ball in college football has always been a key factor in the overall success of a team. The same adage also goes for teams who have the ability to stop the run. Putting these two factors together can produce some positive results in a team’s record both straight up and against the spread. These numbers show huge differences in teams and the spread may not take those into effect, which is where the value comes into play.

Passing yardage numbers both for and against can be a misinterpreted statistic. However, pass efficiency has always been one of the best ways to look at a teams’ passing game ability both offensively and defensively. But is it really a true indication of how they perform? I wouldn’t say so since they are raw passing numbers with nothing else taken into consideration.

I use pass efficiency ratings when doing my handicapping but I adjust my numbers based on a number of factors including power ratings, strength of schedules, personnel and injuries. This gives a much better picture of a team’s ability to pass effectively and also being able to defend the pass. Tweaking pass efficiency stats instead of raw passing yards is the key.

Turnovers are the single most frustrating, and at times the most gratifying, aspect of a college football game

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Posted by Gunner10
6 years ago

When you are laying a huge amount of points it is easy to get beaten by a back door cover.

Posted by jonprice
1 year ago

Back door covers happen and it's part of Sports Betting. I have made millions of dollars from College and NFL Betting through the years because I developed a high level of discipline, focus, and a system that I stand and swear by. No one game will EVER break me or come even close. No book could take that much action or would want the risk any way.

Posted by farmboy1966
7 years ago

my eggs is on bama in the bowl game they wax tex by at least 20 point odds makers we off on this game grab bama and max it out ez money

Posted by markosimz
7 years ago

I still think Texas will cover week 1.

Posted by mickid200
7 years ago

I agree with your point about 40+ point games. The days of Tom Osborne beating teams like New Mexico State 72-3 are long gone. I gave 60 in that one and everyone thought I was nuts...Go Big Red!
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Top Response

Posted by markosimz
7 years ago

"I still think Texas will cover week 1."