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Three trends to follow when betting the college football odds


The NCAA football season is already past the quarter mark and heading into October.

Three trends to follow when betting the college football odds | News Article by

The NCAA football season is already past the quarter mark and heading into October. And in that short span, football bettors have seen some dramatic trends start to line up. If you’ve been paying attention to these results, hopefully you’ve already boosted your bankroll. If not, let’s hope these hold their value for one more week so you can get in on the action.

Underdogs are killing it
College football bettors at the top sports betting sites have been happy to take the points so far this season, with underdogs covering the spread more than 55 percent of the time to start 2017. And getting more specific is road underdogs returning at a 60 percent clip, at 128-87-5 ATS through four weeks.

Some of the top money makers, as far as underdogs are concerned are New Mexico State and California, which have both posted 3-0 ATS records when getting the points this season. The Golden Bears have been pups at home twice, covering and winning outright as touchdown dogs versus Ole Miss and covering as 16.5-point dogs in a 30-20 home loss to Southern Cal. California is once again getting the points, but this time it’s on the road in Oregon for Week 5. Oddsmakers have Cal pegged as a 13.5-point underdog.

Top 25 is a trap
Any team that is nationally ranked in the Top 25 is going to draw a lot of betting action. And that additional attention can skew the odds and suck any value out of their lines. That’s pretty much the case so far for ranked teams. Looking at the current Top 25, heading into Week 5, only nine of those power programs are paying out at more than .500 against the spread and just one – Utah at 4-0 ATS – undefeated versus the spread this season.

The biggest disappointments for football bettors have been Southern Cal, Ohio State, Louisville, and Florida, who have a combined ATS mark of 3-12 heading into the weekend. The Gators are the only winless ATS team in the Top 25, failing to cover in a Week 1 loss to Michigan and then in two close calls against SEC foes Tennessee and Kentucky. Books opened with UF as a 7-point favorite hosting Vanderbilt in Week 5, and early action has jacked that all the way to Gators -10.

Bad defense is better for Overs than good offense
The knee-jerk reaction when handicapping totals is that Overs begin with strong offensive teams. While those potent scoring attacks will give bettors a chance to top the total, the 2017 season has seen more Over winners pay out on poor defensive teams.

There are currently five college football teams that have played Over the total in each of their first four games: UCLA, Oregon State, Kansas, Utah State, and UL Lafayette. And of those five teams, the fewest points allowed per game is 32 from Utah State. The Jayhawks are giving up 39.8 points per game, and that’s still well below the Bruins, Beavers, and Ragin’ Cajuns, who all give up more than 50 points per contest.

On the other side of the ball, these top Over bets are by no means offensive powerhouses – save for UCLA, which ranks fifth in the total yards, first in passing yards, and 10th in scoring with 45 points for an outing. Bettors looking for some added Over value should be snooping around the bottom of the defensive stats first.

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