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College Football betting
Clemson returns as defending champions. (Getty Images)

College football is very popular in America and even around the world and we have a full College Football Betting Guide.

There are a divisions of College Football, Division 1, 2, 3, and NAIA, but most of the betting options are for Division 1. There are 130 college teams in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). 124 of the teams play in the 10 conferences while there are six teams that are independent without a conference.

The goal of the teams in college football is to make a bowl game and with the ultimate goal being to be the National Champion. There are 40 end-of-the-season bowl games where to qualify a team must have, at least, a .500 record.

In 1998 the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) was established and that has had no lack of controversy of the years. All season there are the top 25 rankings for the teams and near the end of the season are the BCS rankings.

At the very end of the season the top four teams in the BCS rankings face off with 4th vs 1st and 2nd vs 3rd-ranked teams facing off in the College Football Playoff with the winners then playing in the National Championship Game.

College Football Bet Types

In terms of betting there are many betting options throughout the season, but there are many more betting options for the bowl games and especially for the College Football Playoff.

Spread Betting

The spread is the most popular way to bet on college football games where the favorite in the game will be giving points while the underdog will be giving points. For example, if you see a game with Alabama -4.5 vs. Clemson +4.5 you see that Alabama is favored in the game by 4.5 points denoted by the – in front of the number.

They will have to win the game by over five points to be the winning bet and conversely by betting on Clemson they have to win or lose by less than five points. If the game is Alabama 36 Clemson 30 Alabama would be the winning bet, as they won by at least five points while Clemson would be the losing bet.

There is also the moneyline for college football where all you have to do is pick the winner. However, with no spread showing the favorite or underdog there are inflated odds. So, by betting on the favorite you are betting more to win less and by betting on the underdog you are betting less to win more, as this balances the scales since you are just picking the winner in the game.

Totals Betting

The totals bet is simple to understand, as a sportsbook will set a total for a game on the total amount of points scored in the game by both teams and you bet Over or Under that number.

For example, if USC is playing Notre Dame and the total of the game is posted at 70.5 and the final score of the game is USC 40 Notre Dame 35 the total number of points scored is 75, so the over is the winning bet and the under is the losing bet.

NOTE: For both the spread and the total many times you will see a .5 after the spread or total. A half a point, obviously, cannot be scored, but it makes it so there is no tie in the bet. If there is no .5 such as Georgia -3 vs. Tennessee and Georgia beats Tennessee 27-24, which is the 3-point spread, the bet is a push and you get your original stake back.

Parlay Betting

A parlay bet is several bets in one, as you bet on several games in one bet and you have to win all of the games to win the wager. The more games you play the better the payout is, but it is more difficult to win multiple games.

You can use totals and the spreads in parlays and, again, if you have a four-game parlay bet you have to pick every game as a winner for the bet to payout.

There are also other various parlays such as pleasers and teasers where you can move the total and spreads for games, but that will depend on the rules of the sportsbooks and if they offer those kinds of bets.

Exotic Betting

A couple of exotic bet types are proposition bets, known as prop bets, and futures bets. A prop bet is one that has nothing to do with the outcome of the game.

There are both player and team prop bets and a few examples are will Alabama score over/under 21 points in the first half, will there be a TD in the first five minute, which team will score first, and will quarterback from team A have more passing yards than quarterback from team B.

These are just a few examples of prop bets and there are many more available for bigger games especially bigger bowl games and especially for the College Football Playoff.

For the National Title there are tons of prop bets some that are pretty wild such as will there be a safety scored in the game or betting the over/under time of the National Anthem.

College Football Futures’ Betting

In a futures’ bet you are betting on the future outcome. A few examples of a college football futures bet are which team will win the National Championship, which team will win the Pac 12 Conference, and which player will win the Heisman Trophy.

Bettors can make futures bets before the season and during it as well. For the national title a sportsbook will have odds for all the teams to win it and you pick your team with the odds and if they win you win.

If you make futures bets in-season the odds will change. For example, if at the beginning of the season Notre Dame has great odds to win the National Title, but if they lose an early game it makes that less likely so the odds will reflect that.

The odds you get at the time you make the bet are the ones you are locked in on no matter how much they change during the season.

Check out our College Football Futures’ Picks.

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