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Value Betting In College Football: Winning Lines?

Author: americangambler | Last Updated: December 16, 2019

Value Betting In College Football

One of the greatest virtues that leads to successful sports betting (betting the lines in College Football) is patience. It’s a character trait that can be invested into wagering success through a variety of ways. 

It can be as simple as recognizing the bets worth laying, and the ones worth allowing to pass on by.

It’s just like those lyrics in that old Kenny Rogers hit The Gambler. 

  • You've got to know when to hold 'em
  • Know when to fold 'em
  • Know when to walk away

Patience can also come into play by the simple and wise process of waiting for the odds to move in your favor. This is often referred to as value betting.

Think of it in the same frame of mind that you would approach shopping. When investing a significant sum of money into a major purchase, you’re going to shop around for the best price, to get the most value for your money. 

Suppose you’re in the market for a new sofa. You scout around, check the ads and the furniture websites. Suddenly, that leather sectional you had your eye on drops in price from $1200 to $900. By waiting and researching, you’ve just saved yourself $300.

In value betting, you flip the investment process. The value you’re seeking is a better return on your wager. You want to wait until the odds are working to your benefit.

Best College Football Betting Sites

What Is A Value Bet in American Football?

In simple terms, a value bet is basically an outcome that is more likely to go your way than the odds that are being offered on that game. American Gambler wrote a couple of articles on how to maximize your betting value, how to find value when betting on horse races, in hockey and when odds are dropping.

For example, during Week 3 of the NFL season, the Kansas City Chiefs were facing the Baltimore Ravens. An online sportsbook was offering a head-to-head prop on which player would garner more receiving yardage in the game – Chiefs wideout Demarcus Robinson, or Ravens tight end Mark Andrews.

A little bit of research would have informed you that Andrews was questionable for the game with a foot injury. He hadn’t practiced in two of the three days leading up to the game and was limited in what he could do on the other day.

Meanwhile, Robinson was healthy, coming off a two-touchdown, 171-yard game against the Oakland Raiders, and to top it off, a +147 underdog in the prop. It screamed value bet.

And it paid off. Andrews caught three passes for 15 yards in the game. Robinson caught three balls for 43 yards and a TD.

If you wagered $100 on Robinson, you turned a tidy $147 profit.

College Football Offers Big Betting Value

While you can always find a value bet in any sport out there, NCAA football is always a great location to find value for your betting money. It’s not difficult to decipher why this is so.

In college football, there are literally hundreds of games every week. With so many options, the odds are in your favor the value bet will fall your way.

One of the best methods for locating value bets is to narrow your focus and put all your handicapping efforts into studying one specific sport. College football fits this format quite effectively.

Oddsmakers are pros at what they do. Finding value bets is never going to be easy. Again, because of the volume of NCAA football games in action each week, the chances of locating a value bet on a college football game will increase exponentially. There’s so many games in play, a value bet or two is bound to slip through the cracks.

Take the Army-Michigan game held during Week 2 of the 2019 NCAA season. Depending upon the sportsbook you went with, the Wolverines were listed between 22- and 23-point favorites.

Yet there was plenty of reason to like the Black Knights. The week before, Army had taken the mighty Oklahoma Sooners to overtime on the road. Army’s triple-option offense tends to chew up a lot of clock and dominate time of possession. That limits the chance for the opponent to run up a big score.

It made sense, and good value to bet Army, and it paid off. The Black Knights lost 24-21 in overtime. Michigan didn’t come close to covering.

Two key elements in order to seek out value bets are to get action on sports that you know. If you’re not into rugby, don’t bet on the Rugby World Cup. 

Secondly, assess the game yourself before you even look at the odds on the game. Establish in your own mind how the scenario is likely to play out by establishing the variables impacting upon the game. Home and road records, for instance. Is either team coming into the game off a short week? What is the injury situation with each squad? Is there a history that shows one team trending successfully against the other?

Don’t rule out playing a big favorite, either. Often, these games can also provide value. During the 2019 NFL season, the New England Patriots gave 18 points to the Miami Dolphins on the road. But the Dolphins were a hot mess of a team, on the brink of mutiny against their coach, and the Patriots won going away 43-0.

You’ll see these type of wide points spreads all the time in college football, when major powers are playing so-called cupcake opponents. For example, the Alabama Crimson Tide are 3-1 against the spread in their last four games as a favorite between 30-39 points. But take that spread over 40 points, and the Tide dropped to 1-5 ATS in their last six games when facing that scenario. 

College Football Value Bets – Shall You Go Against The Spread?

In basic terms, the term value bet means finding a risk/reward situation that works to your favor. And again, as mentioned earlier, shopping around can play a big role in location value.

A sudden development can dramatically alter the odds on an event. Suppose one team’s quarterback comes down with the flu the morning of the game? The odds are likely to change dramatically but some US sportsbooks will be quicker to react than others. Find the one that’s slow off the mark and you’ve created instant value on your wager.

Even without a major development like that, the betting odds on College Football online will vary from sportsbook to sportsbook. FanDuel’s odds might be a half-point different than Betfair, and 888Sport could be different again. But when you’re playing point spreads, even a half-point one way or the other can make the difference between cashing and losing.

By checking all the legal American sports betting apps, you can locate the best value for your intended wager on College Football, and then you can bet accordingly.