Learn How to Bet on College Football

NCAAF Betting Guide: Tips, Terms, and Sportsbooks

Introduction to College Football Betting

There's no contest that the football -- as in both the NFL and college football -- rule sports in the United States. While the NFL has more of a global reach, it could be argued (probably not well though) that college football has a larger fan base across America. There are way more teams -- over 350 to be exact -- in just Division-I alone, and a large chunk of fans actually got to attend the schools they root for, or live/lived near the campus. The game is already at the peak of possible growth as we watch these college kids battle each and every weekend, while a lucky few are playing in preparation for the NFL.

Now where we'd like to see it grow is through your wallet.

Football can be a complicated sport to understand, especially with all the penalties and rules that put big plays in jeopardy.

But what's even more important than knowing how the game works? How to bet on it. Use the information below to get a grasp of the game and how to effectively bet on college football.

Jump Ahead: NCAAF Betting 101 | Best Sportsbooks to Bet NCAAF | NCAAF Futures Odds | NCAAF Betting Tools | NCAAF Team Odds | FAQs

NCAAF Betting 101: The College Football Betting Basics

There are three different answers you may want when trying to figure out how to bet on college football:

  • “I see Clemson -180 and Syracuse +160. What on earth does that mean?
  • “I know how to bet and what all those numbers mean, but I don’t know where to bet.”
  • “I know how to bet, but I want to sharpen my handicapping skills and become a more profitable college football bettor.”

Let’s start with the basics.

How Do Moneyline Odds Work?

A popular bet in college football is the moneyline, which requires you to pick the winner of the game. But it’s not a 50-50 proposition in most cases – you won’t get paid the same for taking Alabama to beat Vanderbilt at home as you would for taking the Alabama to beat Georgia on the road, given the ability of each team.

So each team is assigned moneyline odds by the sportsbook based on their ability, and bettors have to pay a corresponding price. Here’s how they work:

  • Michigan -300
  • Michigan State +250

American odds like these are centered around $100. So if you bet $300 on Michigan at -300, you’d win $100 if they wins. If you bet $100 on Michigan state at +250 and they win, you’d win $250.

You don’t have to bet $100, of course. If you bet $3 on Michigan, you’d win $1. Bet $1 on Michigan State, win $2.50.

Are There Point Spreads in College Football?

In football and basketball (both in the pros and college), the most popular betting option is the point spread – it’s a bet on the margin of victory in that game.

Let’s use that same example from above.

  • Ohio State -18.5 (-110)
  • Rutgers +18.5 (-110)

Because Ohio State is so much better than Rutgers, sportsbooks are saying it’s about a 50-50 chance that they win by 19 points or more.

What About Over/Unders?

Another popular betting option in college football is wagering on the total (aka the over/under).

You’re betting on the total points scored by both teams going over or under the number set by sportsbooks.

With college football scoring on the rise over the last two decades, most totals in 2022 are set at over 55 points, with each team expected to average out scoring at least 27.5 points points every game.

The Alabama-Georgia National Championship total on Jan. 10, 2022 was 52.5. Georgia won 33-18. That means anyone who took the under cashed their bet because only 51 points were scored.

But depending on the teams and situation, you may have to risk a different amount on the over or under.

Alabama vs. Georgia

  • Total: 52.5
  • Over odds: -115
  • Under odds: -105

Like the moneyline example above, you have to pay more for betting the over than the under. Sportsbooks and bettors have determined the game going over 52.5 is more likely than it going under. 

For every $1.15 risked, you’d win $1. For every $1.05 risked on the under, you’d win $1.

Ole Miss vs. Mississippi State

  • Total: 55
  • Over odds: -105
  • Under odds: -115

Sportsbooks believe it’s more likely the game goes under than over, so you have to pay a bit more to take the under.

Totals are not just limited to the full game. You can bet the first quarter over/under, alternate totals, and more. 

For additional explanation, you can explore the articles below.

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How to Bet on College Football
From advanced stats to strategies and resources, The Action Network has everything you'll need to learn how to bet on college football.
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A moneyline just means who you think is going to win. Check out this article explaining how to read those odds and more.
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Over/Under aka Total
An Over/Under means betting on the total number of points scored in a game. See how those odds work here.
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A spread is how much a team is projected to win or lose by, and it's up to you to decide who will cover it...
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Advanced Stats
There are a lot of granular stats that can make huge impacts in games -- and in your wallets. Here's some tips on how to bet with them.
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Best Sportsbooks for College Football Betting

Different sportsbooks provide different odds when it comes to games lines, player props, futures and more. Take a look at our options and picks on where to go for your different NCAAF bets to find those best odds, so you can make the most profit.

Best NCAAF Book #1: FanDuel
FanDuel Sportsbook has a sleek mobile app and innovative betting options for college football fans.
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Best NCAAF Book #2: Caesars
Looking for the book that'll provide the best odds for NCAAF wagers? Check out Caesars.
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Best NCAAF Book #3: PointsBet
PointsBet Sportsbook has a sleek mobile app and innovative betting options for college football fans.
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NCAAF Futures Betting Odds

Futures betting lets you select champions, awards and more across different parts of NCAAF ahead of time, meaning you'll get huge odds and the potential to win big at a smaller risk margin. Futures can be bet on at nearly any point in a season, but you'll find the best odds during the preseason -- which also makes predicting things like who will win the College Football Playoff or be named the Heisman Trophy winner even more fun when you make the call before the season's even started.

National Championship Odds
Raising the CFP Trophy is every college football team's goal at the end of the season. But who will be the ones to do it?
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Heisman Trophy Odds
Which college player will have the most outstanding season and join the Heisman Club? Find the best odds here.
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To Make Playoff Odds
Only four teams have a shot at making the College Football Playoff. Who do you think gets in?
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Most Wins Odds
Who do you think will finish the season with the most wins? Find the best odds here.
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NCAAF Team Odds

While the NFL rules Sundays in the fall, college football does the same on Saturdays. Tons and tons of football is played between colleges throughout the fall and into the winter until we hit bowl season and the College Football Playoff. From there, we see the Top 4 teams in the nation duke it out in a 1-4, 2-3 matchup before the National Championship decides who is the best in the country.

Find your favorite team's odds for the upcoming season below:

AAC logo AAC Betting

AAC Teams

Cincinnati logo

Cincinnati Bearcats

ECU logo 

East Carolina Pirates

houston cougars 

Houston Cougars

Memphis logo 

Memphis Tigers

SMU logo 

Southern Methodist Mustangs

South Florida logo

South Florida Bulls

Temple logo 

Temple Owls

Tulane logo

Tulane Green Wave

Tulsa logo 

Tulsa Golden Hurricane

UCF Logo 

UCF Knights

Wichita State logo

Wichita State Shockers

ACC logo ACC Betting

ACC Teams

Boston College logo

Boston College Eagles

Clemson logo

Clemson Tigers

Duke logo 

Duke Blue Devils

FSU logo

Florida State Seminoles

Georgia Tech logo

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

Louisville logo

Louisville Cardinals

Miami logo

Miami Hurricanes

NC State logo

NC State Wolfpack

UNC logo

North Carolina Tar Heels

Notre Dame logo

Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Pitt logo

Pittsburgh Panthers

Syracuse logo

Syracuse Orange

Virginia logo 

Virginia Cavaliers

Virginia Tech logo

Virginia Tech Hokies

Wake Forest logo

Wake Forest Demon Deacons

Big Ten logo Big Ten Betting

Big Ten Teams

Illinois logo

Illinois Fighting Illini

Indiana logo

Indiana Hoosiers

Iowa logo

Iowa Hawkeyes

Maryland logo 

Maryland Terrapins

Michigan logo 

Michigan Wolverines

Michigan State logo 

Michigan State Spartans

Minnesota logo 

Minnesota Golden Gophers

Nebraska logo 

Nebraska Cornhuskers

Northwestern logo

Northwestern Wildcats

Ohio State logo

Ohio State Buckeyes

Penn State logo

Penn State Nittany Lions

Purdue logo

Purdue Boilermakers

Rutgers logo

Rutgers Scarlet Knights

Wisconsin logo

Wisconsin Badgers


Big-12 logo Big-12 Betting

Big-12 Teams

Baylor logo

Baylor Bears

Iowa State logo

Iowa State Cyclones

Kansas logo

Kansas Jayhawks

K State logo

Kansas State Wildcats

Oklahoma logo

Oklahoma Sooners

OK State logo

Oklahoma State Cowboys

TCU logo

TCU Horned Frogs

Texas logo

Texas Longhorns

Texas Tech logo

Texas Tech Red Raiders

West Virginia logo

West Virginia Mountaineers

C-USA logo C-USA Betting

C-USA Teams

UAB logo

UAB Blazers

FL Atlantic logo

FAU Owls

FIU logo

FIU Golden Panthers

LA Tech logo

Lousiana Tech Bulldogs

Marshall logo

Marshall Thundering Herd

Middle Tenn logo

Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders

Charlotte logo

Charlotte 49ers

North Texas logo

North Texas Mean Green

Old Dominion logo

Old Dominion Monarchs

Rice logo

Rice Owls

Southern Miss logo

Southern Miss Golden Eagles

UTEP logo

UTEP Miners

UTSA logo

UTSA Roadrunners

W. Kentucky logo

Western Kentucky Hilltoppers

MAC logo MAC Betting

MAC Teams

Akron logo

Akron Zips

Ball State logo

Ball State Cardinals

Bowling Green logo

Bowling Green Falcons

Buffalo logo

Buffalo Bulls

C. Michigan logo

Central Michigan Chippewas

E. Michigan logo

Eastern Michigan Eagles

Kent State logo

Kent State Golden Flashes

Miami (OH) logo

Miami (OH) RedHawks

N. Illinois logo

Northern Illinois Huskies

Ohio logo

Ohio Bobcats

Toledo logo

Toledo Rockets

W. Michigan logo

Western Michigan Broncos

MWC logo MWC Betting

MWC Teams

Air Force logo

Air Force Falcons

Boise State logo

Boise State Broncos

Colorado St logo

Colorado State Rams


Fresno State logo

Fresno State Bulldogs

Hawaii logo

Hawaii Warriors

Nevada logo

Nevada Wolf Pack

New Mexico logo

New Mexico Lobos

San Diego St logo

San Diego State Aztecs

San Jose St logo

San Jose State Spartans

UNLV logo

UNLV Rebels

Utah State logo

Utah State Aggies

Wyoming logo

Wyoming Cowboys

PAC-12 PAC-12 Betting

PAC-12 Teams

Arizona logo

Arizona Wildcards

Arizona State logo 

Arizona State Sun Devils

Cal logo

California Golden Bears

Colorado logo 

Colorado Buffaloes

Oregon logo

Oregon Ducks

Oregon State logo

Oregon State Beavers

Stanford University logo 

Stanford Cardinal

UCLA logo 

UCLA Bruins

USC logo 

USC Trojans

Utah logo

Utah Utes

Washington logo 

Washington Huskies

Washington State logo

Washington State University

SEC logo SEC Betting

SEC Teams

Alabama logo

Alabama Crimson Tide

Arkansas logo

Arkansas Razorbacks

Auburn logo

Auburn Tigers

Florida logo

Florida Gators

Georgia logo

Georgia Bulldogs

Kentucky logo

Kentucky Wildcats

LSU logo

LSU Tigers

Mississippi State logo

Mississippi State Bulldogs

Missouri logo

Missouri Tigers

Ole Miss logo

Ole Miss Rebels

S. Carolina logo

South Carolina Gamecocks

Tennessee logo

Tennessee Volunteers

Texas A&M logo

Texas A&M Aggies

Vanderbilt logo

Vanderbilt Commodores


Sun Belt logo Sun Belt Betting

Sun Belt Teams

App State logo

Appalachian State Mountaineers

Arkansas St logo

Arkansas State Red Wolves

Coastal Car logo

Coastal Carolina Chanticleers

GA Southern logo

Georgia Southern Eagles

Georgia State logo

Georgia State Panthers

LA-Lafayette logo

Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns

Troy logo

Troy Trojans

LA-Monroe logo

ULM Warhawks

S. Alabama logo

South Alabama Jaguars

Texas St logo

Texas State Bobcats

NCAAF Betting Tools & Utility

Betting Calculators

Figuring out the correct wager you want to place on a straight bet can be tough based on the odds, and gets even harder when you want to create one of your favorite 10-leg parlays. The Action Network's got you covered with out betting calculator that will do the math for you!

ATS NCAAF Against The Spread

With football's scoring coming in increments of 1,2,3 and 6, figuring out spreads to bet on can be tough. Check out our standings for NCAAF teams records against the spread to see which teams look like the best options to place bets on.

NCAAF Public Betting

It's always a good idea to check out what the public consensus is on a particular game you're thinking of betting on. The Action Network has you covered here as well. Side with the public or fade them to get an edge. Win or lose, make your choice.


Sometimes, having experts share their insights on a game can help you take a side in a game you're undecided on. The Action Network has a panel of experts that share their takes and picks on every game being played on the field each day. Take a look at their records and history, and see who you'd like to follow or fade as the season moves forward.


You want to get the best bang for your buck when betting on a game, but it's tough to tap through each sportsbook on your phone to find the best line. The Action Network's Odds page will show you all the lines available for the biggest sportsbooks out there, as well as the two best options on each side of a game. 

NCAAF Injuries

Injuries are a part of any sport, and besides for the implications they have on the field, they can also effect betting lines and how you should wager on a game. Keeping track of injuries every day can be tough, so check out The Action Network's Injury Report each day to make sure you don't suffer a bad beat that could've been avoided. 

Steve Petrella is a senior editor for The Action Network covering college football, among other things. He's a Penn State grad now based in Atlanta who enjoys great punting, clock-killing drives and turnovers in the red zone.

College Football Betting FAQ
Is it legal to bet on College Football?
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What can you bet on in college football?
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How do NCAAF odds work?
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Can I bet on NCAAF games after they've already started?
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How does overtime work with my bet?
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How many teams are in college football?
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How many conferences are there in college football?
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