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Tips for Betting On College Football at an Online Sportsbook

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Updated: .August 17, 2017

A new season of college football gets underway on Saturday, Aug. 26 with a handful of games followed by a weekend filled with betting action featuring all the top programs in the country starting on Thursday, Aug. 31 and going right through Labor Day. Even though the NFL, which starts its new season the week after Labor Day, still generates the bulk of the football betting action that the top online sportsbooks take in on a weekly basis, there is far more opportunity to cash in on the games when betting at the college level.

The simple reason for this is the sheer volume of games on each week’s schedule during the entire college football season. With five major conferences and five Mid-Majors that are comprised of 130 different football programs in Division I-A (FBS), it is easy to find a game or two that offers some added value in its betting lines.

One of the biggest matchups on the slate in the first full week of college games pits the ACC’s Florida State Seminoles against the SEC’s Alabama Crimson Tide at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans in an 8 p.m. (ET) start on Saturday, Sept. 2. The current betting line across a few of the biggest online books has the Tide favored by seven points. While this game would easily rival the biggest matchup on the board in Week 1 of the new NFL season, it is just one of many great opportunities to get a new season of college football betting off to a profitable start.

I happen to be a big AAC fan when it comes to college football betting as one of the more competitive Mid-Major Conferences in Division I-A. The main reason why is the low-profile nature of its games. The betting lines are not as nearly sharp as ones for teams that play in the ACC or SEC, so you are bound to find a few soft lines if you know where and how to look.

The South Florida Bulls are heavy -155 favorites to win the AAC this season with Houston (+600) and Memphis (+650) next on the NCAAB futures list to round out the betting odds for the top three teams. The Bulls open their season on Saturday, Aug. 26 as heavy 20-point road favorites against the Mountain West’s San Jose State Spartans. This will be the first meeting ever between these two teams. While laying that many points on a road team in the first week of the season carries some serious risk, there is still some serious value in that number given just how stacked South Florida is this season led by Heisman hopeful quarterback Quinton Flowers.

The main point of the example above is one the most important tips when it comes to betting on college football; bet on the teams that you know and follow the most. Marquee games such as Florida State vs. Alabama are great to watch, but your No. 1 goal when it comes to sports betting is to win as many of your bets as possible. You can almost guarantee that the betting lines for all the top showdowns between the best teams in the nation are going to be much sharper than the ones for teams in the Mid-Majors.

Getting to know a college football team’s roster can provide some important insight when it comes to handicapping its games. Things such as returning starters, depth at the skill positions and a team’s past betting trends against the spread can provide some valuable clues as to its possible success early in the season. Once they do get a few games under their belts, it then becomes extremely easy to make the necessary adjustments in your handicapping efforts.

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