What is Easier to Bet & Win, NFL or NCAA?

Written by superuser | September 13, 2018

What is Easier to Bet & Win, NFL or NCAA?


Some football fans follow the NFL a lot closer than NCAA football, while others are vice versa, however, most fans love both. But the question I get all the time is: What is easier to bet and win, the NFL or NCAA football? While there is no true scientific answer, we are going to look at some things to consider when debating which football league is easier to bet and win.


Mad Jacks Sports Forums – A Fantastic Place to Find NCAA Football Picks and Info


Some of the biggest differences between college football and professional football include level of play and massive imbalances in parity leading to huge point spreads almost every week. In the history of the National Football League, there have only been 7 games that had a point spread of 20 or greater, with the largest spread being 27, a game in 1976 featuring the Steelers and the Buccaneers. The Steelers won 42-0 by the way.


By contrast, there were no less than 32 games with a spread of 20 or more on the FBS (1-A) schedule on Saturday, September 1st, 2018…ONE DAY! Some of those spreads were 50.5, 49.5, 48.5 and 47.5 to name a few. While that’s a lot of points to cover, Vegas knows what they are doing, so never take for granted a college spread is out of wack because it’s so massive.


In general, even though both the NFL and NCAA use the spread in the same way, they don’t represent the same value. Take for example a spread of 14 points. Online bookmakers rarely have spreads higher than 14, and when they do, it represents a huge favorite, moneylines are normally not found on spreads this large. However, when you see a college team like the Alabama Crimson Tide a 14-point favorite, that is actually not as big of a favorite as you would think.


With the same tone we have to look at betting totals, because like spreads, college totals and NFL totals are very different. A high scoring NFL game would see a total of 55, in fact, the highest total in Week 1 of the 2018 NFL season is 51 (NE vs. HOU). The average NFL total is 45. In college football, four teams averaged 40 or more points per game during the 2017 season, including UCF at 48.2 PPG.


Key NFL Betting Numbers and How to Use Them


The average NFL total is the same as some teams average per game score, and with so much into offense, some of these teams don’t play great defense, giving totals truly a much different value when looking at the NFL and NCAA football.


Being selective is a must when choosing what game you are going to wager on, but when betting on college football, this means a lot more. There are 32 NFL teams and there are 128 in the FBS (1-A). Even though the NFL plays a 16-game season and college teams play between 10 and 13 games, so many more games are played in college. Using 11 as the average, that is over 1400 games in one division alone. You could never dream of handicapping them all and come out a winner.


There are other things to consider when betting on college football, because in the end, as bettors we are looking for value. Some professional handicappers claim the lines for college football are weaker than those for the NFL. The same can be said for Mid-Major college football conferences, or any outside of the Power 5 Conferences for that matter. One friend of mine who is a handicapper says that Vegas spends less time on the Mid-Major conference games and he mostly bets games within those conferences. This is where betting on college could be easier, giving you a better chance to win if you can find a weakness and exploit it.


Another thing to remember are the College Football Rankings, and how they are directly related to which teams go to the playoffs. The ranking system takes everything into account, including points for and against, so you end up seeing teams run up the score. Even though they are up by 4 TD’s in the 4th quarter, some coaches keep the pedal on the gas and keep moving the ball down the field.


By knowing which coaches tend to do this, looking at their opponent and how they are doing on defense, and where they stand in the rankings, sometimes a massive total still warrants an OVER bet.


Even though news, stats and information are readily available for NFL game with TV coverage of every one, you can still find all the necessary information on every college game as well. You just have to know where to find it. The Internet is a wealth of knowledge, and by finding the right channels, finding soft lines is what is going to make betting easier, and get you winning more bets.


NCAA and NFL Football – Why use More than a few Handicappers


Even though there truly is no clear-cut answer, knowing the differences between professional football spreads and totals and those set in college football is key. Know that the “key betting numbers” are different, and these spreads and totals give different values. Make sure you do your homework, both in your research of the games you want to bet and finding value in soft line.