College Football Handicapping

by | Last updated Aug 5, 2022 | cfb

Before we get started into this college football handicapping tutorial/guide/tips article, we’d like to make a little disclaimer. There are OODLES of ways to handicap NCAA football and numerous variables to factor into handicapping a football game. Please don’t take this as the bible or be critical of what we didn’t include. There’s only so much space on this page, not to mention, not everything is necessary to include when capping games.

Watch as many games as you can

While stats and trends can help your handicapping, there is no better tool than actually watching the games on TV and picking up assessing both the strengths and weaknesses of a team, along with their style of play. Example: You may think twice betting the over on a team that runs the ball a ton. Conversely, you may second guess wagering on an under if a team is pass heavy.

Try to focus on small college football games

These games are less paid attention to by the oddsmakers, and if you dig enough, you can actually find out more information than the books do about the current week’s matchup, creating an overlay (where the odds are in your favor.)

Avoid big nationally televised games

The bookies spend more time on these games and the spreads are tighter. With a high betting volume, it’s more important that they’re correct, hence the extra attention these games receive. If you absolutely have to bet on these games, always consider the underdog first, because being nationally televised, “the book” knows that the general public loves to root for favorites and “overs,” so they often times inflate these lines, which sucks the value out of the fav and the over.

Study how often both teams turn the ball over

Turnovers can play a huge roll in college football games. Since many college foots games are mismatches, if you get a really big and fast defense vs. a team with a weak offensive line and weak offense, the superior team can tend to create a lot of turnovers, which will have a big influence on the outcome of the game. Look for teams that are good at forcing turnovers vs. teams that have a tendency to give the ball up often via interceptions and fumbles.

Home/Road advantage

Some teams play really well at home and others play horrible on the road. While this is often times already factored into the spread, sometimes matchups happen in which the home field advantage can be worth more than the books have given it credit for.

Using statistics to handicap

Things to look for are rushing yardage per game vs. rushing defense, passing offense vs. passing defense. Don’t just look at each teams season numbers, look through box scores on a game by game basis. Often times numbers can be skewed by one shutout or blowout.

Check the weather report

Coaches gameplans change when inclement weather is present. Many teams tend to pass less and run more. This surely has a big impact on the spread and total, both giving the underdog and the under more value. Pay special attention to games with crappy weather where the spread/total haven’t moved yet. Great value to be had here!

Check for injuries!

What’s worse than betting on a team and finding out their starting quarterback is out and some freshman is playing? YUCK! It happens all too often! Not paying attention to injury reports will cost you a couple percent a year.

Join a college football handicapping forum

Thousands of sets of eyes are better than two. Not only can you coattail some great picks made by winning amateur handicappers, but you will be able to share information with other’s from around the world. Check out our college football handicapping forum, you’ll be glad you did!

Handicapping Tip: Find out who the public is one-siding and bet the other way

While this doesn’t work for just “any” game, it’s a great tool to help you get on or off a pick. Point spreads are based on public perception. If you’re looking at a game in which the public is hammering  to the tune of 70% or more, it’s very likely that the bookies have pulled the wool over the general public’s eyes and the other team is going to cover. Bookies don’t drive cadillacs for no reason!

We hope you have enjoyed our pointers on handicapping college football games. If you’ve got any questions, feel free to email us at Predictem (at)

Related: How to Bet on College Football Games