College Football Point Spreads

College Football Point Spreads
by Staff

Betting the point spread in college football is the most traditional form of betting. Also known as “sides,” these bets are the most conservative and as noted above the most popular.

Each team is assigned a point spread. One team is the favorite and one team is the underdog. This is essentially to make the matchup even between the two teams somewhat similar to a handicap in golf.

Spreads can vary mightily, depending on good or bad the two teams are. Theoretically, the point spread is supposed to gap the difference in talent, but it is really just a number thrown out by the bookies, based on public perception, in an effort to try to get balanced action or even at times, dupe the public into betting on one side.

A typical point spread will look something like this:

Florida State +3.5
Florida -3.5

In the above example, Florida, the team with the (-) is the favored team. Florida State is the underdog at +3.5.

What do the (-) and the (+) mean? It could be said that if a team has a subtraction sign in front of them, that’s how many points you take away from their final score. Then you compare that number to the other teams final score and this determines who wins against the spread.

On the flip side, it could be said that if your betting the underdog, you take their final score and ADD the + number of points to their score and if it’s more than the favorites score, your a winner. If it’s less, you lose the bet. It should be noted that you only add or subtract points with the team that you bet, not the other team.

The typical point spread wager has a bettor laying -110 odds. This means that your risking 1.10 for every dollar you’d like to profit. We say typical, because that’s what most bookies carry for odds. Some books run reduced juice specials in which on certain days you can lay -105 to profit 100 which saves you money. Other books such as 5Dimes run these specials full time.

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