Betting on College Football Total Lines

Betting on College Football Total Lines

While most sports bettors focus a good deal of their energy handicapping the betting line or spread when it comes to wagering on college football, you may be missing out on a huge opportunity to build your overall bankroll if you are not adding in some weekly plays on the college football total line.

Each week during the college football season there are always a couple of matchups sporting a very generous total line that is bound to stay UNDER or a line that sets up perfectly for a play on the OVER. It is just a matter of doing your homework to know how and where to look.

Betting the OVER on mismatches

Unlike the NFL, college football is filled with mismatches caused by a huge disparity in talent between the two teams. While the pointspread may properly reflect this gap, sometimes the total line does not. This in turn can pave the way for a game to get completely out of hand on the scoreboard even before the end of the first half. Even with the second or third team is in the game, the winning team is still likely to keep finding the end zone to continue to run up the score. With the starters out on defense as well, the opposing team will probably add even more points to the total score with a much better chance to score some garbage points of its own.


Betting the OVER on high-scoring teams

It is not uncommon to see 60 and sometimes even 70-point total lines in college football given the high-scoring nature of certain teams. Just because the line is set this high does not mean that you should take the UNDER or avoid the game altogether. Rather, you should analyze the numbers to find the type of team that can put points on the board as well as easily give them up on defense. Anything can happen in a track meet, especially if both teams tend to struggle on defense. The Oddsmakers will try and lure you in with such a high total line to force some money towards the UNDER play. If your handicapping efforts uncover the potential for a matchup to put up a ton of points, it does not matter how high the total line is set to justify a play on the OVER.

Betting the UNDER on a great defense

Certain college programs have built their reputation on fielding a hard-nosed, shutdown defense that remains stingy with the points year-after-year. Total lines will naturally be set lower for teams such as this, but the opportunity for a play on the UNDER still exists in certain matchups. The ideal pairing would be between two teams with a great defense and a vanilla offense that loves nothing more than running the ball forty times a game. These types of matchups are rarely fun to watch, but this combination can add up to money in your pocket no matter how low the total is set.

Betting the trends

Just as in any sport that you might bet on, past trends tend to provide some solid clues to future results. When it comes to college football this is much more the rule than the exception. This is especially true of programs that have the same head coach in place for a number of years. Looking back at the results over the past several seasons' right through 2013, the total has gone OVER in 49 of the Rice Owls last 73 games, which is 67 percent of the time. Over the same span of time it has gone OVER in 61 percent of Oregon's games and in 60.8 percent of Wisconsin's 74 games.

The team at the top of the list for a play on the UNDER is the UCLA Bruins with 50 of 77 games staying UNDER the closing total line, which equates to 65 percent of the time. The next two top plays on the UNDER would be Boston College, with 62.2 percent of its last 74 games staying UNDER followed by Virginia Tech. The total has stayed UNDER in 46 of the Hokies last 78 games, which is 59 percent of the time.