Betting Early College Football Games - The Bettors Edge
The start of any new season of college football offers some excellent opportunities to bet on the games. The Oddsmakers have based their opening lines for Week 1 on projections for the coming season. Most of the rationale for the betting spreads and totals are based more heavily on past performance with little to go on when it comes to their current form.
Unlike the NFL, college teams are much less predictable from one year to the next. Player turnover is a much more significant factor, and a lot of weight is placed on unproven recruits coming straight out of high school. While there may be a better handle on all the high-profile college football programs such as Clemson and Alabama, there is a world of unknowns as well. This is especially true when it comes to betting on teams from the five Mid-Major conferences in Division IA (FBS).
Week 1 College Football Betting Line Movements
More and more online sportsbooks such as FanDuel or DraftKings are releasing early betting lines for the first week of games. Some games have been on the board for weeks well ahead of kickoff.
This gives bettors a much clearer picture of how the betting public has impacted the early lines. Major line movements from when they were first released to the current numbers on the board are worth a second look. There has to be a reason why a line has moved so much whether it was perceived to be soft from the start or recent team developments are causing the shift.
This is where local media can provide some meaningful insight into any team you are looking to bet on or bet against. Unless it involves a high-profile program, much of the coverage for teams ahead of opening day is on the local level. You may uncover some useful information that never made it to the national level. The goal in betting these early games is finding an edge that can be exploited in a bet against the spread or on the total line.
Handicapping Games on the Conference Level
While the majority of the early games on each team’s schedule are outside the conference, there are still some head-to-head conference matchups in the opening round of matches. While variables in current playing form remain, there will be some relevant betting trends that factor into the mix. Head-to-head records based heavily on where that opening game will be played are beneficial.
By focusing your early handicapping efforts on just one or two conferences, you can create some building blocks that could pay dividends all season long. If you are a big fan of the ACC, becoming a subject matter expert on the teams in this conference can help raise the overall winning percentage for any college football bets you place.
If you live on the East Coast, it is going to be tough to follow the Pac-12 or Mountain West closely. There is quite a bit of crossover play between the ACC and the SEC early in the season. Focusing your time and resources on those teams with easier access to local media reports makes solid betting sense.
Early 2019 College Football Matchups
Scanning the schedule for Week 1 of the 2019 NCAAF season, there are at least seven games involving teams from the ACC and SEC. Georgia Tech is on the road against Clemson, Virginia is playing Pittsburgh, and Virginia Tech is on the road against Boston College in the ACC. Georgia faces Vanderbilt in the SEC, and head-to-head matchups between the two East Coast conferences have Duke against Alabama and South Carolina on the road against North Carolina. Miami vs. Florida gets things started on Saturday, Aug. 24.
By drilling down into those particular matchups as an East Coast fan, you should be able to find a few favorable plays.