Betting Conference Play in College Football
The early part of the college football season features any number of matchups between nonconference foes. Many times, these games represent the first team two teams will have faced one another in recent memory. There are also matchups on the betting board at the online sports books between nonconference opponents that are somewhat familiar with one another, but not to the extent of the familiarity that exists in conference play.
Among sports bettors, it is often said that familiarity can often lead to increased predictability when it comes to the actual outcome of a game. Most of Division IA (FBS) conferences are broken down into two divisions given the large number of teams. Division opponents will normally face one another every year, to take the concept of familiarity even further.
If the same two teams have played one another every season for the past 10 years, bettors are going to have far more insight into that matchup even with the regular turnover of player personnel in the college ranks. Recent betting trends over the past five seasons can paint a pretty accurate picture for each team in a head-to-head matchup.
There are two betting theories that come into play in any head-to-head matchup between familiar opponents. The first is the ‘revenge factor’ and the other is one team having that other team’s ‘number’. Each one is relevant to a certain extent.
Home field advantage is much more of a factor in the college ranks for football than it is in the NFL. The early results for the 2018 college football season have home teams winning at a rate of 73.3 percent based on a straight-up final score. When you factor in the pointspread, the home team has only covered in 50.2 percent of their games. SU, home favorites have won 84.4 percent of the time and this drops to 48.6 percent when it comes to covering ATS. This tells you just how good the Oddsmakers are at setting betting lines.
The revenge factor comes into play in these home-and-home series from one season to the next. It is especially true between two closely matched teams. This creates a good starting point when it comes down to handicapping any college football game. Past trends where the home team has consistently beaten the road team both SU and ATS in a close head-to-head conference showdown, might work to add some value to the home team in this season’s matchup.
The other theory of one team having another team’s number can be a valid factor as part of the entire handicapping process. Nothing is set in stone or considered to be a lock in any sports bet, but the simple fact that one team has beaten the other both SU and ATS on a consistent basis over an extended period of time can also add some value to their betting odds in this season’s meeting.
You always have to remember that there is no substitution for breaking down any game you choose to bet over a number of different factors. Recent betting trends are just a small part of this process, but then can be used to provide some valuable insight into how certain head-to-head conference showdowns might play themselves out.
There is definitely some money to be made betting on college football conference games as long as you know how and where to look. One betting strategy that carries some weight is focusing all of your energy on just one conference. There are five major conferences in D-IA football along with five more that are considered to be the Mid Majors. By picking just one to bet over the course of the entire season, you will position yourself as a ‘subject matter expert’ for that particular football conference.