How To Handicap College Football Games
How to Handicap College Football And Win Doing So!
Handicapping college football successfully requires that bettors
utilize various skills and invest time and effort. If you can
be right on average about 55 percent of the time, you'll make
a boatload of money. But you have to do the work.
Handicapping and picking winners is an ongoing process. It starts prior to the season as you scope out team websites and various online sports pages, such as ESPN and Fox Sports, for reports on the spring workouts and camps. These will give you some sense of what teams need to work on, their depth and any hallmark players that may be ready to have big years.
When the college football preview magazines hit the stands and the Internet starts to get filled with analysis of each team’s potential, your work can start in earnest. This is the time to read up on each conference and team.
In terms of college football handicapping, look for how many returning starters are on each side of the ball, depth in each area, especially on defense, and the strength of individual players on offense. The offensive line, how big, commanding and seasoned it is, is a very important aspect.
Other areas to consider are the difficulty of the team’s season, how good its special teams are and the coaching. With coaching consider if there have been changes in the staff, why those changes occurred and the effect they may have on the team and the overall program.
Start to get a feel for what teams will be superior and which may be pushovers. You also want to try to discern any up and coming clubs that may have a breakout year as they can be good bets, especially early in the season when they’re surprising everyone (including the odds makers).
Just before the season starts and as games are played be sure to monitor important sources of information such as fan and school websites, the NCAA college football site and the various online sports websites.
Watch the games, read the stats and box scores and read game summaries to see how teams are winning or losing. Injury reports become very important. At this point the preview pages that you read and memorized a few months ago start to become less important and eventually meaningless.
Don’t just look at the final score of a game. Determine how a team won or lost. Did a team lose because their quarterback gave up four picks and lost two fumbles? What caused that to happen? Did the opposing team have a fantastic defense or was the QB having a very bad day? Did a team win due to their placekicker and might that specialist be in the same situation next week?
Is a coach getting more out of his team than expected, has a club just given up on the season or is a dark horse showing that they have the drive and talent to have a breakout and break away season? As more games are played, these questions will be easier to answer, but it’s best if you can figure out some of these things as soon as possible as this will give you an upper hand when determining on which teams you should bet.
Perform next week’s homework as soon as the week’s games are over. That would be on Saturday night and Sunday morning. Look for as much helpful information as you can concerning the coming week’s matchups, such as were there any injuries that might affect next week’s games, was there a standout performance that was a big surprise and might be repeated or did a certain aspect of a team, such as its pass rush, dominate?
Study matchups. As an example, try to discern if there is an excellent defensive frontline going up against a smaller offensive line or if there is an excellent quarterback with two go-to receivers playing against a weak secondary. Of course, a good team can be compromised by any number of things. Maybe two important members of that impressive defensive frontline have come down with the flu and will miss the next game or perhaps the fine quarterback jammed the thumb on his passing hand. These and other types of situations can drastically change the outcome of a game.
It’s essential that you create your own power rankings for each team you’re handicapping and each aspect of those teams, including the quarterback, running backs and wideouts. Also the frontline on both sides of the ball, linebacking unit and secondary on defense have to be rated. Don’t forget about each special team, paying careful attention to placekicking in what may be some of the closer games. Once you’ve done this create your own point spread and over/under. Do all of this before the odds for next week first appear.
A good handicapper is ahead of the curve and they are ready to bet when the lines and spreads are first posted, which is usually late Sunday. This is the best time to wager because the spreads are soft and as the week goes on they will move and become more precise and defined. The movement of a half point or point on a spread can be the difference between a winning and losing pick for the sports bettor.
Finally, it is essential for every handicapper to remember that they are looking for spreads, lines and over/unders that are weak and that they can exploit. College football handicapping is not about picking the winner per se; it is about making yourself a winner by making smart bets.
This is a step-by-step process and if done correctly it will yield positive results. Be sure to assess your handicapping each week, analyzing what you did right and what you need to change for your next round of games. Every college football season has surprises, sees important players get injured and has its share of upsets. College football handicapping is not a perfect science. You’ll have great, mediocre and even losing weeks. No matter what, you want to stay true to the process of handicapping and not play a guessing game or simply go with unfounded hunches. Stay in the game to win.