When you are thinking about betting on college football you have two general options. You can bet on the high profile games that everyone will be watching, talking about, and betting on, or you can instead go for more obscure football games featuring ignored teams from lesser conferences that are well off the public radar. There are advantages and disadvantages of both types of games for bettors. For college football handicappers, here’s a look at four advantages of each:
High Profile Public Games
Higher betting volume means that the line is more likely accurate – If you haven’t done as much homework and preparation for a football game as you ideally would then it can be difficult to have a sense of how strong the line is. In a more public game like this you can be reasonably sure that the line has been adjusted to it is at a sound, realistic level – especially if you wait until closer to game time to make your pick. That means that you won’t get a shot at any big value, but it also means that you aren’t going to get caught on the wrong side of a bad line.
Public action can create value on underdog – When a college football game is being heavily hyped and people are anticipating it there’s often one team that draws the majority of the public affection and betting activity. If you are of the opinion that the public is on the wrong side and the betting action is heavy and one-sided then you may find a fair bit of attractive value on picking the underdog.
More information easily available makes handicapping easier – The higher profile NCAA football games get more attention from the media. That means that there is more coverage of the players, the rosters, the coaching staff, and the transactions and player changes that have been made. More information makes it easier to assess the state of the game, it makes the research you want to do quicker and easier, and it makes it far less likely that you will miss a significant development that could affect the outcome of the game.
It’s fun – For a lot of NCAA football bettors making a bet is as much about having some fun and having something to cheer for than anything else. When you bet on the big games then you can watch them, you can brag when you win, and you can have lots of fun. Sports bettors forget it sometimes, but having fun is a good thing, and there is nothing wrong with being motivated by this.
The More Obscure Games
Less public action can make lines move slower and can allow you a better chance of getting a value-packed price – Most sports bettors have real jobs as well. That means that they can’t necessarily be sitting by ready to pounce as soon as the lines come out. On high profile games, then, the idea of betting on a line before the smart money hits it hard is just a pipe dream. When the betting volumes are lower, though, the books aren’t going to be as quick to adjust the lines because they have less at stake, and it can be possible for normal people to get a line before the value has disappeared.
Because information is harder to find, it’s easier to form an opinion or an insight that is valuable – In a high profile college football game every detail is going to be known by everyone. If Terrelle Pryor sneezes the press will cover it and people will know it. On more obscure games, though, you have to work harder to find the news about players and teams that can really affect the outcome of a game, so there are a lot of bettors that won’t necessarily have learned the news before making their bets. You have the best chance of finding value as a college football handicapper if you have information that the majority of bettors don’t have, and that’s far more likely in a game like this.
Big news that effects the outcome of a game won’t impact line as quickly – When a player gets hurt or a coach makes a big change to the roster in a high profile game the line will react and adjust very quickly. In lower profile games, though, the line will take longer to adjust, and there is more of an opportunity for you to get in at an advantageous price.
Less noise – The worst thing that can happen for football bettors is when they have already made a decision that they feel good about, but then they read or hear something that causes them to second guess themselves. That can happen easily when a game is covered heavily. When there is less attention directed towards a game, though, it is easier for a college football handicapper to make a decision and then not be driven crazy by other opinions.