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College Football Betting 101: Your Comprehensive Gambling Guide

Published: August 2023

Atlantic City sports bettors rejoice: college football gameday is just around the corner. 

On August 26th, the 2023 college football season officially kicks off. That means every Saturday until January will be packed with countless opportunities to bet on sports in Atlantic City and win big on your favorite college teams. 

But what if you’re new to college football gambling? 

Don’t sweat it. We’ve created this betting primer so you know how to navigate the sportsbook like a shark and kickstart your journey to winning big!

What’s the Structure and Schedule of College Football? 

In our exploration of College Football Betting 101, delving into the intricacies of the sport's structure and schedule is fundamental to making informed wagers. College football operates within a vibrant framework of conferences, where teams with shared attributes come together for intense competitions. These conferences create a rich tapestry of matchups that define the season, offering a diverse range of betting possibilities.

Gaining a deeper understanding of the structure and schedule empowers you to approach college football betting with insight and strategy. By appreciating the nuances of how teams are organized and the rhythm of the season, you'll be equipped to make well-informed wagers that enhance your enjoyment and success in the realm of college football betting.

In terms of scheduling, the teams typically play eight conference games—split evenly between home and away—and four out-of-conference games. As the season progresses, teams are assessed and ranked. This 13-member group evaluates performance based on several key factors, including:

 

  • Conference championships won
  • Strength of schedule
  • Head-to-head results
  • Comparison of results against common opponents

At the end of each season, the top four teams face off in the college football playoffs. The victors of each semi-final then compete in the championship bowl. 

Note: From 2024 onward, the playoffs will expand to a 12-team format.

How to Bet on College Football

Venturing into the exciting world of college betting can be a thrilling new experience. However, if you're new to this gambling arena, it's essential to lay a solid foundation before diving in and risking your hard-earned money. Understanding the common types of bets available and interpreting American odds is the first order of business.

To put these concepts into context, let's review the opening game day bet slip featuring last year’s runner-up.

 

Team

Moneyline Odds

Spread 

Total

Texas

-700

-20 (-110)

O 59 (-110)

Colorado

+1050

+20 (-110)

U 59 (-110)

The Moneyline Wager

The simplest of all college football bets, the moneyline wager only requires that you choose the game’s final winner. Teams are assigned a "+" or "-" number, indicating whether they’re the underdog or favorite, respectively.

With American odds, if the odds on a bet slip are negative, this figure shows how much you need to bet to win $100. Conversely, if the odds are positive, this amount represents how much you'd win if you placed a $100 bet.

As a general rule of thumb, it's worth noting that college football often lacks parity, meaning that most matchups will have a clear favorite and underdog. This imbalance can make moneyline bets a less favored choice for bettors. Because favorites often have such a high likelihood of winning, the payout for a successful bet on these teams can be quite small. On the other hand, betting on the underdog, while potentially offering a much larger payout, carries a higher risk due to the team's lower chances of winning.

In this example, Texas is the clear favorite, and Colorado is the clear underdog. So, you would need to bet $700 to win $100 on Texas; whereas a $100 bet on a Colorado upset would win $1,050. 

Point Spreads 

Given the frequent lack of parity between matchups, point spreads are often the most popular betting choice because the odds and payouts tend to be more reasonable and it makes an expected blowout more interesting. 

By adding a spread—the specific number of points a team is expected to win or lose by—casinos can handicap the favorite while providing a points cushion to the underdog, according to their relative perceived strength as a team. 

 Typically, a bookie will set the spread and allow you to make one of two wagers: 

 

  • The favorite will win by more points than the spread indicates 
  • The underdog will either win or lose by fewer points than the spread 

On the betting slip above, if you were to bet on the Texas spread, you would need them to win by at least 21 points to make $100 on a $110 wager. 

OveR and Under

Instead of worrying about the final outcome of the game, the over/under, also known as the totals, lets you bet on the total number of points scored by both teams combined.

In most cases, this figure is determined by taking the expected total scores for both teams, then subtracting or adding a point toward which outcome the bookie finds to be more likely. 

In this instance, if you made a $110 bet on the under, any scoring outcome that resulted in both teams adding up to fewer than 59 points would pay out $100. 

Other Common Types of Football Sports Bets 

Additionally, most sportsbooks will allow more advanced types of wagers, including: 

 

  • Parlays – Combines multiple individual bets into one larger bet; all individual bets within the parley must win for the parlay bet to pay out, which increases both the risk and potential payout.

 

  • Prop Bets – Allows bettors to wager on specific events or statistics within a game, such as who might score the first touchdown. 

 

  • Futures – Wagers on future events—often made before the season kicks off—such as who will win the championship game. 

Ocean Casino Resort: Your Ultimate College Football Betting Destination 

The 2023 season is nearly here. But before opening day kicks off, you’ll need to find the best place to watch and wager on the games. 

For that, Ocean Casino Resort is the sportsbook mecca of Atlantic City! 

There’s no better place to soak in the Saturday College gameday atmosphere than The Gallery Bar, Book & Games. It’s the ultimate luxury sports bar—a 12,000 square-foot venue with 140 feet of LED walls, a 100-foot elevated bar and lounge, gaming tables, slots, and, of course, countless chances to bet on.

Looking for some Fantasy Football Draft Party Packages? 

Reserve your own private bay now - September 6 and host your fantasy football draft party at TopGolf Swing Suite!

At Ocean Casino Resort, we understand the importance of creating unforgettable moments during your fantasy football draft. To make your experience truly memorable, we offer exclusive Fantasy Football Draft Party Packages tailored to suit your group's needs.

All-Pro Package

 

  • Dedicated VIP Draft Space / Private Bay at TopGolf Swing Suite for up to four (4) hours
  • Appetizer Samplers and 2 Domestic Beer Buckets
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Complimentary Ocean Draft Board; including labels for every offensive player and team defense
  • Ocean Championship Trophy
  • Ocean Swag Bag with official Ocean merchandise
  • Autographed player photo of Seth Joyner for each participant

Get ready to elevate your fantasy football draft experience to a whole new level at Ocean Casino Resort. With our picturesque setting, exclusive packages, and unmatched amenities, we guarantee a fantasy football event that you and your friends will cherish for years to come. Book your Fantasy Football Draft Party with us today, and let the games begin!

 

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