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College Football Odds: What The Numbers Mean

With its thrilling regular and postseason, college football is undeniably one of the most gambled sports in the United States. There may not be a more intensely discussed sport than college football. In recent years, oddsmakers have even created many betting lines for the sports in response to unending discussions around the rankings and who would be the most valuable  player and number one team.

The rotation number, point spread, money line, and over/under are all critical aspects of college football odds that you must understand if you plan to bet on the sports. The rotation number is sometimes referred to as the “number”; the point spread as the “spread,” the money line as the “line,” and the over/under as the “total.” These numbers are all grouped under the phrase “odds.”

Understanding the NCAAF Odds Numbers

Bets on college football are the best way to follow the action during the season. Understanding the NCAAF odds is critical. After all, understanding NCAAF betting odds and lines are the only way to determine which bets have the highest chance of paying off.

It doesn’t take much time to know how to read college football betting odds, even if it is your first time betting or you just need a refresher. Below is a quick breakdown of what the numbers mean in college football betting lines and odds.

Point Spread

The point spread, known as the line or spread, is used to handicap the favorite team. The oddsmaker forecasts that the favorite side will win by a particular number of points for wagering reasons. These points represent the point spread.

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The favorite is denoted with a negative sign (for example, -5.5) and the underdog with a plus sign (for example, +5.5). If you bet on the favorite, the favorite must win by a margin more significant than the point spread  to win the wager . But what if you wagered on the underdog? In this case, the underdog must win, tie, or the favorite should win but fail to cover the point spread. In most sports, it is typical for point spread bettors to risk $110 to gain $100.

For example, Ohio State is favored to defeat Michigan by 3.5 points. The negative sign denotes that the Ohio State Buckeyes are the favorites (-3.5), whereas the plus sign denotes that the Michigan Wolverines are the underdogs (+3.5).

If you wager on Michigan, you win if the Wolverines win a majority or fail by less than 3.5 points. If you wager on Ohio State and the Buckeyes score by four points or more, you win your bet.

Money Line

Money line wagering is simply betting on the game’s outcome based on a predetermined price instead of a point spread. Despite the score, the team on whom a wager was placed must win the game entirely. Therefore, the minus sign (e.g., -135) always denotes the favorite and the amount that must be wagered to secure $100. The plus sign (e.g., +110) always denotes the underdog, and the amount won for each $100 wagered.

For example, the odds for Ohio State to defeat Michigan are -180; this makes them the favorite. If you bet $100 on the underdogs, the number next to the plus sign indicates the amount of money you would win. So if the Wolverines, who are a +150 underdog, win outright and you bet $100, you will get $150..

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Moreover, if you bet on the favorite, the figure to the left of the minus sign indicates how much you must risk winning $100. For example, you must wager $180 to gain $100 if the (-180) favorite Ohio State Buckeyes win outright.

Totals or Over/Under

Predicted totals for games are established by oddsmakers, who estimate the final score. Depending on the estimated total, you can bet on whether you think the total score will be higher or lower than what the sportsbook says.

The Michigan-Ohio State game, for example, had a total of 67.5 points. A wager on the over is made if you think Michigan and Ohio State will score 68 or more points. Let’s suppose that the final result is 41-31. You would win your wager if the two scores were put together and the result was 72, which is greater than 67.5.

If you think Michigan and Ohio State will score less than 67.5 points (any total of 67 or lower), you will wager on the Under (under 67.5). Let’s say, the final tally is 34-30. Then, you would win your wager if the two scores totaled up to 64, which is less than 67.5.

What You Always Need to Remember!

Aside from knowing your numbers, football has more to it than statistics. Remember that in sports betting, it’s not only about optimizing your stake for each bet, but it’s also about optimizing the odds you bet with. Odds of 2.34 and 2.36 may appear insignificant at first glance, but even the tiniest of differences may significantly impact betting in the long run.

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