It’s time to bet on college football. The early season offers plentiful opportunity for bettors while the market adjusts to teams in 2022. Savvy bettors can take advantage of market misprices and fading hype trains to turn an early profit. What specifically should you look for? Check out a few early-season college football betting tips below.
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Top College Football Early-Season Betting Tips
Bet On Small-Market Teams
I talked more about the discrepancy in information between the NFL and college games in this article. However, even within the college ranks, there’s a massive gap in information between marquee games like Notre Dame at Ohio State and small-market ones like Nevada at New Mexico State.
By this time in the offseason, the lines on the biggest games of the week are hammered into place and your best bet for value now is to hope one book doesn’t update their lines as quickly as another.
Not the case with small-market teams.
Take that Nevada at New Mexico State game for example. The Wolfpack are favored by on the road while returning an FBS-low 27% of roster production and no coaching staff from a year ago. New Mexico State is bad (last in FPI and SP+), but they return 55% of their roster from last year and are projected for similar wins to Nevada. Up until recently, this number favored Nevada by 12.5 points.
Target these small-market games that have less attention on them.
Consider Alternate Lines For Off-Market Numbers
Piggybacking off the last point, some numbers may be so off-market that alternate lines are a good play. Perhaps you’re so confident in New Mexico State, but don’t want to risk a ML bet, that you take them +3.5 (+210).
Alternate lines will appear closer to game time and can often be mispriced for smaller-market teams. That’s because there’s so many related markets for oddsmakers to update, the smallest markets often get overlooked.
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Look Closely At Related Markets
Aside from just alternate lines being prone to being mispriced, look at over/unders, moneylines, and half totals. When the spread was adjusted from New Mexico State +12.5 to +8.5, did the moneyline move accordingly? (Referencing a spread to ML chart for college football, NMST should be around +275.) Did the over/under move?
And don’t just look at related markets in one book — be sure to line shop and see if all of the related markets at every book are priced accordingly.
Target Unranked Teams Playing Borderline Top-25 Teams
Since 2014, unranked teams that were favored over teams ranked 20-25 won 22 of 26 games outright. Last season, such teams were 3-2. Keep this in mind for games like Tennessee at Pittsburgh in Week 2, although no games qualify for Weeks 0 and 1.
While you might not want to buy the juice for those unranked favorites, this can be a helpful tip for avoiding mistakes early on.
Week 1 College Football Betting Lines
To bet on any of the following games, click on the odds in the table.