More Tips on How to Become a Successful College Football Bettor
Yesterday, we touched on a few concepts and techniques to assist you in becoming a more profitable college football bettor. Today, we’ll build on that list with discussions on summer markets, bet timing, and line moves.
1. Use the preseason as a guide. People love betting college football and sportsbooks know this, which is why most offshore and Las Vegas shops have already posted regular season win totals and point spreads for Week 1’s games. The market is far from mature, but it’s big enough where any significant line move should be taken seriously. For example, UMass opens up the season at Rutgers. The Minutemen opened as +10 underdogs but now find themselves +14.5. You’ll also notice that UMass’ regular season win total (4.5un -320) was also bet heavily towards the under. Those moves indicate that the market feels UMass is in for a very rough season under first-year head coach Walt Bell. But not every line move is “pro” or “anti” team. As with Golden Nugget’s Games of the Year, rather than focus on the matchup, bettors will often times take a position by betting a key number. For example, BYU opened +7 vs. rival Utah but was bet down to +6. Given the close nature of the recent series (last four games decided by 8, 6, 1 and 7), bettors felt that +7 is unlikely to be available come game day. And by holding a ticket on such a key number, there’s a good chance a bettor will be able to “get off” the bet by taking Utah at -6.5 or less should the need arise. The betting markets aren’t always right and in the long-term, it’s best to form organic opinions. But there generally is no “dumb” money influencing college football lines in June.
2. Bet early in the week. The college football market starts to formulate on Mondays. By Tuesday night, it’s close to full with sides and totals. By Wednesday afternoon, nearly every soft line has been taken out. The difference between betting mid-week vs. Friday or Saturday is massive. Most of our wagering for the upcoming weekend, outside of first halves, is complete by Wednesday. There may be situations where we’re waiting to hear about an injury or we’re in disagreement with the market but for the most part, it’s an early bird gets the worm type of world. Betting early in the week should not be exclusive to pros. In fact, it’s one of the main reasons rookie bettors struggle — they simply don’t understand the importance of betting key numbers that rarely exist on Fridays and Saturdays.
3. Circle games in advance. Let’s say you come across a team that you feel offers value but this weekend’s matchup isn’t ideal. Your team is coming off a tough overtime win, the injury list is long, and their upcoming opponent is rested and ready off of a bye week. But next week is a big revenge spot against a team that will be playing its third straight road game. Or a starting quarterback goes down and the highly touted true frosh gets thrown to the wolves with a road start against a two touchdown favorite. The “green” signal caller struggles but the following week, the team has a bye, followed by a home game against a weaker foe. With extra time to prepare and some extra value thanks to the loss of the starting quarterback, the aforementioned home game is now “circled” as a bet on spot. Isolating great situations in advance is a great tool for young bettors. If anything, it helps you see things from a broader point of view. Often times we become so focused on the short-term that we miss out on future opportunities.
4. Betting into line moves. Even if you do partake in early week betting, the reality is there will be games you like that move before you’ve had a chance to make a wager. Everyone likes to talk about “getting the best of the number” but the reality is only a select few are able to sink their teeth into opening and/or soft lines. For starters, if you come across a game that was “steamed” more often than not there will be “buy back” meaning the -6 you wanted that was bet to -8 may at some point come back to -7. Obviously having -6 is the more ideal bet but by showing patience, you can at least hold a key number ticket of -7 rather than panic and take the “worst of it” with -8. It’s also important to understand the college football markets in September vs. December. Early in the season, there is a lot of opinion and a lot of mispriced teams and totals. This is the time of year where you can be more aggressive in terms of betting into a line move, especially when they don’t involve key numbers. If a game opens -3.5 and we’re left with -5.5 but our numbers show the game to be -7, we might not make a full-sized wager on -5.5 but the game still warrants a wager. But if we come across a Week 10 game that opened -2.5 and moved to -3.5, we’re likely to wait for -3 or simply not bet the game.
Over the last four seasons, Advantage Group has been one of the most successful college football services around. With a low volume, high winning percentage approach, AG has produced an unmatched (and documented!) 102-54 65% +72.5 unit record including 22-15 60% +13.0 units in 2018. Be sure to check out all of their subscription options for the upcoming 2019 campaign.