Tips for Betting Golden Nugget’s College Football Games of the Year
Golden Nugget sportsbook director Tony Miller announced that his famed College Football Games of the Year will be offered starting Thursday, May 30. For bettors willing to do their homework, this offers an excellent opportunity to invest in some potentially “soft” college football lines. Below are some tips on how to put a few winning tickets in your pocket prior to summer!
1. Circle “big” games. Golden Nugget generally sticks to power conference teams and games with the exception of a few (see: last year’s list). Auburn vs. Alabama, Michigan vs. Ohio State, Clemson vs. Florida State…you know the drill. So rather than spend time rummaging around the Sun Belt, maximize your time by sticking to the top 25.
2. Circle “good” and “bad” scheduling situations. Bye weeks, revenge games, sandwich spots. If you’ve ever bet college football you know they can make the difference between a win and a loss.
3. Start with Twitter. For as much trash that Twitter thrusts our way, it remains an excellent handicapping tool. Local beat writers are always an up-to-date source.
4. Let BettorIQ help you out. Read this article and this article courtesy of pro bettor Eddie Walls.
5. Find teams that underachieved and overachieved. Florida State (5-7) comes to mind after struggling mightily in Willie Taggart’s first season. The Seminoles failed to post a winning season for the first time in four decades. Kentucky meanwhile popped for a rare 10-win season but lost five players to the NFL draft including 7th overall pick Josh Allen.
6. Head coaches in their third season. With two seasons to overhaul the roster to their liking, look for coaches with programs on the rise. Purdue’s Jeff Brohm and Cal’s Justin Wilcox fit that profile.
7. First-year head coaches. Not all first-year HCs should be pegged “bet against” but if last year was any example, expecting success in Year 1 can be a fool’s errand. Taggart, Scott Frost, Kevin Sumlin, Chip Kelly, and Chad Morris combined for only 19 wins. There were some exceptions to the rule, most notably Florida’s Dan Mullen (10-3), but when a coach takes over at a power conference school, it generally means there’s work to be done.
8. Don’t be afraid to bet against the grain. It’s fairly easy to power rate a team that returns its head coach, starting quarterback, and 15+ additional starters. Where bettors can really find value is on teams that have question marks but also potential. Washington State entered last season with only 10 returning starters and a transfer quarterback who went 3-14 at his previous school. The end result was 11 wins and 11 point spread covers.
9. Don’t be afraid to bet the obvious. The time for thinking outside of the box is Week 10 when every stat is accounted for and everyone has similar power ratings. In May, it’s not a bad idea to look at consistency. Alabama is never going to run the table against the spread but you know there’s more than a few spots where no matter what the number, the Crimson Tide are going to deliver an ATS victory.
10. Bet numbers, not teams. This is a common practice with GOY bettors. There were 10 games on last year’s list priced -3 or +3.5. It’s tough to project you’ll be able to hedge off a game that doesn’t take place for another five months but you’d be surprised how many May point spreads are similar to the ones you’ll see in September.
11. Embrace the unknown. Congratulations! You did your homework and are ready to make some bets. The problem now is college football can be a headache to prep for in August let alone May. Transfers, suspensions, quarterback battles, preseason injuries…the list goes on. You’ll no doubt lose a bet or two because of one of those unpredictable situations. But that shouldn’t scare you off. A few savvy bets in May can make the difference between a good and great season!