College Football Betting: Totals Strategy



Individuals betting on NCAA football games tend to favor the point spread over the game totals. However, game totals are just as lucrative as point spreads, if not more. When handicapping game totals for NCAA football, it’s essential to shop around for the best numbers as games consisting of a point or more difference on totals are quite common. Compared to the NFL, NCAAF game totals tend to be higher on average – 45.5 for NFL and 57.0 for NCAAF. This is caused by the fact that there tends to be more discrepancy in NCAAF compared to the NFL, not to mention that defenses are weaker in NCAAF as well. Here’s a look at some strategies when it comes to betting on NCAAF.

Basic Strategy

The most basic strategy when it comes to handicapping game totals for NCAAF is to look at the scoring averages for both teams and subsequently adding up both these numbers. However, the public has a tendency to fall in love with offensive numbers and this tends to be their focus. However, such a simplistic handicapping strategy leaves a lot of other factors unaccounted for. Instead, a better strategy would be to combine both team’s average points scored and average points allowed, and subsequently taking the average of these two sums.

Weather Effects

While it may be obvious that rain during games tend to result in lower than usual total scores, it’s actually not the biggest factor. Instead, this distinction belongs to stronger than normal winds. From historical records, wind speeds of eight miles per hour or higher tend to result in game totals falling on the under more often than not, with the differences more profound as the wind speed increases, especially when wind speeds each 13 miles per hour or higher.

Betting The Under

When two teams are averaging more combined points than the game total line, most bettors would immediately flock to take the under. However, from historical data, this has not proven to be a wise bet. Instead, taking the under has been much more profitable to a tune of a 57.6% winning percentage from a 1,205 sample size, which is pretty reliable. Additionally, starting in week four of the NCAA regular season, the under tends to become more profitable – greater than a 52% winning percentage in each week starting from week four.

In NCAAF and sports in general, the recency bias tends to hold very strongly. The recency bias refers to the act of an individual evaluating a team’s performance based on the most recent results or on his perspective of the most recent results, which tends to lead to incorrect conclusions that ultimately lead to incorrect decisions about the outcome of games. After explaining the recency bias, it might make sense to take two teams on the under if you’ve noticed that in the past few games, both teams have gone over on the game totals. Based on historical data, for both teams that have gone 30 points or more over their last three combined game totals, the under has been surprisingly profitable, with games going under 70 times while only going over 50 times.

Betting The Over

We’ve already discovered how strong of a play the under is when teams have been averaging more points than the game total. Additionally, when teams have been averaging less points than the game total, using 52 points as a baseline, the over cashed in 55.8% of the time within a sample size of 651 games. In these 651 games, the average total final score was 61.3 points, almost 10 points more than the baseline of 52.