Differences Between Betting the NFL and College Football

profile image of Swinging.Johnson
063_1300899998-aspect-ratio-16-9
(Photo by Mike Ehrmann / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

Football season is mercifully looming and before you know it Saturdays and Sundays will be reserved for college and pro football, respectively. But what are the major differences between your college football picks and your NFL picks? Let’s discuss this below.

Casual Bettors Likely Bet Both

Ask most football fans and they will tell you they have a preference, some insisting the college game is more spirited and less corrupted by the all-mighty dollar while others will beg to disagree, pointing to the superior caliber of play at the professional level. But make no mistake, there is serious crossover between the two because few true football fans watch the schoolboys on Saturday and tune out the NFL on Sunday and vice-versa.

The same can be said of those who recreationally bet the games. Action is action and whether it is college football or the pros, there is no better sport for wagering excitement. And while fans and casual football bettors, often one and the same, may bet on both, you will find there is a more finely delineated line as it pertains to professional bettors.

Certainly, there are those pro bettors who bet both and will exploit a perceived weakness in the numbers regardless. But if one is making a living based on his or her mental acuity and football acumen then there is often a focus on one or the other.

If you are looking to make money betting football – and who isn’t – then gravitate towards those BMR writers who can be found at the Free NCAA Football Picks and Betting Predictions and/or the Free NFL Football Picks & Football Betting Predictions right here at Bookmakers Review. The best thing you can do is seek out the opinions of those who have taken the time to study the games.

Although their opinions may or may not correspond with yours, getting more information is never a bad thing. Take away what you like and discard what you don’t but check out BMR’s NFL and College Football Betting forums to see what your fellow posters are saying. Once you familiarize yourself with the community, you will be able to separate the knowledgeable posters from those that are not nearly so.

Three Biggest Differences Between NCAAAF and NFL

Point Spreads – The gap between the Power 5 conferences and the others is often significant. You will routinely see college football odds at many of the best online sportsbooks dealing the best teams in the nation as 20, 30, 40, or even 50-point favorites against the weaker teams.

In the NFL last season, the biggest spread of the 2020 campaign came in Week 8 when the Chiefs were installed as 20 ½ point favorites over the Jets which proved to be one of the biggest spreads in NFL history…BTW the Chiefs covered. However, the Denver Broncos as 28-point home chalk over the woeful Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 6 of the 2013 season holds the title as the largest NFL spread ever. Generally speaking, any spread above 10 in the NFL is rare with three points being the average margin of victory, occurring 14.5 percent of the time.

Sharper Numbers in NFL – Bookmakers can only do so much and therefore their time and attention is spent on the 13-16 games in the NFL every week depending on the number of bye teams. Because the NFL has only 16 games maximum each week, even the lousy games are bet heavily which means the books must be sharp.

However, the college ranks have 129 FBS and 125 FCS D-1 teams which means there are tons of games, most of which are obscure and overlooked. This is where a college football sharpshooter can make their money. Soft lines can mean big bucks. But the major college TV games will be scrutinized by the books as much as an NFL game so the numbers are usually very tight.

More Consistency in NFL – We know every team in all of the professional sports leagues consists of mercenaries. The higher the offer, the better the chance that Player X will sign on the dotted line, and that often leads to players jumping from team to team. But as often as that happens, it pales in comparison to the college game.

At the very most a college football player has four years but between graduating seniors, player transfers, and those leaving early for the draft, the college teams are tougher to evaluate early in the season, particularly because the freshmen were high-schoolers a year ago whom no one, but the college scouts, saw play the previous year. This can lead to wild speculation in the first few weeks so try to exploit the soft numbers in the early going.