It feels so, so good to see all these people betting on college football. However crazy the world might seems sometimes, at the end of the day, more of us than ever have a little money left over for “discretionary spending.” And more than ever, we’re free to gamble with it as we please.
That doesn’t mean we have to light our money on fire. The best value on the college football odds can usually be found in the props department; this is where a lot of those new bettors are doing their thing, and newer bettors usually lead to softer lines.
There are some challenges when it comes to NCAAF props. For example, the list of available bets is relatively short when the first game lines hit the board; a lot of the good stuff doesn’t pop up until we get closer to kick-off.
Not to worry. We’ve found some potentially tasty Winning Margin props for Saturday’s slate at Bovada (visit our Bovada Review), and we think this category is one of the best betting options for people who are interested in expanding their portfolio beyond the standard “straight” or “single” bets, spreads, moneylines, totals, you know the drill.
We’re not going to be reinventing the wheel here with these college football picks. Our cunning plan is to look at our usual models, see what range of outcomes they project, and choose the wager that most closely matches that range. Now, let’s see… where will we find the most casual bettors…
Mississippi State Bulldogs vs. Alabama Crimson Tide
Saturday, October 22, 2022 – 07:00 PM EDT at Bryant-Denny Stadium
Ah, of course, Tuscaloosa. Except this game is a little different: there’s a good chance the Crimson Tide (6-1 SU, 4-3 ATS) are undervalued here as 21-point home faves at Bookmaker (visit our Bookmaker Review). They’re coming off an epic 52-49 loss to the Tennessee Volunteers (+9.5 away), one that saw ‘Bama shoot themselves in the foot on multiple occasions.
The Bulldogs (5-2 SU, 4-2-1 ATS) have also dropped four straight to the Tide SU and ATS, and 6 of their last 7. They’re profitable overall, though, and Jeff Sagarin at The USA Today only has Alabama winning by between 14-17 points, give or take. Let’s see if we can squeeze a little value from those somewhat magic margins of victory.
NCAAF Pick: Alabama to Win by 13-18 Points (+475) at Bovada
Marshall Thundering Herd vs. James Madison Dukes
Saturday, October 22, 2022 – 03:30 PM EDT at Bridgeforth Stadium at Zane Showker Field
Here’s another game where Sagarin’s models seem to be stretching our range. Marshall (3-3 SU, 2-4 ATS) has dropped four straight ATS since their incredible win over Norte Dame (–20 at home) in Week 2. They’re probably on the wrong side at Heritage Sports (visit our Heritage Sports Review), who have them priced as 12.5-point road dogs at James Madison (5-1 SU and ATS).
Sagarin’s models can’t ignore what happened in South Bend. They have the Dukes winning by anywhere between 8-13 points, but his “Recent” formula is at the high end of that scale and might be a better indicator of what’s to come this Saturday.
It might be. As it turns out, the college football odds are giving us a higher payday for James Madison winning by 7-12 than 13-18, so let’s again focus on the margin with the most magic numbers.
NCAAF Pick: James Madison to Win by 7-12 Points (+450) at Bovada
Akron Zips vs. Kent State Golden Flashes
Saturday, October 22, 2022 – 12:00 PM EDT at Dix Stadium
We may have found the sweet spot here. The Zips (1-6 SU, 3-4 ATS) appear to have value as “buy low” candidates versus Kent State (2-5 SU, 3-4 ATS), who are laying 18.5 points at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review) despite not being very good themselves.
The models seem to be more tightly bunched this time. Sagarin has Kent State winning by 17-20 points, again with the higher end of that range based on his “Recent” formula. That’s a bit more in line with some of the other numbers we’re looking at.
Now we just have to choose which side of that range to err on. If we take Kent State by 13-18 points, we get the magic numbers 14 and 17 again, with a slightly higher payday at +450. If we take Kent State by 19-24 points, we capture that Recent projection, but we also get less magic and a +425 payday. So let’s follow the plausibly sharp lean towards Akron, and may the prolate spheroid be with you.
NCAAF Pick: Kent State to Win by 13-18 points (+450) at Bovada
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.