The 2018 College Football betting season is officially here with the release of week 1 odds from Southpoint sportsbook in LasVegas. Thankfully we get an early start to the season with 2 games on Saturday August 25th. The season truly gets going with a 4 game slate on Thursday night August 30th, highlighted by a Big 10 battle between Northwestern and upstart Purdue.
Notable Week 1 Opening Odds:
Florida Atlantic at Oklahoma -17
Oregon St at Ohio St -42
Washington vs. Auburn PK
West Virginia -7 vs. Tennessee
Michigan -1 at Notre Dame (opened as ND -7)
Louisville at Alabama -28 (Bama opened -20)
Miami, Fla -3 vs. LSU
Va Tech at FSU PK
WEEK 1 COLLEGE FOOTBALL ODDS
There is no better time of year than football season. When it’s that time of year when the cool, crisp fall air hits the field and some of the tiniest towns with some of the biggest college football programs start to rustle, you know that it’s time to look at the college football odds.
However, understanding how the college football odds work is the first order of business for anyone who is going to place bets in games.
There aren’t quite as many ways to place bets on the college football odds as there are in the NFL. Props are available in some of the big time games, especially as we get towards the bowl season and the conference championship games, but for the most part, all you’ll see in games in terms of college football odds are point spreads, ‘totals’, and moneylines.
The moneyline though, is almost always a bit of a sucker bet, especially when you’re talking about big favorites. Any time you see a team which is favored by more than 10 points, there really is no point in playing the moneyline. Only the most square of bettors will look at a spread of -500 or greater and think that it is a good play. The gap between the big time teams and the smaller teams, especially within conference play, is getting smaller and smaller by the year, and though we don’t necessarily recommend playing on an underdog who is 10 to 1 every single week, we’d rather do that than play on these favorites who perhaps paying just $5 on a $100 bet.
Instead, we think that the best way to focus on the college football odds is to bet point spreads and ‘totals’. Though the oddsmakers are getting closer on a weekly basis to being able to handicap every team throughout the country, there are clearly still some weaknesses that are out there. There are many teams, especially in regards to ‘totals’, who are undervalued. Perception is there that teams like Alabama or TCU are always low scoring teams, while teams like Boise State and Hawaii are always high scoring teams, but that isn’t always the case. Especially in the smaller conferences, you’ll see a lot of generic ‘totals’ on the college football odds that are out of whack and should be gone after.
As far as point spreads go on the college football odds, you’ll see some big ones on a weekly basis. In fact, completely unlike the NFL, more games feature double-digit point spreads than single-digit point spreads. That makes it really difficult to try to pick winners. Not only do we get big time upsets every week, especially in the smaller conferences, but we also get a lot of close calls as well. Still, more often than not, a team like Alabama is going to beat up a team like Vanderbilt or Kentucky, and it makes it tough to stomach those point spreads on either side on the college football odds.