NCAAF Betting Guide: How to Handicap College Football Games

If you want to be as good as the best football handicappers in the business, you are going to need to put in the time and effort  that it takes to make successful picks season after season.  There are several different different types of football handicapping and none of them are perfect. Each type has it’s strengths and weaknesses. Ideally, it would be bet to pull and combine ideas from the different handicapping styles to form your own winning combination.

Fundamental Handicapping

Fundamental handicappers use statistical power rankings, player stats, and personnel match-ups to make their predictions.  Something to keep in mind when using power rankings in college football is that they are not nearly as effective as they are in the NFL.  While parody is growing in the college ranks, there is still a major discrepancy in talent between the best and the worst college football teams.  Just think about it.  How many times have you seen an NFL team lose by 40-50 points and how many college football games end up with a 56-7 type of score?  While not the majority, outliers from games like those are going to skew the statistics and power rankings heavily in one direction.  Obviously, we still advocate the use of raw statistics when you bet on football, just be aware of otherworldly statistics from a team that just steam-rolled a Division 1-AA team.

Situation Handicapping

As the name suggests, this type of handicapping involves looking at very specific situations.  This can be useful during the regular season, but we find it to be most effective for making our bowl picks.  Bowl season tends to bring out the emotions in young players, so teams coming off of a disappointing loss are more prone to a letdown, while teams coming off of a huge win or major upset are going to be in prime position to play another good game.  When you are attempting to predict a team’s emotions, it can be a little tricky. However there are time-tested situational trends that appear to hold up season after season.

Technical Handicapping

You might also call this style “trends” handicapping because that is where the focus is.  Players or handicappers that use this type of handicapping for their football betting study past trends and ATS standings to try and find patterns that might repeat themselves.  We consider this the least useful type of handicapping, but that doesn’t mean it’s completely worthless.  Home and away splits for teams can be especially useful, so don’t completely ignore this style.

Total Package Handicapping

This is the style you should strive for.  Take a little from each type of handicapping we’ve talked about and become a well-rounded and successful bettor.  In college football I would recommend weighing each type before you place your bets.  Personally, I use about 50 percent situational handicapping, 40 percent fundamental handicapping, and 10 percent technical handicapping for college football.  These numbers are slightly different than the ones I use for NFL handicapping and they are by no means “hard” numbers.  Feel free to adjust and adapt your capping style to best suit your needs.

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