Best Ways to Handicap Week 1 of College Football Betting

Best Ways to Handicap Week 1 of College Football Betting

Written by on August 29, 2016

Now that the college football betting season is about to take off, you may already have your wagers lined up for the entire campaign. Before you log in and lock those bets down, though, take a deep breath and peruse our tips. Given that there is no pre-season in the college game, Week 1 can be devastating for teams that had wanted to make a big statement. Remember – these players are still kids in their teens and early twenties, so they’re not the seasoned pros that you find with NFL betting.

Here are the best ways to Handicap the First Week of College Football Betting

Almost no one will win by 40 points.

You’re going to see some cupcake games that have some gargantuan lines, and you might be tempted to take the favorite. If that line is more than 30 points, though, you really should save your money for another game. Case in point: the California Golden Bears were favored to beat Hawaii by 20 points on Friday night. Sure enough, Cal put up 51 on the Rainbow Warriors. However, they gave up 31 points, making the game a push for bettors. So when you see your favorite Power 5 team favorite by 35 ½ or 42 ½ points against an FCS school, you might be tempted, thinking that it’s going to be a cake walk. However, while your school still might win by four or even five touchdowns, it just takes one or two wrong moves to lose against the spread.

Don’t bet on road favorites.

If you’ve been following my articles, you know that I’ve been picking Wisconsin (+10) to cover at home against #5 LSU and #15 Houston (+10) to cover at home against Oklahoma – in fact, I like Houston to win that game outright. Home field advantage is a very real entity, particularly in the NCAA. A lot of times you’re taking kids a long, long way from the places where they feel comfortable. That’s not as big a deal in the NFL, but you’re still talking about adolescents in the NCAA. The one exception to this could be Boise State, which has covered on the road about 60 percent of the time over the last decade. Then again, they are usually head and shoulders above the rest of their conference.

In a shootout, grab those points.

Last year, Baylor went up to Oklahoma State as an underdog on the road and won, 45-35 (proving that there are exceptions to such rules as the one before this one). Both teams had iffy defenses last year, relying on solid offenses to carry the day. One factor in my betting on this game involved the fact that Baylor had some more big-game wins in their past, despite their loss to Oklahoma the week before. Oklahoma State, on the other hand, has tended to fold when the really big games come. So despite the fact that the game was in Stillwater, I chose Baylor because I didn’t trust either defense and knew that, in college, those games generally come down to the wire.