Choosing the Right Book

College Football Betting: Choosing the Right Book

By Loot, College Football Handicapper,

When betting on college football, it’s critical to pick a bookie who has your needs covered. You will be basically looking for two key things–a book that is reputable and whose betting options match well with your wagering profile. All books are not more or less the same. It’s a wild landscape and it’s key to hone in on the books you can depend on wholeheartedly. And even within that elite group, the variance in the bets offered in college football is far greater than in the NFL.

Integrity is what you should focus on first when figuring out who to entrust with your money. A lot of college football bettors have horror stories about not getting paid or being sent on some wild goose-chase to get their hands on their money. It’s why people are willing to travel hours to get to brick-and-mortar books where the payoff is instant and simple. Because sometimes, getting paid from online books is a hassle.

So check thoroughly. Read reviews. Track a book’s history and standing within the industry. Make sure everything checks out before depositing your money. When you start to plunder down the dark alleys, you’re more prone to having problems. There are certainly honorable books that are more recently-created. But for the most part, you want to deal with the established cornerstones. Tap into the pulse of the online betting public and you will be able to determine who these books are. You’re looking for a place that allows you to cash in as painless a manner as possible.

College football betting offers a wide array of possible wagers. Make sure you find a good match. If the great majority of your bets are straight bets against the spread, you can assume every book will have that. But if you play a lot of parlays, teasers, futures bets, or money lines, know that not all books cover those items the same way.

With college football, the difference from book to book could be huge. Betting over-unders might be harder at certain books. They might not allow you to tease two teams. The money lines offered on the games could be sparse. There might be a slew of totals, sides, or money lines that cannot be parlayed or teased. And some books release money lines on a time-release, especially with the lower-echelon conferences. Ensure that you have a good match.

In this competitive market, there is the issue of bonuses–promotions books have to lure first-time signees. Make sure they’re dangling a carrot and not a trap. A lot of fly-by-night outfits will offer you everything but the kitchen sink. But it won’t matter because your account balance might just be some non-existent number. When it comes time to actually get paid, you’ll be sent on some horrible goose-chase that will make you feel like you’re running guns to Cuba. And that’s if you get paid.


Take the bonus angle in stride. They can actually throw some people off, especially when there is endless red-tape involved with collecting the bonus. Sometimes you will have an option. Take the simplest one. And never let the bonuses start guiding the type of bets you place. It shouldn’t pre-occupy your mindset.

Getting -105 on games might even be better than a bonus. Sometimes, it’s offered as a bonus. Finding books that offer this reduction from the standard -110 line can save you a lot of money in the long run. Over the course of a season, putting up $105 for every $100 you win instead of betting $110 adds up. Look for books that offer reduced juice. Even if there is only a finite period where you can bet on games at -105, it’s a good edge to have.

Try to have a few or even several accounts. It used to be that when a bettor wanted to “shop for lines,” he would have to go on a pilgrimage up and down the strip in 105-degree weather. You might have finally found Michigan State at -2 instead of -2.5, but you walked 17 miles to get it. There really is no excuse these days in an online setting. With a few clicks, you can see what the different books are offering. So keep a few accounts active and funded. You’ll be glad you did.