Common Wagering Fallacies

College Football Betting: Common Wagering Fallacies and Gambling Myths

By Loot, NCAA Football Handicapper,

Home Field Advantage

In college football, the home/road dynamic takes on additional importance. We are not dealing with professionals here. These are very young men who may not have been exposed to the rigors of road play. Even more than the NFL, you can see some wildly divergent levels of play among teams depending on where they are playing. Some teams that thrive at home are dilapidated on the road.

The important thing to take note of is to recognize that the point-spread already accounts for whether a team is at home or on the road. If you make it too pivotal of a part of your handicapping, you will run the risk of giving double-credit to a home team or a double-ding to the road team. No one is saying to rule out the importance of the home/road dynamic. It is still a critical part of college football betting.

But when handicapping a college game, don’t start docking a team even more by virtue of them being on the road. Don’t buy into this myth and think being at home automatically gives a team an edge. It is already accounted for in the spread! There is no observation that you can make that has not been noticed by oddsmakers as it pertains to home vs. road. Handicap the game within the understanding that home and road concerns are already represented in the point-spread.


There is another misnomer that teams are more likely to cover the spread when playing in an important game. In a college football season, there are several games that should, on paper, give way to a heightened sense of urgency. And to a large degree–it is true. Teams play better or are at least more passionate when playing a rival or when playing a game that is critical to their future.

But whether that leads to covering more spreads is what we should be looking at. And things like urgency are again already accounted for by the oddsmakers. If you determine that a team will play extra hard, the sharpies in Vegas have already picked up on that. That is not terribly exclusive information.

In college football, there are generally two situations that would lead you to think a team would be playing with extra urgency. One is when a team is playing a rival. The other being a game that is crucial to a team’s national or conference placement. In both cases, the opponent is usually pretty good. For a team to even have a heightened sense of urgency usually comes as a result of playing a good team. You might have to cover inflated point-spreads and when the opponent is pretty good–that’s a tall order.

Being “Due”

Another gambling misnomer is the expectation that things will eventually even out. A struggling college football bettor on a bad run will keep playing with the understanding that the odds will eventually be in his favor. A college football wager is a heads-or-tails bet–a wager with only two possible outcomes. If on a bad run, one expects it to turn around.

If a guy loses 17 straight blackjack hands, he might bet extra big on the next hand thinking he is “due.” Not to say that doesn’t work from time to time, but he’s just as likely to lose. You could toss a coin and have it land on heads a bunch of times. The next toss is still 50-50. These are independent events with no connection to the previous action.

When betting college football, you will eventually be tempted to test this phenomenon. You lose 10 straight games. On the 11th game, you bet extra big thinking you’re due to hit. But the previous 10 results have nothing to do with the 11th game. You need to rely on your handicapping, not some ridiculous notion that God either knows or cares what happened to your last 10 bets.

And this applies to teams also. A team might have failed to cover the spread in 6 straight games. Sure, you might get some decent value, as the bookies need to go above and beyond to restore betting confidence on a team. But the bookies aren’t going to give out money. Sure, they will eventually cover some spreads, but betting on an event merely because you think something is “due” to happen is not sound. And it makes you get away from the best method of picking games, which is thorough analysis.

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College Football Betting

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Know Your Key Numbers – This is a fancy term for common margin of victory. It’s very important that you know these before placing your bets!

2017/2018 College Football Predictions – Odds for each team to win the college football playoff along with predictions of teams that have a legit shot of winning it all, including a longshot pick.

2017 Heisman Trophy Odds – Picks to Win – College football pundits are expecting either Sam Darnold or Baker Mayfield to win the Heisman this year. Loot takes a look at these and other names that offer tremendous wagering value.


College Football Conferences – List of all NCAA football conferences including the teams that make up each conference.

Heisman Trophy Winners – A complete list of Heisman Trophy winners (college football’s best player award) in chronological order, dating back to 1935.

Famous College Football Coaches – Behind every great team is an even better coach. Check out Loot’s picks for the greatest of all-time.

Other Cool Sites

Bettorsworld College Football Picks – These guys have been online since the late 90’s and for good reason… They pick winners against the spread! Highly recommended!