College Football Reverse Bets

College Football Betting: Reverse Bets

By Loot, NCAA Football Handicapper,

Reverse bets are really just a variation of “if” wagers. In an “if” wager, you wager a given amount with two teams on your ticket. If the first team wins, the same amount is bet on the second game. If the first game loses, however, you will have no action on the second game. A “reverse” allows you to essentially make two “if bets.” And remember, the “first” game does not mean in terms of sequence. It’s merely circumstantial.

If you make an “if” bet and the result of the first game is a loss, you lose the entire bet. Let’s say you make a $110 “if” bet. The first team loses and your bet is finished. You lost $110. Instead of making an “if” bet, make a “reverse. It is basically two separate “if” bets. Rather than bet $110 on an “if” bet, make a reverse for $55 x 2. You have two teams. On one part of the reverse, Team A is first. On the the other part of the reverse, Team B is first.

In an “if” bet, you would take, for example, Michigan -6 and over 55 in the Oklahoma-Kansas State game. If game one wins, there is still action on the second game. But if the first one loses, you’re out of luck. A reverse is two “if” bets. You make a reverse with the same two bets, just in opposite order for $55. Just tell the book you want to make a reverse and give them the two bets you want to make, and the order of the games is unimportant. That’s a load off!


Betting a $55 reverse instead of a $110 “if” bet makes it so you don’t go 1-1 and lose your entire bet like what happens in an “if” bet if the winning bet wasn’t your first bet. Betting a reverse costs exactly the same as an “if” bet. When you make a reverse for $55, you are really just making two bets so it winds up costing the $110 just as if you were making an “if” bet. Let’s look at the different possible scenarios.

Example: You make a reverse on Michigan -5.5 and over 55 in the Oklahoma-Kansas State game.

Scenario 1: You win both games. The Wolverines cover the spread and the Sooners-Wildcats game goes over 55. Both reverses win. In a reverse for $55, you are in effect betting 4 times to win $50. You would win $200, which is the exact amount you would win if you made a $110 “if” bet, so there is no difference between the two in this scenario.

Scenario 2: Michigan covers the spread, but the Oklahoma-Kansas State game goes under. You are 1-1. You have a reverse, one with Michigan first and one with the Sooners-Wildcats over 55 first. The one with Michigan listed first wins, and the second part of the reverse is a loser. So you lose the first $55 bet and win $50 less the $5 juice on the second leg of the reverse. In a regular “if” bet, whether or not you made any money back would all depend on which team you put first.

Scenario 3: You lose each game. This bet is obviously a loser, just like if you made an “if” bet.

When the games split is where you see a difference between an “if” bet and a reverse wager. In an “if” bet, you lose the whole $110 if the first team loses. If the first team wins, but the second game is a loser, you lose $10 in juice. If Team A is a loser, you will lose $55 on one of the reverses. If team B happens to win, only one out of your two reverses will have action. You will win $50 after betting $55 for a total loss of $5 in vig. Combine that with the $55 dropped on the first leg of the reverse bet and that comes out to a $60 loss. There is no advantage to betting a reverse other than it takes luck out of it, since you don’t have to worry about which team to put first.