Inflated Point Spreads

College Football Betting: Inflated Point Spreads

By Loot, College Football Handicapper,

As bettors, we are looking for good value. There are enough games on the average college football docket that we needn’t settle for bad value. And there are certainly cases where the value on a team will not be very good. In fact, it can be artificially inflated to the point where you should proceed very cautiously.

In college football, there are teams that are on network TV constantly. You know who the players and coach are, as the team is a known quantity. There might be a great player on one of those teams, even a leading Heisman candidate, which also helps bring more attention to the team. Compare that to a team with only modest regional interest. You never see them on the tube. They operate more anonymously.

Take the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, for example. They have a network TV deal and they’re almost hard to avoid when channel surfing on a Saturday afternoon. Is it because they’re so great? Well, they used to be, but when is the last time Notre Dame contended for the national championship or even made an important bowl game? (This article written in 2013)

That doesn’t stop them from continuing to receive robust support. Their fans are all over the country and in great numbers. That translates to a lot of betting support from fans who consider laying a bet on their team to be a sign of loyalty. It might work. Notre Dame can cover spreads, but a lot of the time–they are overvalued against more anonymous teams. There are some situations where their point-spread is what you would see with a far better team.

At the beginning of every year, the rumblings are that Notre Dame is poised to reclaim its spot at the top. And some of the spreads will reflect that. Then eventually, the team shows that this is in fact not the year of the Irish and the odds come back down. But in the meanwhile, you can get some extraordinary value betting on their opponent.

Watch out for isolated games involving teams that have large national followings. The lines are bad enough when these teams are just buried in the Saturday afternoon schedule, where dozens of other games are taking place. But when you see such a team in a Friday night game or a very late game on Saturday, the action might even be more heavy. The lines could be bigger and some really great value can be found in the opponent of the better-known team.

In the postseason, these point-spreads can get even more out of line. A lot of bowls take place when it’s the only game that is going on that day.. The spreads can be even more inflated, with the general betting public hitting that game heavy. Look at the matchup. If the teams have relatively the same level of popularity, it’s not much of a concern. But if you see a match-up like USC vs. Tulsa, take some of this under advisement. And if you’ve been paying attention, you would know to assume USC is probably going to get pinned with a bit of an inflated point-spread, while betting on Tulsa could offer some better value.

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Watch out for the sometimes major impact created by hype. The media gets behind certain teams or players and a lot of people follow suit. They subconsciously associate hype with excellence. But the bookies are one step ahead of the game. If a team or a player on that team is receiving an extraordinary amount of hype, the book knows that bets will flood in from the general betting public on that side. The line they set needn’t be particularly tantalizing. Therefore, the other side of the bet (the opposing team) will likely benefit and have good value.

It can go the other way too. Sometimes, college football analysts struggle to fill up air time. Instead of pumping up a team, they take shots. They question whether the coach will be back the following season or if the QB should get the hook. Listening to the analysts would lead you to think that the team they’re discussing is in absolute shambles. That might be the case. And if enough people are thinking the same way, some good value can accompany the teams who people are prematurely writing off.

As you well know, there is no hard and fast rule when betting college football. Overhyped teams cover the spread multiple times each week. Overlooked and underrated teams fail to cover constantly. So do not be guided solely by this principle. Just take it under consideration when formulating your wagers.

Food for thought: Teams laying 32 points or more generally only cover the spread 33% of the time!

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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!