Most sports bettors love betting on underdogs when dealing with a point spread. After all, you don’t even have to win the game outright; just keeping it close is enough to win your bet. In a sport like college football, which is known for shocking upsets and exciting finishes, picking underdogs seems like an even more promising strategy.
The very best underdogs to bet might be those who are good teams in their own right. They might be up against a similar team on the road, or against one of the best teams in the country. Either way, these teams are rarely underdogs, so when they are, it can be very tempting to take the points. After all, a good team will be in virtually all of their games, and always has the chance to pull an upset, unlike a poor team that will fold to superior competition.
This idea – to bet on good teams when they’re underdogs – works in just about any sport. The premise is simply that when a team has a real chance to win the game outright and you can get points anyway, they’re worth betting on. However, this strategy has worked best of all in college football.
One way of defining what makes a “good” team in college football is to look at the teams that are ranked in the media and coaches polls which come out every week during the season. When these teams are made underdogs, they tend to perform very well. In fact, according to analysis done by About.com’s Allen Moody, these teams have covered the spread nearly 64% of the time! This trend has continued to exist even in recent seasons, meaning that it doesn’t look like the sportsbooks are adjusting to this trend. And while ranked teams aren’t underdogs very often, you should still be able to find multiple plays each week, meaning that betting on ranked underdogs can be a big part of your regular action.
However, no system should be followed religiously; even if you know that ranked underdogs tend to do well against the spread, it doesn’t mean that you need to bet on every single one. Instead, you should use this knowledge to help you find potentially good bets, and then do further analysis to figure out which games you actually want to play.
Still, some gamblers prefer to stick to a system rather than trusting their own analysis. If you fall into that category, Moody’s analysis turned up an even more refined system that wins at a higher rate than simply betting every ranked underdog. When ranked teams are home underdogs, they cover the spread at nearly a 69% clip! Of course, it’s not common for ranked teams to be getting points at home, so the opportunities to bet on ranked home underdogs don’t come around nearly as often. However, you should still be able to find a game that fits into this category on most weeks. Rarest of all – but the surest bet of all – are ranked teams that are underdogs at home against unranked teams. According to Moody, these teams have covered the spread at over a 90% rate since 1985, making this one of the most reliable systems around.
No matter how you utilize this system, betting underdogs – and especially ranked underdogs – should be a major part of your NCAA football betting strategy. Even the best teams know they can’t give away points to good opponents, and as a sports bettor, you should know not to pass them up.