Football betting can present some challenges, especially for novice handicappers. And perhaps the biggest challenge may be wagering on games with large point spreads.
While this does happen from time to time in the NFL betting world, it occurs more often when betting on college football games.
It’s not unusual for handicappers to see massive spreads of three touchdowns or more in college football matchups, and it’s likely that a heavy favorite is probably more than capable of beating their opponent. But the caveat is, if they really want to win by that much.
In some circumstances, a team that has already beaten up on its opponent for the majority of the game may tend to take its foot off the accelerator, opting to keep their players off the field, going with backups in an effort to keep its starters healthy and prepare for its next more challenging opponent.
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Other teams, however, may be looking at avenging a prior loss, or beat their rival so bad that they won’t quit until the final whistle.
So, how does a college football handicapper know when to take or give the points?
To help, we have put together a few key factors to decide whether how likely a team might be poised to cover an enormous spread.
First, history will tell handicappers how a particular team has responded to big point spreads in prior games. If a team has regularly faced monster spreads in the past and has been fairly successful, then a handicapper might be able to put stock into them. On the other hand, if they rarely face big spreads, or if they have not covered big spreads consistently in the past, then it might not be wise to give the points.
Second, does a team facing a large point spread really need a huge win for pride or credibility?
This could be a team looking to secure a postseason bid early on, or to raise their ranking in an effort to protect their better bowl appearance, or a shot at the National title.
Teams on the bubble will likely be the teams which will run up the score in an effort to earn style points and impress the BCS along the way, especially if they are teams outside major conferences.
Next, and often overlooked by handicappers, is trying to understand the underdog involved in a big spread game, as more times than not, the underdog is not getting the respect they deserve. In this case, the spread numbers are often inflated, and giving the points in this situation more than likely goes hand in hand with giving away a handicappers money.
College football bettors need to carefully access an underdog, looking at their recent play, players that are improving significantly and are due for a breakout game, and how they have done when facing massive spreads in the past.
Finally, college football handicappers betting on games with large points spreads need to consider the weather conditions at game time.
Poor weather conditions, like rain, cold, wind or snow can impact a football teams ability to perform at their best, and as a result limit its scoring potential.
This could also slow down the pace of the game, as teams will move slow and methodical, running the ball often, and using up a lot of the clock on each play.
That’s going to make it tough for any team to score a ton of points.