How To Guide for Handicapping College Football Rivalry Games
As the college football season progresses, it inches closer and closer to end the season, and that can only mean one thing besides bowl games — rivalry games.
And while the NFL has its share of classic rivalries, college football is steeped with rivalries all set to do battle during the final weeks of every single college football season. Historic matchups, were hated opponents go head to head. Many which have taken place for decades – the Big Game, the Iron Bowl, the Civil War, the Holy War and so on.
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And while this makes for some very good games and a lot of excitement for fans, it creates a real sports handicapping challenge, as these games are very different, and they need to be looked at differently than other games. That’s because emotions are high and sometimes there is more than just bragging rights are at stake.
So, in order to help bettors wager wisely on college football rivalry games, we have put together a list of few distinctive ways these games are unique.
First, there is a lot of pressure to win these games. More than normal for both players and coaches alike, and not just because of its rivalry status, but also because these games come at time when every win can have an impact on conference and even national titles.
Handicappers need to spend more time than normal looking into the effect that pressure will likely have on the teams competing, and how much experience each may have playing under extreme pressure. Handicappers can then decide which team is likely to do better and pay off in return.
That pressure can be increased depending on the stress a team is facing. So, understanding the history between two teams in past rivalry games is key, as it can have implications on the weight that teams will feel.
Example for College Football Bettors who Need Help
For example, two teams have met 100 times, with one team winning 80 of those games including the last five, it can change how relaxed a team will be, or anxious they will be, and will usually affect the tone of the fans for both sides.
This can also change or alter the effect of home field advantage, which normally is far less of a factor in rivalry games because of two reasons.
One, more opposing fans will travel to a rivalry game, so there will be less influence from the crowd on the road team. Second, both football teams are usually going to be fired up and focused so much for a rivalry game, that the typical benefits of home field advantage are negated.
Finally, as what side to bet on, handicappers may want to take a hard look at the underdog in rivalry games.
That’s because the betting public’s attention is high for rivalry game. And the more public action there is, the more likely that the favorite is going to backed heavily. Oddsmakers know this, and will set the odds accordingly, and as a result, with favorites often giving up a few more points than they would if this was just a regular game.