There are a lot of factors to consider when betting on college football. And while some, like how good a team’s offense or defense is, how good a head coach is, the matchups and history between two opponents are all important, there are a number of underrated factors that are often overlooked by college football handicappers that can make or break a bettors bankroll on any given Saturday during the fall.
With that here are five undervalued factors to help handicappers find an edge when wagering on college football this season.
First and foremost is the effect or non-effect of home field advantage.
In the NFL the strength of home field advantage is more or less consistent week to week with experienced officials who are rarely rattled by the home town fans. In college football, the size and rowdiness of the home crowd can have a direct impact on the officials and their decision making process.
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Conversely, a smaller school with a disinterested and quiet home crowd can lessen a team’s perceived home field advantage, presenting value to the handicapper who recognizes that slight factor.
Next, there is a lot of travel during a typical college football season, but since teams typically don’t make long road trips, it’s usually not a big issue. However, it can be a problem, especially for team’s that are traveling long distances to play unfamiliar foes. College players, unlike their NFL counterparts, often times struggle when playing outside of their own time zone, particularly the smaller teams that have to travel with poor infrastructure.
Perhaps even more important than home field advantage or travel, and another area often overlooked by football bettors, is the strength and ability of a team’s coordinators.
A lot of attention is given to college football head coaches. But hiding behind the curtain of every successful coach and team is a horde of great coordinators. And while some are high profile and get a lot of attention, the vast majority of offensive and defensive coordinators work in the shadows of a team’s head coach. That means that changes in college football coordinators can happen without making a lot of headlines.
If the head coach has lost or gained a coordinator, adjustments are required. For handicappers paying attention to coordinator changes, there is a huge potential for finding an edge, particularly for game involving lower profile schools.
Finally, with so many college football games being decided by a field goal or less every season, many handicappers fail to see the value of a team’s kicker. While in the NFL the difference between the league’s best and worst kicker often isn’t that significant, the same cannot be said about college football kickers.
In the college ranks, teams that have a kicker that can confidently kick field goals from 40 yards and further, will often present the edge when playing teams that lack confidence kicking from just 15 yards out.
Paying attention and taking the time to dissect these and other underrated factors, will allow college football handicappers to wager with more confidence and a better return.