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Getting an Edge Against the Sportsbook

College Football Betting Strategy: Getting an Edge Against the Sportsbook

By Loot, NCAA Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

You’ve surely heard about how many people come up short when betting on college football. It may seem like a daunting proposition. But if you get in the mindset of capitalizing on every available edge, you are on the right track. By being conscientious of the nuances in point-spreads and lines, you can start to tilt the odds a little more in your favor. And every edge helps.

Think of how the bookie perceives the situation. He is prepared to take every conceivable edge he has against you without any pangs of guilt. Some of them are apparent and some are more hidden. There are exotic and complicated bets where the house percentage takes an M.I.T. math whiz to figure out. Then there are the more easy-to-identify examples of “juice”--namely the standard -110 line on most college football straight bets.

And there lies one of the easiest edges you can get, which is the coveted -105 line. A few of the top books in the industry allow you to bet at -105, whether it be a perk gained through a bonus or a limited timeframe where the book offers this price. By being just a little on top of it, you can isolate and time you make your straight bets to when you can have it at the -105 price. And unlike other edges you can gain against the book, they are just giving this one to you. You don’t need to work hard and this edge can be gained on virtually every game you bet if you do it right. (You can find -105 odds at 5Dimes Sportsbook)

Now it’s time to work for our edges. They can be found in highly-anticipated games or in obscure match-ups and prop bets alike. In games involving the glamor teams and match-ups, we can attempt to seize on inflated lines in favor of the underdog. Especially if the line gets moved a lot by heavy betting interest on the celebrated favorite--you can just wait on the sidelines and pounce late for a high-value spread.

Then again, you want to beat the closing line because we’re holding out for exceptional value. Because beating the closing line is the true tell-tale sign that you are a capable college football bettor. It means that you are beating the book and the public. The majority of bettors taking your side are getting a worse price than you are. Or when the book pays you, it’s at a slightly better price than what everyone else gets paid. Or if you lose, you lose less. Project that over the long haul and you can see the value in consistently besting the closing line and procuring good juice.

Being extremely price-savvy will prevent some of the pitfalls that befall most bettors. A lot of players will come up with their picks and go ahead and bet them before the game begins. 100% of their efforts are on picking winners. While that is also critical, being oblivious to the subtle variations within the lines is a surefire recipe for failure. Bettors wanting to lay 3 who commonly accept 3.5 will get the shaft. Accepting -120 juice on a line you thought you were getting at -110 will hurt you in the long run. The real winners in this business are honed-in and always seem to get the best deal. So the next time you are about to confirm a bet and a warning box pops up saying the line moved against you, don’t be so quick to click “accept.” Good value should be the only thing you accept.

Don’t forget to maximize your winnings. We discussed -105 odds before, which is an easy way to accomplish this goal. But always explore alternative betting options. If you’re going to make a parlay and the games aren’t being played simultaneously--make sure you wouldn’t make more by just betting the games straight and in consecutive fashion. If you’re going to tease a pair of 6-point favorites to “pick-’em,” make sure you don’t stand to gain more by just making a money-line parlay. Again, we need to pick winners. But in doing so, we should try to gain whatever little edges we can. If you gather enough, you are on the right track to being part of a rare breed of bettors who can consistently win at college football.

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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.

MISC.

  • 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.

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