College Football Handicapping



Most of the professional and successful sports bettors use handicapping to improve their chances of predicting the winning bet. This is not an easy concept or method of placing bets, but the results will show if done properly and the time and effort has been invested appropriately. What most bettors should try to aim for, as most handicappers do, is for a winning ratio. What they try to achieve is anything above a 54% winning ratio; by doing this the wins will surpass the losses, and the amount of money earned is much higher.

There are a few different factors a sports bettor should try to follow when wanting to become a successful handicapper.


First Factor: Before the Season Starts

Many may think that when there are no matches going on in college football, there is no way a bettor can prepare for what is going to happen. This is not true by any means. This is the time when bettors should be organizing the match schedule and preparing their tables for the statistics and other data. On top of preparing, they can also start looking at the training camps that most teams undergo in order to prepare the new players, and keep the current players on their toes. It is a good place to start gauging which players could make a difference.

It is also important to start reading the news, as there could be information regarding players changing universities or unexpected injuries that may affect the upcoming lineup. Not only is the present information useful, but some of the previous seasons information can be useful as well. Past information could include the rivalries that occurred, as well as returning players and past game performances, such as the bowl games. All of this information is paramount for the handicapper.


Second Factor: Coaching

In collegiate sports, the coach is a very important element, since the players may be familiar with the game, but still need direction in order to accomplish their goals. Knowing which teams have new coaches can help determine if the team will be highly motivated by the change, or will have trouble adjusting. Coaches that are near retirement tend to rely on their support staff more often, and this could also affect the team’s performance.


Third Factor: Special Teams

This is one area that some sports bettors overlook, as they are not as evident during a football match. Simply think of how many times a kicker has had to step in to make the field goal that would win them the match or if a punt/kick return was done well enough to gain more yards or even a touchdown. Special teams play a very important support role, and must always be able to exceed expectations. Learning to know whether or not the special team players are up to par or not is important information to keep under consideration.


Fourth Factor: Season Games

This has to be the biggest, longest, and hardest time for a sports bettor, as well as for the college football teams playing. This is where several aspects of the season have to be recorded, analyzed and used as the bettor starts to place wagers on the match-ups.


Recording the Data

Bettors need to get into the habit of recording data. The way they would do this is by actually watching the matches being played; it is impossible to watch all of the matches, so watch the few that may interest you more. Remember that recording the data is a long process; a bettor cannot simply take down one game’s stats and expect that same performance each time. Take down the information regarding the team performance, as well as the individual player performance.

For example, taking a team’s offensive and defensive stats, like the Purdue Boilermakers.





Average Score


Average Score Against


Total Yards


Total Yards


Rushing Yards


Rushing Yards


Passing Yards


Passing Yards



However, simply taking down the team stats is not enough; handicappers also need to be able to include the key team member’s stats as well. Taking a look at the stats, we can tell that Purdue has a strong passing game, but lack a good rushing game. We would try and take the stats on their Quarterback, and possibly on their Wide Receivers.

During this stage, the bettor should also take notes on Why one team lost or What they did in order to win. If these teams continue to win or lose based on what specific actions they have performed and against what types of teams, the bettor can use this to predict how they will perform in the future.


Analyzing the Data

Once the bettor has recorded the data, they can start to analyze it. Obviously the bettor would have to wait until they have enough data; rule of thumb indicates that after 4 or 5 games, there will be patterns that start emerging from the game-play. Depending on the team and player stats, the bettor can start to compare and contrast each team’s performance against other teams that they are scheduled to play against. This way, they can start predicting the outcomes based on each of the teams performances.

Analyze the How, What, and the Why’s. How did a team manage to get that many passing yards or What did that team do differently this time that they won compared to last time that they lost. Why is this team on a winning streak, or Why do they play better against certain teams. All of these, and more, questions should be asked and answered by the sports bettor. It will certainly help them start predicting the outcomes.


Using the Data

Once the data has been gathered and analyzed, the bettor needs to start implementing their betting strategies. They need to start betting based on the predictions they have come to and wait and see the end results. If the way they have been analyzing and predicting the possible winners is producing a positive ratio of bets won to bets lost, then they can determine that their system of placing wagers is an effective one. However, if it turns out they are losing more bets than winning, this may be a strong indication that they are analyzing and predicting the winners in an incorrect fashion. A bettor could be using the total points scored instead of the average points scored, which can reflect a completely different outcome. If this happens, simply go back and tweak the way you analyze the data and start fresh until a good betting system has been created.


Fifth Factor: Bowl Games

As there are still no official playoffs in college football, it all comes down to a team’s performance during the season that determines their participation in any of the Bowl games. When a bettor wants to bet on the Bowl matches, there are different aspects that need to be considered. For one, all of a team’s past performance won’t reflect as much reality during a Bowl game than during a regular season match.

This is why factors such as past performance during a Bowl game are more important than a regular season game. However, if the Bowl matchup is between two teams that have already played each other, the bettor can use the stats from those games to help determine a more accurate prediction. Remember that factors such as weather also play an important role in handicapping.


Sixth Factor: Enjoying the Experience

What a lot of bettors forget to do during all of this is to enjoy themselves. Betting on college football can be, and should be, seen as a strict endeavor, as it involves money. However, watching and enjoying the matches is not part of that business aspect. Enjoying what one does for a living, or a hobby, always makes for a better life.