College football has been called a pure game. The players are out there on the field playing for glory and school pride. They don’t get paid and many of them are hoping to get a shot at the NFL. College football has no salary cap and there’s nothing stopping a school from signing many top recruits in the country. In fact, a recent report showing the top high school possible recruits revealed that a strong majority had USC and Texas on their list of college choices. Good players want to play at a good school. As a result good schools get better and poor schools get worse.
Year in and year out we hear the names of top programs like Ohio State over and over. College football is a freer game than the NFL. Coaches are not afraid to try trick plays and run the option. As a result, the points can really add up. One trap that many college football bettors that also bet the NFL fall into is handicapping the game as if it was the NFL. In the NFL, each and every playerno matter how bad they seemis one of the top players in the entire football world. In college football, there are handfuls of NFL type players with scores of just average players.
In the NFL, you would never see a spread between two teams in the 40s. However, it’s a common occurrence each week in college football. Yes, those favorite teams cover too. One aspect of the game that must be on any bettors mind is motivation. If the game features two bitter rivals, the game could be a hot contest no matter what the talent level. If nothing else, the worse team could remain closer to the favorite. It’s important to analyze the coaches as well. What type of coach does each team have? Does the coach like to run often? Does the coach like to fire away even when the game is won?
Here’s an example. For years Air Force was a team that would run the ball 80% of the timeeffectively too. If they were playing a team that’s soft on the run, look out. By knowing the team’s game plan, you can forecast the outcome better. If Air Force were playing a poorer team, record wise, that had a really solid run defense, what would you do? If you were simply a college football handicapper that looks at wins/loses, you would most likely fail.
In the pros, teams are more apt to adapt. If the run is not working, they go to the air. However, in college football, some programs are built a certain way and they stick to their game plan for the most part. If the team is built as a running powerhouse, they are going to keep at the run, because that’s all they can really do. The grand lesson here is to not look at college football like you would the NFL. While it’s football, it really is not the same game.