As if Ole Miss doesn’t have enough going against it this football season with a postseason ban and head coach Hugh Freeze quitting in the wake of a scandal, now comes this: starting linebacker Detric Bing-Dukes and cornerback Ken Webster were arrested Tuesday night on one count each of shoplifting. They have both been suspended at least Week 1 vs. South Alabama. The Rebs will be big favorites, so as many other teams that are current betting favorites to win the College Football Championship this season, but here are some tips to making money on the 2017 College Football underdogs.
Ways to Make Money Betting on 2017 College Football Underdogs
This decade, underdogs are covering the spread a little more than 50 percent of the time. Last year, underdogs covered 53.35 percent of all the lined games in college football. In the long run, it’s easier to win betting on the underdog. Most casual people prefer to bet on the supposed better team, the one that will probably win the game. So underdogs tend to be slightly undervalued — except by the sharps.
Definitely Bet Home Dogs
Home-field advantage in football is considered to be worth around 3 points in football. So if you have two somewhat evenly-matched teams and the home club is an underdog, you should jump on it because teams play inspired ball at home. Slim underdogs regularly win outright, but big underdogs often find ways to cover the spread and they rarely give up toward the end of a game in front of the home crowd. It might be a backdoor cover in garbage time, but it still counts!
I highly recommend betting huge home underdogs against ranked teams because that’s often the game of the season for the home club and the only potential sellout. A few examples of this in Week 1 would be Indiana hosting Ohio State, which will be a Top 5 team, Northern Illinois hosting ACC school Boston College, Southern Miss hosting SEC school Kentucky and Middle Tennessee hosting SEC team Vandy.
There are 128 schools in the FBS and it’s impossible for sportsbooks to keep tabs on all of them, while they still have to deal with NFL lines plus Major League Baseball, the NBA and NHL. And those are just the four big American sports.
There could be under-the-radar injuries that could benefit wagering on an underdog. A sportsbook is going to know if a quarterback or star running back or receiver isn’t going to play. But perhaps not if a top pass rusher or a big name linebacker is missing. What about a starting left tackle who protects the quarterback’s blind side? Or a punter or place-kicker? Check out local newspapers and school websites to find hidden injuries.
Generally, Power 5 Conference teams only play one other team from a Power 5 Conference in non-conference play. The other 2-3 games are against conferences like the AAC, Sun Belt, MAC, Mountain West, etc. Coaches from big programs use these early games as tune ups and confidence builders and aren’t concerned with the final score.
So if thinking about leaning the underdog in these types of games, which almost always are on the road (those few exceptions listed above are somewhat unusual), consider how other teams from a smaller conference have done over the years in a similar situation. For example, MAC schools almost never beat Big Ten schools, but they often play pretty competitive football. Some MAC schools (Western Michigan, Central Michigan, Toledo) play Big Ten schools better than others.
By far the best time to bet an underdog is when a powerhouse team might be looking ahead to the next week and not have its focus on the dog. This is especially true on the eve of conference play. For example, in Week 3 this season, Penn State hosts Georgia State. Should be an easy win right?
Perhaps not as the Nittany Lions probably will be looking ahead to their Big Ten opener the next week at Iowa, a very tough place to play. In fact, the coaching staff likely will be putting in a game plan for Iowa during the week of Georgia State practice.
I might bet on little Mercer twice this year. On Sept. 16, Mercer visits Auburn. The Tigers might not be too into that game considering they visit Clemson the week before and go to Missouri the week after to start SEC play. On Nov. 18, Mercer visits Alabama. The Tide aren’t going to care a lick about that one as they visit Mississippi State the week before and head to Auburn for the Iron Bowl the following week.
Final 2017 College Football Underdog Predictions
The best thing to do right now is to stay informed of the latest trends and changes within the teams you want to bet on, especially if they are underdogs. So, keep checking back for more upcoming guides and tips for the 2017 College Football season. Enjoy!