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Tip # 1: Breaking Down the College Football “Betting” Season

One important factor to keep in mind as you formulate your various college football betting strategies is that the “betting” season consists of 3 to 4 phases that are distinct and frequently independent of each other.

Early Season

September is pretty much a free for all where you shouldn’t pay much, if any, attention to the media hype and the rankings. When preparing for the early season you should know what player personnel is returning (not just the number of starters), who has been lost and who is projected to replace those losses. Some losses are more important than others. The coaching staff should also be evaluated. Was there any turnover? Was it major (head coach and/or coordinators) or was the coaching staff kept mostly intact.  Team chemistry is very important at this time of year.

From my experience I have found that most of the people (handicappers. media, etc) who appear as though they don’t know what they’re talking about during this month are the ones who usually end up right (LOL!). The moral is to keep an open mind. Just because the football prognosticators say a team isn’t suppose to be very good, doesn’t mean it’s so. And vice- versa.


October is typically the month you get into conference play. This is the time of year when the really good football teams are separated from the overrated media darlings. October is the month you should really look hard to take advantage of the undervalued underdogs. There are a lot of overvalued teams at this point in the season with inflated records and statistics, but much of this hype is based on these teams having fattened up on non-conference cupcakes.

Conference familiarity also plays a big role at this time of year (we will get into far more detail on this subject in a subsequent post). Simply stated it is just beyond most people’s reason how Alabama or USC can dominate a really good non-conference team and then go into conference play and struggle against a team who is inferior than the one they just beat by 2 TD’s. Familiarity is a big deal.

Teams who may have won all of their games going away in September are usually due to hit a flat spot sometime in October, and their conference opponent who may have struggled a little bit early on is chomping at the bit for an upset and to make a name for itself. In October you will find your fair share of games like this.

Late Season

Mid to late November going into December the cream tends to rise to the top. Most of the overrated teams have now been exposed and the underrated teams have been identified. Personally, as a math and stats wannabe, I enjoy this time of year because statistics become more meaningful and I am able to rely more on the season data as opposed to some of the early season guesswork. I usually start looking at more favorites this time of year, but as a primarily underdog player there are still some really great dogs available, especially when the elite teams square off.

You must also keep in mind that as good as many of the second-tier teams have looked to this point, these teams start to fall off this time of year because of lack of depth. It takes a lot of good depth and good fortune with injuries for even the deepest teams to keep everything together for 3 months.


Obviously teams that have negotiated a season successfully are in line for a bowl trip and this would be the fourth phase to the college football betting season. However the college football bowl season is a subject in and of itself and will be addressed as such in future posts.

The main points that you should learn and/or take away from this article are:

  • Don’t place too much emphasis on September results.
  • October will start to expose the overvalued and undervalued teams, especially when they start to play within their own conference.  Be on the lookout for teams that have fattened up on non-conference cupcakes to possibly struggle against tougher opponents. And look for teams that may have struggled early in the season against tougher opponents to be more competitive in conference play.
  • The cream has risen to the top. Team personnel, stats and tendencies are what they are at this point.



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