How to bet on College Football

Credit: Craig Dudek

Credit: Craig Dudek

Sports betting and college football have enjoyed a relationship going back decades, but in 2023, there are a myriad of answers for how to bet on college football. Saturdays in the fall (and early winter) are better than ever as now fans have a multitude of options with which to wager responsibly and reliably on their favorite college football teams.

With the advancement of legal and regulated online sports betting across the United States in recent years, college football fans have an increasing number of options for placing all kinds of wagers on college sporting events. Popular bet types include spread bets, moneyline bets, over-under total bets, and futures bets. This guide will extensively cover the topic of betting on collegiate football, and provide fans with a solid understanding of how to bet on college football in 2023 and beyond.

Players located in states where online sportsbooks are live can scoop up a number of enticing new user promos for bowl season and College Football Playoff matchups between Alabama-Michigan and Texas-Washington.

How to bet on college football games

The most common form of sports betting includes simply betting on the outcome of a single event. If Georgia is squaring off against Kentucky, you can bet on the outcome of the game. Typically, you’ll see the odds for this game presented as a trio of odds. These include the spread, the moneyline odds and the over/under odds. Let’s start there.

Point spreads

The point spread bet is the most common form of betting on football games. The point spread serves to essentially even out the sides of the match or game, factoring in that one team is viewed as more likely to win than the other. If Georgia is a 7-point favorite over Kentucky, the odds will show that Georgia is -7 and Kentucky is +7. If you bet Georgia and the seven points, Georgia has to win by at least eight points for you to win your bet. If Georgia wins by exactly seven points, you’ll “push” and get your money back. If Georgia wins by six points or less, or loses the game outright, you lose the bet.


Moneyline bets are a way to bet on the outright winner of a college football game without the consideration of the point spread. Rather than dealing with point spreads, the bettor must account for the odds associated with each team in the game. In our previous example, if Georgia is a favorite, the moneyline odds might be -210 to win the game. Since Kentucky is the underdog, the moneyline odds might be +170.

What do these moneyline odds mean exactly? If you take Georgia to win outright at -210, you have to bet $210 to win $100. If you take Kentucky to win outright, your $100 bet will win $170 if you bet correctly.

Over-under totals

Another common betting format on college football games we’ll mention briefly is the over-under, also called totals betting. In this type of bet, you do not care about who wins the game. You are simply betting on the combined total points scored in the contest, regardless of how that total is accumulated. In our Georgia vs. Kentucky example, the over-under total might be set at 55 points, and then bettors can choose to bet over 55 points or under 55 points scored in the game. Over-under wagers that end in a tie are considered a “push” and the bettor is refunded.

If the basics for wagering on college football don’t quite suit your style, don’t worry, there are many more NCAAF betting options. Let’s cover some of the more intricate ways to bet on college football gamedays, including player props and parlays.

Prop bets

For bettors searching for even more action on games each weekend, prop bets can be quite fun. Prop bets typically revolve around a specific player and statistical category. For example, you might find the prop bet on USC quarterback Caleb Williams where you can bet over or under 3.5 passing touchdowns against UCLA.

As the sports betting platforms continue to improve, sportsbooks are now offering an impressive variety and quantity of prop bets to consider on all major football games. This can range from offensive categories such as rushing yards, receptions, and passing touchdowns, to defensive categories such as sacks, interceptions and more.

For those looking at placing college football prop bets, the ESPN BET promo code will give new players five $50 bonus bets that can be used ahead of college football playoff matchups like Michigan vs. Alabama and Texas vs. Washington.


The last type of wager we will cover in our gameday guide is the parlay. Simply put, a parlay is when a bettor makes two or more wagers and combines them into a single wager. The bettor must be correct on each “leg” of the parlay in order to win the parlay bet. Because you have to be correct in multiple instances, the payouts on parlays are often larger than most single wagers.

If you can recall some of what you learned in your Statistics 101 class, let’s consider some basic probabilities to understand how and why parlays work the way they do.

If we don’t consider the “vig” or “juice” that sportsbooks charge on bets, we can consider in a simple example that you have a 50% chance of hitting a single wager. If you string two of these wagers together, you can do some simple math of multiplying the 50% probability wager times another 50% probability wager. This results in a 25% probability of hitting on a two-leg parlay bet. In other words, it’s a good bit harder to be correct on a two-leg parlay bet than a single wager. You have to be correct twice. And sportsbooks will reward you with higher payouts for taking on more risk.

Our example is oversimplified, but the concept is the important aspect to grasp. In reality, sportsbooks will automatically combine the specific odds of each leg into specific payout potentials. As you build your parlays, the sportsbook interface will show you the potential payout.

Same-game parlay

Same-game parlays have become quite popular in recent years, allowing bettors to build a parlay with specific components stemming from the same game. For example, you might combine the Kansas City Chiefs to win by 7 with quarterback Pat Mahomes throwing for at least 3 touchdowns. This would be a two-leg, same-game parlay. Pro football bettors can check out this guide for the best NFL betting apps to score top-tier sportsbook promos.

Let’s offer some sobering advice here. Sportsbooks love to offer parlays, especially same-game parlays. There is a reason they put these types of bets front and center for their users to see. They are enticing. They are fun. And the sportsbooks make a good bit of money from them. Because most people lose these bets. Therefore, be cautious and bet parlays responsibly.

Futures betting for college football

While betting on individual games is the most popular and common form of betting in football, futures betting is also quite popular. For example, here you can bet on who you think will win the Heisman Trophy, the national championship and even how many games you believe your team will win this season.

Futures bets are intriguing for a few reasons. First, these odds are often published well in advance of the football season kickoff, so fans can get in on the action early during the summer. There is also movement within futures betting, as the odds are updated to reflect the current status of the wager in question. This presents an opportunity to grab serious value on a potentially winning bet.

Heisman trophy betting

As it pertains to the Heisman Trophy betting markets, the first week of the 2023 college football season saw Deion Sanders’ son, Shedeur Sanders, throw for 510 yards in an upset victory over TCU. As a result, Sanders’ Heisman odds went from +15000 on some sportsbooks to around +4000.

That means if you bet $100 on Shedeur Sanders to win the Heisman Trophy in 2023, your upside went from a $15,000 payout to a $4,000 payout because of his week 1 performance, depending on when you placed the wager. Obviously, betting on Sanders to win college football’s most prestigious award was a more absurd proposition prior to the season starting, as compared to after his dazzling week 1 showcase.

Fans and bettors alike enjoy watching the Heisman Trophy odds move around throughout the season in response to how the sport’s biggest players perform week-to-week. Have a hunch about who will make a run at the Heisman Trophy this season? You can place that bet early before the public money flows in and the upside decreases.

Team futures

Similarly, you can bet on a team to win a conference championship, make the College Football Playoff or even win the national championship. Futures odds exist for many teams for each of these categories, and like the Heisman odds, these will fluctuate as teams win and lose throughout the season.

Win totals

Win totals are another form of futures betting that are mostly examined and wagered on during the preseason period. In advance of the season starting, sportsbooks will release win total numbers and odds for all major college football teams. For example, a sportsbook might have Georgia’s regular season wins set at 10.5. Bettors can then wager on over or under the win total. If you believe Georgia wins at least 11 games, you can bet over the 10.5 number.

Best promo codes to bet on college football

Now that all the basic and advanced bet types have been covered, it’s time to select a sportsbook bonus to bet on college football. Taking up any of the sports betting promo codes listed on this page will allow users to score a profitable welcome bonus at sign-up, with many of the promos being fully guaranteed.

Some of the best promo codes to bet on college football include the following:

  • DraftKings promo code: Bet $5, get $200 in bonus bets
  • FanDuel promo code: Bet $5, get $200 in bonus bets
  • bet365 bonus code: Bet $5, get $150 in bonus bets
  • BetMGM promo code: $1,500 first bet offer
  • Caesars promo code: $1,000 first bet on Caesars

Where can you bet on college football?

StateOnline sports betting?Retail sports betting?
Arizona✅ Yes✅ Yes
Arkansas✅ Yes✅ Yes
Colorado✅ Yes✅ Yes
Delaware No✅ Yes
Illinois✅ Yes✅ Yes
Indiana✅ Yes✅ Yes
Iowa✅ Yes✅ Yes
Kansas✅ Yes✅ Yes
Kentucky✅ Yes (starting September 2023)✅ Yes (starting September 2023)
Louisiana✅ Yes✅ Yes
Maryland✅ Yes✅ Yes
Massachusetts✅ Yes (tournament-play only for Mass college teams)✅ Yes (tournament-play only for Mass college teams)
Michigan✅ Yes✅ Yes
Mississippi✅ Yes (limited)✅ Yes
Montana✅ Yes (limited)✅ Yes
New Hampshire✅ Yes✅ Yes
New Jersey✅ Yes (not in-state NJ college teams)✅ Yes (not in-state NJ college teams)
New York✅ Yes✅ Yes
Ohio✅ Yes✅ Yes
Pennsylvania✅ Yes✅ Yes
Tennessee✅ Yes❌ No
Virginia✅ Yes✅ Yes
West Virginia✅ Yes✅ Yes
North Carolina❌ No (expected early 2024)❌ No (expected early 2024)

Legal online sports betting has launched in the following U.S. states: AZ, AR, CO, CT, DE, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, MD, MA, MI, MS, MT, NH, NJ, NY, NC (coming in 2024), OH, PA, TN, VA, WV. Pretty soon, North Carolina online sports betting is expected to arrive (early 2024) and the following offers will be available there (note that these offers are only speculative and based on what has been observed in prior state openings):

It’s important to realize that every state has specific rules and regulations. For instance, in Montana, you can bet on sports online, but you must physically be located within a licensed retail location. Most states are not so restricted, however, with a robust online sports betting environment where fans can choose from among a number of reputable online sportsbook operators and bet online from the comfort of their homes.

Some states have restrictions around betting on in-state college sports teams. For example, New Jersey, a state that was early on the online sports betting trend, does not permit its users to bet on the college teams residing in the state.

Massachusetts has a similar rule to that of New Jersey, however, there are exceptions. For example, Massachusetts bettors can bet on a Massachusetts college team if the team is participating in a tournament such as March Madness.

Collegiate sports betting regulations

Do you need to have all of the betting rules memorized for your particular state? No, you don’t. The sportsbooks available to you in your state will handle the compliance aspect of legal betting. If rules prohibit a certain type of wager, you won’t find that option available when you log in to your favorite sportsbook app. Confused why you can’t find a particular bet? You can likely research and find the rules and regulations for your state through a quick Google search.

Overall, some states have particular restrictions, but betting on college football and college basketball is and will remain a very robust part of online sports betting in the United States.

Can you bet on college football in Georgia?

Online sports betting has not yet been legalized in the state of Georgia, although there have been multiple legislative attempts. You can stay up-to-date with all the legislative movements related to Georgia sports betting over on our GA sports betting tracker.

If and when Georgia sports betting becomes live and legal in the Peach State, we expect that college sports will indeed be a part of the legal sportsbook experience.

Understanding the legal sports betting environment

While sports fans have been betting on sports for decades, the newly legal and regulated sports betting environment means sports fans and sports bettors can utilize much more trusted and reliable platforms when placing wagers.

Prior to legalization, sports bettors often relied on “bookies” or offshore platforms to wager on sporting events. If you didn’t love carrying cash to meet up with a bookie or having your bank flag transactions on a strange offshore betting platform, you aren’t alone. In a legal and regulated environment, sports bettors can leverage trusted brands and platforms to deposit and withdraw money, place wagers, and have confidence in correct and fair payouts.

Sports betting platforms such as FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM, Caesars Sportsbook, Fanatics Sportsbook, bet365 and others are reputable sports betting operators that are required to abide by regulations and rules and ensure proper consumer protection.

Can you wager across multiple platforms?

Of course, you can, so long as the sportsbook platform is legal and launched in your state. Many users prefer to wager across multiple platforms, as it provides an opportunity to “line shop” and find the best odds for a particular betting line. Moreover, the sportsbook operators are working hard to gain market share and are offering very good value in the form of new user sign-up bonuses. Many sports bettors will sign up for a number of sportsbook platforms in order to secure multiple sign-up promos.

College football fans located in states where online sportsbooks are legal and launched can utilize the sign-up promo codes below to score some of the best college football betting offers in 2023.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is not an online gambling operator or gambling site. We provide this information about sports betting for entertainment purposes only.