Last Updated on 09/23/2022
Fact checked by: Mike Goodpaster
When it comes to finding the best NCAAF odds, there really is no better place to look than right here at TheGruelingTruth.com. Why? Because our odds comparison tool really is the best.
As well as helping you to find the best NCAAF odds live and in real-time, we also strive to give you a better understanding of how odds work. At the end of the day, it’s about getting the best possible value for your bets – and that’s exactly what we aim to help you with here at TheGruelingTruth.com.
Is comparing betting odds really that important? Surely they don’t even differ that much between bookmakers – they’re all looking at the same games after all, right? These are the types of questions that we here asked only too often here at TheGruelingTruth.com. And while the logic is understandable, it is actually essential that you shop around and compare odds when betting on NCAAF, the NFL, or any other sport really.
There are a number of reasons why this is so, but in the end, it all really boils down to value. Better odds, mean more potential returns, which in the end means more value and an overall enhanced betting experience. In all other walks of consumer life, we tend to shop around for the best price – so why not do the same when it comes to NCAAF odds?
When determining their odds, the aim of a bookmaker is essentially to balance out three things. The first thing that they need to do is calculate the realistic implied probability of each outcome. They then need to alter that in a way that guarantees them profit while simultaneously making the betting line appeal to and worthwhile for their customers.
The changes that occur in the run-up to a game can be influenced by factors surrounding the game, and the goings-on behind the scenes with the bookmakers. More details about this can be found in our oddsmaker explained article. For now though, let’s take a look at how and why the odds can really differ between sportsbooks.
The main reason why betting odds can differ greatly between bookmakers is due to a thing called the overround. The overround is the sum total of the combined odds and is used to protect the sportsbooks’ profit margin by tipping the odds in their favor. What the bookmakers will generally do is calculate the realistic probability, then add or subtract a percentage from each outcome.
If it weren’t for the overround, then the moneyline odds would always be balanced. For example, let’s say you have Alabama Crimson State vs Ohio Buckeyes. A sportsbook might realistically conclude that Alabama has a 60% chance of winning, while Ohio has a 40% chance of winning. This would result in balanced Moneyline odds as follows:
However, what each bookmaker will do is at first try to forecast how much money will come in on each team, and then react when the money starts coming in. So they may open with Alabama at -250 (71.4%) and Ohio at +160 (38.5%). This equates to a total percentage of 109.9% – that extra 9.9% is the overround that protects the bookmakers’ profit margin. Each bookmaker will increase or decrease that percentage on each team based on the money that they are seeing come in.
When it comes to reading and understanding the odds and how they work, there are three odds formats that are most commonly used today in 2022. Namely, these are decimal, fractional, and American – you can find these odds explained in more detail below.
Decimal odds are probably the most mathematically sound odds, as the odds value is always greater than one. Therefore, you simply need to multiply the odds by your stake in order to calculate your total returns. For example, if you stake $10 on Ohio at 2.6, your total potential returns would be $26. You can then subtract your stake from the total returns to see your potential profit – $26 – $10 = $16. This is the same for a number of other sports, including the best UFC odds.
Fractional odds work as follows – (Potential profit)/ (Stake required to yield said profit). For example, if you have Ohio at 2/1, you can see that you would stand to make a $2 profit for every $1 you bet. If we use a $10 stake as an example again, you just need to multiply that by the odds to calculate your returns and profit – 10 x 2/1 = 20/10. That equates to a potential $20 profit and a total potential returns of $30 (20 +10).
With American odds, there are two things you need to know:
Let’s refer back to our NCAAF odds example from earlier:
If you were betting on Alabama, you would need to stake $150 in order to have a potential $100 profit return. If you were to back the Buckeyes, a $100 stake would have a potential profit of $150.
You can switch between the different odds formats by using our odds converter tool.
While understanding how to read odds is key, it essentially only tells you two things – your potential returns and the implied probability of each outcome as a percentage. What can give you a better idea of how sound a bet is, is calculating the expected value (EV). You can do this by multiplying your potential monetary winnings by the realistic probability of winning. You can then subtract the winning value from the loss value to get your expected value.
If we use our earlier NCAAF odds example, where we had Alabama at -250 and Ohio at +160, but with a realistic implied probability of 60-40. Your EV calculator would be as follows based on a $10 stake:
You can therefore conclude that this is not a good value bet, as the monetary value is negative. If it were positive, you can conclude that is a good value bet.
Sportsbooks want to have you believe that loyalty always pays, as it’s only logical that they don’t want to lose your custom to the competition. However, by shopping around for the best possible odds, you can increase your chances of finding better value bets. In our lives as consumers, it’s almost always more advantageous to use market competition to get the best possible value – and that’s no different when it comes to betting odds.
Our odds comparison tool is essentially just like any other price comparison site that you would use when making a purchase online. To compare car insurance, you might use ValuePenguin – for flights, Skyscanner. Well, for comparing NCAAF odds, TheGruelingTruth.com should be your go-to.
Odds are definitely the most important thing to consider when it comes to finding value in your bets. That being said though, it’s definitely not the only thing that should be considered. There is
a number of other factors that can influence the potential value of your college football bets. The most notable of these is betting bonuses. Whether that be a welcome offer from a new sportsbook or an enhanced odds reward from your current provider, the bonuses and offers that you are eligible for should always be taken into consideration.
Let’s recycle our expected value example from above, where a $10 stake on Alabama at -250 worked out as:
Now let’s imagine you eligible for a $10 free bet token with a certain bookmakers, your potential losses are now zero and so the EV is as follows:
Your value has gone from -2 to +2.4 based on the $10 free bet. This would therefore offer you much better value than another bookmaker offering slightly better odds but without the free bet. You can use our odds calculator in conjunction with our comparison tool to help you out here.
When it comes to live betting, the odds change a lot quicker and more frequently, making comparing the odds more difficult. However, college football is a sport that lends itself better to live betting. As football has a lot of breaks in play, you have more windows of opportunity than with other sports, such as hockey or basketball. Every time play stops, the odds will generally stand still – so we recommend hopping on to check anytime play has stopped for a few minutes or more.
And so to round things up here, we’ve essentially learned that comparing odds is all about finding the best value for your bets. A key part of that is also understanding the odds, how the bookies determine them, and other factors that can influence your bets. Just remember that shopping around means better chances of finding the best value for money. Looking for more sporting guides? Take a look at our tennis betting odds guide for all the latest on this popular sport.
Asking why betting odds change is a bit like asking why the weather changes – there are so many factors out of our hands that influence the outcome. More details on tracking and comparing college football betting odds can be found here on our site.
The best way to get a comprehensive answer to that question is for you to visit the college football betting guide at TheGruelingTruth.com. Here, the information is always as up-to-date as possible and we also cover topics on other major sports, including the best F1 odds.
Our website contains a full step-by-step guide to betting on college football in the US. There are many ways in which you can bet on the NCAAF and we want to talk you through all of them so that you can explore your desired avenue safely and securely.