College football is big in Texas, and if the state ever legalizes sports betting, it will also be one of the most popular wagering options. In particular, point spreads are a big part of football betting.
College football games can also see massive double-digit point spreads, which can be a new world to navigate if you’ve only bet on the NFL before. Here’s how to bet college football spreads online in Texas.
This week’s college football spreads
Check below for NCAA football spreads from legal online sportsbooks. Click on any spread to go to the sportsbook, sign up, claim any sports bonuses, and bet.
Best sportsbook apps for college football spreads
These are what we consider to be the best sportsbook apps for betting on college football, including point spreads.
College football game lines at DraftKings Sportsbook include highly competitive pregame point spreads plus live spread bets during the game.
DraftKings also runs regular college football betting promos. This has included, for example, a $200 bonus to new customers who place a $5 college football bet. Any such bet would get you eight $25 bonus bets.
Just about every FBS point spread in the country is available at FanDuel Sportsbook. That availability makes it a popular spot for college football point-spread action.
FanDuel also offers various promos, like a no-sweat first bet. This provides a refund in bonus bets if the first bet you make at the sportsbook loses.
The college football game lines are plentiful and competitive at BetMGM Sports, including all the latest spreads.
BetMGM also steps up its promos for the college football championship. Last season, all you had to do to get a $25 bonus bet on the national championship was bet $50 or more on or against the spread in each of the two College Football Playoff semifinal games.
Caesars Sportsbook sets itself apart with college football point spreads by very often posting lines that are 0.5 to 2.5 points different. In other words, if you’re shopping for college football lines, always check Caesars.
College football promos include things like the underdogs cover parlay boost that Caesars offered in Week 1 of 2022. It boosted the odds to +510 on +28.5 spread underdogs Central Michigan, New Mexico State, and Louisiana Tech. Two out of the three were covered, and the boosted bet almost came in.
How do you sign up to bet on college football?
When online sports betting in Texas becomes legal, you’ll be able to bet on college football — including point spreads and other types of bets — on your phone or tablet.
You’ll need to set up an account with a legal sportsbook to do so. Here are the general steps:
- Click on one of the links above to access a licensed online sportsbook.
- Select the sign-up button or a similar option and fill out the necessary information. This will likely include your email, phone number, and the last four digits of your Social Security number. This is also where you’ll enter a sportsbook promo code, if one is necessary.
- Download the sportsbook app. This is generally available via links on the sportsbook website.
- Accept the terms and conditions and confirm that all the information you supplied is correct.
How to bet the spread in college football
How do college football spreads work? College football point spreads aren’t complicated. You just need to factor the spread into the final score to see what side of the bet wins.
When Texas was set to face the University of Texas at San Antonio in Week 3 of the college football season, BetMGM in Colorado had Texas as -12.5 (-110) favorites and UTSA as +12.5 (-110) underdogs.
If you’d bet on the Texas Longhorns at that line, you would need the Longhorns to win by 13 points or more. If that happened, you would win $100 in profit for every $110 you bet (or $50 if you bet $55, etc.).
A bet on the Roadrunners, meanwhile, would pay out the same on a winning bet, which would happen if UTSA won by any score or lost but kept the margin to 12 or fewer.
Who sets NCAA football point spreads?
Sportsbooks employ oddsmakers who use computer algorithms, historical data, and their knowledge of the game to set college football spreads. Yes, oddsmakers use a standard point spread model to start out with, but they tweak the number based on all the available info.
Look at enough NCAAF point spreads, and you’ll begin to see they are often quite a bit bigger than your average NFL spread. That’s because there’s far more parity in the NFL. You can check out our NFL vs. NCAAF betting page for more details.
There are 10 conferences and 131 schools in the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision, with some big differences in talent. Those differences are why you see bigger spreads and why the top teams are often favorites of 20-point or more over unranked opponents.
What does betting “with the spread” or “against the spread” mean?
Betting against the spread is when you bet on the underdog, predicting that it will outperform the spread line. In the example above, that would mean betting on UTSA.
The opposite of that is betting with the spread, meaning that you’re betting that the favorite will win by more than the spread — backing Texas in the above example.
Live NCAA football spread betting
Oddsmakers set pregame spreads you can bet on before the opening kickoff. Then, once the game begins, some states will let you continue betting on the action. This includes betting on live point spreads that shift to reflect what’s happening in the game.
With a sportsbook app, this means — if you wanted — you could be betting along with a game as you watched it, whether that’s from your couch, a nearby sports bar, or a seat in the stadium.
College football parlays
You can string multiple NCAA football spread bets and other bets together to make a parlay. Doing so will get you better odds than the sum of the bets individually. The risk, however, is that you have to win every spread bet, or leg, that is part of the parlay. Otherwise, your parlay loses.
With so many college football games on the schedule every Saturday throughout the season, the options for college football parlays are plentiful. Winning them is the tough part.
Vegas college football spreads vs. online spreads
It’s no secret that the numbers at many major legal sportsbooks are similar. That’s why you’ll see the same sports betting lines, or close to it, everywhere from the swanky Las Vegas Strip sportsbook lounges to the online sportsbooks that could potentially arrive in Texas at some point.
The action in individual markets might force some local movement. That’s why, for the most part, the college football spreads you might end up betting on in Texas will be like what you’ll see everywhere else.
Alternate college football spread lines
Sportsbooks may offer alternate lines for college football games at different odds. You can essentially customize a spread to fit what you think is going to happen in a game, but you’ll pay for the privilege with different odds.
The spread serves to even out the chances of either side winning, and standard odds reflect that, with a small vig for the sportsbook, of course. Once you start messing with the spread and betting at different odds, the chances are rarely even anymore.
Betting the spread versus the moneyline
You have a choice in college football game lines. The moneyline is where you pick straight-up winners, and the point spread is where you pick winners based on a handicap number factored into the final score. Which is better?
With the moneyline, one team will win, the other won’t, and you need to bet on the correct side to win your bet. The thing is, you may have to lay out a lot to win just a little on big favorites. And bets on big underdogs may offer massive potential payouts, but they barely stand a chance of winning.
The point spread comes in and evens out the odds and the chances of either side of a bet winning. The choice is always yours, but when it comes to the biggest favorites and underdogs in college football lines, point spreads may be your best bet.
College football spread betting tips
Use the following three tips to help inform your college football spread bets:
- Shop around. Better college football lines and odds may be available if you line shop across different sportsbooks.
- Spreads move. College football spreads can move ahead of a game, especially when there’s heavy betting on one side or the other. Depending on why the line moved, betting on what oddsmakers originally thought might happen could be a good wager.
- Watch the key numbers. Football scores feature key numbers like seven and three, representing a converted touchdown and a field goal. Many college football games are decided by a TD or a field goal. In other words, when considering a spread bet, watch for where the spread is in relation to those numbers.
Will I be able to bet on Texas college football teams?
That depends. In some states where sports betting is already legal, you can bet on college teams from that state. Other states, such as New Jersey and Virginia, prohibit that practice. We’ll have to wait to see if a sports betting bill ever passes the Texas Legislature before we can see where the state might stand on this particular issue.