College Football provides some of the best sports entertainment in the United States, and some football fans hold the NCAA game in higher regard than the NFL. Aside from the intense fandom, thrilling games, and tradition, betting on college football is a lucrative opportunity for USA bettors.
We want to provide you with the best online sportsbooks that you’ll find anywhere in the United States. Our guide to college football betting has insight into the Power 5 conferences, as well as odds on who is favored to win the College Football Playoff this upcoming season.
Before you place a bet on this season, take a few moments to read up on the structure of the NCAA. Also, if you enjoy betting on the pro games, we've got another guide for betting on the NFL, and for a complete strategy guide on how to bet on football games, check out our 2019 USA Football Betting Guide.
Best USA Online Sportsbook
To Bet On NCAAF Football Games
College football has a loyal following that includes avid USA sports bettors. Bovada caters to these die hard fans through offering a strong selection of NCAAF betting lines, odds and paylines. They cover teams from across the country and include a variety of prop bets, futures, over/under lines, parlays, live betting, in play betting, mobile betting and a host of additional wagering options.
Bovada is accessible from your computer or mobile device and accepts the most popular cryptocurrency in the market, Bitcoin. Bovada's welcome bonus for their sportsbook offers new players a 50% match bonus up to $250 on your first deposit. Bovada's online gambling platform also includes a casino, poker room and racebook. They are owned and operated by the popular Bodog brand and live up to this brand's reputation quite well. Bovada accepts players from all states except for DE, MD, NJ and NV.
Why Are These The Best College Football Betting Sites?
There are several factors that go into an elite-caliber college football betting site, but here are our top 5 reasons for picking the online sportsbooks found above.
1. Trusted - When we get down to brass tacks, the most important factor is whether you get paid for a winning bet and because each of the sportsbooks listed above have been around longer than most sites in the industry, we can confidently say that they're the safest bet you can make on NCAA football anywhere in the USA.
2. Freedom - Anyone who is at least 18 years old can sign up and bet on any of the hundreds of betting lines and prop bets that are posted ahead of each week's slate of games during the college football season. With essentially no restrictions on what can and can't be wagered on, just about anything during a game is fair game!
3. Value - When it comes to line shopping and getting competitive odds, the college football betting sites we recommend easily take the cake. Several sportsbooks out there fill their lines with juice, but these sites prefer to squeeze out the vigorish and provide you with the best bang for your buck.
4. Bonuses - And speaking of value: Why not double your money this college football season by selecting a bonus or promotion? All the sites above cater to the rookies and veterans of the betting world by adding more money to your account, so you have more opportunities to score big during the season.
5. Experience - Because our recommended college football betting sites are industry leaders, they each have built an infrastructure that is made to give bettors the best user experience that you'll find anywhere. Whether your betting on college football from a computer or mobile device, before or during the game (via live/in-play wagering), the services provided by these online sportsbooks are unmatched by anyone on the Internet.
Is It Legal To Bet On NCAAF Games In The US?
Yes, it is absolutely legal to place bets on college football games as long as you are selective about where you place those bets and base your choices on complying with USA sports betting laws. Understanding what is and is not legal when it comes to USA sportsbook betting can be a daunting task.
Several US federal laws are relevant to sportsbook gambling and govern this type of betting entertainment across the land. The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was a federal sports betting ban across the US until ruled unconstitutional in 2018. The Federal Wire Act tackles sports betting from an online perspective, effectively outlawing US-based online sportsbooks from operating within the nation's borders or across state lines. Lastly, there is the UIGEA Bill that seeks to provide an effective layer of regulatory oversight concerning the processing of gambling-related transactions online. None of the US federal laws that govern sports betting make it a crime to place bets online at trusted online sportsbooks operating offshore.
Differences Between Betting on College Football and the NFL
While similar in many ways at first glance, there are some notable differences between NFL and college football. The NCAA Division I Football has 128 teams split into various conferences but the most competitive conferences (ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, SEC) are known as Power 5 Conferences.
The NCAA recently changed Division I to allow a 4-team semifinal playoff to decide the national champion known as the College Football Playoff. The NFL is made of 32 franchises who play a 16-game season over 17 weeks. The playoffs consist of 12 teams, 6 from the AFC and 6 from the NFC, in a single-elimination double bracket with the winner of the AFC and NFC playing for the NFL championship in the Super Bowl.
The key difference with betting on the two is college football has disparity due to the number of teams in Division I with only a handful of contenders each year. The NFL, on the other hand, has more parity in play each week due to a salary cap and the worst teams being able to draft the best players the following season, keeping a balance and a level playing field in the process.
Why You Should Bet On College Football
In short: Betting on college football is an American tradition. This year marks the 150th anniversary of football with the first-ever game being played between Rutgers and Princeton on November 6, 1869. Rutgers beat Princeton 6-4, and you can bet that this was the first football game that had money riding on it. Since then, many sports betting innovations - such as the invention of the point spread by Charles Kline McNeil - began with wagering on NCAA football games.
With dozens of games available each Saturday, there's a smorgasbord of choices you can make before heading out to the pregame tailgating parties. Millions of fans from around the country bleed their favorite schools' colors, but how many can turn that passion into profit? If you think you know the in's and out's of the collegiate game, then there's no question you should dive right into betting on college football.
How Are NCAAF Conferences Structured?
In NCAA Division I football, the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, and SEC make up the Power 5 Conferences and are the most competitive at the collegiate level. Outside of these 5 conferences exist a second-tier group, which consists of the AAC, Conference USA, MAC, MWC, and SBC. Currently, there are six teams (Notre Dame, Army, BYU, Liberty, UMass, New Mexico State) who are FBS Independents and do not compete in any conference. Here is a breakdown of how each Power 5 Conference is structured:
ACC – Atlantic Coast Conference
The ACC was established in 1953 and currently has 14 members who field college football teams. Notre Dame is a member of the conference in all sports except football due to football broadcast rights with NBC. The 14 teams are split into two divisions:
- Boston College Eagles
- Clemson Tigers
- Florida State Seminoles
- Louisville Cardinals
- C. State Wolfpack
- Syracuse Orange
- Wake Forest Demon Deacons
- Duke Blue Devils
- Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
- Miami Hurricanes
- North Carolina Tar Heels
- Pittsburgh Panthers
- Virginia Cavaliers
- Virginia Tech Hokies
The team with the best divisional record at the end of the season wins the division, and the winner of the Atlantic and Coastal divisions play at the end of the regular season in the ACC Championship to decide the winner of the conference.
Big Ten – Big 10 Conference
The Big Ten was established in 1896 and is the oldest Division I athletic conference in the United States. Currently, the conference has 14 members who field college football teams with the teams being split into two divisions:
- Indiana Hoosiers
- Maryland Terrapins
- Michigan Wolverines
- Michigan State Spartans
- Ohio State Buckeyes
- Penn State Nittany Lions
- Rutgers Scarlet Knights
- Illinois Fighting Illini
- Iowa Hawkeyes
- Minnesota Golden Gophers
- Nebraska Cornhuskers
- Northwestern Wildcats
- Purdue Boilermakers
- Wisconsin Badgers
The team with the best divisional record at the end of the season wins the division, and the winner of the East and West divisions play at the end of the regular season in the Big Ten Championship to decide the Big Ten Champion.
Big 12 – Big 12 Conference
The Big 12 Conference was established in 1994 and currently has 10 members who field college football teams. The 10 teams all play each other and are not split into divisions:
Big 12 Members
- Baylor Bears
- Iowa State Hawkeyes
- Kansas Jayhawks
- Kansas State Wildcats
- Oklahoma Sooners
- Oklahoma State Cowboys
- TCU Horned Frogs
- Texas Longhorns
- Texas Tech Red Raiders
- West Virginia Mountaineers
Each team plays one another during the regular season, competing in a round-robin structure with the two teams with the best conference record playing at the end of the season in the Big 12 Championship to decide the Big 12 Champion.
Pac-12 – Pacific-12 Conference
The Pac-12 Conference was founded in 1959 and currently has 12 members who field college football teams. The 12 teams are split into two divisions:
- California Golden Bears
- Oregon Ducks
- Oregon State Beavers
- Stanford Cardinals
- Washington Huskies
- Washington State Cougars
- Arizona Wildcats
- Arizona State Sun Devils
- Colorado Buffaloes
- UCLA Bruins
- USC Trojans
- Utah Utes
Every team plays nine conference games, five in the division and four outside the division, and the team with the best overall conference record in both the North and South division play in the Pac-12 Championship at the end of the regular season to decide the Pac-12 Champion.
SEC – Southeastern Conference
The SEC was founded in 1932 and currently has 14 members who field college football teams, which are split into two divisions:
- Florida Gators
- Georgia Bulldogs
- Kentucky Wildcats
- Missouri Tigers
- South Carolina Gamecocks
- Tennessee Volunteers
- Vanderbilt Commodores
- Alabama Crimson Tide
- Arkansas Razorbacks
- Auburn Tigers
- LSU Tigers
- Mississippi State Bulldogs
- Ole Miss Rebels
- Texas A&M Aggies
The team with the best divisional record at the end of the season wins the division, and the winner of the East and West divisions play at the end of the regular season in the SEC Championship to decide the winner of the conference.
Past Power 5 Conference Football Champions
Below you'll find a list of the football champions for each of the Power 5 Conferences dating back to 2014 when the College Football Playoff was established for determining a National Champion at the NCAA Division I FBS level.
ACC: Clemson (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018), Florida State (2014)
Big Ten: Michigan State (2015), Ohio State (2014, 2017, 2018), Penn State (2016)
Big 12: Baylor (2014 co-champions), Oklahoma (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018), TCU (2014 co-champions)
Pac-12: Oregon (2014), Stanford (2015), USC (2017), Washington (2016, 2018)
SEC: Alabama (2014, 2015, 2016, 2018), Georgia (2017)
*Note: Notre Dame was selected to the CFP during the 2018-19 season after going 12-0 without a conference championship due to its status as an Independent in NCAA Division I FBS.
College Football Playoff Selection Process
Since 2014, the CFP Selection Committee determines the four teams to put into the College Football Playoff on the Sunday following the results from Conference Championship Weekend. The committee reviews the win-loss record, head-to-head results, and general strength of schedule of every team and seeds them with No.1 playing No.4 and No.2 playing No.3. The winner of No.1 vs. No.4 and No.2 vs. No.3 play then play in the CFP National Championship to decide the National Champion for the season.
Past College Football Playoff Results
Below you can find all of the results from the CFP Semifinals and National Championship games since the four-team knockout tournament was established in 2014.
2014-15 Champion: Ohio State Buckeyes
- Semi: No.2 Oregon 59, No.3 Florida State 20
- Semi: No.4 Ohio State 42, No.1 Alabama 35
- NC: No.4 Ohio State 42, No.2 Oregon 20
2015-16 Champion: Alabama Crimson Tide
- Semi: No.1 Clemson 37, No.4 Oklahoma 17
- Semi: No.2 Alabama 38, No.3 Michigan State 0
- NC: No.2 Alabama 45, No.1 Clemson 40
2016-17 Champion: Clemson Tigers
- Semi: No.2 Clemson 31, No.3 Ohio State 0
- Semi: No.1 Alabama 24, No.4 Washington 7
- NC: No.2 Clemson 35, No.1 Alabama 31
2017-18 Champion: Alabama Crimson Tide
- Semi: No.3 Georgia 54, No.2 Oklahoma 48 - OT
- Semi: No.4 Alabama 24, No.1 Clemson 6
- NC: No.4 Alabama 26, No.3 Georgia 23 - OT
2018-19 Champion: Clemson Tigers
- Semi: No.1 Alabama 45, No.4 Oklahoma 34
- Semi: No.2 Clemson 30, No.3 Notre Dame 3
- NC: No.2 Clemson 44, No.1 Alabama 16
2019-20 Champion: TBD
- Semi: TBD
- Semi: TBD
- NC: TBD
Additional Football Resources
- USA Sportsbooks Sites was developed by die-hard college football fans, so we tried to present a section here that really speaks to the college football fan. We urge you to bet according to odds and performance rather than betting on your alma mater for sentimental reasons or betting simply for the sake of supporting your favorite team. The objective of betting is to win money - so you need to bet with your head and not your heart.
- NFL Football Betting Guide - This page of our guide is designed to provide fans with a comprehensive resource for all things NFL. You will find information about the league's structure, season predictions, odds, and which NFL betting sites are legally sanctioned options for USA players.
- 2019 NFL Season Preview - Get a sneak peek at the upcoming NFL season and what this year's teams have in store for us. Naturally, this preview is based on pre-season information, so the season can always surprise us.
- Thanksgiving Day Football Betting For USA Players - If Thanksgiving Day football is a part of your holiday weekend, then you'll enjoy this page that focuses on these specific games offering information about the participating teams, odds and where to legally bet on the games.
- XFL Betting Guide - The XFL will begin to play shortly after the 2020 NFL Super Bowl. The league is gambling-friendly and will offer bettors access to data and more as the season unfolds.