Massachusetts may not have a true powerhouse football program to call its own, but interest in college football is still high, and fans do have a number of local Division I football programs to root for.
And college football betting sites will be ready and waiting if Massachusetts eventually legalizes sports betting. On top of betting on every NCAA football game, this would also let you to bet on futures like the next national champion or the next winner of the Heisman Trophy.
As we wait to see what happens, we can still look ahead at what we might expect from potential sportsbooks for college football betting in MA.
Best college football betting apps in MA
College football is a featured offering at top legal online sportsbooks. While we’ll have to wait to see what the exact lineup of options might be, the best MA online betting apps would likely include the following:
Boston-based DraftKings is an industry leader. The betting platform is among the best in the biz, and there’s a host of appealing features available, including betting pools and regular promos like odds boosts. College football bettors can also find the following:
- A wide range of games on which to bet.
- Competitive odds.
- An extensive selection of game props.
- Excellent live betting options for game lines and props.
- DraftKings promo: Up to $1,050 as a first-deposit matching bonus.
FanDuel has been a hit in a number of legal sports betting states to date. It should be the same story here at home, as this is one of the most user-friendly sportsbooks out there. Beyond the usability and visual appeal, this is simply one of the best sportsbooks for NCAA football betting, with a diverse range of options:
- Bet on all power conferences teams.
- Competitive odds.
- Creative same-game parlays (SGPs).
- Up-to-the-second live betting game lines and props.
- FanDuel bonus: Risk-free first bet for up to $1,000.
BetMGM is a well-known name in online gambling. The sportsbook is one of the top options in several legal states and includes innovative features like “edit my bet” and an “easy parlay” builder. When it comes to betting on college football and other sports in general, here are the main perks:
- Big menu of games to bet on.
- A straightforward interface that is easy to navigate.
- Boosted odds on select wagers/parlays.
- Live betting odds.
- BetMGM Sign Up Bonus: Risk-free first bet for up to $1,000.
Live betting on college football games
One increasingly popular online sports betting option is to wager on a game as it is happening, aka live betting. It adds a new dimension of strategy and intrigue to the proceedings, as you’re betting in real time with odds and offerings that update depending on what is happening in the game.
Since the markets move so fast, you’ll want to have the app of your favorite college football betting site downloaded to your phone and ready to go. Once the game begins, you simply log in and keep an eye on the odds to lock in the bets that you find most appealing.
For a quick example, let’s say that Boston College closed as a favorite versus Syracuse. If BC gives up two first-quarter touchdowns, it may then become the underdog on the live moneyline. If you believe BC will win the game, you’ll get more favorable and profitable odds in this live betting scenario.
You can also hedge your bet by going in the opposite direction and placing a live bet on Syracuse. Live betting can enhance the enjoyment of games, but remember to always bet responsibly.
How to bet on college football online
Getting started at your sportsbook of choice is a quick and painless process. To create an account, just do the following.
- Head to the online sportsbook site and select the registration button.
- Enter the requested information and create an account, including any necessary code to claim the sportsbook bonus offer.
- Browse the NCAA football bets and check out the odds.
- Make a deposit or get set to use any bonus funds or bets.
Once you’ve done the above, you can begin making bets on all sports right away, including college football.
Finding college football odds at the sportsbook
When you log into your sportsbook, you will see a list of sports. Depending on the book, you may first need to select “football” and then narrow it down to college football from a list of options, while others may have a direct link for NCAAF.
Once you click the appropriate link, the betting lobby will list the upcoming games in order by start time. If you click on an individual game listing, you can find props and alternate lines by clicking on the game listings, and there will also be separate tabs or links for college football futures betting.
How to read college football betting lines
NCCA football betting lines are similar to those that you’ll find for the NFL. The main game listing features the odds for the three standard pregame bets. Here’s a look at how they work as well as what you’ll find elsewhere on the menu:
NCAA football point spreads
Point spreads are how sportsbooks account for the difference in skill between teams. Regardless of which side you pick, your selection has to cover the spread for you to win. For example, a -3 favorite needs to win by more than three points, whereas a more considerable favorite (-13.5) has to win by 14 or more.
Spreads make virtually any game appealing from a betting aspect. Standard odds begin at -110 on both sides, which translates into a $100 profit on a winning $110 bet. NFL point spreads are one of the busiest odds markets every week at any sportsbook.
You can bet on the winner of the game by selecting moneyline odds. The favorite will have negative odds, while the underdog will generally be positive. Moneyline odds aren’t always appealing for big favorites, but you still can find value on some lines. For payout examples, a $100 bet at odds of -200 would win $50 if correct, while a successful $100 bet on a +150 underdog would win $150.
College football over/unders
There’s also the option to bet on the total points in a game. Sportsbooks will set a number, such as 49.5, and bettors can bet whether the actual total score will be over or under that amount. If you take the over in this case, you would need the two teams to combine for 50 points or more. Like point spreads, you will generally see fairly even odds on both ends of the line, starting at around -110 at most legal online sportsbooks.
College football props
Instead of betting on game outcomes, you can also bet on smaller events within a game. You can place prop bets on team totals or individual player performances, for instance. Here are some examples of popular prop bets:
- The first team to score a touchdown.
- Over/under on a team’s total turnovers.
- Total passing yards/rushing yards/receiving yards for a specific player (over/under).
You can find available prop bets by clicking on individual game listings. College football generally offers fewer prop options than you’ll find for pro sports, but there still should be a good range available.
You can also bet on season-long events for both teams and players. Odds come out in the offseason and remain active from there. Here are some potential college football futures:
- Team to win the national championship
- Team to win its conference
- Player to win the Heisman Trophy
- Player to lead the nation in rushing yards
You won’t receive any payouts from successful futures bets until the outcome is in the books, so be sure to budget accordingly before placing any bets.
Betting on the College Football Playoff and bowl games
The most significant time of year for college football is bowl season. The college football playoff system consists of the top four teams in the nation squaring off in two semifinal games to reach the national championship game. The semifinal games will always be two of the year’s six most significant bowl games, known as the “New Year’s Six”:
- Orange Bowl
- Cotton Bowl
- Rose Bowl
- Sugar Bowl
- Peach Bowl
- Fiesta Bowl
Bowl season goes much deeper than that, as well. Beginning in mid-December and extending to mid-January, there are typically 40-plus bowl games, including these well-known contests:
- Sun Bowl
- Gator Bowl
- Citrus Bowl
- Outback Bowl
- Holiday Bowl
Massachusetts is home to the Fenway Bowl, which takes place every year at Fenway Park in Boston. See the latest Fenway Bowl odds as soon as the participating teams are announced
NFL betting vs. college football betting: What’s the difference?
While you will see a lot of similar bets, there are some distinct differences between betting on NCAA football and betting on the NFL.
- In college football, you tend to see much larger point spreads given the greater potential range in quality among the competition. While NFL lines rarely extend beyond multiple scores, it is not uncommon to see massive favorites in college (Alabama -45 vs. Southern Miss, for example).
- College football generally has fewer prop bets for individual players than the NFL. While you may see props in bigger games, they are less frequent, and some states may even prohibit the practice altogether. We’ll have to see what Massachusetts decides if it legalizes sports betting.
- In the NFL, the maximum number of games per week is 16. The average regular-season college football slate will include dozens of games to choose from.
Even though there are differences, however, many of the same principles apply. When betting on pro or college football, you’ll want to research the matchup in full while looking for edges and considering other factors like trends and the weather.
Why do sports betting sites remove the college football moneyline or spread?
Online sportsbooks will sometimes remove moneyline bets if one team is an overwhelming favorite. The same goes for the spread if it drifts to an extreme level (i.e., more than 50 points).
Powerhouse college football programs play their share of “cupcakes” during the season. The books won’t see too much action on a massive line for favorites, while the risk of paying out on a huge upset simply isn’t worth it for them.
Sportsbook rules for NCAA football
For the most part, betting on college football at online sportsbooks is the same as betting on any other major sport.
There are, however, some restrictions individual states might impose, like not betting on college teams from that particular state. The thought is that college athletes may be more susceptible to tampering. New Jersey and New Hampshire are examples of states that impose this rule.
When it comes to online sports betting, there’s a lot of similarity across the industry, but every sportsbook has its own set of house rules. It’s on bettors to know and understand them, so take the time to review them wherever you plan to bet on college football or any other sport.
Las Vegas college football odds vs. local sportsbook odds
Las Vegas is still a great benchmark to use for sports betting odds, but you’ll find that the numbers are similar closer to home, as well. The top online sportsbooks are generally right in line with what you’ll find in Sin City.
Naturally, there can be some exceptions, such as heavy betting action on a Boston College game line that leads to skewed odds in comparison to other markets. On an overall basis, though, if Massachusetts legalizes sports betting, you’ll likely find that MA sportsbook odds are comparable to what you see in Vegas.
Top college football programs in MA
Massachusetts isn’t a college football hotbed like Texas or Florida, but there still are local teams to root for. Here are three programs where you can focus your attention during the season:
- Conference: ACC
- Location: Chestnut Hill
- Stadium: Alumni Stadium
- Notable alumni: Doug Flutie, Matt Ryan, Bill Romanowski
- Conference: Atlantic 10
- Location: Amherst
- Stadium: McGuirk Alumni Stadium
- Notable alumni: Andy Isabella, Isaiah Rodgers, Tajae Sharpe
- Conference: Ivy League
- Location: Cambridge
- Stadium: Harvard Stadium
- Notable alumni: Ryan Fitzpatrick, Cameron Brate, Kyle Juszczyk