The 2019-2020 college football season had its “soft-opening” of sorts last weekend, with two games played on Saturday.
But the season officially gets underway this Labor Day weekend with Week 1. While the bulk of the games are on Saturday, there are also games scheduled Thursday (16x), Friday (7x), Sunday (1x), and Monday (1x).
That’s a lot of college football betting.
As the schools head into action this weekend, it’s not only time to prep for the slate of opening week games but to also make any season-long future wagers.
New Jersey sportsbooks will begin adjusting, revising, and in some cases, taking down the season-long props that are currently on the board.
The NJ sports bettor now has 16 apps to choose from (although TheScore Sportsbook and Bet365 are till in soft-launch mode). So it’s always good to shop around to see what’s out there from the various sportsbook offerings.
I have taken a closer look at all the NJ sports betting apps to offer my perspective on what’s currently available for the upcoming college football season. Here are my thoughts.
How to find college football odds at NJ sportsbooks
First, as a sports bettor, one does appreciate the sportsbooks that denote “College Football” as a standalone sports category in their wagering menus.
Sure, we can’t bet on Rutgers or Princeton games here in New Jersey, but with 125+ other schools in play, there’s no reason to lump it in together simply under “Football.”
Unfortunately, here are several examples of apps that will make you work to find college football lines.
PlayMGM’s sportsbook lists college football under the catch-all “Football” header following the NFL and after Canadian football (Go, Blue Bombers) prop bets:
Over at 888 Sport, college football doesn’t manage to crack the “popular” listings the opening week of college football season:
And what about searching for college games?
Another small nit of mine is the current inability to build a “Search” option for each team or school in the betting app.
With 100+ schools in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision in action on any given September-November weekend, it’s a challenge to find the game(s) in a long list of betting line matchups sorted by start time.
So, I would love to see a “search” feature for a game or specific event for college football and all other events on the apps.
College betting odds and deals to look for in New Jersey
Whether you are an avid college football bettor, or you just like to follow a select school or conference, here are some promotions and odds that you should be aware of in the robust NJ sports betting app marketplace:
DraftKings has been offering a “Countdown to Kickoff” specifically for college football with eight days of different daily odds boosts leading up to Labor Day weekend:
If you haven’t taken advantage of that yet, don’t worry. There’s plenty more being offered by sportsbook apps this season.
Best futures odds for college football
In addition to season-long, over-under win totals that are offered across most NJ sportsbooks, I wanted to note some of the unique season-long futures offered by the books.
BetStars (soon to be Fox Bet) has a simple “Yes/No” prop for schools to make a bowl game:
Both playMGM and DraftKings apps are offering props on select teams with a straightforward “Yes/No” to make the college football playoffs in December:
DraftKings has posted a “Rivalry Special” prop for select schools to defeat their two main rival opponents:
Props bet specials and unique odds
When you look toward the NCAA Football National Championship, it’s extremely difficult to have any discussion around the potential 2019 finalists without including defending champion Clemson and perennial finalist, Alabama.
With this in mind, PointsBet has a series of prop specials for both Alabama and Clemson, including odds offered on Alabama “losing to a Tiger Mascot”:
Looking ahead to January 2020, FanDuel is offering a straightforward prop bet on a rematch of last year’s title game:
NCAA football week 1 odds
When it comes to the games this weekend, there’s a myriad to dive into.
Most NJ sportsbooks have done a great job by posting the opening spreads, sides, and totals as of Monday. Other offerings of first half/second half and quarters will be added/updated as the day of the games draws closer this weekend.
In fact, since it’s Thursday, you probably will see more odds already added for today’s games.
Golden Nugget Sports is an example of one app that has done a great job of early posting of the quarter and half lines for Saturday’s games:
Alternate point spreads are popular in NFL games and are beginning to become more widely offered for college games, too. DraftKings, for example, has a nice offering of alternative point spreads for this weekend’s games:
There is nothing more random than betting on whether the game will end with a total score that’s an odd or even number.
If you’re a player that likes the randomness of roulette, consider an odd/even totals bet. Golden Nugget has you covered here with a bevy of wagering options:
Bet365 NJ: A newcomer with a lot of action
Bet365 is the latest addition to the New Jersey sports betting landscape. To be fair, it’s still going through regulatory testing.
Launching just in time for football season, Bet365 is not shy about offering tons of action. They are in the mix for college football with several betting options not yet offered with other NJ sports betting apps.
Consider the “Race to (Points)” for the team to get to a score of 10 through 40 points as well as a simple “Yes/No” on the game going to overtime. Below is a screenshot of its standard menu of just some of its offerings this weekend:
You won’t be going hungry this year
There is no shortage of options for college football bettors in New Jersey. The examples I have posted have only scratched the surface of the futures and pregame betting markets.
Also, once the game kicks off, there will be live betting options offered by sportsbooks, so keep your phone charged and your eyes on the play-by-play action to make your best wagers.
But my humble betting advice around college football centers around a trend that was profitable for me last year.
Now, betting Alabama may not seem like the best place to find “value” in college football. After all, the moneyline will be -2000 or higher (if its even offered) most weekends and point spreads can be a tricky play based on how Nick Saban approaches the late third and fourth quarter (i.e., are the opening starters still playing, and will they be running the ball to kill the clock or still passing?).
As a player who likes to build parlays, there is value in considering including Alabama 1Q /1H on points and/or the moneyline. It was a successful angle last year, and I will plug it in this weekend when ‘bama opens versus Duke.
My “Final Four” prediction this year is really a “Final Two.”
With Clemson and Alabama meeting in three of the last four championship games, I will include those two to make the national championship, as well as Michigan and Georgia.
In the meantime, best of luck to all NJ bettors this college football season.