You can feel the winds of change blowing through the college football schedule, literally. Those autumn breezes signal the switch in season but also in the way you should be handicapping games in the remaining weeks of the NCAA football schedule.
Now that we’re in the middle of October, here are some sports betting trends to factor into your weekly wagers on the college football odds:
Watch the weather
For those northern school or those settled on the coasts, the middle of fall means drastic shifts in the weather. Before placing a wager on these programs, be sure to check out the game-time forecast for winds and rain – and maybe even snow for a select group of venues.
Rain can make playing surfaces slick and slow the game speed, while the soggy conditions can also make the ball tough to hang on to or catch. Compared a team’s offensive makeup to the current weather and see if it could impact performance, like a fast-paced spread offense running on slipper sod or a pass-happy team trying to wrangle a wet pigskin.
Wind is another huge factor when betting on college football spreads and totals. Strong gusts can wipe out the kicking game, sending field goals and extra points off course and making punting a big problem. Breezy conditions can also throw a wrench in a pass-focused offense, as receivers have to adjust for the ball blowing around.
As games stack up, more and more players find their way to the injury report. Power 5 programs are able to absorb injuries better than smaller-conference school simply due to a surplus of talent and a rich depth chart. Skill positions hold the most worth to the outcome – and therefore oddsmakers – with quarterbacks having the biggest influence on the spread and total.
Multiple injuries at one position or group can also be devastating, like losing members of the secondary or offensive line. Often times, these cluster injuries stay below the radar of bookies because they aren’t skill positions or star players, and bettors can find added value betting against these teams plagued with ailments in one particular spot of the game.
Six wins will at least qualify you for one of the many postseason bowl games in college football. As the season shortens, those teams teetering on six wins will be playing with added motivation to make the cut.
And even with teams already over the six-win mark, improving their bowl season resume becomes very important in the final weeks of the schedule. Programs with a veteran core of upperclassmen will want to end their NCAA careers on a high note, and that could be getting a vote for one of the big BCS bowls.
On the flip side of this, beware teams falling out of bowl contention. Teams that can’t capture the necessary six wins could come up short in the final games of the year, as players – and even coaches – mentally pack it in. These teams are great go-against wagers in the waning weeks of the season.