Is It Legal to Bet On College Football Online?

The short answer is yes. Although, legal college football betting is not as straightforward a proposition as spreading out the chips and salsa before your alma mater’s next kickoff. The good news is most of the details can be summed up pretty quickly. With online wagering being far more convenient than and trip to Las Vegas, and you don’t even have to drive through the Mojave to do it. (Which is great, because tailgating in the desert heat pretty much sucks.)

All you need to get started with legal college football betting is an Internet connection. Because laws like PASPA, the Wire Act (1961), and the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (2006) ignore those who place bets in favor of those who take them, many legal sports betting sites simply moved overseas. Since they’re out of US jurisdiction, they can accept your bets – and honor their payouts – without any negative legal consequences. Just pick a legal sports betting site, load up your account with a few bucks, place bets, win money, repeat. For once, staggering government ineptitude has been good for the private citizen.

Current College Football Betting Odds For Week 6

Most of this week’s biggest college football games won’t take place until Friday or Saturday, leaving the pickings fairly slim when it comes to current college football betting odds on the midweek games, even at our highest-rated and most recommended legal offshore sports betting sites (Bovada, SportsBetting, BetOnline and 5Dimes). Viewers and Alabama sports fans can tune in Wednesday at 8 p.m. on ESPN to see the Troy Trojans take on the South Alabama Jaguars, and sports betting fans can get in on the best odds on college football available anywhere online. SportsBetting.ag and BetOnline.ag are both listing Troy (4-1, first in the Sunbelt Conference) as the overwhelming favorite in the game with -675 to beat South Alabama (1-4, eighth in the Sun Belt Conference), which has +525 odds to win straight up.

That situation looks a little different when considering the 16 ½-point spread offered by the bookies at SportsBetting and BetOnline, as both teams are potentially good values to the bettor with odds in the negative. South Alabama is listing at -113 to Troy’s -107 to cover the spread, so there’s really no bad choice here. Smart bettors will consider opening an account at both the aforementioned online sportsbooks to take advantage of these great odds not available anywhere else. As for totals betting, the Antigua-based sports betting sites have got some highly favorable odds there too, with the “over” side of the 48-point projected total score listing for -108 and the “under” side at -112.

The Sun Belt Conference dominates the mid-week airwaves, as the Texas State Bobcats (1-5, tied for eighth in the conference) are set to take on the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns (2-3, sixth in the conference) on Thursday at 7:30. Louisiana-Lafayette is the clear favorite, being listed at -565 at SportsBetting and BetOnline, compared to +460 odds for Texas State. The bookies are calling for 14-point spread, with equal -110 odds for both teams to cover the spread, though of course the Ragin’ Cajun are the favorites. The projected total is 57 points, and, as with the spread bets, the odds are equal at -110 for both the over- and the under-side of the bet.

College Football Playoff Odds

As the 2017 college football season goes on, and as the championship draws nearer, two things become more and more clear for the smart sports bettor: the leading offshore legal sportsbooks will be frequently changing their college football playoff odds and the Alabama Crimson Tide will be at the forefront of the list to win it all this year. Alabama’s already short odds got even shorter since the weekend’s events, as the Crimson Tide’s odds to win the national championship decreased to their lowest point yet, listing at +120 on Bovada.lv Tuesday morning. We’re not sure just how much lower these odds can get before they stop being in positive-money territory, so now looks like a great time to lock in a bet for Alabama while the getting is good.

Clemson is still holding on to second place in Bovada’s listing for the 2018 College Football Championship winner, and still holding onto +375 at that – same as our last update going into the weekend’s games, in fact. Ohio State closed the distance somewhat, but the Buckeyes are still at a distant +750 odds to win. Penn State had a great weekend, remaining unbeaten in six games and leading the Big 10 East after a 31-7 trouncing of Northwestern, accordingly took over the fourth spot it had shared with Oklahoma prior to the weekend, with the Nitany Lions now listing at +1,000. USC is in fifth spot, listing at +1,600, with Georgia and Washington going for +1,800 in a tie for sixth place in Bovada’s listings.

Bovada

The Best Online Legal College Football Betting Sites

While there are a number of destinations for Internet-based sports gambling, if you’re concerned with discretion, security, and reliability, there are really only a handful of legal college football betting sites out there. Sportsbooks like Bovada, BetOnline, SportsBetting, and 5Dimes are all highly reputable firms with many years of experience.

Bovada is a beginner’s most reassuring bet, as it is the most reliable gambling site around, with decades of collective experience that’s been instrumental in guiding the industry itself. However, Bovada has comparatively limited payment options, especially compared against sites like BetOnline and SportsBetting, which both accept more deposit types and offer more payout types. If you have multiple financial accounts in your life, these sites might scratch your itch the best. On the other hand, if your itch comes in the form of wacky, bizarre prop bets or alternate lines, 5Dimes is the place to visit.

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How Many Sportsbook Accounts Should I Use?

As many as you want. As long as you don’t sign up for multiple accounts at the same sportsbook (for which they can ban you and confiscate your account balance – always follow the terms of service!), you can enjoy memberships wherever else you want. In fact, this can often be a very sound strategy.

Remember: Sportsbooks compete with each other for your business. The goal of any sportsbook, then, is twofold: One, it wants to make you a better offer than the other guy. Two, it wants to balance its lines so it doesn’t go bankrupt after the next Floyd Mayweather fight.

The first part is easy – they just offer better odds. If you stand to make more for your bet at one book over another, that’s where you go. Plain and simple. However, a sportsbook isn’t worth much if it can’t pay out, so you’ll want to avoid services that offer unrealistic odds that defy common sense. The best legal college football betting sites, like those listed above, craft their odds responsibly, with the goal to get an equal amount of money on either side of any given bet. This guarantees their five percent take, and that’s all they’re after. They pass the winnings along to you (and the losings along to the chump who bet on the other team).

Is Betting On College Football Ethical?

A lot of folks have this odd idea that amateur sports status is some kind of sacred cow. It isn’t. And besides, amateurs are only amateurs in the loosest, most nominal sense. For all intents and purposes, college student athletes are poorly-compensated adult employees responsible for generating incredible amounts of revenue for their bosses.

The NCAA is a multi-billion-dollar industry. You should never feel guilty or even morally ambiguous when you partake in legal college football betting. Even if you do feel that way, keep this in mind: Betting on a given team increases that team’s exposure and popularity. That increased exposure and popularity increases the team’s best players’ national visibility. That increased national visibility increases each player’s odds to make an impression on an NFL scout. By trying to make a couple bucks for yourself, you might be helping dozens of young men make millions.

How Much Money Is Spent On Legal College Football Betting?

It is difficult to achieve consensus around any single figure, but most reliable estimates put the yearly amount of football betting in America at roughly $100 billion. The majority of that, no doubt, belongs to the NFL, but NCAA football has a couple of things going for it that make sure the amateurs don’t lag too far behind.

First, the NCAA football season is much longer on aggregate than the NFL’s, featuring many times more events than the professionals can muster. With over 800 games between 128 teams, FBS college football has almost four times as many gambling opportunities for fans than the NFL. If you want to add Division II and III schools (featuring 320 and 450 members, respectively), that number goes up even higher. Secondly, with so many schools all across America, the installed fan-base is enormous. Everyone roots for one team or another, and every team has a rival or two. When there’s that much passion going around, the money is sure to follow.

Because of the NCAA’s sheer scope and national footprint, legal college football betting is always going to be jam-packed with rivalry matchups, huge conference championships, and bowl games that almost rival the NFL’s best in terms of viewership and spectacle.

 

Is It Wrong To Bet Against My Favorite Team?

That depends on whom you ask. Some bettors view this as the very most bad of the baddest juju. Others consider it the only viable strategy to make sure they’re always betting with their hearts and not their heads. Still others use it as a sort of “out.” Here’s how my old man explained why he used to do it back in the day: If your team is playing an important game, figure out how much you’d pay to see them win, and bet that amount. If they win, you were happy and willing to part with the cash. If they lose, at least you don’t come away empty-handed.

Does Legal College Football Betting Hurt Student Athletes?

Let’s be real here: Legal college football hurts student athletes a whole lot more than legal college football betting does. So unless it’s a student athlete doing the betting (for which he could lose his scholarship), the online actions of bettors aren’t going to help or hinder the on-field actions of NCAA football players.

Contrary to the scary, Hollywood-driven picture of mafia violence and price-fixing escapades, no one is going to hire some goon to take out the Heisman candidate’s kneecaps Tonya Harding style. Nobody is going to organize a concerted, Black Sox-esque collapse. And no bookie or bettor is going to go out and pay off a player to throw a game or injure someone. American football moves $100 billion in bets annually. If all those extracurriculars were actual risks (or represented inordinate new risks), they’d be pretty easy to spot in the relentless 24-hour sporting news cycle.

Can Student Athletes Bet On College Football?

Let’s forget about misnomers and oxymorons for now and address the core of this moral issue. While sports betting is legal under most circumstances, it is not a good idea for student athletes or current school staff members to bet on sports. In addition to likely violating several NCAA eligibility and conduct rules, it would simply open up discussions of “corruption potential” and other lies that got sports betting “banned” in the first place.

Given the fact that practice eats up all the time these student athletes would otherwise have to work a job, there just aren’t many ways for them to earn much spending money. For now, that’s the nature of the athletics scholarship, and it is what it is. Betting on sports, legally or not, is on of the absolute last things any student athlete should do.

Legal College Football Betting FAQs

What Is The Best Way To Fill My Online Sportsbook Account?

Each sportsbook takes a variety of payment methods you can use to make your sports betting deposits. Because you can only bet with money you have already deposited into your account, it is a good idea to make sure you give yourself – and your site of choice – plenty of time to process your payments.

For example, if you want to bet on a game tomorrow, but your account is empty, you can’t send a personal check overseas fast enough for it to get there in time. In this case, you must pick a more rapid method. Ultimately, just use whatever deposit method you are most comfortable with and make adjustments accordingly.

Should I Use Bitcoin For College Football Betting?

For the best combination of speed, security, anonymity, and perhaps even value (since it seems to be appreciating like crazy over the last year or so), Bitcoin sports betting should be your number-one choice for legal college football betting.

Visa and Mastercard (and, at Bovada at least, American Express) are next on the list, with the remainder – things like wire transfers, cashier’s checks, money orders, and similar – all taking too long and incurring too many fees for most users’ tastes.

What Is The Best App For Legal College Football Betting?

There are no native sportsbook apps on the Apple App Store or in the Google Play store. If you ever come across one that purports to have for-money betting, ignore it, as the space is rife with scammers and identity thieves. For a real mobile experience at Bovada, BetOnline, SportsBetting, and 5Dimes, simply use the browser on your phone or tablet, navigate to the mobile version of your site of choice, sign in, and save that link to your desktop.

These sites all have dedicated designs for their mobile users, emphasizing ease-of-use and efficient small-screen formatting. These aren’t quite “app” experiences, but they’re as close as we’re going to get until Apple et al. change their inane guidelines.

Can I Bet At A Las Vegas Sportsbook From My State?

Unless your state is Nevada, then no. Due to the Wire Act, interstate sports betting is illegal. Granted it’s not really illegal (in terms of precedent) for you to place a bet with a Las Vegas casino, the licensed and regulated bookies in Nevada would be committing a federal felony if they ever accepted one. So they won’t.

And honestly, that’s okay. Because even if you lived in Nevada – even if you lived in Las Vegas itself – it would still likely be more convenient to use a good online sportsbook.

Can I Bet While I’m At The Game?

If you’ve got a smartphone or tablet and an Internet connection, you certainly can. The connection might stink due to the local congestion in the stadium, but there’s otherwise nothing to stop you from enjoying legal college football betting (especially live betting) from behind a foot-long hot dog in the skybox. Or, if you’re like me, from behind a cramped bench in the nosebleeds.

Can You Be Arrested For Betting On College Football?

I suppose anything is possible, but you’d be the first. Everyone ever arrested in connection with sports betting of any kind has always been taken in as a result of committing actual enforceable crimes. These include bookmaking, tax evasion, insurance fraud, and so on. As long as you’re honest to Uncle Sam on your taxes, you’ve got nothing to worry about when it comes to sports betting. Except for picking the right team, I mean.

What Types Of Bets Are Available For College Football Games?

The types of wagers available for legal college football betting are pretty much the same ones you’ll get betting on the NFL. The most popular types are, of course, the moneyline, the spread, and the over/under (or “total” bet). The moneyline offers middling odds on a straight win/loss bet, and that’s usually a safe (if boring) way to go. Like NFL betting, college football betting also features a selection of game- and team-specific props and futures.

Should I Bet On The Spread?

That depends on several things you’ll have to consider as Game Day approaches. Still, it might be riskier than you’re used to. Spreads are more difficult to bet on successfully in college football than in the NFL, as matchups are often far less even. Unfortunately, sometimes the favorite makes like the bettor and overlooks their opponent, too. This is where you lose your bet. And your butt.

Should I Bet The Over Or Under?

Perhaps slightly easier than the spread is the over/under, which allows you to pick whether you believe the final score will combine to be more or less than a given points total. If two high-powered offenses are facing off against each other, but neither has a defense to speak of, the over/under will likely be very high. The opposite, and it could be quite low. Pay attention to suspensions, injuries, and off-field drama if you want an edge for serious over/under play.

What Is The Best College Football Team To Bet On?

For payout potential? Probably some nothing team nobody ever heard of that’s inexplicably going to bookend the season with two long shot wins over top-25 teams. For payout probability? Alabama, Ohio State, the Trojans, the Noles, Clemson. You know, the usual suspects. These top teams probably rotate out of the lineup a couple times a decade, but dominant teams tend to go on long stretches at the top in college football. Be aware of that, and try to jump right before you think the bottom’s going to fall out. A lot of people made a lot of money during Bobby Bowden’s last few years at FSU. And Nick Saban can’t win forever.

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