College Football Betting Guides

How to Bet College Football Quarterback Props

College football player props are a growing segment in the sports betting market. While most bettors eat props up on NFL Sundays, they’re still growing on the casual bettors for college football Saturdays. One of the challenges is that many bettors simply don’t know all of the players in the lineup on all of the various teams. There are so many schools and players that it’s hard to really get to know everyone. Quarterbacks tend to be the most familiar faces and that’s where bettors go first.

If you’re looking to handicap and win with college football quarterback props, we’ve put together a strategy. Follow the guide below and you’ll get going on the right path.

The Strategy Of Betting College Football Quarterback Props
The Strategy Of Betting College Football Quarterback Props

Get To Know The Names (Beyond The Big Ones)

The easiest thing to do with college football quarterback props is to reach for what you know. That’s understandable as there are so many teams and so many players. The average bettors is going to be on Alabama’s running back or Oklahoma’s quarterback because they’re a known commodity. However, if you want to get an edge, you’re going to have to look deeper down the board.

Remember that with the main player passing props, the sportsbook oddsmakers are going to be aware of the general situation. They should be able to create pretty sharp numbers on their passing yards, rushing yards and so on. The reasoning is quite simple: those types of players are in the mainstream. It’ll be pretty easy to find some content on them on ESPN or Twitter, and make sure that their over-unders are on point. The bigger challenge for the sportsbooks is to find a good read on players who are not in the mainstream. That’s where you can get an edge.

If you’re looking to beat the book on college football quarterback props, looks to the games that are not in the main spotlight. If it’s a primetime game on ABC or FOX, it’s likely that the books have strong numbers. If you start digging into a matchup of 3-3 teams in the Mountain West, you’re more likely to find something some value. The question is how much work you’re willing to put into it? If you’re going to have your finger on the pulse of the local team reports – either from the school papers, local media and beat reporters – you’ll have a good feel for where the lines should be.

And make sure you rely on the Outlier’s Prop Finder. They are a great starting point for many of these player props because the algorithm digs up many of the best options right away. When you log in and click over toe the Insights tab you’re going to be presented with a menu of strong selections right off the bat. Then you can start to put in the manual labor to research the plays some more and determine which are the best bets.

What’s The Setup For The Game?

When you’re handicapping player props of any kind – especially college football player props – you want to have a good feel for what the setup is for the game. More specifically, think about the game flow.

  • Is it a revenge game?
  • Is it going to be a high-scoring, back-and-forth affair?
  • Is it a lookahead game?
  • Is weather going to be a factor?

Motivation, focus and effort tend to be a big part of college football and knowing that setup is what’s going to help you win some of these props. If it’s a revenge game and a team played poorly the year before, they might be extra focused to make sure they don’t have another effort like that. Or even if they played poorly the week before – or the quarterback is coming off a bad game – there will be impetus to perform better. These are scenarios where you might want to hop on an over – especially since the lines might be pushed down a little bit.

College football teams also tend to suffer from lookahead games quite a bit and that can be a challenge. If you’re betting on Alabama’s quarterback to have a good game but they’re playing a cupcake this week, it might not be as simple as expecting him to run up the numbers. If Alabama has a game against a Top 5 opponent or a close rival the following week, they might not keep their foot on the gas so hard. Or they also might be half asleep, assuming they’ll cruise to a win. That can have a big impact on player props.

Weather is another factor to consider as it can have all sorts of impacts on college football player props. In the NFL, many of the teams play indoors. In college football, the vast majority play outdoors. You’re going to have to handicap your way around sweltering heat in late August – especially in the southern part of the country – through to wind in the fall to snow and frost in the winter. These is significance here that you have to take into account for quarterback props.

There are always different narratives for college football games and each week tells a different story. The more well-read you are, the more you’ll be able to adapt and profit with quarterback props.

Check The Total

If you’re looking for an easy tell on what the game flow might look like, you can check in on the total. It’s not bulletproof but that gives you a quick read on the projections. If you see a game with an over-under in the 70’s, the oddsmakers are expecting this to be a high-scoring game. In those situations, you’re looking at a lot of offensive production, which can lend itself well to over bets. On the other hand, if you see a total somewhere in the 40’s or 50’s, that’s on the lower side for a college football game. A game with the total hanging around in the high 30’s figures to be some kind of a tough slog where defenses dominate. In those situations, you’re going to want to look more towards unders for college football quarterback player props.

Remember that there’s a number of ways to play these props. Even if you’re expecting a low-scoring game, you might bet unders on touchdown passes but you might want to go over on attempts. There might be a lot of attempts without enough end zone production.

Put More Faith In A Track Record

When it comes to the early part of the season, you want to put more faith in the systems and coaches that you know versus the ones that you don’t. There can be a lot of turnover on a college football team from year-to-year. It’s always a popular trend to start betting on the new players and new quarterbacks taking over. However, there can be a lot of unknown commodities. You’d rather have some evidence of how they’re playing before really putting down a lot of money on quarterback props when you’re not entirely sure what to expect.

There are examples that cut both ways with this. The Oklahoma Sooners were an offensive factory for many years and after head coach Lincoln Riley produced a Heisman Trophy winner in Kyler Murray, Jalen Hurts took over. Even though there was uncertainty as to how Hurts would fit in, there was almost no drop-off in production.

At the same time, once Riley left to USC in 2022, the Sooners tried to maintain that same consistency. They found another quality transfer in Dillon Gabriel but it proved to be a very bumpy ride. The Sooners were 5-4 through nine games.  Gabriel had games where he threw for over 300 yards or close to it, and he had a number of games where he threw for under 200 yards as well.

If you have a team with a head coach, an offensive coordinator and a quarterback that’s returning, you generally know what to expect. At the same time, if something has changed in that chain, and one of those links has been swapped out, there is now an unknown variable.

When you see the same coach, same quarterback and same system, that’s something you want to put more trust in during the early part of the college football season. The more change, the more you want to be cautious when betting college football quarterback props.

Try To Find The Advanced Stats

When it comes to NFL betting, there are all sorts of advanced stats and they’re readily available. That also goes for players as you can really drill down and examine all sorts of performance metrics for a game, a segment or in certain settings. Unfortunately, the stats aren’t quite there yet for college football – or, at least, they’re not as easily accessible to the casual bettor. Regardless, you have to do your best to find what you can because that’s what is going to give you an edge.

A good recommendation is the college football section of Pro Football Focus. You’ll get grades for players at every position and you can still find some important numbers that will help you break down how a quarterback performed. They offer some depth beyond the basic passes, completions, touchdowns and general rating.

Beyond that, Twitter (or now known as X) is a great place to be. There are good conversations being had about college football quarterback props. You can find a lot of NFL Draft types evaluating college quarterbacks on a weekly basis. As they talk about the performance, you can start to get a read on who’s on the rise. Scouts and draftniks are often looking far beyond the mainstream to find the next great prospect nobody is talking about. That’s pretty useful to bettors when you’re looking at quarterback props.

The more stats, trends and nuggets you find, the more of an edge you’ll make betting these props.

Win With College Quarterback Props

College football player propositions are still something that relatively new to North American sportsbooks. As they continue to grow their offering and become more popular, there will be more and more college football quarterback props on the board. Remember to project with the game flow, check-in with the total and sift through the advanced stats. Combined with the Outlier insights, you’ll be on the path to success.

Outlier Team
December 10, 2023
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