College Football Betting in NY

The special appeal that NCAA football games have to many passionate fans seems to have seeped into the sports betting world. Because of that, college football has become one of the biggest draws at American sportsbooks, with millions staked on college teams every season.

The sport’s continued growth, combined with the rapid rise of legal sports betting around the US, makes it easy to see why many bettors are drawn to the charm that college football has. You may even be wanting to bet on college football but don’t know where to begin.

This guide focuses on everything you need to know regarding NCAA football betting in New York.

Can you bet on college football games in NY?

Fortunately, you can place wagers on NCAA football games in New York. Unfortunately, you are only able to do so at retail sportsbooks in physical casinos. Current legislation prohibits online and mobile sports betting within the state. That, though, could change in the near future.

There’s an ongoing rapid shift in how states treat online sports betting, with many opting to legalize it. This puts pressure on states like New York to follow suit. Couple this with some promising discourse around the topic from state lawmakers, and the possibility of mobile betting in the state is looming closer.

NCAA football betting rules

Some states have banned bets involving schools from within the state or events taking place in the state. For instance, since New York bettors may go to New Jersey to place wagers, it is important to note that New Jersey bans betting on in-state college games and out-of-state games involving college teams from the state.

The same is true for any in-person bets you place in New York. You will not be able to bet on games taking place in the state or games that involve teams from the state. To bet on New York college teams, you would need to cross the border to New Jersey, for instance.

History and legality of NY sports betting

New York has had a law permitting sports betting in the state since 2013, when a referendum passed that allowed for the construction of four casinos in Upstate New York. However, a federal law still prohibited local New York casinos from opening sportsbooks and accepting bets placed on sports.

In 2018, the US Supreme Court overturned the 1992 federal law on sports betting. With that action, states were able to enact their own sports betting laws and regulations. Because of that ruling, wagering on college football games is legal in New York.

How to bet on college football in NY

There are different types of bets that you can place on college football and other sports. Here is a quick rundown of the best college football bets if you are just learning or need a refresher.


Moneyline bets are some of the most common wagers at retail sportsbooks. In simple terms, placing a moneyline bet is simply picking a specific team and staking money on that team to win the game.

For example, say Clemson and Syracuse have an upcoming game. Since you rate Syracuse, you place money on the Orange to win the game. You will win your bet if Syracuse ends up winning the game.

Point spreads

Point spread bets also are popular among football bettors. With this type of bet, a sportsbook sets an estimated margin of victory. For a bet on the favorite to win, that team would need to win by more than the estimated margin. A bet on the underdog wins if that team wins outright or loses but keeps the final score closer than the estimated margin.

Favorites are represented by a negative number, while the underdogs have positive numbers. For example, the Buffalo Bulls are playing against the Temple Owls with the following point spread:

  • Buffalo Bulls -2.5
  • Temple Owls +2.5

Here, the spread is 2.5 points. If you were to pick the Bulls with this spread, they would need to win the game by 3 points or more for your bet to win; i.e., scores like 35-32, 33-27, 37-31, etc.

If you were to pick the Owls with the same spread, they need to simply avoid losing by three or more points. Therefore, the final score can be 34-32 in favor of the Bulls, but your bet would still win because your team managed to cover the spread.


Totals  also commonly known as over/under bets — are popular options because they do not depend on who wins or loses the game. Instead, they are decided by the total number of points in the game. Sportsbooks simply place a line for the expected number of points, and you wager whether the total points in that game will be over or under that line.

For example, the Tulane Green Wave is playing against the Army Black Knights. The oddsmakers set the line at 35.5 points. If you were to place an over bet on this game, you’d need 36 points or more. So scores like 20-16 and 23-15 would be enough to win you the bet.

If you instead chose the under, you’d need for the total number of points to be 35 or fewer. So scores like 20-15, 19-14 and 18-17 would win you the bet.

Prop bets

Prop bets, or proposition bets, are special types of bets that focus on other occurrences within a game. Such incidents are usually not directly tied to the game’s outcome. Prop bets can include placing a wager on a player’s specific stats or even events like which team is going to win the pregame coin toss.


Parlays are a combination of two or more bets on the same ticket. This increases the odds and thus offers increased winnings to bettors.

For example, if you think that three college teams are all going to win on the same weekend, you can choose to place them on a single ticket. This will give you a larger potential payout. However, for parlays to be paid out, all of your picks must be correct.


Teasers are similar to parlays but allow you to alter the betting lines in your favor.

For example, take the following spreads: Syracuse at -6.5, Cornell at -4.5 and Fordham at +6.5. With a teaser, you can place all of them onto a single ticket and change them by a set number. If that number is 6, for instance, you would wind up with the following spreads: Syracuse at -0.5, Cornell at +1.5 and Fordham at +12.5.

However, your payout will be significantly decreased when compared to a parlay with the initial lines.

Round robins

A round robin bet is a way of wagering on numerous parlays involving the same teams so that you’re able to cover a large number of possibilities. Take, for example, the following selections:

  • Stony Brook Seawolves -5 (-110)
  • Albany Great Danes +4.5 (-110)
  • Cornell Big Red +3 (-110)

A traditional parlay will combine all of the above teams onto a single ticket. Round robin bets, however, will create three separate two-team parlays that will cover all probable combinations and offer an even greater payout. A round robin wager will look like this:

Parlay 1

  • Stony Brook Seawolves -5 (-110)
  • Albany Great Danes +4.5 (-110)

Parlay 2

  • Albany Great Danes +4.5 (-110)
  • Cornell Big Red +3 (-110)

Parlay 3

  • Stony Brook Seawolves -5 (-110)
  • Cornell Big Red +3 (-110)

Round robin calculators will help guide bettors in situations where they have a large number of picks.

NCAAF betting lines & odds

Odds form the lifeline of the sports betting industry. They define the probability and likelihood of an event and are what sportsbooks use to calculate potential winnings.

Events that are more likely to happen, such as an undisputed favorite winning a game, will have lower odds and thus have a lower payout. Events that are less likely to happen, such as an underdog causing an upset, will have higher odds and thus have a greater payout.

In moneyline bets, the favorite is identified by a minus sign accompanying the odds, while the underdog has a plus sign instead. For example, take these moneyline odds for a hypothetical college football game:

  • Buffalo Bulls -150
  • Duke Blue Devils +120

The Buffalo Bulls are the favorites, as shown by their odds. Therefore, you’d have to place $150 on them to win a profit of $100. In Duke’s case, since it is the underdog, it has higher odds. If you placed $100 on Duke with the odds above, you would gain a profit of $120 if your bet ends up being correct.

In point spread betting, the odds for the two teams are usually similar because the oddsmakers often try to pick a spread that balances both teams out. Many of the games that you’ll see when placing point spread bets will have odds of -110.

  • Cornell Big Red -3.5 (-110)
  • Duke Blue Devils +3.5 (-110)

In both scenarios, if you wager $110, you would stand to win $100 and have a total payout of $210. Therefore, if you picked Cornell, it would have to win by four points or more for your bet to win. If you picked Duke, on the other hand, it would have to avoid losing by four points or more.

In bets involving totals (over/unders), the odds are generally balanced in the same way. Take the example below:

  • Over 39.5 (-110)
  • Under 39.5 (-110)

The line is 39.5 points. If you favored the over in this game and placed a bet of $110, you’d end up winning $100 if the combined total of the two teams’ points ended up being 40 or more.

Betting on college football futures

College football futures often focus on events that will be decided later on in the season or at the end of the season. They are usually posted in the offseason and are available throughout the year.

The most popular futures bets in college football include bets on a team to win the national championship, a player to win the Heisman Trophy, or teams to make the playoffs.

Tips and strategies for college football betting

When betting on college football, it is important to keep some of these tips in mind:

1. Seek value in the underdogs early on

When the season starts, a lot of teams are usually undervalued by sportsbooks. The oddsmakers tend to set lines that are largely based on public perception. Since they don’t have a lot of action to judge teams by early in the season, they often end up undervaluing and overvaluing certain teams early on.

If you can spot some undervalued teams at the beginning of the season, that may be the best time to take advantage since the oddsmakers will often end up getting things right as the season progresses.

2. The right information will be harder to find

Unlike the NFL, information on college teams will be harder to obtain. Therefore, it’s always crucial to vet the source of information and take everything you hear with a grain of salt.

Luckily, we live in the information age. A variety of sites and experts will freely offer information on the internet, meaning that even an obscure Twitter account could prove to be a very powerful source; granted, however, that you are still able to verify the source.

3. A team’s chemistry matters

Whether it’s a lot of returning players, a coach who knows the team extremely well, or the number of times that a team’s players have played together before, such factors will help you gauge the level of chemistry that a team has.

In college football, teams that blend well as a unit tend to perform better when compared to teams that rely on an individual star.

A rundown of the college football season

In normal circumstances, the regular season begins in late August and ends in December. After the grueling tussle of the regular season comes the postseason. Here, the successful college teams make it into bowl season, which comprises around 40 bowls. For a team to qualify, it usually has to win at least six games in the regular season.

The playoff committee first picks four teams and pairs them into two semifinals (playoffs), making up two of the New Year’s Six bowl games — the most noteworthy bowls in college football. After the playoffs have been decided, the other bowls offer bids to teams using the set stipulations. After the teams are decided, the bowl games play out.

The four teams in the playoffs battle it out in their respective bowls. The two winners then face each other in the national championship game.

Notable college football teams in NY

New York has a lot of teams that boast great college football programs alongside some rich history. Here are a few of them:

  • Army Black Knights — The Black Knights represent the US military academy in football. Additionally, they boast some great history, having been crowned national champions on five occasions.
  • Syracuse Orange— Proudly representing Syracuse University, the Orange boast some impressive history that includes 700 total wins, 18 college football hall of famers and more than 240 NFL players.
  • Cornell Big Red— Representing the prestigious Cornell University, the Big Red is one of the oldest football programs in the country.

Notable NFL players from NY college teams

With some great programs in New York, here are a few players who eventually made a mark in the NFL having come from the state’s college teams:

  • Jim Brown: James Nathaniel Brown attended Syracuse University and later played for the Cleveland Browns as a fullback. He’s an NFL champion, part of a winning team in 1964 before the Super Bowl era. He is widely considered to be one of the greatest running backs ever.
  • Marvin Harrison: Harrison played 13 seasons in the NFL as a wide receiver. He attended Syracuse University and was drafted 19th by the Colts in the first round. He won one Super Bowl in his career, doing so in 2007, and was elected into the Hall of Fame in 2016.
  • John Mackey: Mackey also attended Syracuse and was the first president of the NFL players association, leading from 1970-73. He was both an NFL and Super Bowl champion, having played in both before and after the AFL-NFL merger. Just like the previous two players, he was also elected into the Hall of Fame.

Final take

College football is one of the most exciting sports to bet on. It has a lot of great history, amazing and passionate fans, and exhilarating games that will surely bring some added thrill to your wager.