For decades, legal gambling on college football was frowned upon, even though the entire universe knew that was stopping anyone. From office pools to bookies, gambling on college sports has been around forever. Bigger problems were created by forcing everyone to go outside legal channels, boosting profits for illegal operators and making it harder to detect when players were 'throwing' games or 'shaving points'.
Adding to the stupidity of all of this, was the fact that every newspaper published point spreads, and college football pundits on television would discuss the weekly lines.
And for some reason, it was legal in Las Vegas and Reno, but nowhere else.
Of course, this problem in the United State was not exclusive to college sports - it was inclusive of all sports. The rest of the world adapted more quickly to the nuances of bringing legal betting into the fold, even allowing major sports betting sites to sponsor to its soccer, rugby, cricket and Australian Rules football teams. Back in America, even the professional organizations like the NBA, the NFL, and the NHL would have to be dragged along.
Thanks to wider acceptance by the American public, legal spits gambling is getting easier to do every year. Voters in many states have been overwhelmingly endorsing legal gambling in ballot referendums, demanding that their state and their local governments drop their archaic, prohibitive laws.
if you're in New Jersey, you can bet on football at the best online casinos in New Jersey.
Mississippi also has sportsbooks at several of its casinos, and even California plans to put retail sports betting on the 2022 ballot as per a tribal gaming initiative. In all, 27 states now have legal and regulated sports betting industries.
Online options are becoming more and more accessible.
Legal betting is much safer for the bettor than having to trust a 'bookie'. In full daylight, legal betting helps to protect the colleges and universities from bad actors on its teams and coaching staffs. Professional and amateur sports organizations are also beginning to reap the benefit of sponsorship money. Those increased income opportunities produce a wider pool of funding that will allow amateur players to reap the benefits of name, likeness and image (NIL) licensing.
CollegeFootballPoll.com, created in 1999, has seen an explosion in recent years in the number of people checking its out its computer-generated odds which have a historical win percentage of nearly 75% on the money line and over 50% on the point spreads. Every week, the site offers its weekly picks for every game, as well as feature picks and odds.
Armed with information, a serious bettor can also learn how to make big money on parlays and prop bets. This article from the New York Post is a guide to the most common sports betting terms, with examples.
Legal gaming can be fun and profitable. But, as with any gambling, the first rule of thumb to keep it fun is to also keep it affordable. Never bet money that you're not willing to lose. If you plan on making it a regular activity, include it as part of the entertainment expense in your budget.