The 2023 college football postseason is currently underway, with bowl games taking place from December 16th to January 8th. By looking at the splits of money and ticket percentages on the week’s biggest games, you can get a sense of where the public is betting each week. Whether you decide to back the public or fade them is your choice, and we’ll be providing the trends and money splits for each matchup.
Betting splits above are updated hourly; the data presented is an average of the public bets and public money from multiple North American and global sportsbooks.
College Football Betting Trends
The 2023 college football season concludes with the CFP National Championship Game on Monday, January 8th. Some of the notable CFB public betting trends for Michigan vs Washington include:
Every bet placed on a college football game is tracked and entered into a system at your sportsbook of choice. Using all those transactions, bettors, analysts and fans alike can track trends based off the total number of bets placed and total amount of money bet on any game across the spread, moneyline or over/under total markets.
With that data, you can see the public consensus (as well as where the sharp money is) for every game before placing your bet.
Money percentages – or percent of the handle – refers to the total amount of money wagered on an event, often broken down by bet type.
The money percentage pools all the money wagered on any game together, first sorting it by the type of bet (moneyline, spread, or total points scored), and then breaks down what percentage of the handle is bet on each side.
Whichever side the handle is weighted to can signal the sharp action (if the amount of tickets on that side are low), or if that side is being heavily bet by the public (if the ticket percentage is high).
Bet percentages, meanwhile, are frequently referred to as “% of tickets” or “% of bets”. Tickets are just a term used for all the bets placed.
To get the bet percentage, you look at all the bets placed (regardless of the amount of money risked on each one), again, sorting first by the type of bet, and then look at the percentage of tickets on each side of the game.
This can help identify which side both high-stakes and low-stakes players are trending towards.
As broken down above, ticket percentage does not consider the amount risked on each ticket – it just counts each bet placed. If we compare the bet percentage and money percentage of the same team (for the same bet type), you’ll know something is up if they are not relatively similar.
For example, if Alabama has 78% of the tickets bet against the spread, but only has 50% of the money, we now know the bets being placed on Alabama are quite small – or the bets being placed on Ole Miss are quite large.
A noticeable difference between a team’s bet and money percentages can help signal sharp action. In order to calculate this, just subtract their bet percentage from their money percentage. If the result is a positive number, you’ve got larger bets being placed on this team. If the result is a negative number, you’ve got larger bets being placed on the other team.
While that’s not a 100% accurate formula to determine the sharp action, it can give you a general idea of where the money is.
Public betting refers to the amount of money (and number of wagers) the public has placed on each team (and each game total) for the upcoming week. If the public is heavily backing e.g. the home or road team against the spread, it indicates that the public and the oddsmakers disagree on what the spread should be.
As with ATS betting in any two-team sport, 50% of teams cover and 50% of teams lose ATS (excluding pushes, that is, where the difference in the final score is equal to the spread; last season, only 13 games ended in a push).
In the 2021 season, the favorite covered 442 games ATS and lost 422 games ATS, which equals a 51.16% win percentage against the spread .
The short answer is that the public loves favorites and big names. Teams like Alabama, Ohio State, Georgia, and Clemson tend to get a disproportionate amount of both wagers and handle, even as massive double-digit favorites.