Is Betting on College Sports Worth It?

Sports betting is one of the most popular forms of gambling worldwide. While this is no different in the US, sports betting was limited to just four states until 2018.

Thankfully, a supreme court ruling overturned the law and made it illegal, opening the floodgates to bettors yearning to stake wagers on their favorite players and teams. Because of this, the market has grown incredibly and was valued at $11.5 billion by the end of 2021.

Not only did this growth highlight the love of sports betting within the country, but it also highlighted an untapped market: college sports. Since abolishing the ban on sports betting, many casinos and sportsbooks have partnered with major universities to promote their sporting programs.

However, whether or not betting on college sports is worth it remains for bettors to decide, especially considering there are many varying factors involved in college sports compared to professional versions of the same games.

The Disadvantages of Betting on College Sports

Admittedly, there are a few disadvantages to betting on college sports. While some are the same as betting on other sporting events, others are unique to college sports and may turn many gamblers away.

Some of the most common disadvantages of college sports betting include the following:

Players are still young

Sure, many of the best athletes in the world started their careers young and went on to make massive successes of themselves. Even though many of them were spectacular players in college, some gambling experts argue that the athletes playing in college sporting events are too young to put money on.

The rationale is that they may still be slightly immature and, therefore, not take the game too seriously. Although for the person who placed a wager the game may mean winning or losing a significant amount of money, it may be just another game for a college athlete.

In addition, college life for many students is a time of exploration and learning to become independent. Part of this is the lifestyle of college living, including all the parties. Changing a match lineup due to players dealing with hangovers or recovering from partying too hard may be a drawback for anyone betting on the outcome of an upcoming match.

It may be hard to separate emotions

Placing a bet on a sporting event in which you don’t have any real emotional or personal connection to any athlete or team that will be competing is one thing. However, many people who actively watch college sports do so because they have a vested interest in the outcome of games.

Whether this is because the game features their alma mater’s team or because they know one of the players participating, college sporting events can bring out the fire in even the most docile of fans.

While great when trying to cheer a team on, this emotion is the opposite of what is required (or recommended) when placing logical and calculated bets. Failing to separate the emotions of the game can, therefore, lead gamblers to possibly irresponsible wagers.

College sports are unpredictable

It goes without saying that putting a group of adrenaline-fueled young adults with a passion for winning together on a field alongside screaming spectators can sometimes produce unexpected results. This is true even though, for most, it is the recipe for a perfect match.

The reality is that, even at professional sporting events, things sometimes go south. For college games, this is also true. More than that, it is more common that a game may start peacefully and yet suddenly become something unpredictable.

Unanticipated things like violence amongst players, or even weapons brought to games by spectators, can quickly derail a game. The game not concluding could leave gamblers with empty bets with no hope of a return.

The Advantage of Betting on College Sports

While the disadvantages listed above may make everything related to college sports betting seem shrouded in doom and gloom, that is not the case. Therefore, there’s no need to start looking for other gambling options like table games and other casino games including slots.

The truth is that there is one primary advantage to betting on college sports that almost entirely counteracts all the disadvantages listed above.

Bets are easier to determine when comparing teams

Discounting the spreads offered by different tipsters and betting opinion websites, the odds of correctly betting on a winner when comparing two teams’ stats may be easier than regular sports betting. Especially when pitting the statistics head-to-head against each other.

The primary reason is that college sports teams are more prone to showing trends — and thus which side is stronger more clearly. This information might help you determine the David and the Goliath in a particular match without much hassle.

However, although it might be easier to place a winning bet on the clear favorite team, it should be noted that upsets are known to happen, just like in professional sports events. Therefore, never be taken by surprise if the underdog comes back fighting.

Without an unforeseen win by an underdog team, college sports offer what can almost be considered a ‘safer’ bet than other sporting events. This fact alone makes betting on them almost entirely worthwhile and something every betting fan should consider.


Many people have different opinions about college sports betting — from those who feel it may allow athletes to experience undue gambling exposure to those who think it is an untapped market well worth tapping into.

While it certainly is a significant untapped market, it is also a highly volatile and unpredictable one. Therefore, there is no clear answer to whether or not betting on college sports is worth it.

The answer to that depends entirely on the risk appetite and experience of the gambler placing the bet. And while some players may love the adrenaline and suspense of a university game, others may prefer something more stable. And that’s perfectly okay.