The Georgia Bulldogs won the Rose Bowl, and the Alabama Crimson Tide won the Sugar Bowl, so we now know the matchup for the National Championship on January 8. Like in the Super Bowl odds, here are many ways to bet on the big game, but if you’re new to college football betting, you’re going to want to learn the basics first. Let’s walk you through the most popular options.


Moneyline and Spread Betting

The point spread and moneyline are the main ways to bet on the National Championship Game. Here’s what the college football lines looked like at press time:

Point Spread
Alabama -5
Georgia +5

Alabama -190
Georgia +165


What is the point spread?

The point spread is a margin of victory that a team must cover in order for the bet to pay out. If you bet on Alabama at -5, they have to win by six points or more to cover the spread. If you bet on Georgia at +5, they can lose by four points at the most, or win the game outright, and you win your bet. If the outcome lands on an Alabama win by five points, everyone ties and gets their bets refunded.

What is the moneyline?

Betting on the moneyline means you’re betting on the outright winner of the game without any margin to cover. If you bet on Alabama and they win, you win your bet. If you bet on Georgia and they are victorious, you win your bet. The difference here is the payout. With Alabama, a $190 bet would return $100 in profit. For Georgia, a $100 bet would net you $165 in profits. 

The spread, moneyline and total, which we’ll go over next, are all available in pre-game betting or in-game as well. They’ll all be adjusted as the action transpires.


Betting the Total

If you’re not sure who will win the game, but still want to bet on it, the total is another option. When you bet the total, you’re predicting whether the combined score of the two teams will go over or under a number set by oddsmakers. 

At press time, the total for the National Championship is 45, so you’d be betting on the combined final score to be over or under 45. If the final score is 29-20, the game would go over. If the final score is 20-10, the game would go under. If the combined final score is exactly 45 points, that’s a tie or a push, and bettors get their stake back.


Betting on Props

Another way to bet the National Championship without predicting the winner is by playing props. Proposition bets are not directly related to the outcome of a game. For example, you can bet on when the first score of the game will happen, total rushing yards for a player or what the longest field goal will be. There are always lots of props to choose from for big matchups like the Super Bowl or the finale of the College Football Playoff, so check out what’s on offer and have fun.  


*Odds as of January 3, 2018