Which NCAAF Conference is the Most Bet On?

min read
michigan jim harbaugh
(AP Photo/AJ Mast, File)
Chase Kiddy @chaseakiddy Jul 27, 2022, 12:36 PM
  • Breaking down which college football conferences are the most bet on
  • Big Ten is the #1 most bet conference, SEC is a close #2
  • Big South conference is the least bet on based on betting volume from last season

College football is right around the corner, which means there are plenty of fresh NCAAF odds and content right around the corner. More amusingly: it’s time to stoke the coals of geographic superiority.

After all, no one can enjoy college football odds without a heaping side of conference rivalry.

As a writer for the BetMGM online sportsbook, I get to look at lots of insightful gambling data. 

One of the spreadsheets I looked at recently enumerated which Division 1 conferences have drawn the most betting action.

College Football: Which Conference is Bet the Most?

Based on BetMGM betting volume data from last season, the Big Ten conference was the most bet on across the country.

The 2nd most bet on conference was the SEC (11% less than the Big Ten), followed by the ACC at #3.

College Football: Which Conference is Bet the Least?

Looking at BetMGM bet data for the 2021 season, the Big South conference received the least amount of total bets of any NCAAF conference.

Most Bet on College Football Conferences:

1. Big Ten

2. SEC

3. ACC

4. Pac-12

5. Big 12

6. American

7. Mountain West

8. Independents

9. MAC

10. Sun Belt

11. Conference USA

12. Missouri Valley

13. Big Sky

14. SWAC

15. CAA

16. SoCon

17. WAC

18. Ivy

19. Patriot

20. A-Sun

21. OVC

22. MEAC

23. Pioneer

24. Southland

25. NEC

26. Big South

SEC Betting Is Disadvantaged by Where Betting Is Legal

You would think that the SEC would have drawn the most. After all, it just means more! 

Big Ten fans may want to take a victory lap on this. After all, those SEC chants are pretty obnoxious.

However, the reality is that the most bet on conferences data is likely correlated with the state-by-state legality of online sports betting. 

Check out this map of where betting is legal.

map of legal betting states in the US
WSN.com

 

  • The Big Ten has 9 teams (Illinois, Purdue, Iowa, Rutgers, Michigan State, Indiana, Penn State, Northwestern, Michigan) that are located in legal betting states.
  • The SEC only has 6 teams (Tennessee, Arkansas, LSU, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Vanderbilt) in legal betting states.

Will betting volume shift when Ohio and Florida become legal betting states?

Both Ohio and Florida are key states with very popular teams – I’m looking at Ohio State and Florida – where state betting legality is pending.

So, that should increase the volume by quite a bit.

It’s true these numbers aren’t geo-locked, meaning they represent all bets on Big Ten schools or SEC schools rather than just regional bets for one specific region.

However, we also know that most gamblers usually stick to what they know. 

There aren’t a lot of bettors in Nashville hunting down lines for the Patriot League showdown between Colgate and Holy Cross. Likewise, very few Michiganders are searching for trends and stats on the Rio Grande Rivalry.

Everybody bets that late 10 p.m. game, though. But c’mon! That’s just good form.

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Jamie Foxx holding a mobile phone next to the BetMGM's risk-free bet offer.
About the Author

Chase Kiddy

Read More @chaseakiddy

Chase Kiddy is a writer for BetMGM and co-host of The Lion's Edge, an NFL and college football podcast available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and everywhere else. He has also written for a number of print and online outlets, including the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Washington Post, Daily News-Record, and HERO Sports. His first novel, Cave Paintings, is in development.

Chase Kiddy is a writer for BetMGM and co-host of The Lion's Edge, an NFL and college football podcast available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and everywhere else. He has also written for a number of print and online outlets, including the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Washington Post, Daily News-Record, and HERO Sports. His first novel, Cave Paintings, is in development.