Home I Sports Betting I NFL Betting Guide Part 2: NFL & NCAA Differences
There are many differences between NFL and NCAA football. In this article I will be breaking down the major differences in game play, as well as the playoff system in both leagues and how they crown their champion. Football is the number one sport in the USA. The NFL is the most watched sport, while NCAA football is close behind at number three.
The first difference between the NFL and college football is one of the biggest differences: the size of the ball. An NFL football will measure 11″ long with a 22″ circumference. An NCAA ball will be just slightly smaller (1/2″ less in length and 1″ less in circumference). This might not sound like a lot but for a quarterback the size can have a serious impact.
In the NFL when you fall down without being touched, you can get back up until you are tackled. In college football, when you have a knee down, you are down. The play is over even if you just tripped and weren’t touched.
In the NFL you must have possession of the ball with both feet in bounds for it to be ruled a catch. In the NCAA, you only need one foot in bounds with possession for a legal reception.
In the NFL, pass interference is one of the most controversial calls there is. This is because the ball is spotted at the point of the foul and an automatic first down. This could end up being a 50+ yard penalty and completely change the game. In college football, pass interference is only a 15 yard penalty with an automatic first down.
In the NFL, the clock is always moving unless you reach the 2 minute warning which is called during the last 2 minutes of each half. In college football, the clock stops after each first down until the ball is spotted. There is also no two minute warning in college football.
This is where things get interesting. In the NFL it starts with a coin flip. Team A will kick it off to Team B. Team B will have the opportunity to score a touchdown and end the game. If Team B scores a touchdown the game is over. If Team B does not score a touchdown but kicks a FG, Team A will have a chance to score. If Team A scores a TD they win, but if they kick a FG, than Team A will kick off to Team B and then the rest of the game will be sudden death. If after one 15 minute period both teams are tied, the game ends in a tie.
In the NCAA, Team A goes first at the 25 yard line. They can either score a touchdown, kick a field goal or turn the ball over. After their possession is done, Team B goes. When both teams finish their possessions, whoever scored more points, wins. If there is a tie between the two teams, they repeat this until there is not a tie. Starting the third overtime, teams must go for two instead of kick an extra point.
In the NFL, 12 teams make the playoffs, 6 from each conference. The top 2 teams in each conference get a BYE. They play in a playoff until there is only one team left on each side. When there are two teams standing they play in the Super Bowl to crown a champion.
In college, there is a ranking system. At the end of the season, the top 4 ranked teams play in a playoff. The number 1 seed plays the number 4 seed, and the number 2 seed plays the number 3 seed. The winner of those two games meet in the National Championship Game. The winner of that is crowned as the National Champion.
Don’t miss Part 3 of our NFL Betting Guide, where we detail key statistics and numbers in American Football.
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