NCAA Football Betting: Fading the Top 25 Weekly Free Picks
by Aaron Smith - 11/4/2014
For a fifth straight week, the Fading the Top 25 selections were profitable. In fact, last week those selections went 2-0. At the end of last week's edition of this weekly article, I said that I didn't want to push our luck here and force selections. That strategy ended up paying off. Temple beat East Carolina outright as the Pirates turnover problems killed them. Auburn beat Ole Miss outright as well, though that game certainly could have gone either way.
The Top 25 as a whole actually did well against the number last week. Last week's schedule wasn't quite as loaded with high-quality games on the college gridiron, but this week's slate is impressive. There are a bunch of Top 25 teams who will be tested in a big way this weekend. I think next week's Top 25 will look a whole lot different.
Play #1- Wake Forest +21.5 (#112) vs. Clemson: This line rose earlier in the week as there were reports of Deshaun Watson being ready to play in this one for Clemson. While Watson has been medically cleared, most reports now say he's likely sit this one out and be ready for Clemson's next game. Personally, I can't imagine why Clemson would play him here. Watson is the future of the program. He is a potential Heisman Trophy winner in the future. I wouldn't want to risk putting him out there when the Tigers can almost certainly beat Wake Forest without him. The Demon Deacons defense is improved, and I think this will be a low-scoring game all the way. Clemson's offense has been struggling in a big way with Cole Stoudt under center. Stoudt isn't a very good runner, and he can't stretch the field. Opposing defenses know that it will be either a run or a short pass, and that limits the Tigers offense. Wake Forest isn't likely to win this one, but laying more than three touchdowns with an offensively-challenged Clemson team isn't appealing at all. Grab the points and the home underdog. Please note that this game is played on Thursday night.
Play #2- Utah +9 (#194) vs. Oregon: The Utah Utes continue to be underrated by the oddsmakers. Even though they didn't win last week, their overtime loss against Arizona State told me a lot about this team. The Utes defense is the real deal this year. Utah has 36 sacks on the season, and a whopping 30 of them are from the defensive line! Oregon's offensive front has been a disappointment this year, and I think the Utes can make Marcus Mariota uncomfortable here. I consider Mariota the best quarterback in the country, so I don't think they'll shut him down, but they can at least slow the Ducks. The Utes strength in the trenches really helps them in a game like this. Devontae Booker and the Utes running game will allow them to control the football and keep Mariota and the Ducks offense off the field. Also, keep in mind that Utah has a tremendous home-field advantage. Their home field is at a higher elevation, and opponents often wear out late in the game against Utah. Every year we see Utah pull off an upset against a highly-ranked opponent at home. I'm not sure if they can win this game, but I like it to be close.
Play #3- Oklahoma -5 (#164) vs. Baylor: This is a good revenge spot for Oklahoma. The Sooners were blasted 41-12 last year at Baylor. I'm convinced that last year's Baylor team was much better than this year's version. The primary reason for that is the Baylor defense isn't nearly as good this year. Injuries have hurt this Bears team a lot. Bryce Petty is dinged up, and his numbers aren't even close to what they were last season. The Bears offense has sputtered a bit in games at Texas and at West Virginia. Baylor has run up some magnificent offensive numbers against teams like Kansas and Buffalo, but that means little to me. Oklahoma is excellent at defending the run, and I think they'll have success in making Baylor one-dimensional. Offensively, Oklahoma is a much better team than they were last year. The Sooners are averaging 41.5 points per game this year. Oklahoma hasn't scored less than 30 points in a game all season long. The Sooners are equipped to win a shootout with the Bears. I'll side with the home favorite here.
Fade the Top 25 Selections Year to Date: 17 Wins 16 Losses (-$60)
Overall Top 25 ATS Record Last Week- 11 Wins 8 Losses 1 Tie
Overall Top 25 ATS Record This Season - 101 Wins (48.8%) 103 Losses (49.8%) 3 Ties (1.4%)
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