NCAA Football Betting: Fading the Top 25 Weekly Free Picks
by Aaron Smith - 11/19/2014
The Fade the Top 25 Selections went 2-1 last week. The lone loser was Clemson, and that one can easily be explained by the fact that Deshaun Watson went down with an injury in the first quarter. Cole Stoudt came in and managed to throw just as many interceptions as he did completions (three). Two of those interceptions were pick-sixes. Georgia was definitely the more motivated team as we expected in their battle vs. Auburn, and the Bulldogs throttled the Tigers in that one. Washington probably should have won outright against Arizona last week, but they easily covered the number, and that's all we needed from them.
The Top 25 finished below .500 against the spread once again last week. The cumulative numbers have trended toward ATS losses for Top 25 teams for several weeks in a row. There aren't as many marquee matchups this weekend, but as we saw with a near-miss for TCU and a big upset for Arizona State, no one can be overlooked this time of the year.
Play #1- Tennessee -3.5 (#128) vs. Missouri : Anytime you see an unranked team laying points against a ranked team, you have to take an extra look. The oddsmakers know that this Missouri team isn't one of the 25 best teams in the country. Maty Mauk was expected to be one of the best quarterbacks in the SEC, but he's struggled all year. The Tigers offense is totally reliant on running the football. Tennessee has some nice momentum after winning in overtime at South Carolina and thumping Kentucky. The Volunteers also have double revenge here. Missouri beat down Tennessee 31-3 last year, and the Tigers beat Tennessee in an overtime thriller two years ago in Knoxville. Missouri has had some very misleading final scores in their favor this year. That kind of thing generally has a way of evening out over time. I think this weekend will be the time that comes back to bite Missouri. Tennessee is trending in the right direction, and this line tells us that the oddsmakers think Missouri is due to get beaten.
Play #2- Arkansas +3.5 (#172) vs. Ole Miss: There will be some who say Arkansas is due for a letdown, but I think this Razorbacks team is just much better than expected this year. Bret Bielema has done a good job with this team. The Razorbacks finally got over the hump and picked up a much-needed SEC win last week over LSU. That should give them momentum that carries through this week. Arkansas arguably should have beaten Alabama, and the Crimson Tide are now seen as the best team in the nation by most people. The Razorbacks covered the number and had chances to win when they played at Mississippi State early this month. This is a team that has quietly been very good all season long. They just happen to play in the toughest division in the nation in the SEC West. Ole Miss is a very good team, but I'm not sure Bo Wallace deserves to be trusted in big games. He played well in the fourth quarter against Alabama, but he has hurt this Rebels team in a lot of big games during his time at the school. Ole Miss doesn't have an impressive road win all season. Grab the points in what should be a tight game.
Play #3- Minnesota +10.5 (#135) vs. Nebraska: The Minnesota Golden Gophers are a team that exceeds expectations every year. They also tend to play their best football at the end of the season. What does that mean? It means they have a really good coaching staff. Nebraska is coming off an extremely ugly loss at Wisconsin. I realize that the Badgers have a terrific rushing attack, and Melvin Gordon is a stud, but the Cornhuskers allowing an eye-popping 581 yards on the ground last week is totally inexcusable. The Cornhuskers were on the fringe of the four-team playoff talk before last week, but after last week's horrible showing there are tons of questions about the program. Minnesota doesn't have even close to as much talent as Nebraska, but they do have a better coaching staff and better team chemistry. Nebraska has proven how inconsistent they are several times this year. Ameer Abdullah is less than 100 percent, and Nebraska has virtually no passing attack. While Minnesota is unlikely to win this game, getting double digits is a good value with this feisty Golden Gophers team.
Fade the Top 25 Selections Year to Date: 20 Wins 19 Losses (-$90)
Overall Top 25 ATS Record Last Week- 9 Wins 11 Losses
Overall Top 25 ATS Record This Season - 121 Wins (48.2%) 127 Losses (50.6%) 3 Ties (1.2%)
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Read more articles by Aaron Smith
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