NCAA Football Betting: Fading the Top 25 Weekly Free Picks
by Aaron Smith - 9/3/2014
Sometimes you are the hunter and sometimes you are the hunted. Unfortunately for the picks in this Fading the Top 25 series, it was the latter last weekend. Navy +16.5 absolutely should have cashed as they outplayed Ohio State for the majority of the game and actually led for more than half of the game. Ohio State scored two very late touchdowns to win by 17 points. From that point on, it was all downhill for the picks. Florida Atlantic was never in the game against Nebraska. Rice could move the ball a bit against Notre Dame, but they had no chance at stopping the Fighting Irish on defense. In the end, it was an 0-3 Week 1 for the picks in this article. It's a long season though, and things are just getting started.
There are a bunch of teams in the Top 25 playing FCS-level schools this week, so expect to see a lot of one-sided games on Saturday. Those games against FCS opponents have no line available now, so those won't be any of them considered in this week's article.
Doc's Sports always wants to look for ways to help bettors make money. This year I'm going to be tracking against the spread records of the Associated Press Top 25. How do Top 25 teams do ATS? Are there chances to go against Top 25 teams that are overrated? In this weekly article, I'll make a few picks each week where I go against a team in the Top 25, and I'll keep track of my results so readers can follow along. This is an experiment that we will be testing out in 2014, and all plays will be flat bets to win $100 on each game. Keep in mind that I may sometimes back teams that are in the Top 25 if they are against another ranked team that I want to fade. At the end of each article, I'll make note of how the Top 25 overall did against the number, and that will be a cumulative figure as the season moves forward.
On to the picks for Week 2:
Play #1- Michigan +4.5 (#371) vs. Notre Dame: Michigan's Brady Hoke is squarely on the hot seat this year. Michigan underperformed in a big way last year, finishing only 7-6. The Wolverines get star linebacker Jake Ryan back from an injury this year, and I expect that to make a big difference on that side of the ball. Derrick Green gives the team a solid running back as well, and that's something they have been lacking the last few years. Notre Dame cancelled this series, so this is the last meeting between these teams. I think Michigan has a chip on their shoulder because of that, and this Notre Dame team hasn't proven anything yet, either. I think Michigan wins here, but I'll gladly take the points on the underdog.
Play #2- Toledo +5 (#322) vs. Missouri: I really like this spot for the home underdog. Missouri returns just eight starters from last year's team, and the Tigers didn't look good in Week 1. Toledo is the best team in the Mid-American Conference, and they would love nothing more than to pick off an SEC team at home. The Glass Bowl will be rocking on Saturday afternoon. Keep an eye on Toledo in the trenches, where they are extremely good. Missouri fits the mold perfectly as a team to fade here, and Toledo is a team I'm very high on too. Here's another great chance for an outright upset.
Play #3- New Mexico +25 (#360) vs. Arizona State: Bob Davie has done a really nice job with this New Mexico Lobos program. New Mexico has been very effective at running the football and using up the clock to keep the game close. Arizona State will score a lot of points here, but the Sun Devils defense returns just two starters from last year, and I expect New Mexico to be able to move the ball on the ground. This is a big number to cover, especially when the home team is going to be pounding the football on the ground all game long as the seconds tick away.
Play #4- Virginia Tech +11.5 (#377) vs. Ohio State: Ohio State may have beaten us last week, but that was definitely a game where we were on the right side. Virginia Tech's Michael Brewer is a quality quarterback, and he'll be able to test a Buckeye secondary that was a major weakness last year. Ohio State had an explosive offense to cover double-digit numbers against quality teams last year, but they don't have all pieces on offense this season. Not only is Braxton Miller out, but the Buckeyes offensive line is a problem right now. J.T. Barrett looked good in his first collegiate game last week, but Virginia Tech's secondary is as good as any in the country. Look for Frank Beamer to have his boys ready to play here.
Fade the Top 25 Selections: 0 Wins 3 Losses (-$330)
Overall Top 25 ATS Record from Last Week: 12 Wins (48%) 13 Losses (52%)
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