NCAA Football Betting: Fading the Top 25 Weekly Free Picks
by Aaron Smith - 9/30/2014
Week 5 is in the rear view mirror, and the calendar is flipping over to October. Last week's selections split with USF and Washington winning and New Mexico State and Cincinnati losing. For the season overall, the Top 25 teams have 50 wins and 50 losses against the spread. There were two ties last week (Ole Miss and Baylor). It's a very interesting week to keep an eye on the Top 25 this weekend since there are far fewer big-name teams on a bye week this Saturday. There will be plenty of action, and I expect a bunch of great games.
Doc's Sports always wants to look for ways to help bettors make money. This year I'll 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 fade a team in the Top 25, and I'll keep track of my results so readers can follow along. This is an experiment we will be testing out in 2014, and all plays will be flat bets to win $100 on each game. 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 is a cumulative number.
This is a unique week where many Top 25 teams play against other ranked teams, so this week's selection will look a little bit different than they would in a normal week.
Play No.1 - Michigan State -7 (#410) vs. Nebraska: This is a major test for the Nebraska Cornhuskers. I'm not convinced they'll be able to pass this test. Nebraska is 5-0 on the year, but who have they beaten? They beat a decent Miami team, but that one was at home. The rest of their wins are over teams who aren't any good. Michigan State played well for much of the game at Oregon, and the Spartans have been rolling on both sides of the ball of late. Connor Cook is a high-quality quarterback. Michigan State is no longer just a good defensive team. Now, they have the offense to go along with that elite defense. Nebraska is all about running the football, but Michigan State is fifth in the nation in rushing defense. Ameer Abdullah is an excellent player, but running on this Spartans front seven is extremely difficult. I don't trust Tommy Armstrong Jr. to beat the Spartans with his arm. Look for the Spartans to win this one convincingly.
Play No. 2 - TCU +5 (#576) vs. Oklahoma: The TCU Horned Frogs are a team I've been high on all year. Gary Patterson is a terrific coach, and last year's disappointing season left a bad taste in the mouth for this TCU program. They are out for redemption this year. The Horned Frogs defense is ranked second in the nation in total defense. Oklahoma's offense has had an easy time of it so far this year, but this will be the first really good defense they have played all year. The Sooners are a good team, but I'm not sure they are quite as good as most believe they are right now. Bob Stoops' team has been throwing in a couple disappointing games each year for a long time, and I think this has real potential to be one of those games. I'll grab the points in what should be a tight contest.
Play No. 3 - Notre Dame +2 (#368) vs. Stanford: The Notre Dame Fighting Irish have gotten a major boost from the play of Everett Golson at quarterback in 2014. Golson has come back to the team and been better than anyone could have imagined. He completed 25 straight passes in last week's win against Syracuse. Stanford is ranked first in the nation in defense, but I think that is primarily because of who they have played against. Stanford's offense doesn't have that top-end runner they have had in recent years. Kevin Hogan has been managing the game well, but against a team like Notre Dame I think he'll have to do more. Hogan doesn't have all that many weapons around him, and playing in South Bend is never easy. The Fighting Irish typically get plenty of respect from the oddsmakers, but I don't think they are getting enough so far this season.
Fade the Top 25 Selections Year to Date: 5 Wins 12 Losses (-$820)
Overall Top 25 ATS Record Last Week- 8 Wins 9 Losses 2 Ties
Overall Top 25 ATS Record This Season - 50 Wins (49%) 50 Losses (49%) 2 Ties (2%)
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Read more articles by Aaron Smith
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