NCAA Football Betting: Fading the Top 25 Weekly Free Picks
by Aaron Smith - 10/21/2014
Week 8 was a much better one for Top 25 teams. Teams in the AP Top 25 went 14-7 against the spread last week. The Fade the Top 25 Selections fared much better than you would expect by going 3-1 last week. Kansas State won outright, so that was a really strong pick. Boston College kept it close in a loss to Clemson to cover the number. Alabama rolled to a massive victory over an extremely overrated Texas A&M team. The only loss from last week was Northwestern +7. The Wildcats led Nebraska by three at halftime, but forgot to show up for the second half. The Fade the Top 25 Selections have now been profitable three straight weeks. It was an ugly start for the picks, but we are trying to dig out of the hole we created in the first few weeks of the year. The Top 25 looks a lot different this week. How will the new teams in the rankings fare this weekend?
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 may be 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 are testing 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.
Play No. 1- Syracuse +14.5 (#123) vs. Clemson: We made money fading Clemson last week, and we're going to try for a second straight week. Clemson isn't the same team without DeShaun Watson at quarterback. He's the offensive spark this team needs. Cole Stoudt is dinged up as well, and it's pretty clear at this point that the Tigers playbook isn't as dynamic right now. They are buttoned up, and that makes it much tougher to cover a spread of more than two touchdowns. I'm not particularly impressed by Syracuse, but their defense is fairly solid. Clemson will now also be without starting running back Adam Choice, who tore a ligament in his knee last weekend. The Tigers defense is very good, but the offense has some major problems. I expect Clemson to get the win here, but I like Syracuse's chances of staying within the number.
Play No. 2- Tennessee +17.5 (#166) vs. Alabama: Tennessee isn't the program they used to be, but it seems like Butch Jones is slowly turning things around. Neyland Stadium is still a very tough place for opponents to play, and Alabama is coming off a monstrous win over Texas A&M last week. The Crimson Tide defense is excellent, but I still have lots of questions about the offense. The Crimson Tide offensive line isn't anywhere near as dominant as they have been in recent years. Tennessee will be up for this game, and the Volunteers defense is much better than they were last year. Alabama should win this game, but getting more than 17 points with the home underdog is too much value to pass up.
Play No. 3- Ole Miss -3.5 (#171) vs. LSU: Ole Miss has proven that they are absolutely positively the real deal. The Rebels defense is about as well-rounded as you will ever find. They are excellent against both the run and the pass. I love the aggressiveness of this unit. The secondary hits hard, and the front seven is excellent at rushing the passer and defending the run. LSU looked bad up until their nice showing last week against Kentucky, but beating Kentucky badly and hanging around with Ole Miss are two totally different things. LSU will have to be able to run to win this game, and I don't see them running against a Rebels defense that knows the run is coming. Ole Miss is more balanced on both sides of the ball. I think the Rebels make yet another statement.
Fade the Top 25 Selections Year to Date: 13 Wins 15 Losses (-$350)
Overall Top 25 ATS Record Last Week- 14 Wins 7 Losses
Overall Top 25 ATS Record This Season - 81 Wins (48.5%) 84 Losses (50.3%) 2 Ties (1.2%)
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