How did things go for the Top 25 in Week 1? Not good at all. Seven teams in the Top 25 lost outright in the opening week. Part of that has to do with the fact that so many Top 25 teams played each other, but that wasn't the sole reason. LSU dropped a stunner to Wisconsin. Other highly-touted teams were very fortunate to get out with a win. Tennessee was outplayed by Appalachian State. The Mountaineers covered the number, but the Volunteers won outright. A couple notable underachievers against FCS teams in Week 1 were TCU and Michigan State. Overall, 10 teams in the Top 25 covered the number and 15 failed to cover. It was a good weekend to be fading the Top 25. We'll be tracking the cumulative result of teams in the Top 25 all year long.
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Week 1 for our selections was a clean sweep! Florida State coming back from the huge deficit and covering the number was big. The Seminoles looked like a serious national title contender in the second half. Deondre Francois was spectacular in his first collegiate game. Texas plus the points was a good play as the Longhorns won the game outright against Notre Dame. The Longhorns offense looks far different this year. It will be interesting to see if they can keep things going the right way the rest of the season. Auburn was a fortunate cover as they were clearly outplayed by Clemson. We'll definitely have some tough losses throughout the season, but it was nice to get a fortunate winner there. It was a 3-0 start and a gain of 8 Units in Week 1.
The goal of this article is to track how teams in the weekly Top 25 do against the spread. We're here to look a little deeper than most and figure out how the top-ranked teams do at the betting window. In addition, in this weekly article I'll be taking a look at which Top 25 teams I think are best to fade that particular week.
Play #1- Syracuse +14.5 (4 unit play) vs. Louisville This is an extremely difficult spot for Louisville. The Cardinals are coming off a game where they led 56-0 against the lowly Charlotte 49ers. That did nothing to get them ready for this game. Syracuse had a successful start to the season in a 33-7 win over Colgate. Obviously, that win doesn't tell us all that much, but there is plenty in their past history that suggests Syracuse is a live dog in this game.
Syracuse was +42.5 points against the spread in their last four home games. The Orange have covered five straight games at home. The underdog is also 8-3 ATS in the last 11 games between these two teams.
This is a Friday night game on national television. Syracuse won't be in the spotlight very many times this year, while Louisville will have plenty of shots in front of a huge audience. In fact, Louisville plays their biggest game of the season next week at home against Florida State. If there was ever a look-ahead spot, this is it. I think Syracuse is the much more motivated team, and catching more than two touchdowns at home I like the Orange in this one.
Play #2- UTEP +28.5 (2 unit play) vs. Texas Charlie Strong's Texas team is coming off a great win over Notre Dame Sunday night on national television. All they have heard all week is how great they are and that this team is back. I do think Texas is much improved this year, and I expect the Longhorns to have a good season. However, this is a great letdown spot for them. They have a short week to prepare for this game, and they know UTEP isn't very good.
Texas plays at California next week. The Golden Bears beat them by a point last year when Texas missed an extra point late in the game. That was one of the most painful losses of the season for the Longhorns last year, and I think they'll be motivated for that game. What does that mean? This is a bit of a sandwich spot. They are coming off a big game and have another big game next weekend. I have to grab the points here with the Miners.
Play #3- Central Michigan +21 (2 unit play) vs. Oklahoma State The Central Michigan Chippewas played Oklahoma State very tough last year. Oklahoma State won 24-13 on the road last year, but the Cowboys only had one more first down than did the Chippewas. Central Michigan is 6-1 ATS in their last seven road games.
The Chippewas have arguably the best defense in the Mid American Conference. Central Michigan also has a good senior quarterback in Cooper Rush. This is a Central Michigan team that returns 16 starters from last year, and they were underrated by the oddsmakers all season last year. They went 9-4 ATS overall last year.
Oklahoma State lost their star defender in Emmanuel Ogbah from last year's team. The Cowboys are going to be good this year, but they still need to prove they are an elite team. The MAC can have some sneaky good teams, and I believe Central Michigan is one of them this year. Oklahoma State will win, but three touchdowns is a lot. A 2 unit play on Central Michigan.
Last Week's Results: Wins- 3 (Florida State -4 for 4 units, Texas +3.5 for 3 units, and Auburn +7.5 for 1 unit) Losses- 0
Fade the Top 25 Selections Year to Date: 3 Wins 0 Losses (+$800)
Overall Top 25 ATS Record Last Week: 10 Wins 15 Losses
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