Week 6 of the college football season is in the books. We're already to the middle of October. Time flies when you are having a good time! College football always seems like it takes so long to get here and then is gone so quickly.
Seven of the AP Top 25 teams didn't play last weekend. There were a bunch of teams who had a bye week, and then cancellations from Hurricane Matthew made other teams have an unscheduled week off.
The LSU vs. Florida game was postponed, so there were only three picks from last weekend. The winner was Washington State +7. The Cougars dominated that game from start to finish. Stanford isn't the same team they have been in the past couple years. Washington State was winning the battle in the trenches, which is a big warning sign for Stanford.
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The two losers were Arkansas +14 and New Mexico +17. Both of these were bad plays. Alabama is even better than I thought they were, because their offense is really good. This offense is ahead of where it was a year ago. Arkansas has a veteran defense, but they didn't have enough talent to slow down the Crimson Tide. New Mexico's pass defense was horrendous, and Brett Rypien put up video game numbers in the first half of Boise State's romp at New Mexico. The Lobos can't play from behind with their style of play, and at one point there were losing this game 42-7.
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- North Carolina +7.5 (5 unit play) vs. Miami
The Miami Hurricanes lost in heartbreaking fashion to the Florida State Seminoles last week. They drove down the field and appeared to have scored the game-winning touchdown, but the extra point was blocked. They lost 20-19. That would be difficult to bounce back from no matter what, but it is even more difficult when it is your rival.
The Miami defense has really good numbers against both the run and the pass, but they haven't played a team yet that is even close to as good at throwing the football as the North Carolina Tar Heels. North Carolina's Mitch Trubisky had thrown for 405 yards or more in three straight games before throwing for only 58 yards in last week's loss.
Trubisky threw his first two interceptions of the season last week, and he definitely looked bad, but it needs to be remembered that the Tar Heels game was played during the worst weather of Hurricane Matthew last weekend. No passing game is going to look good in those conditions.
The conditions should be fine in this game, and I think Trubisky and the Tar Heels offense can keep pace with the Hurricanes. Brad Kaaya isn't 100 percent, and this Hurricanes offense relies very heavily on him. I expect this game to go down to the wire, so I'll gladly grab the 7.5 points for a large five unit selection.
Play #2- Oregon State +9.5 (2 unit play) vs. Utah
The Oregon State Beavers stunned the Cal Golden Bears last weekend in a 47-44 win. Oregon State ran for an amazing 474 yards in that win. Utah is certainly better than Cal, but I believe the Utes come into this one a little bit overrated. Utah has been the beneficiary of a couple misleading victories this year. This past weekend, they were actually outgained at home by an Arizona team playing a third-string quarterback. Utah was extremely fortunate to win at home against USC earlier this year as well.
Oregon State has always been a much different team when playing on their home field. The Beavers kept it relatively close against Boise State a couple weeks ago, and I think Boise State is a more complete team than Utah.
The Utes offense still has a lot to prove. Utah doesn't have enough balance on offense to keep the defense honest. Oregon State has been steamed early in the week by sharp money, which knocked this below the key number of 10, so we'll keep this to a two unit selection.
Play #3- Kansas State +10.5 (2 unit play) vs. Oklahoma
Bill Snyder's Kansas State Wildcats were beaten 55-0 last year at home against Oklahoma. The Sooners were only favored by 3.5 points in that game. You better believe these Kansas State players and coaches remember that game. Bill Snyder has been a great guy to back as an underdog over the course of his illustrious career as a head coach.
Oklahoma is coming off a win vs. Texas, and the Sooners have a tricky game at Texas Tech next weekend. I do expect Oklahoma to win this game, but I respect Coach Snyder enough to make a two unit play on the underdogs here. Kansas State should show a lot of pride and keep this closer than the oddsmakers expect.
Last Week's Results: 1 Win (Washington State +7) 2 Losses (Arkansas +14 for 3 units and New Mexico +17 for 2 units)
Fade the Top 25 Selections Year to Date: 8 Wins 12 Losses (-$220)
Overall Top 25 ATS Record Last Week: 10 Wins 8 Losses
Cumulative Overall Top 25 ATS Record Year to Date: 62 Wins (46.3%) 71 Losses (53.0%) 1 Tie (0.7%)
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Read more articles by Aaron Smith
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