NCAA Football Betting Advice: Fading the Top 25 Weekly Free Picks
It was a role reversal for the Top 25 last weekend. Things had been rolling right along smoothly with the Top 25 consistently covering the spread at a high rate. Then last weekend's madness hit and four of the Top 10 teams in the country lost outright. It was a weekend that shook up the rankings in a big way. The Top 25 went 8-13 against the spread overall last weekend as well, and they are almost down to .500 ATS for the season.
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.
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How did the Top 25 do overall against the spread last season? Last year's full-season results- 137 wins (45.97 percent) 159 losses (53.35 percent) and 2 ties (.67 percent).
It was a strong 3-1 week for the selections last week. West Virginia's comeback over Texas Tech was the biggest key to it being a strong up week. The Mountaineers scored the final 29 points of the game as Texas Tech folded late. Nebraska +24.5 never had a chance as the Buckeyes did whatever they wanted on offense in that game. Arizona State +17.5 cashed for two units as the Sun Devils won outright. The performance of their defense in that game was unreal. Cal +14.5 was the best pick of the week. The Golden Bears won outright 37-3. I have to admit, I thought it was a bad spot for Washington State, but I would have never in a million years expected them to come out and look as awful as they did last Friday night. In all, it was a 3-1 week where we gained 3.8 units ($380).
A bunch of the top teams are off this week, and I don't like as many of the fade spots this weekend, so it is a shorter card than normal.
Play #1- Notre Dame -3.5 (3 unit play) I'll fade the USC Trojans here. USC has 19 players listed on this week's injury report. The Trojans are wounded severely in a couple key areas heading into this showdown against Notre Dame.
USC's secondary is a clear weakness right now. The Trojans have lost at least four key guys from this group, and it is showing up in the numbers. USC is allowing 6.7 yards per passing attempt, which is tied for 48th in the nation. If you take away their first game against Western Michigan when most of those guys were healthy, the numbers would look a lot worse.
USC is also hurting on the offensive line. Sam Darnold's numbers are way down this way largely because he simply isn't comfortable in the pocket. That was definitely the case in USC's loss at Washington State a few weeks ago. USC has already allowed 31 tackles for a loss this season.
Additionally, this is a very good situational spot for Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish are coming off a bye week. They have had extra time to prepare for USC. On the other side, USC is coming off a one-point win over Utah. That was a game that they could have easily lost, and it was a hard-fought game that took a lot out of them.
USC has dominated this series of late, but I think Notre Dame gets the win and cover here.
Play on Texas +7 (2 unit play) vs. Oklahoma State
The Texas Longhorns are coming off a close loss to Oklahoma in their rivalry game from last week. Some might expect a hangover from them in this game, but I don't think Tom Herman will let that happen here. Tom Herman is a perfect 6-0 ATS as an underdog in his head coaching career. I see no reason to believe that streak will end here.
Oklahoma State is clearly a good team, but I still think they are a bit overvalued by the market in general thanks to their red-hot start to the season. The Cowboys defense is likely to be a problem in some big games this year.
Texas has the same type of athletes that Oklahoma State does. The Longhorns have the home-field advantage as well, and they are catching a full touchdown. I have to take them in this underdog role with Herman at the helm.
Fade the Top 25 Selections Year to Date: 13 Wins 13 Losses (+$100)
Overall Top 25 ATS Record Last Week: 8 Wins 13 Losses
Cumulative Overall Top 25 ATS Record Year to Date: 79 Wins (50.97%) 76 Losses (49.03%)
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