NCAA Football Betting Advice: Fading the Top 25 Weekly Free Picks
Oklahoma lost to Iowa State in a stunner, so you might think it was a good week to go against the teams near the top of the rankings. However, overall the top teams did well against the spread in week six. The Top 25 went 13-8 ATS. That's the third straight week the Top 25 has covered at a high rate. It's making it tougher to fade the top teams right now. Let's see if this turns in the coming weeks.
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)
Last week's selections went 1-2. Fortunately, the biggest play (3 units on NC State) is the one that cashed. The two unit play on Northwestern was never close as the Wildcats were thumped by Penn State. The one unit play on Florida State +3.5 should have never lost. The Seminoles dominated the box score in that game and found a way to lose the cover with six seconds left by half a point. That one was definitely a bad beat.
Play #1- West Virginia -3 (3 unit play) I'm fading Texas Tech in this one. The Red Raiders have a lot to prove in my mind. Texas Tech has consistently started well in recent years only to fall apart later in the season and finish at .500 or so. Kingsbury isn't a coach I trust much at all, and until this Red Raiders team proves they can win in a tough environment, I'll be glad to fade them.
West Virginia has one of the best home-field advantages in the country. Texas Tech is a long way from home, and this is a very early kick time for them.
I like Grier in this West Virginia offense. He is averaging 9.21 yards per pass attempt on the season. He has 16 touchdowns and four interceptions. Grier is a surprisingly solid runner as well, which keeps the defense honest. I expect West Virginia's offense to put up big numbers in this one. I think this is a good value on a team that will prove to be more consistent in the long run.
Play #2- Arizona State +17.5 (2 unit play) This is Arizona State's largest home underdog role in more than 20 years. I'm not particularly high on Todd Graham as a coach, but his teams have pulled off upsets when no one expected it in the past. Washington isn't likely to lose this game, but the Huskies haven't had tough tests on the road. Who have they played away from home? They beat Rutgers 30-14 in the opener. They beat Colorado in an impressive win 37-10. They also beat lowly Oregon State 42-7 on the road. This will be their toughest road test.
Washington isn't as dynamic on offense as they were a year ago. The Huskies are averaging only 6.3 yards per play. Browning is a very good quarterback, but he doesn't have the same kind of talent around him this year.
Arizona State's loss by 10 to Stanford last week on the road was a decent showing. Wilkins is said to be completely healthy for the Sun Devils at this point. Look for a strong effort from an Arizona State team that is a little better than their record would indicate.
Play #3- Nebraska +24.5 (2 unit play) There's no doubt Ohio State has played well the last couple weeks, but this line has gotten out of control. The Buckeyes go on the road at night to play against a Nebraska team that is desperate for a good showing.
Nebraska isn't a good team, but I don't think they are a bad team either. Ohio State still has plenty to prove. The Buckeyes are no doubt at least a very good team, but are they elite? We still need to see if Barrett and the passing game can perform in key situations. Ohio State's offense has run it up against some bad defenses. Nebraska isn't a good defense, but they are a step up from Army and Maryland.
This is a pure numbers play. Ohio State should win comfortably, but this is too many points.
Play #4- California +14.5 (1 unit play) The Washington State Cougars are a good team, but they are a good team playing in a tough spot here. Washington State is coming off consecutive great performances against highly-thought-of teams. They beat USC in a classic game at home two weeks ago. Last weekend, they went to Oregon and beat a short-handed Ducks team easily. Now, they go to California on short rest to play against a Cal team that doesn't get any publicity. If there was ever a letdown spot for Washington State, this should be the game.
Cal is much better this season under Wilcox. The defense has been the biggest reason they are improved. Why not a bigger play? Cal is still at a big talent disadvantage here. I'll fade Washington State based on the situational spot for one unit.
Fade the Top 25 Selections Year to Date: 10 Wins 12 Losses (-$280)
Overall Top 25 ATS Record Last Week: 13 Wins 8 Losses
Cumulative Overall Top 25 ATS Record Year to Date: 71 Wins (53%) 63 Losses (47%)
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