NCAA Football Betting Advice: Fading the Top 25 Weekly Free Picks
We're back with another season of the Fading the Top 25 Weekly free picks article. College football season kicking off is one of the best times of the year for sports fans and bettors alike. While Alabama is a clear favorite to win it all this year, there are plenty of teams who have a chance and it should be an exciting 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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Before we get into this season, let's take a look back at last year. How did the Top 25 do overall against the spread?
Last year's full-season results - 137 wins (45.97 percent) 159 losses (53.35 percent) and 2 ties (.67 percent)
If you were fading the Top 25 as a whole last year, you did really well. Unfortunately, the plays I put in this article didn't do quite as well. After being up most of the year, the fade the Top 25 plays finished down 2.3 units (-$230). The higher-unit plays did well, but there were too many losers overall, and that kept us barely in the red.
Let's kick off the new season with some more Top 25 fade selections for Week 1.
Play #1- Tulsa +18 (3 unit play) vs. Oklahoma State
This one kicks off on Thursday night at 7:30 pm EST. There is some decent wind expected in this one. A constant wind of 10 or 12 miles per hour is enough to make things a bit tougher for a passing game. Oklahoma State is almost totally dependent on their passing attack. The running game can sometimes help them a bit, but the Cowboys defense is extremely weak.
Oklahoma State will certainly put up a lot of points this year, but I think Tulsa's secondary is a little better than most people realize. This Tulsa team has shown me a lot under the new coaching staff, and I believe 18 points is too many in this situation. Oklahoma State will win this game, but I don't see them covering.
Play #2- Purdue +24.5 (4 unit play) vs. Louisville
The Louisville Cardinals are a team I have as being overvalued going into this season. Lamar Jackson is clearly tremendous, but the talent around him on offense this year is way down. Louisville no longer has a running back that can take pressure off Jackson. They also lost most of their top receivers. I don't expect Jackson and the Cardinals offense to be able to put up video game numbers on offense as they did a year ago.
Purdue isn't going to be a good team right away with Jeff Brohm taking over, but I do expect clear improvement. Nick Holt had a huge impact on the Western Kentucky defense, and he should help Purdue defensively right away as well. On the offensive side, Purdue has a lot of potential. QB David Blough made too many mistakes last year, but in a system that fits him better he has the potential to be good.
Note that this game is being played at Lucas Oil Stadium. Look for a Louisville win, but I think it will be a little sloppier than most expect.
Play #3- Akron +31 (2 unit play) vs. Penn State
This is a questionable motivational spot for the Penn State Nittany Lions. Everyone knows the Nittany Lions are really good now. They aren't under the radar. Why would they be hyped up to play a MAC team that won less than half their games last season? Penn State is in a clear look0ahead spot here. The Nittany Lions play Pittsburgh next week, and that is a revenge game for them after losing a thriller to the Panthers a year ago. There is obviously some extra bad blood in that game since it is an intra-state rivalry as well.
Akron has a really good running back in Warren Ball, who transferred from Ohio State over to Akron, and I think he'll be able to get some yardage in this one. This is definitely one where the back door could be open as well.
Play #4- Georgia Tech +3 (2 unit play) vs. Tennessee
The Tennessee Volunteers have been overrated by the media and the oddsmakers each of the last two years. I think they are a bit overvalued again this season. The Volunteers have some major questions in the backfield on offense. They already have a couple key guys banged up on the defensive end as well. I don't trust Butch Jones to have his team ready to play even with a long time to prepare for this game.
Paul Johnson is a coach who does a great job maximizing talent. I think Georgia Tech's triple option attack will give Tennessee a lot of trouble here. Georgia Tech's defense has some solid veterans who should get into the backfield and give Tennessee's inexperienced quarterback a lot of trouble. Georgia Tech has a solid shot of winning this game, and I'm glad to grab the field goal here.
Fade the Top 25 Selections Year to Date: 0 Wins 0 Losses
Overall Top 25 ATS Record Last Week: 0 Wins 1 Loss (South Florida)
Cumulative Overall Top 25 ATS Record Year to Date: 0 Wins 1 Loss
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