NCAA Football Betting Advice: Fading the Top 25 Weekly Free Picks
Not a ton of marquee matchups last weekend in college football, and this weekend isn't full of them either. There are going to be some great weeks ahead when it comes to drama, though. We're already to Week 6 of the season, and every game gets more important as we get deeper into the year.
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 the overall Top 25 went 12-8 ATS. That's the second straight week the Top 25 has covered at a high rate.
The selections went 2-3 last week. The three unit play on USC was a loser. Washington State's defense gave USC a lot more trouble than I expected. The Trojans offensive line injuries are definitely slowing this team down. Sam Darnold doesn't look comfortable at all in the offense. Part of it is the offensive front, but Darnold himself must play better as well. Duke was a blowout loser at the hands of Miami. The Hurricanes dominated that game from the start to the finish. I thought Miami (Ohio) might catch Notre Dame napping last weekend, but the Fighting Irish were ready to go and blew them away. Northwestern +14.5 was a winner as the Wildcats kept it close against the Badgers in Wisconsin. Northwestern actually led at halftime but struggled in the third and fourth quarters. Troy +21 was one of the best plays of the entire week. The Troy Trojans pulled the outright upset at LSU. Unfortunately for me, it was only a one unit play. It was still a nice one to win.
I don't like nearly as many games this week, but we'll look at three games here.
Play #1- NC State +4 (3 unit play) I'm fading Louisville here. The Cardinals were tested in a big way by Purdue in the season opener. They were blown away at home by Clemson a few weeks ago. Since then, Louisville has smashed Kent State and Murray State. What did that prove though? Absolutely nothing. In fact, I think playing two terrible teams before having to face a tough road foe is likely a negative for Louisville. This is a huge step up in class.
Louisville absolutely smashed NC State last year, and the Wolfpack remember that game well. Beat writers from NC State have mentioned this week that NC State players are talking about their awful performance in Louisville last season. This is a good chance for NC State to get a measure of revenge, and it comes on national television on Thursday night. All eyes are on this game.
NC State has proven they have the potential to be very good. We saw how their defensive line dominated Florida State when they upset the Seminoles on the road. Lamar Jackson has less help this year, and I think the NC State front seven can get in the backfield often. I'll grab the points with the home underdog.
Play #2- Northwestern +15 (2 unit play) Northwestern cashed as an underdog of almost exactly this number at Wisconsin last week, and I'll grab them again this week. Penn State is a very good team, but Iowa was only +13 against the Nittany Lions. Northwestern is catching more than two touchdowns. I rate Northwestern as a better team than Iowa, because their offense is more capable with a solid quarterback and a very good running back in Justin Jackson.
Pat Fitzgerald's teams are 20-7 ATS in the last 27 as an underdog. Northwestern isn't likely to win this game, but I think this line is too big to ignore. The Wildcats defense should have a good game plan ready to at least slow down the Nittany Lions offense.
Play #3- Florida State +3.5 (1 unit play) I'll fade Miami once again, but only for one unit. The Hurricanes are clearly a very good team, but this is a rivalry game and Florida State has even more talent than Miami in my estimation. Florida State also has more question marks since they are without their starting quarterback, and they have offensive line problems. Still, I trust Jimbo Fisher and his coaching staff to have this team ready to play on Saturday. These have typically been very close games, and I see no reason to expect anything different in this one. Florida State hasn't shown it yet this year, but their upside is very high. I'll take the home underdog of more than a field goal.
Fade the Top 25 Selections Year to Date: 9 Wins 10 Losses (-$250)
Overall Top 25 ATS Record Last Week: 14 Wins 10 Losses
Cumulative Overall Top 25 ATS Record Year to Date: 58 Wins (51.3%) 55 Losses (48.7%)
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Read more articles by Aaron Smith
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