NCAA Football Betting Advice: Fading the Top 25 Weekly Free Picks
Ohio State's thrilling comeback victory knocked Penn State down several spots in the rankings, but both Ohio State and Penn State have plenty left to play for this season. The battle between Oklahoma and Oklahoma State is going to make a big impact one way or another on the look of next week's polls.
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 bad week for the selections last week. Ohio State's win was an amazing comeback, but it wasn't enough to cover the spread. The Buckeyes did dominate that game statistically, but turnovers and their special teams play kept them from covering the number. The Duke +16 play was a loser as well. Duke's defense performed admirably, but the Blue Devils simply couldn't do anything on offense. One would think when you hold the opposition to 24 points and you are getting 16 you would have a good shot at covering. Duke only put up 3 points. The play on NC State +7.5 was a loser as well. The Wolfpack led 14-7 in the second quarter, but Notre Dame dominated the rest of the way. Notre Dame's running game had a lot more success than I expected in that contest. It was an 0-3 week last weekend, so we'll look to recover this week.
Play #1- Texas +7 (5 units) I'm going to make a large play on Texas +7 this week. The Longhorns have been excellent on defense in recent weeks. Texas gave up only 13 points two weeks ago to a tremendous Oklahoma State defense despite that game going to overtime. The Longhorns gave up only 7 points last week against Baylor, and the Bears had been scoring a lot recently.
TCU lost for the first time this season last weekend. The week after a team loses their first game of the season when it is this deep in the season is a good time to fade them according to the numbers in the long run. It makes a lot of sense to me. It's a "bubble burst" type of situation here. TCU knows their chances of making the playoff are very remote now, and it would be hard to play with the same effort they have been putting forth on a consistent basis in this spot.
Texas' Tom Herman is a perfect 13-0 ATS in his last 13 as an underdog when you count his time as an offensive coordinator at Ohio State. He has covered in every underdog spot as a head coach so far in his career. Trends aren't everything, but they should be part of your handicapping, and this is a great one backing this selection.
This is also a very low total, so grabbing a full touchdown in a game where points should be at a premium is a move I like to make.
Play #2- Oklahoma State -2.5 (2 units) Oklahoma State has lost 10 of the last 12 times they have played Oklahoma. This is a heated rivalry, and Oklahoma has almost always had the much better talent. I don't think that is the case this year. Oklahoma State's defense has been a nice surprise this year. They rank in the top 20 in the nation in yards per play allowed. They'll give up a lot of yards and points here, but they should fare better than they have in the past in games like this one.
Oklahoma's defense has fallen apart in recent weeks. The Sooners rank 72nd in the country in yards per play allowed. They have allowed at least 6.24 yards per play in three of their last four games. Baker Mayfield isn't 100 percent healthy right now, and I think he'll take quite a few hits in this game. I'm not sure Oklahoma can keep up with the Cowboys high-powered offense. The Cowboys have a great home-field advantage as well, and I'll lay the short number here.
Play #3- Arizona +7.5 (2 units) The Arizona Wildcats are now catching 7.5 points in their game at USC this week. I'll take Arizona with that many points based on how well their offense has played of late. Khalil Tate is averaging more than 13 yards per carry on the season! Why wasn't he the starting quarterback at the beginning of the season? Your guess is as good as mine, but he has likely saved Rich Rodriguez's job with his amazing offensive displays of late.
USC is allowing 4.55 yards per carry on the season. The Trojans allowed 6.54 yards per carry against Stanford. USC allowed a whopping 8.02 yards per carry against Notre Dame a couple weeks ago. Who are the top three rushing offenses in the country so far this year when it comes to yards per carry? Stanford is No. 1. Notre Dame is No. 3. The team in between them at No. 2 is Arizona! The Wildcats should rack up a big number on the ground here.
With USC's passing offense not even ranking in the top 40 in the country in yards per pass attempt, I trust Arizona's offense even more than USC here. I'll grab the points.
Fade the Top 25 Selections Year to Date: 15 Wins 16 Losses (+$50)
Overall Top 25 ATS Record Last Week: 10 Wins 11 Losses 1 Tie
Cumulative Overall Top 25 ATS Record Year to Date: 101 Wins (51.5%) 94 Losses (48%) 1 Tie (0.5%)
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